Al Qaeda's Yemeni Franchise Publishes English-language E-Zine

By Matthew Harwood

Amid the recent spate of incidents involving homegrown American terrorists, al Qaeda's Yemeni wing published its first English-language magazine this week in an effort to recruit more Westerners to join the jihad.

Its flashy title: "Inspire."

The magazine was published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Qaeda's most dangerous terrorist franchise. The group's profile has risen with its ties to New Mexico-born radical cleric Anwar al-Alwaki and its unsuccessful Christmas day attack on a Detroit-bound airliner.

The online magazine's launch on Tuesday, however, wasn't without its hiccups, reports Maryland-based SITE Intelligence, a jihadist tracking Web site who obtained a copy of it. Of the the magazine's 67 pages, all but three of them consisted of garbled computer code, reports the Associated Press.

The table of contents listed a how-to article titled "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" with the killer teaser  "a detailed yet short, easy-to-read manual on how to make a bomb using ingredients found in a kitchen." The magazine also included articles purportedly by core al Qaeda's top two leaders—Osama bin Laden on "The Way to Save the Earth" and Ayman al-Zawahiri's "Message to the People of Yemen"—as well as an article by al-Awlaki, the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reports. (See the table of contents, here)

There's no mystery about the magazine's purpose, Bruce Riedel, a Brookings Institution scholar and former CIA officer, told the AP. "This new magazine is clearly intended for the aspiring jihadist in the U.S. or U.K. who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber."

The production and dissemination of "Inspire" is one more piece of evidence that Awlaki is a growing "international symbol of defiance to U.S. power," as Newsweek's Michael Isikoff described him a month ago. The lslamist cleric has arguably become the movement's most valuable propagandist because of his American heritage and his fluency in Arabic and English.


View Recent News (by day)


Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.