An advertisement in Inspire magazine for an upcoming article by Anwar al Awlaki.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released the seventh edition of its Inspire magazine. The publication, which was obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group, praises the Sept. 11 attacks and the events that followed, claiming that the terrorists are bleeding America dry. The latest installment is a greatest hits collection of al Qaeda’s propaganda themes, including the claim that the American-led West is at war with Muslims.
One of the last pages of the publication includes an advertisement for a future edition. Set against a picture of Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan is the title of an article apparently written by AQAP cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The title reads: “Targeting The Populations Of Countries That Are At War With The Muslims.” Inspire’s editors promise that the article is “coming soon.”
Awlaki has been tied to multiple terrorist plots against the West, including the November 2009 Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Christmas Day 2009 terrorist attack.
While Inspire’s editors celebrate various terrorist attacks against the West, ranging from the 2004 Madrid train bombings to the 2009 Fort Hood Shooting, there is no explicit mention of al Qaeda’s many Muslim victims. AQAP and al Qaeda are clearly sensitive to the charge that they and their jihadist ilk have killed far more Muslims than non-Muslims during the past 10 years, however.
One screen shot includes a quote from al Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al Zawahiri, who responds to the Algerian government’s supposed “lies that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] targeted Muslims.”
“Our brothers in AQIM are more truthful, more just and more righteous than the lying sons of France,” Zawahiri is quoted as saying. In reality, data accumulated by the National Counterterrorism Center reveal that, in all likelihood, far more Muslims than non-Muslims have been killed in the terrorists’ global insurgency launched 10 years ago. [The data can be accessed online here.] While AQIM has targeted non-Muslims in Algeria, it has also repeatedly targeted Algerian security forces, including Muslim members of those forces. The same can be said for al Qaeda-affiliated groups around the globe — Muslims are the jihadist hydra’s primary victims.
The panel published alongside Zawahiri’s quote includes a quote from Sheikh Ali Rage, Shabaab’s spokesman in Somalia. “We have unified our ranks, prepared our might, unsheathed our swords, loaded our bullets and equipped ourselves,” Rage is quoted as saying.
Rage’s words, Inspire’s editors explain, came after the merger between Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, another jihadist organization operating in Somalia. Inspire’s editors also say that his words were spoken “much after [Shabaab’s] allegiance to the al Qaeda organization.”
The extent of Shabaab’s allegiance to al Qaeda has been debated by counterterrorism analysts even though Shabaab’s leaders have repeatedly proclaimed their al Qaeda bona fides.