AQAP seeks to capitalize on anti-Israeli sentiment in new English-language magazine

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Al Malahem Media, the official propaganda arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has released a new English-language magazine titled, “Palestine, betrayal of the guilty conscience.” The slickly-produced publication was released online on Aug. 16 and, as a piece of propaganda, seeks to capitalize on anti-Israeli sentiment.

The magazine is similar to AQAP’s Inspire magazine, which has encouraged jihadist recruits to carry out individual acts of terrorism. The authors of the 24-page production portray their message as being part of the same “school” of thought that has led to a long line of terrorist attacks against American and Israeli interests, including those planned by al Qaeda’s senior leadership.

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AQAP encourages jihadists to commit a new terrorist attack against American and Israeli interests, portraying the possible new attack as being consistent with a long line of other operations, including those planned by al Qaeda’s senior leadership.

“The statements, views and strategies expressed herein are those in line with September 11, [the] Muhammad Merah Operation, the Brussels Museum Shooting and [the] Boston Bombings,” the magazine reads. “This booklet is a collection of statements regarding this school plus a couple of ways to arm yourselves,” it continues. “This work is prepared to help the reader find a way to support his Muslim brothers in Palestine and Gaza.”

As in past AQAP publications, aspiring jihadists are given do-it-yourself instructions on how to build bombs. A section by the “AQ Chef” adapted from the first issue of Inspire shows how to build pressure cooker bombs like those used in the Apr. 15, 2013 Boston bombings. A photo glorifying the Tsarnaev brothers, the perpetrators of the attack, is included.

Another section, adapted from the 12th issue of Inspire, shows readers how to build a car bomb like the one used in the failed May 1, 2010 Times Square attack. That operation was carried out by Faisal Shahzad, who was trained by the Pakistani Taliban, and a photo of Shahzad accompanies the instructions.

AQAP provides a list of potential targets in the US and Britain where a car bomb could be deployed. The list includes specific locations such as Times Square, the Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia, the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the headquarters for General Atomics in San Diego, California. General Atomics is a defense contractor that develops unmanned aircraft systems and sensors, among other products.

Confronting the imagined Zionist-Crusader conspiracy

AQAP’s newest online magazine features the writings of prominent al Qaeda leaders and operatives, both deceased and alive, including Osama bin Laden and Abu Yahya al Libi. A piece by Samir Khan, an American who helped produce Inspire magazine before he was killed in a US drone strike, is also included.

One page includes quotes from Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of AQAP and general manager of al Qaeda’s operations. Wuhayshi’s words are excerpted from the AQAP film, “Here We Start, And At Al-Aqsa We Will Meet.”

Wuhayshi says that demonstrations are not enough to counter the Zionist-Crusader alliance, a conspiratorial motif that is often included in al Qaeda’s propaganda. “No, demonstrations must be followed by explosions, and civil disobedience by military rage, and we must cut aid to the Zio-Crusader and kill those of the Crusaders whom we find on our land, and destroy Western interests until Europe and America stop their support of the Jews and stop the killing there and order their agents, the treasonous rulers, to open the border-crossings to Gaza and Palestine,” Wuhayshi says.

Another AQAP leader, Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, also stresses the importance of confronting the imagined Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. Nadhari’s statement first appeared in an audio message released earlier this year. The “cursed state of Jews is nothing without the American aid and support,” Nadhari says. “The Jews and the Americans are sharing the same trench in fighting the Muslim ummah [community]. So it is incumbent upon all Muslims to fight this Zio-Crusader enemy who has allied against the Muslim ummah.”

“The same way Muslims are obliged to fight and repel the Zionist Jews, they are obliged to fight America and their allies, the allies of the Jews in the killing of Muslims,” Nadhari argues.

Nadhari is a prominent AQAP ideologue whose writings have also been featured in al Qaeda publications focusing on the jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Eric says:

    Hamas is still pretty sore at Al Qaeda over the whole Ansar Al Sharia and Ansar Jerusalem deal for the Sinai – the deal that ended up costing Hamas all their smuggling tunnels, and putting them out of business. So now Al Qaeda puts out a new glossy that opportunizes Hamas taking a beating from Israel? Who ever knows what goes on in these militants’ heads, but that’s gotta hit a nerve, in Gaza. To see Al Qaeda reaping a benefit for their own recruitment over Hamas getting bloodied trying to break the Gaza blockade, after all Hamas gave up for Al Qaeda , they got nothing but used in return.
    Ever since ISIS stole the show, Al Qaeda is looking like they lost the plot on jihadi unity. Divisive is the new black, I guess.

  • Barry says:

    Does anyone have a link/source to the new AQ mag, Palestine?


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