Just two days before the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, both Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State released English-language magazines that praise the hijackings. Via social media and other sites, AQAP published the 14th edition of its Inspire magazine earlier today. And the Islamic State released the 11th edition of its Dabiq publication.
AQAP’s Inspire includes an image (seen below) of the World Trade Center after being attacked. “Some things are too beautiful to be forgotten” and “Will we ever experience such a sight once more?” are sprawled across the picture.
Similarly, the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine refers to the 9/11 attacks as the “blessed operation.” A photo of one of the hijacked planes (also seen below) is included in an article denouncing Iran for its supposed cooperation with the West against the Sunni jihadists. Ironically, the 9/11 Commission actually raised troubling questions about Iran’s role in facilitating the 9/11 hijackers’ travels. (See pages 240 and 241 of the commission’s final report.)
AQAP and the Islamic State are not exactly allies at this point. AQAP has rejected the Islamic State’s so-called “caliphate” and remained loyal to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri. One of the Islamic State’s “provinces” is based in Yemen. Indeed, the “caliphate’s” expansion in the Arabian Peninsula last year was a direct challenge to AQAP’s authority.
Regardless of their differences, however, both the Islamic State and AQAP consider the 9/11 attacks praiseworthy.
AQAP has, of course, planned attacks in the West, including the failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing and the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January of this year. (Inspire contains new details about AQAP’s planning of the Charlie Hebdo operation.) The Islamic State has been connected to a series of plots in the West, too. Both are trying to encourage so-called “lone wolf” attacks from their followers.
AQAP’s Inspire magazine, released today, includes this image:
And the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine (also released today) praises the “blessed” 9/11 attacks:
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