In July 2010, Inspire, a fancy quarterly English language jihadist propaganda magazine attributed to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and distributed through its abstruse al-Malahem media outlet, has for the first time surfaced online. These days mark the publication of its fifth issue.
Although the magazine’s link to AQAP and its authenticity have – due to its varying quality and its somewhat eclectic scope of topics – been contested by some commentators, others, both within academia and governments, claim it to be a genuine source of AQAP thought.
Ronald L. Burgess, director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, only this month referred to Inspire in a statement before the Senate’s committee on armed services, saying that “propaganda in AQAP’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, encourages followers to commit individual acts of terrorism in support of al-Qaida’s agenda”.
So while one should thoroughly scrutinize the glossy’s origin (which is still missing a bin Laden centerfold, by the way), one should as much focus on its audience and reach.
In terms of language, the magazine is almost as creative as it is artistic when introducing the term “open source jihad” or OSJ which it declares “America’s worst nightmare”. Except for last November’s “special issue”, sections labeled open source jihad have so far been contributed to all issues of Inspire, namely:
No. 1, p. 31 – 44:
- Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom (author: AQ Chef)
- How to use Asrar al-Mujahideen: Sending & Receiving Encrypted Messages (author: Terr0r1st)
No. 2, p. 51 - 59:
- The ultimate mowing machine (author: Yahya Ibrahim)
- Tips for our brothers in the United Snakes (sic!) of America (author: Yahya Ibrahim)
- Asrar al-Mujahideen 2.0 extras (author: Terr0r1st)
No. 4, p. 37 – 46:
- The Burning Building / also: Destroying Buildings (author: AQ Chef)
- Training with the AK / also: OSJ Gun School (author: Abu Salih)
- Advice for those who want to help al-Malahem Media (author: Terr0r1st)
No. 5, p. 22 – 25:
- Training with the AK 2 / also: OSJ Gun School (author: Abu Salih)
Feel reminded of the meanwhile classical 1957 Total Resistance by Hans von Dach or the 1971 Anarchist Cookbook? So do I. It seems like there’s nothing really new under the Oriental sun, but at least they’re calling this rather poor publicity stunt ‘open source’. Without a doubt, everyone concerned should nevertheless carefully follow that source, since it may be of value to both sides of the front line.
Further in-depth analysis can also be found at Christopher Anzalone’s worthwile “Views from the Occident” blog.