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Entries in Inspire (6)

Wednesday
May082013

New Terrorist Magazine Targets Obama, Drones

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Barack Obama appears with a bull’s-eye on his head in a new English-language magazine published online apparently by Islamist militants, who also urge Muslims around the world to try to hack and manipulate American drones.

“Wanted Dead Only. Barack Obama Mass Murderer. Reward: in the Hereafter,” reads the full page poster that depicts a darkened image Obama as a target.

Elsewhere in the 80-page tome, the magazine calls upon the “Ummah,” the community of Muslims all over the world, to hack and manipulate U.S. drones, identifying drone attacks as “one of the utmost important issues that the Ummah must unite to come up with an answer to.”

“This is a call to anyone in the Islamic Ummah with knowledge, expertise and theories regarding anti-drone technology. [...] These drones can be hacked and manipulated as evidenced by the efforts of the Iraq Mujahideen” says the article, possibly in reference to the reported interception of video feeds from U.S. predator drones by Iraqi militants in 2009.

While the magazine doesn’t explicitly say what the jihadi hackers should to with the drone, there is a significant difference between accessing unencrypted videos captured by a drone and actually commandeering a drone, according to Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism advisor to the White House and current ABC News consultant.

“Taking over the controls of a drone is beyond the capabilities of members of such militant organizations,” said Clarke. “For that to happen they need to hack into the private encrypted network of the Pentagon or physically overpower the links between the drone and GPS with airplanes, which these organization do not have.”

The new color magazine is entitled Azan – A Call to Jihad and was discovered online on May 5, though the issue itself is dated March 2013.

Azan, call to prayer in Arabic, holds a striking resemblance to Inspire, the English-language magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), though no militant organization has claimed responsibility for the publication yet.

Nevertheless, the magazine’s header reads “Taliban in Kuhrasan,” an indication that it might be published by islamists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kuharasan is an ancient term for the region spanning Afghanistan, Northwest Pakistan, parts of Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

An American intelligence official told ABC News that the intelligence community was aware of the publication and that analysts are currently “evaluating Azan as they would any jihadist publication advocating international terrorism.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

Al Qaeda Cleric's Call From Grave: Attack With Bio Weapons

Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- One of al Qaeda's most prominent radical clerics may have been killed in a drone strike last year, but his words appear to have lived on in a new issue of al Qaeda's English-language magazine in which he calls for biological attacks against the U.S.

"The use of chemical and biological weapons against population centers is allowed and is strongly recommended," U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki is quoted as saying in one of two new issues of Inspire magazine.

Awlaki, who was taken out in a drone strike in September 2011, was believed to have been connected to several terrorist plots against the American homeland, including the Fort Hood massacre in 2009 and the unsuccessful Christmas Day underwear bombing the same year.

Recently two new issues of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine appeared online after several months without any publication. In the same airstrike that killed Awlaki, U.S. officials said the primary editor of the magazine, U.S.-born member of al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate Samir Khan, was also killed. But it appears the magazine lives on, if with a new editor and without proofreaders.

Both new issues are riddled with typos, including one on the cover of issue nine, where a headline asks whether the West or al Qaeda is "Wining on the Ground."

The new issues feature lengthy tributes to Awlaki and Khan, but also offer chilling advice to would-be jihadists: use firebombs. One of the issues has detailed instructions on how to ignite an "ember bomb" in a U.S. forest.

"In America, there are more houses built in the [countryside] than in the cities," says one writer, who uses the pseudonym The AQ Chef. "It is difficult to choose a better place [than] in the valleys of Montana."

The other issue has an eight-page article on how to construct remote-controlled explosives, with a laundry list of parts and ingredients and photos showing proper assembly. It also gives tips on shooting a handgun.

The articles also claim that Awlaki predicted his own demise.

According to the article, after a drone strike nearly missed his vehicle, Awlaki said, "This time 11 missiles missed [their] target, but the next time the first rocket may hit it."

Awlaki's premonition "proved to be true," says the writer. "I wish I had been with them so I could have attained a great attainment."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May022012

Al Qaeda Magazine Calls for Firebomb Campaign in US

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The men who launched al Qaeda's English-language magazine may have died in a U.S. missile strike last fall, but "Inspire" magazine lives on without them -- and continues to promote jihadi attacks on Western targets, offering advice on how to start huge forest fires in America with timed explosives.

Two new issues of "Inspire" magazine have surfaced on jihadi forums, the first since radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and chief Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Samir Khan were killed by missiles from a U.S. drone over Yemen on September 30, 2011. The magazines eulogize Awlaki and Khan as the "spirit" and the "tongue" of "Inspire" respectively, but deny that their deaths will stop the magazine or jihad.

The second of the two issues seems to have been prepared after Khan and Awlaki's deaths. "To the disappointment of our enemies," says one of the articles, "issue 9 of Inspire magazine is out against all odds ... The Zionists and the Crusaders thought that the magazine was gone with the martyrdom of Shaykh Anwar and brother Samir. Yet again, they have failed to come to terms with the fact that the Muslim ummah is the most fertile and most generous mother that gives birth to thousands and thousands of the likes of Shaykh Anwar and brother Samir."

The ummah is apparently not giving birth to proofreaders, however, since both issues are riddled with typos, including one on the cover of issue nine, where a headline asks whether the West or al Qaeda is "Wining on the Ground." Issue eight, which includes the last editorial note from Samir Khan, also displays a help-wanted ad, asking for researchers and translators, "sisters' willing to write articles, and "people who can preserve permanent internet links for all of the magazine issues." Popular jihadi web forums have recently been plagued by unknown cyberhackers who have taken some of the sites offline for weeks at a time.

The magazines have also lost some of the snark and American colloquialisms favored by the U.S.-raised Samir Khan, who memorably titled one of his articles urging Western Muslims to wage lone wolf attacks "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom." But issue nine carries equally lethal advice, with "It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb," which gives detailed instructions on how to ignite an "ember bomb" in a U.S. forest, recommending Montana because of the rapid population growth in wooded areas.

"In America, there are more houses built in the [countryside] than in the cities," says the writer, who uses the pseudonym The AQ Chef. "It is difficult to choose a better place [than] in the valleys of Montana."

In addition, issue eight provides tips on training with a handgun and remote control detonation and issue nine provides advice on how to be an urban assassin.

But much of the magazine is taken up by lengthy tributes to Khan and Awlaki, with one writer confirming that Awlaki had survived a near miss from one drone strike before being taken out by a second. According to the article, after his close call, Awlaki said, "This time 11 missiles missed [their] target, but the next time the first rocket may hit it."

Awlaki's premonition "proved to be true," says the writer. "I wish I had been with them so I could have attained a great attainment."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Al Qaeda Magazine Found in Guantanamo Cell, Prosecutor Says

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An issue of a terrorist magazine produced by an al Qaeda affiliate somehow made its way into a cell in Guantanamo Bay, supposedly one of the most secure detention centers in the world, a U.S. military prosecutor revealed Wednesday.

The disclosure was made during a pre-trial hearing for Adb al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind behind the deadly bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Seventeen American sailors were killed in the attack. Nashiri was captured in 2002.

Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Andrea Lockhart did not claim the magazine was al-Nashiri's but told a military judge Wednesday about the offending material while arguing over policies concerning mail screening between terror suspects and their attorneys. Lockhart did not say how or where exactly the magazine was discovered, nor did she say which issue of the magazine it was.

The English-language magazine, called Inspire, had been produced by al Qaeda's Yemen-based branch, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and was believed to have been put together by an American-born AQAP member named Samir Khan. The magazine, which spanned several issues, featured lectures from terror leaders as well as instructional guides for everything from how to shoot an AK-47 to "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

In the magazine's last issue, which surfaced in September, Khan promised an upcoming interview with high-profile al Qeada cleric and recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki called "Targeting the Populations of Countries That Are at War With the Muslims." The promotional ad for the article used New York's Grand Central Station as a background.

But both Awlaki and Khan were killed in a drone strike just days after the announcement. No further issues of Inspire have apparently surfaced online since.

Al-Nashiri, believed to be one of al Qaeda's top commanders, was captured in 2002 but was in CIA custody, reportedly at a secret prison, until he was transferred to Guantanamo in 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep272011

Al Qaeda to Iran: Stop Spreading 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

ABC/ Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- The terror group al Qaeda has found itself curiously in agreement with the U.S. in issuing a stern message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: stop spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories.

In the latest issue of the al Qaeda English-language magazine Inspire, an author appears to take offense to the "ridiculous" theory repeatedly spread by Ahmadinejad that the 9/11 terror attacks were actually carried out by the U.S. government in order to provide a pretext to invade the Middle East.

"The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that al Qaeda was behind 9/11 but rather, the U.S. government," an article reads. "So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?"

Though Iran was the first of the two to use the "Great Satan" as a synonym for the U.S., the author claims that Iran sees itself as a rival for al Qaeda when it comes to anti-Americanism and was jealous of the 9/11 attacks.

"For them, al Qaeda was a competitor for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised Muslims around the world," the article says. "Al Qaeda...succeeded in what Iran couldn't. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11 and what better way to do so? Conspiracy theories."

Iran continues to spread the conspiracy theory, al Qaeda says, because doing otherwise would expose their "lip-service jihad" against the U.S.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. was behind the 9/11 terror attacks, recently during the somber observance of the tenth anniversary of those attacks and then again in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week. That speech triggered a walk-out by the U.S. and several other delegations.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people's aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories," Mark Kornblau, the spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said at the time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar302011

Al Qaeda Tries to Grab a Piece of Arab Revolutions

Gadhafi is mocked in a page from Inspire magazine. Inspire magazine is an English language online magazine reported to be published by the organization Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Al Qaeda, which some U.S. officials had called irrelevant to the revolts sweeping the Arab world, has made a slick bid to claim the revolutions with the newest issue of its English-language magazine.

The newly released fifth issue of Inspire, which appeared on Islamist websites overnight, is called "The Tsunami of Change," and includes the first post-revolution messages from wanted American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In the cover story, al-Awlaki calls the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya a boon to al Qaeda and Islamic militants, and dismisses Gadhafi as a "lunatic." Al-Zawahiri's message lauds the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, but does not mention Libya. Another story mocks Gadhafi as a "clown" and urges the rebels in Libya onward: "We ask our brothers and sisters in Libya to continue standing up against the regime and to show patience in the face of [Gadhafi's] tyranny until he falls."

A full-page poster mocks Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh by showing an unflattering picture of Saleh and asking, "Hey Ali, Mubarak just fell -- guess who's joining the party next?" The bottom of the page says, in small type, "This ad is brought to you by A Cold Diss."

Inspire is the English-language magazine of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is battling Saleh's regime. The trademark joking pop culture references are thought to be the work of American-born jihadi Samir Khan, who apparently launched Inspire after moving to Yemen.

U.S. government officials and terrorism experts have largely declared the recent Arab revolutions a sign of al Qaeda's demise, saying the Islamist terror group is unable to garner significant popular support. For months, few, if any messages from al Qaeda leaders have commented on the removal of Arab regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya or the unrest in at least four other Arab nations.

Al-Awlaki's four-page article, "The Tsunami of Change," is an effort to spin the recent events as good for Islamic militancy and radicalism. He quotes U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in an effort to refute their shared assessment that the uprisings in the Middle East exposed al Qaeda's lack of relevance.

"The Mujahidin around the world are going through a moment of elation," al-Awlaki writes. "I wonder whether the West is aware of the upsurge of mujahidin activity in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, [Saudi] Arabia, Algeria and Morocco?"

Referring to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a close ally of Washington for 30 years, al-Awlaki said the Americans "trashed him." The cleric then quotes a famous American Muslim: "As Malcolm [X] would have liked to say, 'He's been bamboozled.' America duped him, then dumped him."

But the Yemeni-American cleric acknowledges that it is too soon to know whether the various revolutions will result in the creation of Islamic states.

"The outcome doesn't have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction," al-Awlaki writes. "Whatever the outcome is, our mujahidin brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation."

"No matter how pro-Western or oppressive the next government [of Libya] proves to be," writes al-Awlaki, "we do not see it possible for the world to produce another lunatic of the same caliber of the Colonel."

Al-Awlaki is believed by U.S. intelligence and military officials to be behind several terror attempts in the U.S. and thought to be hiding among Yemeni tribes. President Obama placed him on a target list more than a year ago.

Reports from Libya have described some of the rebels in the current war as jihadists and veterans of battles against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Chad's leader has claimed that al Qaeda militants stole missiles from a Libyan weapons depot. Despite such assertions by al Awlaki and others, U.S. officials have said there has been little indication -- if any -- of significant involvement by jihadists in any of the Arab revolutions.

U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said Tuesday that that in Libya there had been only "flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah [links.]"

"The intelligence that I'm receiving at this point makes me feel that the leadership that I'm seeing are responsible men and women who are struggling against Col. Gadhafi," said Stavridis. "At this point, I don't have detail sufficient to say that there's a significant al Qaeda presence or any other other terrorist presence in and among these folks."

Said Stavridis, "We'll continue to look at that very closely -- it's part of doing due diligence -- as we move forward on any kind of relationship."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio