Inspire 7: The 9/11 Anniversary Edition
Well, it seems that the Khan media wing of AQAP/Al-Malahem finally got around to releasing the latest version of “Inspire Magazine” with some rather uninspiring content yesterday. Though the core sites of Shamukh and Ansar were under assault from DDoS attacks by persons unknown (Jokey’s pals?) the Malahem guys managed to disseminate the file and it went large on numerous file share areas on the Internet. Which just goes to show you how effective those DoS attacks are eh?
*wink wink nudge nudge kids*
The magazine this time around was the 10 year anniversary issue, which was over a week late to start and then had slim content. This makes me wonder just why it was so thin as well as why they even really bothered at all. The 20 pages consist of mostly uninteresting statements and pictures from jihadi leaders past and present about how they had struck a great blow for Islam and jihad 10 years ago. Reminiscences aside, not much there to really inspire I think. However, there is a core piece by Samir Khan (founder of the magazine and former US citizen turned jihadi media mogul.. *not*) that is somewhat interesting and germane to recent events.
The Wired articles about FBI training manuals and programs on Islam were not necessarily out there when this magazine was put to bed, but, it seems like perhaps Khan and the others at Malahem were already responding to them.
As we pointed out, this media
conflict between the West and the
mujahidin quickly became a war
of Western secular ideology and
Islam. Shaykh Usama intended
to attack the West to point out to
the world America’s police-state
foreign policy upon the Muslim
world and not the West’s corrupt
secular principles. But because the
West was ardent to point out the
mujahidin’s attachment to Islam as
extreme, portraying them as “fun-
damentalists,” Muslims throughout
the world asked: “Wait, are they
not then concluding that a good
practicing Muslim is their funda-
mentalist enemy?” Zakir Naik, the
popular television personality who
is known for his religious debates
and runs the PeaceTV network, has
repeatedly echoed, “Every Muslim
should be a fundamentalist as a
fundamentalist is one who sticks
to the fundamentals of Islam.” This
attack led by America on the muja-
hidin’s adherence to Islam was one
of the main reasons that led to the
defacement of their legitimacy in
the eyes of millions of Muslims. To
this day, America has still failed to
This one passage covers a lot of what the Mujahid propaganda campaign by Al Malahem and AQ have really been trying to get across to promulgate a reaction within the ummah globally to come to their way of thinking. By instantiating the idea that every Muslim should be “fundamental” to be Muslim to begin with, they are making a play at every single Muslim, no matter what part of the spectrum, to become fundamentalist. By using even a popular TV personality to make this point, they are trying to slip this into the collective mindset. Where this meets the Wired article and the training debacle is quite obvious though, those tutorials all portrayed the idea that the problem isn’t the Muslim, its in fact Islam itself.. And of course Shari’a law as well.
Its this argument that perhaps Spencer Ackerman should be enlightened about.. I find it funny as well that he took little time to really read the magazine before writing his piece on it at Wired. The article lacks complete understanding and in fact comes off as jingoistic propaganda itself, which is even more ironic given the nugget here by Khan about the media war that AQ and AQAP are trying to wage huh?
Hey Spencer, how about spending more time cogitating than being dismissive. I am sure it would be a much more interesting article had you taken the time to really read it.
This is not to say that the “Media War” as Khan puts it, is really working. In fact, I would say that it is not as a larger effort, working the way they would like. We have not seen in influx of jihobbyists or new suicide bombers here in the West, where this magazine is aimed at. Instead, those few who may be on the path to radicalization will only likely use this as another piece of their collective echo chamber. However, the core idea of what Khan is saying about the position of the West and our misunderstanding is pretty much on the money. Khan also likes to cite Michael Scheuer much of the time and I can understand why. It was Scheuer who was first on at Alec Station and has a pretty good grasp of Bin Laden, Jihad, and the AQ mindset. It was Scheuer in fact who has been saying all along that the US government and people were playing right into the hands of AQ by doing what we did in Iraq etc. I would suggest anyone wishing to get a better grasp of all of this read his books.
What Khan fails to understand is that this is not the first “propaganda war” that the US has waged. Sure, its the first one really online per se, but, it’s certainly not completely new. It’s just new to Khan and the AQ set is all. So, they have set up for a slick magazine that they can try to grab the kiddies with interspersed with some more cerebral content. In this edition, its more about the cerebral areas that are more telling than all of the claptrap propaganda around the big win of 9/11. This part of Spencer’s piece is right, its really mostly piffle, but, it is key not to ignore the rest of the content.
Meanwhile, there are oddities like the article on how Iran’s belief in conspiracies riles up the AQ set. Really? You guys are so miffed about Mahmoud that you had to write about it? Frankly we all know he’s a nutbg, but really, there is no need to go into this. I really have to wonder why this came up at all. It would seem that perhaps maybe the “Truther” movement is gaining so much potential that Khan and company feel they need to say “HEY we did that!” Whatever the motivation, it was an odd trek off the beaten path there.
Overall, there are some interesting intimations within the contents of this magazine as well as from the point of view that the content is skimpy and not the norm. No how to build bombs, no AK-47 schematics and tutorials. Why? Why too the seemed rush to this then the falling off by letting it out way after the actual anniversary of their “great blow against us” ? Could it be that the drone strikes are getting a bit close to them? Did we perhaps hit a main facility for production and they had to go from a backup that wasn’t finished?
Have they run out of ideas?
Oh well, this magazine may actually be in decline.. and you know what.. That’d be ok with me.