Danger Room's Spencer Ackerman reads the recent issue of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine -- the Southern Living for aspirational terrorist death-cultists -- so you don't have to. Not that you would! He finds that the recent offering doesn't actually manage much "inspiration," rather, it's pretty solidly bogged down in Sept. 11 nostalgia. Just like the rest of the media was a few weeks ago!
Inspire #7, the thinnest issue yet, is devoted to reminiscing about the halcyon days of 9/11. "Shaykh Usama might be dead but his deeds are not,” recalls writer Yahya Ibrahim, who at least acknowledges that bin Laden is dead. "9/11 has left a permanent scar on the American psyche and will live long after in the hearts of every American." Blah, blah.
American-born extremist Samir Khan pens the issue’s anchor essay, about how bad the U.S. is at messaging and propaganda. Which in this case is rather ironic: not only is Inspire #7 a good three weeks late for a 9/11 anniversary issue, but it’s mostly padded with a photo gallery of familiar images. In other words, a celebration of "The Greatest Special Operation of All Time" is canned and padded. (And actually, jerks: this was a much better special op.)
Ackerman says that the "AQ chef," who had, in previous iterations of the magazine, been chiefly responsible for dreaming up outlandish ways would-be sleeper agents could terrorize people -- via "mak[ing] a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" or souping up your pick-up truck with sweet-ass grill-mounted blades to mow down tens of jaywalkers -- is conspicuously absent from this edition. And he notes that the 9/11 nostagia trip comes complete with a "sour grapes" essay criticizing Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for becoming an ersatz "9/11 truther."
It's hard to read this and take the idea of homegrown terrorist cells all that seriously. Though who knows? Perhaps the whole point of the magazine to lure people into a false sense of security about al Qaeda. Either way, I don't think anyone is lamenting their decision to pour their limited resources into print media.
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Qaida Magazine Reduced To Reminiscing About 9/11 [Danger Room @ Wired]