Al-qaida has made its first serious propaganda attempt to leverage the Arab revolts sweeping the Middle East to its favor this week.The effort came in the form of the fifth issue of the English-language Inspire magazine, produced by Yemen-based Al-qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The brainchild of American-Yeminite al-qaida ideologue in hiding Anwar al-Awlaki, Inspire is a well-designed, colorful, slick digital magazine, aimed at recruiting Muslims in the West to al-qaida''s ranks. The latest issue was made available by the Washinton D.C.-based Middle East Media Research (MEMRI) Institute, and shows an image of Earth falling into water, with the globe turned to show the United States. The magazine''s first article is written by an author calling himself Yahya Ibrahim. In his piece, Ibrahim repeats long-held grudges held by militant Salafis against Arab states that border Israel - Egypt and Jordan - that signed peace treaties with Jerusalem, and against Saudi Arabia, a leader of the pragmatic Arab camp, that is currently facing off against Iran and al-qaida.
Ibrahim wrote with great confidence that the banishing of the old order in the region would allow radical forces to raise armies for the purpose of military conquest of Israel."The cover of this issue is about the Tsunami of change that is sweeping the Arab world. With the removal of despots, the ummah will speak its voice, and when it does, it will chant: Here we start and in al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] we''ll meet," the article said.
Later in the magazine, in subsequent articles, authors encourage Muslims in the West to bomb nightclubs and shopping centers in their home countries, rather than travelling abroad for jihad. Weapons training features are also included in the magazine. My recently published book, Virtual Caliphate, takes the reader into the heart of the online jihadi presence.
Ibrahim complained about Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia being "the biggest barriers" between al-qaida terrorists and Israel, and wrote, "Now that the friends of America and Israel are being mopped out one after the other, our aspirations are great that the path between us and al-Aqsa is clearing up.""There could be no freeing of Palestine with the presence of the likes of King Abdullah [of Jordan] to the East, Hosni Mubarak to the West and al-Saud [of Saudi Arabia] to the South... the issue of Palestine will be back on the table, the preaching of jihad for the defense of the Muslim ummah will be heard publicly in societies that have freed themselves from the tyrants..."