Al-Qaida to launch English propaganda newspaper

2010-07-01 09:41

Al-Qaida is preparing to launch its first online propaganda

newspaper in English, a move that could help the terror group recruit inside the

US and Europe.

The group has begun promoting the paper, called Inspire, with

animated online graphics promising “special gift to the Islamic nation”.

Counterterrorism officials and terror analysts say it will be run

by al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, which has been linked to the failed Christmas Day

bombing attempt of a US-bound airliner.

The launch suggests that, as al-Qaida’s core has been weakened by

CIA drone airstrikes, the group hopes to broaden its reach inside the US, where

officials have seen a spate of homegrown terrorists.

The new publication “is clearly intended for the aspiring jihadist

in the US or UK who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber,”

Bruce Riedel, a Brookings Institution scholar and former CIA officer,

said.

At the heart of that effort is Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born

cleric now living in Yemen. Authorities say his on-line sermons, in English,

have inspired several recent terrorist plots in the United States.

Al-Qaida’s advertisement says al-Awlaki will contribute to the

first issue.

Until now, al-Qaida has relied on Arabic websites to carry its

message. Now it appears to be capitalizing on its recent success recruiting

inside the US.

Using propaganda on the Internet, the terrorist group has been able

to attract Americans such as Bryant Neal Vinas and Najibullah Zazi, two admitted

al-Qaida terrorists.

Both were radicalised in New York and travelled to Pakistan

to join the fight against the US.

In a recent terrorism case in New Jersey, prosecutors say two US

citizens watched al-Awlaki’s videos on their cell phones and took inspiration in

his call for smaller, single acts of terrorism.

The newspaper’s launch was first reported by Fox News.



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