Undaunted by the fate of Newsweek magazine, unloaded for a dollar by its parent company, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has gone into the magazine business with a slick online publication called Inspire, designed to appeal to American would-be jihadists.
The inaugural edition was marred by a glitch that turned many of its 74 pages into gibberish, but enough survived that you can get the flavor of it — not that the Yemen-based terrorist organization has a complicated message. It is “kill Americans.”
Somebody named Yahya Ibrahim suggests, “A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., might end up knocking out a few government employees.”
The D.C. location, he said, “would also give the operation additional media attention.”
Some of the proposals for “martyrdom operations” make it sound like al-Qaida is in a league with the Acme Co. from the “Road Runner” cartoons. One article, titled “The Ultimate Mowing Machine,” urged welding steel blades to the grille of a pickup truck. Then “pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control” before racing down a crowded sidewalk to “mow down the enemies of Allah.”
Another article, with the byline “The AQ Chef,” is headlined, “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” That homey touch is said to point to Samir Khan, the American believed to have designed the magazine, who first came to authorities’ attention while running a terrorist blog out of his parents’ basement in Charlotte, N.C.
His contribution to the first issue was, “I Am Proud to Be a Traitor to America.”
The table of contents is a veritable roster of Americans gone bad. In addition to Khan, there’s renegade U.S. cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, wanted dead or alive for his possible role in the Fort Hood shootings and the foiled Christmas Day underwear bombing. American al-Qaida figure Adam Gadahn has a piece too.
Since youthful Americans are mercifully unversed in the arts of terrorism, there is an article titled, “What to Expect in Jihad.” What to expect is a life in hiding in some hellhole like the Yemeni wastelands or the tribal territories of Pakistan.
Since this is al-Qaida, there is an inspirational article from the master himself, Osama bin Laden, “The Way to Save the Earth.” Somehow, saving the Earth probably entails eliminating us. And where there is bin Laden, there is his faithful No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who contributes what was described as an inspirational message.
The publishing world has taken a beating the past couple years and really needs a success, but we really hope this magazine flops.
Maybe this slogan will help: “A visit from the FBI with every subscription.”