I'm not sure if I should be flattered or appalled. I just learned that the new issue of Al Qaeda's official, English-language magazine, called Inspire (and published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), features quotes from your humble correspondent. It appears that a CBN report from last May featuring my analysis of Inspire and the lingering influence of deceased jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki caught Al Qaeda's attention. The terror group features my comments, along with those of other journalists, on page 9 of the new issue of the magazine (click here to download it).
On one hand, I guess the fact that the bad guys are noticing my work (this isn't the first time: see here and here) must mean I'm doing something right. On the other hand, Al Qaeda loves publicity of any kind, and the fact that Inspire is in the news and making headlines surely galvanizes them and makes them think they are having an impact. In a perfect world, I and others would just ignore Inspire.
But as things stand, I don't think that would be a wise move. We need to know our enemy and its strategy, and the AQ mag lays it out in chilling detail. As you'll see, it is extremely slick and well produced--the perfect diabolical recruiting tool to attract disaffected, young American Muslims. For example, in a section called "Open Source Jihad" (beginning on page 49), AQ gives instructions for aspiring jihadists on how to torch parked vehicles and cause road accidents.
Pages 14-15 feature a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" list, including my friend, the Dutch MP Geert Wilders, as well as Salman Rushdie and others Al Qaeda considers enemies.
Interestingly enough, on pages 58-59, Al Qaeda encourages its American and European adherents to act as "The Terrorist Next Door." I guess that is confirmation that we chose the right title for my first book (in the process of writing the follow up now--stay tuned).
Click play below to watch the CBN report that caught Al Qaeda's attention.