Inspire magazine and the brutal reality of justifying terror

Anwar al-Awlaki

CHARLOTTENC, April 7, 2014 – During the 2012 presidential campaign much was said about the concept that “Al-Qaeda is dead.” What that statement really meant was that Al-Qaeda in the form we knew it on 9/11/2001 no longer exists. Rather it has morphed into a decentralized organization that recruits impressionable, mostly young, individuals to wreak havoc anywhere at any time.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a major watchdog organization created to expose Islamic jihad, recently published extensive excerpts from Al-Qaeda’s online magazine, Inspire, which serves as a primer on global terrorism from virtually every aspect.

Abdullah Shaye, a Yemini journalist, makes it abundantly clear in his writings for Inspire what the current Al-Qaeda trends are when he labels the likes of Maj. Nidal Hasan, Faisal Shahzad and the Tsarnaev Brothers as “City Wolves.” As Shaye puts it, “There is no need for Bin Laden’s leadership or Al-Awlaki’s charisma for (America’s) destruction.”

Even in death however, Al-Awaki demonstrates just how sick and demented Islamic reasoning is when it comes to justifying their actions. Justification is a key guideline in a terrorist’s arsenal because it basically provides the permission required to carry out their dastardly deeds without guilt.

According to MEMRI, in Issue VI of Inspire, Al-Awlaki provides answers that give the requisite justification for killing innocent civilians during terrorist attacks. As MEMRI explains, Al-Awlaki, who spearheaded AQAP’s (Al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsula’s) outreach to Muslims in English-speaking countries, is believed to have been the driving force behind the establishment of Inspire.”

Speaking from the grave, Awlaki first uses Islam’s prophet to justify the killing of innocents when he says, “…the Prophet Muhammad and Muslim commanders and armies after him used weapons such as the catapult, which caused unplanned collateral civilian casualties.”

A politically correct observer might counter by asking how that is any different from America’s use of drones. The answer lies in the intent which Awlaki clarifies later.

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(As mentioned in previous articles in this series, pay no attention to the poor English grammar and spelling and focus upon the message and its meaning.) The words and the depth of the evil offer dramatic insights into the thought processes of the Middle Eastern Islamic mind.

Says Alwaki, “(I)f you ask me as a tactic, is targeting the civilian population of the West a good thing to do? I would say yes, because it is much more potent and powerful. Soldiers are expected to die anyway…when you hit the civilian you hit them where it hurts most and that is what our tactics are about..

“The primarily (sic) objective is not to achieve the most deaths but to achieve the most effect, the most leverage. So an operation such as the parcel bombs did not actually kill anyone but it achieved an effect that may surpass an operation where tens of people get killed. That is because the parcel bomb operation, which the enemy calls foiled parcel bomb plot and we call Operation Hemorrhage and consider it to be successful by all means, will end up costing the enemy billions of dollars in added security measures…”

Therein lies a key element of terrorist thinking. If death and destruction are not achieved, then economic factors are still, more often than not, accomplished in a way that creates massive financial burdens that go largely unnoticed by the general population.

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Alwaki then goes on to ask a question which he answers himself. “Do we throw out 1,400 years of war methods out of the window and suddenly come up with new rules? (This) is exactly what placing a bomb in Washington or London or any other Western city is. (W)hen men, women and children are mixed and integrated such as in a city or village there is no doubt that it is allowed to target them… Therefore, an attack on a population center such as a US, a British, French or German city with a bomb or a firearm attack is definitely allowed.”

And there you have it, the rules of engagement. Terrorism is nothing more than a hate induced game with its own unique set of guidelines. If the rules are justified, either by the Koran, a major Islamic leader or the Prophet Muhammad himself, then that is all that is necessary to carry out violence, death and destruction which are the result of misguided beliefs that Muslims are the ultimate victims.

Victimization is the primary justification of Islamic jihad. As a consequence, no amount of negotiation and reasoning will ever deter the inborn hatred that exists within “the religion of peace.”

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (  

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod


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