It seems that, for a while there, we found ourselves churning out post after post about how this magazine was folding, or how that magazine was being placed for auction, and it was all a little monotonous depressing. So we’re always pleased to report the debut of a new magazine. Nonetheless, we’re not quite sure what to make of a new English-language magazine by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that is, ostensibly, aimed at inspiring would-be jihadists. It’s like Highlights for Children, really, only, instead of teaching impressionable minds how to recognize patterns or become socialized, productive citizens, Goofus and Gallant both encourage you to blow up public transportation. (Although Goofus accidentally detonated his shoe bomb at home. Wrong!)
Lloyd Grove took a look at the magazine’s ad campaigns and its goals for The Daily Beast, noting that, of course, it’s been a cause for concern for the U.S. government. It’s the brainchild of New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki, a former imam who is said to have inspired several attacks on U.S. soil, including that in Ft. Hood and on the World Trade Center towers.
The web-only magazine, called Inspire, is being advertised on several like-minded websites this week.
Grove describes the ads:
The banner ad, over the caption “Soon,” features a slide show touting the magazine;s first issue: “A SPECIAL GIFT TO THE ISLAMIC NATION.” “The first magazine issued by Al-Qa’idah in the English language.” “INSPIRE… and inspire the believers.'” “An exclusive interview with Shayk Abu Basir [a top aide to Osama bin Laden] and with Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki as a guest writer.”
U.S. counterterrorism officials say they believe the magazine has a very specific aim: to motivate and radicalize web-savvy religious extremists in the U.S, the UK, Australia and other English-speaking nations who might not have the firmest grasp on Arabic, or, for that matter, the Koran.
We weren’t able to find a copy of the magazine anywhere online, but it does, rather unfortunately, have a name quite similar to InSpire magazine — a publication designed to “promote growth and development for individuals who are committed to enhancing their lives and the lives of others.” We reached out to InSpire to see what they thought about the similarities in titles, but they’ve yet to get back to us. There’s also an Inspire magazine for teens and Inspire magazine – “the magazine for St. Louis Christian women by St. Louis Christian women.”
We doubt that, unlike the newest Inspire, these other three magazines don’t derive their name from a verse urging the faithful to “inspire the believers to overcome all fear of death.”