• I Read al-Qaeda’s Inspire Mag So You Don’t Get Arrested

    October 10, 2014

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen

    Inspire is an English language online magazine published since 2010 by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I just read the latest issue so you won’t get arrested doing so.

    Aimed primarily at radicalizing youth audiences in the U.S. and Britain, the mag appears semi-regularly (twelve issues so far) online only, as a PDF, and is entirely in English. Graphically well-done, the editorial parts of the magazine shift among sometimes bad-English reporting, religious and jihadi-inspirational pieces, and bomb making instructions.

    Yeah, bomb making instructions. That’s the part that sort of is controversial, the clear, step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions for making your own explosives using common materials, plus the encouragement to use them in crowded places.

    Inspire and al-Awlaki

    The magazine was once thought to be the work of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who once preached at a Northern Virginia mosque and lunched at the Pentagon, gone-bad.

    Though al-Awlaki and his teenage son were assassinated by a U.S. drone in Yemen in 2011, thus ending his editorship, the magazine continues to be published. Al-Awaki’s thoughts are reprinted posthumously and still carry influence. That tells you pretty much all you need to know in two sentences about the failure of the war on terror.


    Because reading/possessing Inspire may be illegal in the UK and Australia, and viewing it online in the U.S. likely to land you on some sort of watch list or another, I’ll just offer the one link here to the full text if you want to read the whole thing. For me, if I’m not on some list already I haven’t been doing my job and should just go back to my true passion, Little House on the Prairie fan fiction.

    Inside the Spring 2014 Inspire Mag

    Things begin straight-forward enough with a note from the editor:

    The American government was unable to protect its citizens from pressure cooker bombs in backpacks, I wonder if they are ready to stop car bombs! Therefore, as our responsibility to the Muslim Ummah in general and Muslims living in America in particular, Inspire Magazine humbly presents to you a simple improvised home recipe of a car bomb. And the good news is… you can prepare it in the kitchen of your mom too.

    To be fair, the kitchen of your mom has to be stocked with some pretty unusual stuff to pull this off, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

    There follows some quotes by famous people on news topics, most predictable. But one by a Muslim college student in the U.S. stands out:

    I remember I had one professor that said that if he was in Iraq, he’d probably be on the other side. And I remember I was just looking at him thinking I’ll be in jail if I thought that.

    A quote by another leaves you with the uncomfortable impression that these guys “get it,” saying the things we just don’t hear from our own media:

    If we don’t change our stupid foreign policies, there will sooner or later be many more people overseas wishing to do this country harm! We’re already the most hated country in the world and through our own stupidity that will only get worse. Moreover, we’re spending ourselves into oblivion over this!

    So while there is plenty of bloody jihad stuff written in Borat-level English, it isn’t all that way in Inspire. One wonders if this approach, accidentally humorous and purposefully serious, is not actually an effective way to speak to disaffected youth.

    Dog Food

    Despite my promise to you, I did not actually read every word of articles that began “Twelve years have passed since the blessed Battles of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania…” or asked “Is the modern Buffalo soldier worth a Labrador? Would the U.S. Army at least honor them with Dickin Medals?”

    I sort of can figure out without getting 800 words in what the point of a piece that asks “Isn’t it saddening that Bo, Obama’s dog, dines with the tax payers’ money on better food than that of 100 million Americans?” But hah, Inspire, got you there. A lot of lower-income Americans are forced to eat the same dog food Bo does!

    Salty Obama

    And see if you can puzzle out this one:

    Obama is like a very thirsty patient that suffers from high blood pressure. As he becomes thirstier he finds a cup of salty water with salt crystals visible. To make the water drinkable, he has to get rid of the salt. So he stirs the water. As he stirs, the salt begins to disappear, this makes him very happy. Yes, the salt disappeared from sight, but the taste of the water became saltier. This is exactly what Obama is doing by the use of unmanned drones.


    Things alternate like that for most of the magazine, kind of thoughtful stuff, weird unintelligible stuff, sort of parable, sort of makes sense maybe stuff, a lot of anti-Semitism and rants intermingled with Quranic quotes. But things get deadly serious when the topic turns to making and employing car bombs.

    The magazine explains the bomb making instructions are “open source jihad,” to allow persons via the web to “prepare for jihad,” all from the comforts of home. I am not a chemist, but the details seem easy to follow, broken down into steps with photos to illustrate. Theory is tagged on to the practical; how explosive combustion works, how pressure is measured and so forth. Different ignition switches are discussed, depending on whether you seek a timed explosion or intend a suicide attack where you’ll trip the bomb manually.

    You turn away with the impression that this is something simple enough that you could probably make it work.

    It is made clear the type of bomb you’ll be making is aimed at destroying people, not buildings, and advice is given accordingly.

    Closing the Pages

    It would be unfair to close the pages of Inspire and say I felt anything but creeped out. I’ve tried to come up with something more intelligent sounding, but what starts as a laugh ends very seriously. Someone was very effective at making me walk away thinking they want to kill me.

    So when you read other versions of what’s in Inspire, most of which focus on creating their own, new levels of fear-mongering or in belittling the magazine as “clumsy,” spare a thought to what the magazine is really achieving: it makes you afraid. That’s what good propaganda does, effectively get inside your head. Inspire is good propaganda.

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  • Recent Comments

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”For me, if I’m not on some list already I haven’t been doing my job and should just go back to my true passion, Little House on the Prairie fan fiction.”unquote

      EVERYONE is on a list of some kind, if not a dozen. The amount of advertizing spam mail you receive is living proof. Unfortunately, some are more dangerous to your life than others. For instance. Medical lists. My wife is a perfect example.
      Two years ago, while living in Oregon, my wife, at 60, because of decades of working in the printing industry doing bindery, lifting very heavy boxes of paper, all day, everyday, began to suffer the ravages of her occupation, which had taken it’s toll on her spine, shoulders, arms, knees, and hands. One day, a nerve in her spine became pinched, sending her into convulsions of pain.
      After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, the doctor, who was astounded at the condition of her spine, prescribed certain pain killers, that are certified as “narcotics”. Unfortunately, at the same time, because of our financial condition, had to be paid for by the State. And any time you are interfaced with State paid narcotics, you are forced to sign various “contracts”. Unbeknownst to you though, is these “contracts” put you in a nationwide “database” of legal pain killer users. Under this contract, any time your meds have to be re-prescribed, you have to take a blood test.
      Fast forward to Michigan. Because of a lapse in time to getting on the Michigan Medical Plan, my wife ran out of her pain killers. BAD BAD BAD.
      Well, while trying to help her, a friend of her son, who lives next door, offered her a “joint”..you know..pot. Marijuana. To help her sleep. Now, I want state for the record..we are NOT drug users. Two weeks later, she finally gets to see a doctor, who, looking at the database, discovers she is a registered “narcotics” user. Wham. Time for a blood test. However, unbeknownst to anyone, any time you are in that database, they are legally authorized to test for other drugs..like..well..marijuana. Guess what happened. She tested positive. Which means..now, she is a registered “illegal drug user”…which means..now, they won’t prescribe her pain killers.
      ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRR!!! motherf(*&$%^@()(*&^&^$^#@_+_()*&^%$#@!!!!!!!!!!!

      I won’t go on, except to note..once you are on that list.. it affects a thousand other things. Insurance…drivers license.. gun purchase.. and on and on. All I can say is.. fuck these bastards and their lists. Because once you are on one..it propagates to others. Before you know it..now you’re a goddamned TERRORIST!!

      BOMBS BE DAMNED. All you gotta do is smoke a fucking joint!!

      10/10/14 12:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      10/10/14 8:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Islamic State’s rules of attraction, and why U.S. countermoves are doomed said...


      […] The group’s presentation is professional and serious, particularly through its Al Hayat Media Center (no connection to the unaffiliated Egyptian TV channel with a similar name), and aimed specifically at non-Arabic speakers via videos and a magazine based on al Qaeda’s infamous Inspire. […]

      10/21/14 11:42 AM | Comment Link

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