Al Qaeda Magazine San Francisco Train Photo Concerns Lawmakers, Experts

Expert: al Qaeda ‘attempting to get the brothers to push back from the monitor and actually do something’
Inspire Magazine

Inspire Magazine

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Terrorism experts and lawmakers are concerned about possible terror attacks after al Qaeda’s newest issue of Inspire magazine.

The Spring issue was released several days before the first Boston bombing anniversary and featured a  picture of a man on a San Francisco Airport tram with the caption ‘assemble your bomb.’ 

Some lawmakers and experts are worried by the magazine’s call to arms on public transportation systems, according to the San Francisco Gate.

Inspire Magazine

“This is one of the largest international airports in the world, certainly one of the largest on the West Coast, and thousands of passengers a day use the tram to connect from BART to the airport,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) said at a Homeland Security Committee hearing.

However, terrorism experts say this latest issue of al Qaeda’s English language magazine raises more of a national concern.

According to the Gate:

Brian Michael Jenkins of the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose said authorities closely monitor Inspire, which “embraces a strategy of do-it-yourself terrorism … to inspire local jihadists to carry out actions – whatever they can do, wherever they are.”

Jenkins, director of the institute’s National Transportation Security Center and a counterterrorism expert at RAND Corp., said terrorists have targeted public-transportation systems in London, Madrid and elsewhere because they are generally “not looking to take on defended targets. They’re looking for easy targets with a high body count … to create a major disruptive publicity event.”

He said of the photo in Inspire, “It is not so much that al Qaeda is making a strategic decision about where to open the next front.”

More likely, “it is simply underscoring kinds of targets … and attempting to get the brothers to push back from the monitor and actually do something.”