Al Qaeda to Launch English-Language Magazine

U.S. officials see magazine as recruiting tool for ‘lone wolf’ terrorists

A screenshot of the video promoting al Qaeda's new English language magazine.
• March 14, 2014 4:59 am


Al Qaeda has announced plans to launch a new magazine aimed at recruiting Americans and promoting "lone wolf" terror attacks and the group’s jihadist agenda, according to a video produced by al Qaeda’s media arm.

The sophisticated video containing photos and video clips announced the upcoming publication of the English-language magazine Resurgence on March 9. The video was posted online and promoted via Twitter and other social media.

The video was produced by al Qaeda’s official As Sahab Establishment for Media Production, which is connected to the remnants of the terrorist group’s central senior leaders. Ayman al Zawahiri currently heads the group, according to U.S. officials.

A central feature of the video is the use of audio from a speech by the late Muslim leader Malcolm X exhorting the use violence.

"If you and I would just realize that once we learn to talk the language that they understand," X is quoted as saying over the image and sound of an AK-47 assault rifle firing, "they will then get the point." He was assassinated in 1965 by members of the Nation of Islam.

X is then quoted as saying you cannot "reach" people unless you speak their language. "If a man speaks the language of brute force, you can’t come to him with peace," he states, over an image of former President George W. Bush. "Why good night, he’ll break you in two as he has been doing all along."

The video then quotes X as saying the use of violence will make those in power "get the point" and by learning the language of violence "when they come to our doorstep to talk, we can talk." That comment is followed by video showing a huge explosion at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

The video ends with the words "coming soon" over the Resurgence magazine logo above an Arabic logo used in al Qaeda media productions.

Resurgence will be the second English-language magazine produced by the group that also publishes another magazine, Inspire, which has been linked to the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Eleven issues of that magazine were produced, the most recent in June.

Counterterrorism officials said the latest publication appears to be part of the group’s efforts to spread its message to Muslims in the United States and other parts of the West. It also, like Inspire, appears to be promoting "lone wolf" Islamist terror attacks in the West.

Resurgence is expected to be produced by members of two closed al Qaeda online forums known as Shumukh al Islam and Al Fida, the officials said

Inspire has not been published since June, when a special edition hailed the magazine for inspiring the Boston Marathon bombings.

Unidentified intelligence agencies reportedly used cyber attacks against Inspire to limit its distribution. One issue was circulated with malicious software.

The production by As Sahab has connected the magazine to al Qaeda’s remaining central organization now believed to be located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region of Southwest Asia.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, stated in congressional testimony made public Wednesday that al Qaeda has been weakened by U.S. and allied counterterrorism operations but is still coordinating activities with other terrorist groups.

International troops and Afghan forces are focusing on denying safe haven to al Qaeda and keeping pressure on the group, and its partners, including the Haqqani Network.

"These efforts have forced al Qaeda to focus on survival rather than on operations against the West," Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Counterterrorism pressure placed on al Qaeda—as well as the elimination of fighters and facilitators—has prevented another attack on the homeland."

However, Dunford warned that continued efforts are needed to prevent al Qaeda from regenerating.

Dunford said al Qaeda and the extremist network in Afghanistan has grown more complex.

"Where at one time al Qaeda could be isolated—as we intended to do in 2001—extremist networks have now expanded in the country," he said.

"Increased cooperation and coordination can be seen between al Qaeda and other extremists like the Haqqani Network, Tahrik-e Taliban Pakistan, and Lashkar-e-Taiba."

J. Michael Waller, a specialist in information warfare, said in an email that the purpose of the new magazine appears similar to Inspire, which provided an ideological doctrine and technical instruction for al Qaeda supporters indirectly.

"Just as ‘Inspire' served to inspire misfits to take action in al Qaeda's name, the choice of ‘Resurgence' as the title of its latest online venture suggests that al Qaeda intends to return to center stage after a period of relative quiet," said Waller, provost of the National Security Enterprise, an advanced training center in Washington. "It also suggests that al Qaeda is focusing more on people born in English-speaking societies as their new core terrorist cadre."

Published under: Al Qaeda, Joseph Dunford, Terrorism