Two days prior to the anniversary of September 11, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released new editions of their English-language periodicals, which focus primarily on broad issues and contain no threats to New Jersey. On Wednesday, AQAP released Inspire 14 following an audio message disseminated earlier in the day by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa’ida’s leader, while ISIS published the 11th issue of its Dabiq magazine.
- Inspire 14’s content centers largely on damaging the US economy. Nine prominent American business figures are identified as targets, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Michael Bloomberg. Dabiq 11 features a picture of Pope Francis, but does not mention his visit to the United States later this month. The magazine also levies stern criticism of al-Qa’ida, its organizational rival for supremacy of the radical global jihadist movement.
- As in past editions, Inspire 14 focuses on attacks by homegrown violent extremists. It promotes intelligence operations modeled on the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier this year. Meanwhile, Dabiq encourages adherents to travel to ISIS-controlled areas in Iraq and Syria, and it exhorts those who cannot travel to conduct attacks in their home countries.
- Both publications attempt to exploit racial tensions in the United States for strategic gain. Inspire 14 lays out specific steps for black Americans to counter racism, going as far as encouraging assassinations of “racist politicians.” Dabiq 11 also cites “high profile race-related incidents dominating the headlines in America,” likely referring to the events in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland.