AQAP: New Propaganda Emphasizes US Attacks

Recent attacks in the West and renewed US raids in AQAP-controlled areas have prompted al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to disseminate new propaganda aimed at inspiring and providing tactical guidance to sympathizers in the United States. In January, Nawar al-Aulaqi—the eight-year-old daughter of deceased US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi—was killed when US forces raided an AQAP-controlled area in a remote desert region of Yemen. AQAP has since leveraged this operation to spread anti-American rhetoric and motivate supporters in the West.

  • On May 6, AQAP released its first Inspire Address, a short video featuring AQAP leader Qasim al-Rimi, who emphasized that lone attackers in America “are situated in a place where [they] can harm our enemy. And so it is upon [them] to carry out that role.” Rimi also encouraged sympathizers to act “the same as our brother Omar Mateen did, he took an AK47 and headed towards their gatherings,” referring to the Orlando shooting in June 2016.
  • In April, AQAP released its fifth Inspire Guide—a series of shorter, tactical publications—highlighting the attacks on the British Parliament building in London and praising attacks on those affiliated with “the doomed American coalition.” The previous issue also focused on attacks in the United States, including the bomb-related incidents in Seaside Park, Elizabeth, Linden, and New York City last September.
  • In March, AQAP supporters recirculated an issue of its English-language magazine Inspire, which focused on targeting US aviation and provided “field tactics,” such as the best place to detonate an explosive while on an airliner and instructions for assembling bombs capable of evading airport security measures.

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