MS Risk Blog

AQAP Inspire Magazine dedicated to Bomb Making and Lone Wolf Attacks

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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s latest publication of Inspire Magazine has been dedicated to urging lone wolf attacks and attacks on commercial passenger jets. The cover story, entitled “Destination airport, and Guess What’s on the Menu?” teaches about how to bomb passenger planes. The digital magazine was released on 24 December, the 5th anniversary of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it was on its landing approach to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

A great deal of space is given to providing detailed instructions on how to build a new bomb AQAP purports can be “hidden” not only on aircraft, but also to blow up other targets with the intent of causing ripples throughout US and Western economies. The magazine lists a series of targets including the following airlines: American, United, Continental and Delta, British Airways, EasyJet, Air France and Air France KLM. The group also seeks “direct economic targets” and high-profile “economic personalities” like former US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and “wealthy entrepreneurs or company owners” like Bill Gates. Of note, the magazine refers to Bernanke as the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, however he stepped down in February.

Issue 13 of Inspire is entitled “Neurotmesis: Cutting the Nerves and Isolating the Head.” The issue also focuses on instigating Muslims to carry out lone wolf attacks against the US, as is specifically stated in the letter by Yahya Ibrahim, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, who says, “Hereby, Inspire magazine is committed to arm Muslim individuals — as well as Muslim groups as is in this issue — in their Jihad on America.” He continues:

“Previously we have presented Muslims with different weapons, including bombs and tactics … Now we are obliged to give our ummah something special. Something unique that can easily be prepared at home — that is the reason we have taken a long period to produce this issue. Here, we give the Muslim ummah a bomb recipe that America fears it might reach the hands of other Mujahideen in other fronts. However, what America didn’t expect is that this recipe is going to be in the reach of all Muslims around the world,” Ibrahim said, noting, “It will circulate in the social media and Muslims will translate it into different languages. Some will be pleased and pass on the message; while others will be inspired and most importantly make the bomb.”

Another piece, “Open Source Jihad”, was written by “AQ-Chef,” who is believed to be Ibrahim Hassan Tali Al Asiri, AQAP’s premier bomb maker. The US Department of State issued a $5 million bounty for on him October 14, 2014. The article details ways to breach airport security, and provides a 37-page set of instructions on how to build “The Hidden Bomb.” The piece also provides various “field tactics” related to selecting targets and executing attacks. A section was dedicated to individuals who had previously attempted to blow up airplanes, including Ramzi Yusuf, Abdulmutallab and Richard Reid (the shoe bomber).

The author writes of failed attempts, stating, “Initially, what we faced as a main problem was: How can a lone Mujahid acquire the required explosive materials. For several months, we conducted a number of experiments. As a result we came up with these simple materials that are readily available around the globe, even inside America – and this is our goal. We spared no effort in simplifying the idea in such we made it ‘another meal prepared in the kitchen’ so that every determined Muslim can prepare.”

The magazine claims that the bomb “is 2.5x as powerful as ‘Umar Farouq’s bomb, and 3x as powerful as the military-grade F1Russian grenade.” AQ-Chef then provides “Field Tactics” for using the bomb to destroy a jetliner: “I assume you have now prepared your hidden bomb after you have been convinced by the importance of this operation both politically and militarily. What is left is identifying the target that will achieve the greatest success […] We have sketched the targets as a part of a complete program we have presented to the Lone Mujahid.” Suggestions include writing a public message prior to the “Martyrdom Operation” via email, and timing its delivery for after the operation.

AQ Chef says in an interview section of the magazine, “Unlike a lab, a kitchen is found in every house. Moreover, if a Mujahid can prepare a bomb from materials used in the kitchen instead of lab materials and use cooking utensils instead of lab apparatus, then we have a double success and we have overcome the security hurdle. Therefore, a larger number of Mujahideen can carry out Jihādi operations. You will notice in this issue specifically we have focused on the kitchen. Generally, we are trying as much as possible to move the lone Mujahid from the lab to the pharmacy and from the pharmacy to the kitchen.”

He adds that airport security imaging could detect the bomb but these devices are not available at all airports. Further, the bombs are not intended for use only in airports, but “they are also used in assassinations as the brothers clarified in their program (Neurotmesis).” He finishes menacingly, “Hereby, I call the National Transportation Safety Board, ‘Do not weary yourself of investigation, the US Department of Homeland Security will take over the job because of a simple reason: This jihadi work belongs to the ‘Global Lone Jihad Movement.’”

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