Al-Qaeda’s advice for the gullible

InspireA new issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s magazine Inspire is out. I don’t know what it says about the banality of evil, but flicking through each new edition I’m always struck by the apparent naivety of evil. Or the amateurish approach.

In the Taliban’s English language mag it was their tribute to the Honda 125.

In issue 12 of Inspire it is the advice to followers contained in a section entitled “Open Source Jihad”. After detailing how to build a car bomb along the lines of Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber, it suggests:

Disguise yourself during the operation, appear fat (add some clothes on you), change your complexion, be a ‘clone’, use any mask (believe me embarrassment is the last thing you will think about), wear a mask suitable for the festival, white beards on 25th Dec. All in all, be creative brother. The most important part to hide is your eyes and around.

Never mind the rather odd image of suicidal maniacs dressing up as cheery-faced Santas – or perhaps there’s something particularly appropriate about donning the costume of a figure that represents how secular capitalism overtook the religious meaning of Christmas. What always strikes me about these magazines is how parts always seem to have been knocked together by a couple of giggling teenagers in between computer science lectures.

In fact, the incoherent ramblings dressed up as ideology and the facile advice to avoid CCTV cameras when on missions would be easily dismissed as fodder only for the gullible, were it not for the fact that they sit side-by-side with detailed instructions for how to inflict the most carnage on civilian targets.

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