The latest edition of al Qaeda's English-language web magazine offers readers a new fatwa from American-born jihadi leader Anwar al-Awlaki, instructions on how to destroy buildings using gas lines, and a primer on the AK-47 rifle, in what is "Inspire"'s slickest production to date.
The fourth issue of "Inspire" a publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terror organization's Yemeni branch, follows three previous installments in the past year that gave instructions on the killing American civilians, and boasted about the failed "printer bomb" cargo plane plot that originated in Yemen. A young American citizen from North Carolina named Samir Khan apparently began editing and publishing the on-line magazine after relocating to Yemen.
In this edition, Yemeni-American radical cleric Awlaki issues a religious justification for taking money and property from Americans and citizens of other Western nations. Awlaki is at the top of the U.S. government's "kill list" because of his operational involvement in AQAP.
Awlaki's message appears intended to assuage any concerns that American and European jihadis might have about resisting taxes and stealing from corporations.
"Some Muslims today might feel uncomfortable consuming money that was seized by force from the disbelievers and would feel that income they receive as a salary or from business is a better form of income," Awlaki writes. "That is not true. The best and purest form of income is booty."
Inspire Magazine Details Method For Blowing Up Buildings
The 67-page magazine also uses sophisticated graphics to detail a method for blowing up buildings with natural gas, and basic steps for using an AK-47 automatic rifle. The magazine includes an essay on dealing with American drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, noting that those watching bombs fall around them should close their eyes and pray.
"If you feel terrified, then think about paradise."
The latest issue of Inspire also recycles past statements by Osama bin Laden and American al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn.
Inspire editor Samir Khan's American sensibilities have alarmed U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials. Khan's ability to use American vernacular, like a graphic depicting graffiti that reads, "Jihad 4 Eva," has prompted concerns that young Muslims with an interest in jihad and al Qaeda will be drawn to a voice similar to their own.
"He does appear to be increasingly involved with operational activities [of Al Qaeda]", a U.S. official told ABC News.
One counterterrorism official told ABC News that U.S. intelligence analysts view Khan as an "aspiring" Awlaki.
British officials recently found copies of Inspire in the apartments of several suspects arrested and charged in connection to a bomb plot in the U.K. Officials said the suspects were avid followers of both the magazine and Awlaki.