UN official responsible for monitoring al-Qaeda discusses the group’s regional offshoots.
|Yemeni forces have been battling members of AQAP, the al-Qaeda offshoot, for more than a year [File: EPA]|
Al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen has launched the second edition of its online, English-language magazine, with chilling tips to would-be fighters on how to kill Americans.
The article is just one of many in the 74-page October issue of Inspire magazine by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to the US-based private monitoring SITE Intelligence Group.
“A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, DC, at lunch … might end up knocking out a few government employees,” writes one of the magazine’s authors.
The first edition of the magazine was launched in July in time for the 10th anniversary of the USS Cole bombing, with articles including “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom”.
The second edition, released this week, includes “The Ultimate Mowing Machine”, which describes how to use a pickup truck “as a mowing machine, not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies of God”.
“To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control … to strike as many people as possible in your first run,” it says.
The magazine also includes two articles by Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born religious scholar who is on a US government kill-or-capture list for his alleged role in several al-Qaeda plots, including the failed Christmas Day bombing of an airplane bound for Detroit.
The US government calls Al-Awlaki a “key leader” of AQAP. In 2006, he was imprisoned in Yemen on charges of kidnapping, but was released from jail in December 2007. He subsequently went into hiding and is believed to be in Yemen.
Another piece, by Samir Khan, an American from the US-state of North Carolina, is entitled “I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America” and follows his travels to Yemen and his experiences with the fighters.
‘Dangerous al-Qaeda branch’
In the introduction to the magazine, the editors hail “recent US assessments” that declared al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula “one of the most dangerous branches of al-Qaeda”.
The introduction concludes, “You haven’t seen anything yet”.
The release of the new edition shows the group “is not under significant pressure”, Bruce Riedel, an analyst at the US-based Brookings Institution told The Associated Press news agency.
AQAP was formed in January 2009 after the merger of groups in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
It has since set up bases inside Yemen and has been blamed for the suicide attack on South Korean tourists in March 2009 and an attempt to assassinate the Saudi deputy interior minister across the border in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni security forces have been battling members of AQAP for more than a year.