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Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine celebrates Boston bombings

df A spread in the latest issue of the al Qaeda propaganda magazine "Inspire," which celebrates the magazine's role in the Boston bombings. (Via MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor)

The latest issue of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire is out, and it devotes almost all of its 40-odd pages to glorifying what it calls the "BBB" -- the "Blessed Boston bombings." It's an unsurprising, if stomach-turning, move for the glossy, English-language propaganda magazine, which has previously run articles celebrating 9/11 and instructing readers on the intricacies of building bombs.

The issue opens with a threatening "Letter from the Editor" and goes on to chronicle the attacks, the reaction from public figures, and the small role that Inspire itself played in the bombings. One article, "Inspired by Inspire," is illustrated by a flaming iPad with a copy of the magazine on its screen. Another consists of a series of media passages that mention the magazine.

In fact, the main takeaway from the issue might be that its editors are unabashedly pleased that copies of their magazine was found in the Tsarnaevs' house, despite -- or maybe because of -- the fact that the men were apparently not affiliated with al-Qaeda. After all, Inspire's mission, as articulated by Brookings' Bruce Riedel, is to encourage "the aspiring jihadist in the U.S. or U.K. who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber."

In the weeks since the attacks, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that he and his brother learned to make pressure-cooker bombs from the magazine. The younger Tsarnaev also said he felt inspired by the online sermons of al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who edited the magazine until his death in a U.S. drone strike in September 2011. Awlaki reportedly inspired at least a dozen other high-profile jihadists, including three of the 9/11 hijackers.

The magazine also includes a one-page essay on the brutal beheading of a soldier in London's Woolwich district, which it calls "the dear price" of Western oppression, and a blurb on the Oklahoma tornadoes, which it interprets as divine wrath.


Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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