Al Qaeda is modernizing with the formation of an online magazine. This unconfirmed news story states the terrorist group has decided to change with the times and reach out to possible recruits with a new magazine published in English with the title, Inspire. A first look at the cover of this magazine shows the article titles: “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom”, “What to Expect in Jihad”, “Jihad Experiences”, and several others.
The freedom to create, publish, and distribute this article is covered by the United State’s very own freedom of speech clause in the First Amendment. Whether this story is legitimate or not is still being determined, but it would be a mistake to say terrorist groups aren’t looking for ways to modernize and reach new recruits.
Not the first, not the last
This is not the first time terrorist groups have ventured online to gain new recruits, and it is just the beginning. An article published on speedofcreativity.org in 2009, stated terrorists were utilizing YouTube to reach a new audience of possible terrorists. These groups are trying to inspire anger and hate towards the United States and other target countries. Not only are groups seeking to recruit online but they are also putting their messages and war videos on the web for all to see. In 2008 the Al Qaeda started uploading videos on their already established website giving commands and training webinars to their newest recruits. You can even find a list of terrorist websites simply by making a Google query.
Terrorism online isn’t all bad?
People are angry by nature; as such some might give into the idea of hatred toward another country or population. An article on Christian Science Monitor brought up the interesting point that these online magazines may decrease violent acts. Much like someone who wants to travel might pick up a travel magazine for a short time and be satisfied, so might an angry individual with a terrorism magazine. They have their awful fix of what is going on in the organization: who they hate today, what they plan to do about it, etc. Perhaps the silver lining in this dark cloud is that it will lead to inaction.
We can also be assured that these sites are being closely monitored by the government. If terrorists want to make themselves vulnerable by putting their information on the World Wide Web, let them. In some cases cyber trackers may be able to determine their exact locations and we would not only have an inside look at what they are planning, but also where they are stationed. If you’ve ever heard the saying, ‘keep your friends close, but your enemies’ closer’, and the internet is a great way to do that. If terrorist groups want to let us know what they’re up to on a blog, website, or in an online magazine, I’d prefer to be in the loop. We can better avoid and stop attacks if we know which way to look.
Christian Science Monitor
Speed Of Creativity