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Cake book, fake book or sexy warrior pages?
October 12, 2010 2:52 PM   Subscribe

This is the magazine that shut down 70,000 blogs... Back in July we discussed the feds shutting off 70,000+ blogs for links to Al-Qaeda... The link? A magazine for the would-be Al-Qaedian, INSPIRE. It's a pdf, but it is a sexy pdf.

The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and publicintelligence.net have a little to say on this recruitment tool...

also, cupcakes! and an extra tidbit.

(if you are unfamiliar with public intelligence check out their 'about' page)
posted by artof.mulata (28 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's not a very good pipe bomb. But, I don't want to encourage anyone.
posted by hanoixan at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not sure what exactly I expected from an AQ propaganda piece, but I certainly didn't expect it to be so well-designed.
posted by ymgve at 3:32 PM on October 12, 2010


Blogetery: A cemetery for blogs.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:36 PM on October 12, 2010


Oh man, I was pretty sure this song would only have one day in the sun.

I will say that that PDF makes Preview on my Mac basically shit the bed.
posted by cortex at 3:37 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: my Mac basically shit the bed.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:37 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


On the cupcakes, I don't think one can draw any meaningful inferences. Acrobat has a facility for opening a bunch of shorter pdfs and combining them into a large one; if you're selecting 15 or 20 files at once picking up a stray isn't so difficult. I have >1300 pdfs just on my boot drive and as you might expect, some of them are stored in the wrong folder.

Considering that Acrobat is not the easiest software to use once you get into the advanced functions, as evidenced by how badly botched some pdfs from government websites are (not to mention my own hamfisted failures), this could be the result of ineptitude as much as anything else.

If we assume fakery for the sake of argument, what purpose would deliberate concealment serve? Identification of fakery to those 'in the know'? I can think of far more subtle approaches involving simple code words that would not draw geeks' attention. A false flag to misdirect naive jihadi-wannabes and mess with their heads? More easily achievable with subtle or overt inaccuracies designed to irritate fanatics or provoke meaningless flamewars. If we posit that there's no actual purpose but that the inclusion of cupcake recipes is the result of acrobatic ineptitude by western propagandists (in line with past technical hamfistedness), doesn't that require an implicit assumption of either technical infallibility or complete avoidance where AQ and pdfs are concerned?

Given the amorphous and non-hierachical nature of the jihadi movement, I'm plumping for minor incompetence by some college keyboard warrior.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:40 PM on October 12, 2010


try this:

[ATTN: US govt agencies--I post this for education and NOT as my position. I am hardly a terrorist...]
Note to media and government: For the full report, send an email with "Inspire 2" in the subject line to media@memri.org[1][1][1]. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF REPORTS ABOUT THE SECOND EDITION OF "INSPIRE"
On October 11, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released its second issue of its English-language magazine Inspire. Among the topics presented is an interview with Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi (aka Sa'id Al-Shihri), an article by American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn titled "Legitimate Demands 2," and two articles by Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The second edition of Inspire also includes an article by 24 year-old former North Carolina and New York City resident Samir Khan titled "I Am Proud To Be a Traitor to America."
The cover page of the article states that the following is "the story of the Muslim American jihadi Samir Khan. After working a few years in the jihad media sector in America, he packed his bags and left for Yemen to help the mujahidin. This is an account of how he happily became a traitor to America and why he chose to make such a decision."
The following are notable excerpts from Samir Khan's story:
He said, "I am a traitor to America because my religion requires me to be."
He talked about traveling to Yemen and mocked the FBI for "spying on him"in North Carolina. You allowed him to escape the U.S.
He called himself Al-Qaeda to the core"and praised Osama bin Laden, calling him "leader of this global fight" against the West.
He discussed what it felt like "to officially become a traitor" and started he is prepared to make sacrifices,"and adds, "I am actively aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed and blood has to be spilled."
Samir also quoted WikiLeaks' Julian Assange calling on the U.S. to change its policies if it wants to prevent more attacks inside its border.
He ends by ";pledging" to wage Jihad" until "we implement Islam all over the world or meet our Lord as bears of Islam."<>
The complimentary full text of this report is made available from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM).
References
1. ^ media@memri.org (www.memri.org)
Excerpted from AQAP Releases Second Issue of 'Inspire' Magazine
http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4663.htm
Readability — An Arc90 Laboratory Experiment http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability
Follow us on Twitter »Readability version 1.7.1
via AQAP Releases Second Issue of 'Inspire' Magazine.
posted by Postroad at 3:41 PM on October 12, 2010


Not as disconcerting as boarding to find they've provided the in-flight magazine, I suppose.
posted by Abiezer at 3:46 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Postroad said: "try this:"

OW!!

*pokes Postroad in the eye*
posted by sidereal at 3:46 PM on October 12, 2010


He ends by ";pledging" to wage Jihad" until "we implement Islam all over the world or meet our Lord as bears of Islam."<>

Bears of Islam!? I hope Stephen Colbert is wearing some ultra-absorbent undergarments when he hears about those.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not as disconcerting as boarding to find they've provided the in-flight magazine, I suppose.

Fight Club 2: Electric Bogaloo
posted by ymgve at 3:51 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do the news media reporting on the second edition not understand how to make a link? Here it is. Was that so hard?
posted by shii at 4:14 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is the magazine that shut down 70,000 blogs... Back in July we discussed the feds shutting off 70,000+ blogs for links to Al-Qaeda...
What? Where does it say that those blogs were shut down due to a link from the magazine?
posted by delmoi at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2010


Sexy? Well-designed?

It's, like, designed one step better than the average MySpace page. Make that half a step.
posted by beagle at 5:06 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It took me about 30 pages before I believed this was a real publication and not satire. I still don't know if I believe it's real, actually. Osama bin Laden on climate change? Seriously? Climate change. As in, the thing that Republicans don't believe in? You're kidding me. You're telling me that Osama bin Laden believes in climate change and George W. Bush doesn't?

What's frightening is how seemingly reasonable the publication is in so many places -- the first one, not the one that came out today, which I haven't read yet. We have been led to believe that our enemies are hysterical wackadoos we could spot a mile off, cave dwellers and ranty extremists. If this is what they actually look like, they're a lot more frightening because they're far more erudite than your average Tea Partier.

For some reason, probably too much exposure to the toxic rays of CNN, my mental image of a radical Islamic fundamentalist is of someone who can't spell and doesn't use proper punctuation. I don't think of someone who would quote Noam Chomsky in his publication.

Which I still can't believe, probably because I'm holding out hope that it's satire. It is satire, isn't it?
posted by brina at 5:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's frightening is how seemingly reasonable the publication is in so many places

bin Laden has repeatedly said that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were in response to American military presence in Saudi Arabia, the sanctions on Iraq that were resulting in the deaths of many innocent people, and America's blind support and enablement of Israel in her treatment of the Palestinians.

His method of getting attention was not reasonable, but it seemed to me his complaints were.

I don't think of someone who would quote Noam Chomsky in his publication.

Yes, but reasonable people would never disagree with American foreign policy so they must be made to appear unreasonable. Valid complaints about American policy have been turned into the idea that "the terrorists" want to destroy America, impose Sharia law on the survivors, and saw the heads from Christians.
posted by three blind mice at 5:53 PM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Osama bin Laden on climate change? Seriously?

Seriously
posted by Copronymus at 5:55 PM on October 12, 2010


Seriously seriously.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:11 PM on October 12, 2010


I have obviously been hiding under a rock.
posted by brina at 6:14 PM on October 12, 2010


I'm underwater on my rock. I'm thinking I should just walk away.
posted by box at 6:19 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not as disconcerting as boarding to find they've provided the in-flight magazine, I suppose.

Now you've given some smart ass a bad idea to leave some behind AS the in-flight magazine.

bin Laden has repeatedly said

There was a bit about causing 'em to spend a whole bunch of money as I remember.

Seems to have gotten that one right.

Osama bin Laden on climate change? Seriously?

If he's still alive or is now just someone's pen name. Or a Metafilter sock puppet.

Either way its propaganda - designed to move the reader to action. If AGW is what would move someone, AGW it is. At some point it would be MERS and mortgage fraud, perhaps a collapsed economy or hyperinflation. Tie the publication to ANY hot button issue and *bam* now its a 'terrorist threat' and more things will have to be tracked with more otherwise innocent (but angry) people caught up.

Have the security state "need" to grow and go after more citizens.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:42 PM on October 12, 2010


Heh. This made the rounds in the Muslim blogosphere awhile back. I think some American born/raised followers of Awlaki are mainly responsible. It's so tame. If I was going to make a jihadi rag it would really inspire even the laziest of the brethren to go smash shit.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It took me about 30 pages before I believed this was a real publication and not satire. I still don't know if I believe it's real, actually. Osama bin Laden on climate change? Seriously? Climate change. As in, the thing that Republicans don't believe in? You're kidding me. You're telling me that Osama bin Laden believes in climate change and George W. Bush doesn't?
Why wouldn't he believe in it? He gets to blame "the west" for emitting carbon, and I doubt he's getting much money from Saudi Oil barons any more.
posted by delmoi at 10:01 PM on October 12, 2010


I would urge you to be extra careful about opening a PDF document created by an organization whom you don't trust. . PDF security vulnerabilities are many and i would expect the worst.
posted by humanfont at 12:56 AM on October 13, 2010


(if you are unfamiliar with public intelligence check out their 'about' page)
-Public Intelligence is an international consortium of independent researchers who wish to aggregate and defend public information while maintaining its accessibility around the globe...

So in other words, they figured out a way to distribute a magazine on how to make pipe bombs while making it difficult for security organizations to determine the intent of whoever downloads it. Brilliant I must say. Absolutely brilliant.
posted by samsara at 5:10 AM on October 13, 2010


Naah "bears of Islam" is a gay thing. That's why Muslim guys have those big beards.
posted by w0mbat at 8:37 AM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


whatever happened to publications that made you die laughing?
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 AM on October 13, 2010


There was a bit about causing 'em to spend a whole bunch of money as I remember.

rough ashlar : Seems to have gotten that one right.

I've said this before, but the terrorists won, and we need to stop playing the game on their terms.
posted by quin at 9:22 AM on October 13, 2010


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