Al Qaeda Video, Magazine Focuses on English-Speaking Recruits
Al Qaeda has extended its reach farther into the Western world, ABC News reports Tuesday, by using clips from Malcom X speeches to advertise their new English-language magazine, Resurgence.
The video, which intersperses the clips of quotes from the radical figure justifying violence amid scenes of Islamic militants and terror attacks, marks a new attempt to use Western marketing tactics by Al Qaeda’s media wing, as-Sahab. As-Sahab generally releases clips of the organization's leaders issuing threats - not calls for more recruits.
The video surfaces in the wake of a decline in Al Qaeda membership, according to the news agency. Al Qaeda's core group has been devastated by drone strikes in western Pakistan over the past several years, as well as the US's operation killing leader Osama Bin Laden, and analysts suggest the video is an attempt to re-establish control over an organization in danger of losing sight of its core principles.
Evan Kohlmann, ABC News's terrorism analyst, notes that Resurgence appears to be modeled after Inspire, the magazine produced by Al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP). AQAP was named as the most dangerous Al Qaeda faction by US officials last year.
“The announcement appears to be a tacit acknowledgement of the success of Inspire,” Kohlmann noted, adding that the new magazine copies "everything from the fonts, the graphics, and the use of iconic voices and images.”
“Clearly, Al Qaeda's central leadership is seeking to try and recruit Americans from within U.S. borders, including indirectly if necessary — the homegrown terrorism model,” he added.
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at Swedish National Defence College, told The Telegraph the choice of English language and US imagery was significant - to play on tensions between Muslim immigrants and Western society.
“Its simplicity appeals in many ways. It focuses on the raw emotions of victimhood in the Muslim world which reinforces the al-Qaeda narrative that the West is aggressively at war with Islam,” he said.
Al Qaeda has been focusing extensively on recruiting Westerners in their Islamic holy war, and the video surfaces just months after eyewitness accounts confirmed that it is training Western nationals in Syria to bring fundamentalist Islam - and terrorism - back home with them.