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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is Really A Media Company

It aims to turn an insecure, underserved millennial demographic into jihadists through an online magazine.
A computer screen shot taken on July 12, 2010, shows the cover of the newly-released first edition of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) 'Inspire' magazine, an on-line publication with articles including 'Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom'.

A computer screen shot taken on July 12, 2010, shows the cover of the newly-released first edition of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) 'Inspire' magazine, an on-line publication with articles including 'Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom'.

AFP/Getty Images

Claiming responsibility for the Kouachi brothers’ attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a peculiar statement to The Intercept that included a list of “important messages to all the western countries.” Rather than focusing on the military efficiency of the massacre, the glorious martyrdom of the attackers, and Allah’s glory, AQAP's central message seemed to be to laud a glossy publication:

The statement underlined a truth that has been emerging for years. While Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist ringleader, his successors and followers at AQAP are quite literally running a media company, targeting a particular, underserved, mostly millennial demographic. AQAP’s products are based on the notion that jihad is not only a religious necessity but a lifestyle choice for Western young people, one that needs instruction and reinforcement and its own chatty community of bloodthirstiness.