Al-Qaeda Recruitment Lectures Offered in Google Play Store App
An app that has been dowloaded more than a thousand times on Google Play hooks up users with a selection of audio lectures and video addresses from American al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.
Al-Awlaki, the New Mexico native who remains a powerful recruitment force spanning terrorist group loyalties, was killed in an airstrike in Yemen in 2011. ISIS fighters frequently quote the leading al-Qaeda member online. Lone jihadists are often found to have consumed al-Awlaki lectures, including 2016 Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi and Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State student who rammed pedestrians on campus in 2016.
In a November anti-extremism crackdown, YouTube pulled tens of thousands of videos of al-Awlaki's myriad sermons and Q&As that had been uploaded to the site. A search on the site now finds al-Awlaki videos that were posted 3 to 4 months ago, after the company's purge.
The Google Play app titled "Anwar Al Awlaki Lectures" is filed under "entertainment" and rated E for everyone.
The app's audio selections include "Stop Police Terror," which was a Friday sermon delivered by al-Awlaki at the East London Masjid on Dec. 26, 2003, "The Experiences and Ultimate End of Those Who Followed and Opposed the Prophet," "The Quran - The Book Of Tolerance," "Brutality Towards Muslims," "Giving and Investing in the Hereafter," and "It's a War against Islam."
It also includes segments from al-Awlaki's six-hour “Constants on the Path of Jihad" lecture, which has been cited as the jihadist recruitment and incitement material in numerous terrorism cases including the 2007 plot to attack Fort Dix: "Jihad will continue until the Day of Judgment," "Jihad does not depend on an individual or individuals," "Jihad is not dependent on a particular land," "Jihad is not dependent on a battle," "Victory is not limited to military victory." The app table of contents leaves out the sixth part of the "Constants" lecture: "Defeat in jihad does not necessarily mean military defeat."
The al-Awlaki videos include the 2010 interview he gave to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Al-Malahem Media, in which al-Awlaki praised the Fort Hood operation and called for more attacks on America. "The Americans do not want an Islam that defends the causes of the Islamic nation, or an Islam that calls for jihad, for the implementation of the shari’a... they want an Islam that is American, liberal, democratic, peaceful, and civilized," he said. An ISIS video is also included in the play list.
The Google Play app was last updated on Dec. 28 though the reviews indicate the app was available dating back to at least January 2017. It has a user rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
One reviewer states that he or she has "been waiting ever since Google too [sic] down the anwar al awlaki app, I loved it so much. Alhamdulilah you have this app!!!!"
"Greatest scholar of this generation," added another.
In January, PJM discovered key propaganda texts from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula posted for free download on the Barnes & Noble website, including the inaugural issue of a magazine linked to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Reviews posted on the e-books indicated that they've remained on the bookseller's website for years, despite clearly indicating in the titles that al-Qaeda materials were being offered. Barnes & Noble removed the e-books soon after the PJM report was published.