Al-Qaeda relatively new — yet gruesomely active — chapter in southeast Asia debuted the second edition of its English-language magazine today, with slain American jihadist Adam Gadahn as the cover boy and occupying nearly every one of its 92 pages.
It also included a warning about what al-Qaeda sees at a “game-changer” in future attacks.
Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent dubs their magazine Resurgence — just as long and slick as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire, which has inspired American jihadists with tutorials such as the pressure-cooker bomb directions used by the Boston Marathon bombers.
AQIS’s special summer issue is dedicated to the longtime al-Qaeda operative Gadahn, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year, and other recently killed al-Qaeda members including AQIS deputy emir Ahmad Farooq, who have “increased our resolve to carry on the mission” for which they “sacrificed” their lives.
It also raises the death of USAID contractor Warren Weinstein, a longtime al-Qaeda hostage killed in January in a U.S. drone strike. President Obama admitted the strike a few months later.
“By intentionally killing its own citizen (Dr. Weinstein), the American government has once again proved itself to be a stubborn and arrogant enemy of Islam which prefers the assassination of its citizen to the release of a single innocent Muslim woman being unjustly held in American captivity: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui,” the magazine writes, noting the “Lady al-Qaeda” who has also been sought by ISIS in exchange for slain hostage James Foley.
“Not only is Obama responsible for the politically motivated killings of Dr. Weinstein and [Italian hostage] Lo Porto, he is also deceiving his nation by claiming that this was ‘accidental’. We don’t have any doubt that the criminal silence of the American government regarding Dr. Weinstein and its refusal to negotiate the terms of his release were motivated by the desire to see him dead, even if this should necessitate an ‘inadvertent’ drone strike which could be used to explain away his killing as a ‘tragic accident’.”
They claim Weinstein was treated well by al-Qaeda, with a “sumptuous diet” including “salmon on a daily basis.” They also claimed that al-Qaeda spent 80,000 rupees a month on 73-year-old Weinstein’s heart medicines and dietary needs.
The magazine hails Gadahn’s “contribution to Jihadi media” as “undoubtedly one of the major achievements of his life.”
“It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that he was a one-man media team; script-writing, recording, translating, dubbing, editing, and producing speeches and documentaries on his own. His ability to improvise and make the best of available resources was remarkable.”
The magazine claims Gadahn was almost captured alive in Karachi on two occasions. Gadahn moved to Pakistan from Southern California in 1998, and Resurgence claims that 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour asked him about U.S. airline security in 1999.
The rest of the issue features a massive interview with Gadahn in which he talks about being homeschooled because “there is no doubting the facts that schools—particularly American public schools—are one of the leading causes of the corruption of children’s minds, values, morals, manners and health.”
“Don’t forget, it’s the American school system which considers pizza to be a vegetable, men and apes to be descended from a common ancestor, and sex outside marriage to be OK as long as it’s ‘safe’!” Gadahn said in a pages-long argument for homeschooling. “So protecting us from such evils and negative influences is probably the main reason my parents didn’t send me or my siblings to school.”
He said he was introduced to Islam through his counterculture parents dabbling in every religion as he grew up. Gadahn said his full conversion didn’t cause any “real problems” with his family, except when his grandfather asked him to fetch some beer.
Gadahn spoke of meeting Muslims with an “affinity for jihad” in Southern California, including the local Muslim Brotherhood and “Jama’at-i-Islami-type brothers who were affiliated with a nationwide organization called ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America).” He said his “turn to jihad” began in 1996.
“I think I was motivated by two things in particular which are common to almost all those who mobilize: the urge to help and defend persecuted and oppressed Muslims wherever they might be, and the urge to help in the establishment of the Islamic state,” Gadahn says. “…Frankly, I was afraid that if I remained in America I would sooner or later leave my religion.”
Gadahn returned to the U.S. for a year after his initial training, and admits he was tempted to conduct a terrorist attack.
“When I heard Clinton—the American president—announce that American forces had carried
out missile strikes against camps run by Shaykh Usama (pronounced ‘Yu-sama’ by the hillbilly in the White House), I was overcome by rage and actually considered taking my grandfather’s gun and opening fire at some of the local government buildings (the Santa Ana, California federal building and courthouse, in particular), but since the gun in question was nothing more than a .22 caliber revolver, I quickly decided against it, which was probably for the better, because if I had gone ahead with the idea, it would have been a low-casualty, low-impact operation (to say the least).”
Gadahn explained he held onto his American passport to help facilitate “jihad work,” and urged jihadists to not burn theirs “out of misguided zeal and optimism.” However, he did tear up his passport in a 2007 video. By that time, he noted, he couldn’t travel on it anyway.
He also outlined what still distinguishes al-Qaeda from other terrorist groups: “its global/international reach and membership,” “its focus on fighting America, the Crusader West and the Jews,” “its lack of a written ‘aqeedah (doctrine/creed) or manhaj (methodology) which every prospective member has to agree to before joining,” “its recognition of the importance of public relations for the Mujahideen and of winning and preserving popular support of the Muslim masses,” and “its particularly close ties with
the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [Taliban].”
Gadahn also slammed ISIS: “It has become clear that there are elements in this group—and in its senior leadership—who have little or no respect for the sanctity of Muslim life, and for whom declaring a Muslim to be outside the fold of Islam and spilling his blood is as easy as saying ‘al-Salaamu ‘Alaykum’!” He said they’ve deviated from the teachings and methodology of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and violated Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “General Guidelines for Jihadi Work.”
“…The important thing I want all our brothers and sisters to remember is that if this ‘caliphate’ is defeated or destroyed or reaches a dead end, or if they see this ‘caliphate’ do things which no Muslim can support or condone, it in no way means a failure or setback for the noble and legitimate goal of restoring the Caliphate, because simply put, this self-appointed ‘caliphate’ is not the Caliphate for which generations of Mujahideen and martyrs have been working.”
Gadahan advised would-be jihadists thinking of running off to join the Islamic State to instead “carry out armed attacks against the enemies at home.”
He called a recent plot by Pakistani naval officers to attack American ships at the behest of al-Qaeda “a real game-changer.”
“It’s just a matter of time before the lions of Allah make good on their threats and carry out a new Pearl Harbor, with all that entails in terms of devastating consequences for what is euphemistically called ‘international stability’ (read Crusader hegemony),” Gadahn says.
“The use of domestic weaponry and machinery to attack targets of the Crusaders, Zionists and their allies—and the ease with which it could be adopted and imitated by others serving in all branches of the military, not just the Pakistani military but also other militaries in the region and world.”
He notes that the Pakistani officers weren’t al-Qaeda when they joined but were won over. “There is no shame or harm in failing: rather, the real shame and loss is in not trying. The story of Jihad is a story of successes followed by failures and failures followed by successes, and who knows: perhaps history will eventually remember this operation the same way it remembers the first attempt to bring down the World Trade Center.”
Gadahn’s message to Muslims: “While our enemies are evil and depraved, they aren’t stupid, and when choosing the targets of their aggression, they usually start with the weakest links in the chain, which are the peaceful and pacifistic types.”
Thus, he said, “hurry up and join the caravan” of jihad.