Terrorism of the mundane: Al Qaeda’s shift to street jihad tactics

I’ve often wondered when the Islamists would bring the kind of IED tactics that were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq against western soldiers to the cities of North America. We’ve already had a taste of this kind of public terrorism that deliberately targets civilians with the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. But it the lasted edition of the Al Qaeda propaganda magazine is anything to go by, it won’t be the last.

The 12th issue of Inspire, Al Qaeda in the Arab Penninsula’s glossy propaganda magazine, was posted online on Friday. Dated “Spring 2014,” it offers a cover story entitled “Shattered: A Story about Change” that argues the United States is a declining power.

Be that as it may, the most troubling aspect of the edition, at least from the viewpoint of western counter-terrorist agencies, is the advice being offered to would-bejihadists (and, as it seems, anyone with a grudge against contemporary western society). In a section entitled “Open Source Jihad,” readers are told how, acting as individuals or in small groups, they can hasten the fall of the West, particularly, the United States, by attacking Westerners in their malls, sports arenas and other public gathering places with homemade bombs.

h/t M