Followers of one of the fastest-growing radical Muslim terror groups are being told to steal, embezzle and seize property – especially from Americans – in order to finance their jihad.
While Muslim teaching generally forbids theft, the new edition of Inspire magazine -- launched by the group behind the air cargo printer bombs in October, the underwear bomb plot in December 2009 and the most recent pre-Christmas alert -- is now telling followers that such crimes are justifiable, especially if the U.S. government and U.S. citizens are targets.
In the fourth edition of the magazine, launched by Al Qaeda in Yemen in July, American-born radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki encourages his disciples to fund more attacks through crime. The Middle East Media Research Institute provided Fox News with its copy of the magazine.
“In an attempt to deal with the cash-shortage jihadist groups are facing, Al-Awlaki gives religious justification to any actions used by jihadists to obtain money. In the article, titled ‘The Ruling on Dispossessing the Disbelievers’ Wealth in Dar Al-Harb,’ he deals with the issue by ruling that Western countries are considered Dar Al-Harb, i.e. the territory of war, countries on which the rules of war apply,” says an analysis from media research group.
“Since this is the case, Al-Awlaki says Muslims living in the West are not bound by any laws or contracts that prohibit them to harm their countries of residence.”
Intelligence analysts are also keying in on the magazine’s emphasis on the recruitment of women as suicide bombers. One analyst who gathers intelligence from publicly available sources told Fox News that the online magazine dovetails with a new Web video where the al-Awlaki’s lectures are used to voice over still pictures of women preparing for battle.
“The video glorifies the role of Muslim women in battle. Each frame of the lecture is accompanied by women. Each section has a photo of women preparing for battle, carrying arms, as part of terrorist groups,” said the analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is definitely a recruiting film for women willing to sacrifice themselves.”
The video ends with a still photo of the Russian "Black Widow" who blew herself in the Moscow subway March 2010.
Analysts also note that the leading articles in the latest edition of the magazine are all written by Americans. In addition to al-Awlaki, there is Samir Khan. U.S. officials believe the North Carolina native is behind the look and layout of the magazine. There is also a piece by Adam Gadahn. The California native is a longtime mouthpiece for the Al Qaeda senior leadership in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
In the magazine, Al Qaeda in Yemen once again takes credit for last year's attempted cargo bombing. The magazine’s tone is disrespectful when it asks under a picture of a frowning President Obama, “Lemme guess, you’re UPS’d?” -- a reference to one the cargo companies where a printer bomb was planted.
Both devices were intercepted before they could be detonated, but British authorities said at least one device was timed to blow up over the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.