Published September 28, 2011
The latest edition of a glossy al Qaeda-run magazine is out, and it slams Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the equivalent of a Sept. 11 "truther" -- someone who accuses the U.S. government of initiating the 2001 terror attacks on the United States.
Inspire magazine, the product of New Mexico-born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, was pegged to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 bombing, but was posted on its website 16 days late, an indication, say analysts, that al Qaeda in Yemen is feeling pressure from U.S. counterterrorism operations and instability in the country.
The publication's seventh issue, obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and provided to Fox News, is relatively short -- 20 pages -- compared to earlier editions. But it includes a section titled "Iran and the Conspiracy Theories."
"The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that al Qaeda was behind 9/11 but rather, the U.S. government. So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?" opinion writer Abu Suhail asks.
"Last year, when the need to form a fact-finding team to undertake a thorough investigation concerning the hidden elements involved in September 11 incident was brought up; an idea also endorsed by all independent governments and nations as well as by the majority in the United States, my country and myself came under pressure and threat by the government of the United States," Ahmadinejad said, referring to the United States.
"Instead of assigning a fact-finding team, they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea. Would it not have been reasonable to bring to justice and openly bring to trial the main perpetrator of the incident in order to identify the elements behind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin world trade towers?"
Several diplomatic delegations walked out of Ahmadinejad's speech.
"If Iran was genuine in its animosity towards the U.S., it would be pleased to see another
entity striking a blow at the Great Satan but that's not the case. For Iran, anti-Americanism is merely a game of politics," reads Inspire's article. "Iran and the Shi'a in general do not want to give al Qaeda credit for the greatest and biggest operation ever committed against America because this would expose their lip-service jihad against the Great Satan."
Calling it "The Greatest Special Operation of All Time," the magazine, with its slick western-style graphics and layout, also appears to mock a World Trade Center tower with a cover image showing it in silhouette using dollar signs to fill out the design.
And it gives striking attention to high-profile Americans in the al Qaeda structure.
The magazine showcases California native Adam Gadahn, who is now a spokesman for al Qaeda in Pakistan as well as North Carolina native Samir Khan, who is believed to be hiding in Yemen and responsible for the magazine's slick western-looking graphics. The issue also features quotes from Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.
The most ominous picture is a preview of the next edition of the magazine, which shows a photo-shopped Grand Central and what appears to be Americans in long dark robes similar to burkas. Over Grand Central is the statement: "Targeting the Populations of Countries that are at war with the Muslims."
"Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki, Coming Soon." it reads.
An FBI official based in New York said the bureau takes all threats seriously, especially when specific and corroborated information are behind them.
"Grand Central Station is not a new threat target to [the Joint Terrorism Task Force] and we continue to work diligently with our partners throughout the city to mitigate every threat and keep every target safe," the official said.
New York Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne added: "It is part of continual evidence that New York remains of top of the terrorist target list, and why the NYPD has such a robust counterterrorism posture."
But analysts note the late release could be an indicator of struggles for Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, as the Yemeni network is known. Aside from pressure by the U.S., ongoing political unrest in Yemen may make it harder to operate.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.