Al Qaeda Magazine Calls For Car Bombings In U.S., Specifically In NYC
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The latest edition of al Qaeda‘s English-language online magazine urges its readers to attack the United States with car bombs and includes a photo of Times Square.
The terrorist organization’s magazine, Inspire, specifically mentions New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago as preferred targets, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday the website calls for its readers to act as “lone wolf” terrorists.
“It certainly is an issue that we will continue to stay focused on,” Bratton said. “It is a magazine that is very widely read by that world.”
The magazine also advises potential terrorists to attack places holding lots of people, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“As for the field target for the car bomb,” the magazine advises, “you have places flooded with individuals e.g. Sports events in which tens of thousands attend, election campaigns, festivals and other gathering(s). The important thing is that you target people and not buildings.”
“This is typical of al Qaeda’s targeting, which is to kill as many people as possible,” said John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy police commissioner for intelligence.
Bratton noted the city has a large number of officers dedicated to counterterrorism and that every plot against New York City since 9/11 has been foiled.
Miller told CBS News the magazine edition is “one-stop shopping for an amateur terrorist.”
“What it talks about is targeting … specific places, specific targets, specific events, but it goes beyond that call, and it says, ‘and by the way, here is a simple set of instructions for a car bomb that you can make with essentially, you know, a trip to a big-box hardware store and a couple of chemicals,'” said Miller, a former CBS News senior correspondent.
Inspire is the same magazine where prosecutors say Jose Pimentel, a Dominican immigrant who was raised in the U.S., found the article “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” which he used to begin building pipe bombs that he planned to plant around the city. He pleaded guilty last month to a terrorism charge and, under a plea deal, will likely serve 16 years in prison.
The Inspire website includes a letter from editor Yahya Ibrahim, which reads, in part: “Many Feisal Shahzads are residing inside America, and all they need is the knowledge of how to make car bombs. They are all yearning to fulfill their duty of Jihad. … The American government was unable to protect its citizens from pressure cooker bombs in backpacks, I wonder if they are ready to stop car bombs!”
Miller said the NYPD will use the intelligence provided by the magazine to deploy heavily armed groups at sensitive, high-profile locations with no notice, which would “keep somebody trying to make a plan off balance.”
“One way, you can read Inspire magazine as some kind of sign of failure, which is al Qaeda central has now diminished to the point that it has to put out this wide net and say, ‘Can anybody do anything because as an organization we’re not effective that way?'” Miller said.
“Or you can flip that coin and say, they’ve now gone from being an effective terrorist organization to being a narrative that gets out to millions of people,” he added. “The Boston Marathon bombers, Jose Pimentel — you can pick your person who has been picked up in one of these plots — usually never made contact with al Qaeda, but many of them got their plans and plots from Inspire magazine.”
Bratton had a message for anyone inspired by Inspire to attack.
“Don’t. We’ve got a good track record of detecting them and preventing them,” he said.
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