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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Inspired by the Internet?

You have to wonder about the intelligence of people who are "inspired" by information from the unfiltered internet.

Despite the incredulousness of authorities, they are intelligent enough to make bombs.  All they have to do is follow an online recipe entitled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

Osama Bin Laden wanted a top down organization from which he could control the message. In his absence and even before,  other Al Qaeda groups formed to glorify independent acts of terror. This gives credence to Dzhokar Tsarnaev's statement that he and his brother acted alone. The main source of this radicalization is the digital publication  InspireAQAP Magazine

This is a sophisticated outreach patterned on Western style magazines and written in English.  The target audience is Muslims in America who feel marginalized and are looking for comfort, contact and community from like individuals.  Despite the death of former editor and American  Anwar al-Awlaki, the new editor claims to  “still (be) publishing America’s worst nightmare.”  

Susan Currie Sivek of Linfield College, OR, writes in The International Journal of Communication 7(2013) that InspireAQAP that "spelling and grammatical errors likely won't deter Inspire's audience from considering its' messages."  The Fort Hood physician, Nidal Malik Hasan, had communicated via e-mail with Anwar al-Awlaki before he unleashed his mass murder in 2009.  And in 2011, Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, who tried to take up Hasan's cause was found with bomb making directions from this digital magazine. It is almost certain that now that Dzhokar's laptop has been discovered downloads of the magazine will be found.

The good news is that online radicalization is rare.  Peter Bergen, CNN national security expert, says that face to face contact is a more likely source for the creation of terrorists.  The bad news is that the proliferation of digital tools like blogs, forums, chat rooms, games,and  u tube videos that have global distribution and little censorship makes likely that more radicalization will occur. Unfortunately, it has been shown that it only takes one.

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