Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Local extremists use "Inspire" online magazine from AQAP; is more censorship likely?

The media is showing increasing concern about how an online magazine with Al Qaeda sources may have shown how the Tsarnaev borhters to assemble their IED’s.  The picture seems to be that the brothers did not have ongoing overseas conspirators but developed radical ideas online.  But that could be countered, of course, by accounts of the older brother’s trips to the homeland and Russia’s concern about him.
Nevertheless, the magazine, “Inspire”, apparently advocates a policy of individual extremism, claiming that individual “jihad” (or “open source jihad”): is a religious duty in radical Islam even when organized support is not possible.
The Wikipedia article on the magazine explains it well here.  The magazine is published by AQAP, “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”.  The wiki notes that possession of the magazine is illegal in the United Kingdom.
A site called Public Intelligence has a detailed analysis of the site (website url) here

The magazine seems to live in bits and pieces at various url's that change all the time. Some reports indicate that access is restricted (which counters censorship concerns, next paragraph)..  "Public Intelligence" has reproduced some of it, as did the New York Daily news (some covers with graphic content) earlier this year.

This sort of information suggests that some will call for more Internet censorship or restrictions on "free entry" for homeland security reasons, but this site is overseas.  (I discussed this on the main blog April 16).  Some commentators say that most people would not be able to make these devices work on their own without some training, however.

A quick check of YouTube shows some "instructional" videos on IEDs, although they may be inaccurate or amateurish.  Would these videos violate YouTube's TOS?
It seems particularly shocking that the brothers view maiming individual American civilians up close as a religious duty,  apparently to “payback” from American “attacks” in Iraq and Afghanistan or in any Islamic lands.  This view comports with common mid-eastern ideas that every civilian is a soldier, whether by choice or not.

CNN has been exploring how the younger brother was "brainwashed" by the older brother, as a "Manchurian Candidate" type of process that can trap people into joining destructive  cults. Dr. Phil will be explaining that the teen brain is not biologically mature even at 19 the way it is at 25.  
There is “crowdfunding” going on in Boston for medical and rehab costs resulting from the incident.  But this sounds like a case where Congress should consider covering all these costs, because individual civilians were attacked in response to American foreign policy; the were effectively involuntarily exposed to combat.  The Los Angeles Times has an article on what they face here. Will a Massachusetts congressman propose such a bill? 

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