Both ISIS and al-Qaeda recently published new editions of their magazines. The al-Qaeda mag, called Inspire, calls for “lone wolf” terrorist attacks to murder a list of wealthy Americans.
NBC News says the kill list also includes Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Internet mogul Larry Ellison, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (although, oddly enough, not current chairwoman, Janet Yellen), Wal-Mart heir Jim Walton, and a “prominent economist” who asked NBC to withhold his name. Perhaps Bernanke is on the list because he remains much better-known than Yellen, who has kept a more modest media profile.
The introductory paragraph of this “Assassination: Field Tactics” article begins:
We present to you, a model to follow and an assassination list which will help us achieve strategic goals. We believe that placing this feasible programme to Lone Mujahideen will allow us to achieve great goals in this war. Whoever understands the components of the American economy knows the importance these personalities play in the revival of the American Economy. The assassination of these economic personalities or their migration from America or the mere fact that they live in insecurity, will later on bring instability to the American economy. The economy is a major component of America’s supremacy in the world.
The terror gang offers to remove these “economic personalities” from the kill list — rendered as a series of blood-spattered photographs — by “withdrawing their money from U.S. banks, investing their wealth outside American soil, and denouncing support for Israel.”
It sounds like al-Qaeda is trying to steal a bit of ISIS’ psychotic thunder, as the latter group is generally better known for inspiring “lone wolves” with lurid propaganda like this. However, counter-terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann notes in the NBC piece that al-Qaeda’s magazine has inspired a few “homegrown jihadists” as well, most notably the Boston Marathon bombers.
Another article in this issue of Inspire reportedly celebrates the Boston bombings. There is also a “military analysis” of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter (as if a cowardly surprise attack on unarmed magazine editors requires a military analysis!) and commemorative photo of the World Trade Center going down on 9/11 with the caption, “Some things are too beautiful to be forgotten. Will we ever experience such a sight once more?”
This is not the first time al-Qaeda has published a list of financial-industry murder targets, with Bernanke and Gates among those listed in a similar December 2014 article.