Sunday, July 25, 2010

Al Qaeda Embraces English in Propaganda Shift

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 Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched its online English-language  Inspire magazine this month to reach a wider pool of recruits writes its editor, according to an article by Katherine Zimmerman of AEI.

Setting aside grisly international terrorism, the language choice is logical given English's role as the lingua franca.

And it continues a trend ''to reach out to those who previously did not receive the al Qaeda message due to a language barrier,'' she writes.

AQAP recognizes that the first or second language of its potential followers in the worldwide Muslim community is English.

Thus, as Ms. Zimmerman notes, ''an English version of its message can reach a wider segment of the Muslim population that otherwise would not be exposed to its radical violent jihadi ideology.''

The move is consistent with Al Qaeda lieutenant Ayman Al-Zawahiri's statement in 2001:

“We must get our message across to the masses of the nation and break the media siege imposed on the jihad movement. This is an independent battle that we must launch side by side with the military battle.”

Adopting English-language media can be as innocent as selling a product to a larger consumer market or as macabre - pushing international terrorism - as evidenced by AQAP's plunge into online English publishing.

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