Tech

US intelligence messes with al-Qaida publication

According to a report from The Washington Post, U.S. intelligence operatives have interfered with a propagandist al-Qaida online magazine, Inspire, last month in an attempt to confuse its readership.

Inspire, the English-language magazine distributed by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, frequently prints anti-Western propaganda, promoting the controversial messages of Muslim extremists. The publication is best known for the article “How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen on Your Mom,” which Boston Marathon bombers allegedly used as an instruction manual.

The magazine appeals to a very unique demographic, specifically, technology-savvy, English-speaking Muslim extremists.

U.S intelligence agencies tampered with the magazine’s content by mixing up word order and removing content from over twenty pages. The hacked version of the Inspire Magazine appeared online on May 14, and the sabotaged version was almost immediately removed from Inspire’s online forum.

An updated version of the tampered magazine reappeared online on May 30. The new issue praised the Boston bombers, reiterating the magazine’s message that “a single lone jihad operation can force American to stand on one foot and live in a terrified state.”

Intelligence officials decided to tamper with the magazine last month in order to prevent the magazine from further promoting radicalism.

Debate over the magazine became heated when one of the Boston Marathon Bombings suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnev, admitted that he learned how to make the pressure-cooker bomb from the magazine.