July 18th, 2010
02:31 PM ET

Security brief: American believed behind new al Qaeda magazine

A senior US law enforcement official has told CNN that U.S. intelligence believes that the principal author of the new online al Qaeda magazine is an American citizen who left for Yemen in October 2009.

The magazine – called "Inspire" – appeared last week. Running to nearly 70 pages, it included articles on bomb-making and encrypting electronic messages, as well as an interview with the fugitive Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar al Awlaki.

The source has identified the driving force behind "Inspire" as 23-year old Samir Khan, who previously lived in North Carolina and was involved in radical Islamist blogs, including one he ran called "Jihad Recollections." The source says Khan traveled to Yemen on a return ticket but has not come back to the United States.

Before moving to North Carolina, Khan lived in the New York area. U.S. law enforcement officials say he attended meetings of the Islamic Thinkers Society, but was not a central figure in the group. The Islamic Thinkers Society says its mission is to achieve the ideal Islamic society. On its website it says: "Our struggle is always intellectual & political non-violent means."

Khan's online name was inshaAllhashaheed (Arabic for "God willing a martyr.") On his various blogs he distributed English translations of Al Qaeda propaganda and links to videos produced by Iraqi insurgent groups and others. In a profile in 2007, the New York Times described him as serves as "a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups."

Khan was born in Saudi Arabia, and moved to Queens, New York, with his family when he was seven. The family later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. rolf's diary

    this man is a teacher for to-be-killer! http://rolfsdiary.wordpress.com/

    July 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    So what? American's supposedly are guaranteed freedom of speech. Not treason like that routinely spewed by the entertainers on the Fox News network, nor everyday by Tea Party speakers but to speak their minds without the NAZI jack booted thugs dragging them off like so many political prisoners thru-out the ages. Funny how the White Supremacist pour out it's magazines at Tea Potty gatherings and bookstores across the South, but heh, this guy's speaking Al Qaeda or Bush-Family values speak, oh no!

    July 19, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. PH53

    He's no different than Rush Limbaugh, Bill Oreilly, Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrech, Sarah Palin, The Tea Party radicals, Some Republicans, Some Democrates, the kkk terrorists, the nazi terrorists, who all have media outlets, and no one shuts them down, nor infringes on their rights. I say, take all the terrorist groups to Guantanamo, and have a firing squad "present arms".

    July 19, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |