Jihad recruitment has evolved into using a mainstream format, it is now cool. Print and online magazines provide practical detailed instruction on how to commit terrorist acts. The latest offering, Lone Mujahid Pocketbook, Spring 2013, is published courtesy of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine, and is available on multiple websites.
It bills itself as "A Step to (sic) Step Guide on How to Become a Successful Lone Mujahid" and already has enthusiasts. Using hip, modern language conventions and rap lingo, the cover asks "R U dreamin' of wagin' jihadi attacks against kuffar? … Well, there's no need to travel abroad, coz the frontline has come to you. Wanna know how? Just read 'n' apply the contents of this guide which has practical 'n' creative ways to please Allah by killing his enemies 'n' healing the believers' chests." Creepily akin to a teen magazine, the Pocketbook specifically targets prospective American jihadis with tips, tactics and incitements to carry out terror attacks.
It offers Inspire's glossy, high quality graphics and a professional finish to pages methodically detailing the types of bombs; the best locations for attacks and other ways to generally reap mayhem. Using everyday supplies such as sugar, motor oil or pressure cookers, readers are enthusiastically encouraged to wage jihad in their communities. Many of the features are repeats from Inspire's first 10 issues.
For example, "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" and the "Ultimate Mowing Machine" offer simple, do-it-yourself advice to "cause chaos and terror among the public."
Mixing religious devotion with a desire to be cool in the MTV generation, the magazine offers an attractive picture for jihadi wannabes, perhaps inspired by the mass popular appeal of rapping gang-bangers who make gun violence "cool." Jihad has never been easier.
A chart of Inspire themes and content can be seen here.