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Al-Qaeda Magazine Urges Chemical, Biological Strikes Against Foes

A recent edition of the magazine published by the Yemen branch of al-Qaeda urges adherents to launch biological and chemical attacks against the terrorist organization's enemies, CNN reported on Wednesday (see GSN, May 1).

The Inspire article is the posthumously published product of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who died alongside magazine editor Samir Khan in a September targeted U.S. aerial strike in Yemen. It was not apparent why the eighth edition of the magazine came out so long after their deaths (see GSN, Oct. 11, 2011).

"The use of poisons of chemical and biological weapons against population centers is allowed and strongly recommended due to the effect on the enemy," al-Awlaki wrote. "Statements" by a number of academics who study religious matters "show that it is allowed to use poison or other methods of mass killing against the disbelievers who are at war with us."

Al-Awlaki, who held dual U.S. and Yemeni citizenship, through his articles and statements is understood to have played a role in the formation of several terrorism plots in the United States and Europe. 

There is no indication, however, that the al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen or any other spin-off of the terrorist network has acquired the ability to wage biological or chemical weapons attacks, CNN reported (Lister/Cruickshank, CNN, May 2).

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