U.S. intelligence officials reportedly launched an attack against al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine last month by garbling articles and removing sections, prompting the magazine’s terror-advocating creators to remove the edition from the Internet.
A new version of the magazine was later reposted, including a section touting the Boston Marathon bombings as an Islamic jihad success story.
Inspire, created by advocates of Islamic terror in 2010, publishes articles that encourage readers to orchestrate terror attacks against American citizens. In its spring 2013 issue, the magazine included “how to” articles to give readers tips on creating oil slicks on roadways to cause mass transit chaos and setting parked cars on fire to scare American motorists.
Unnamed intelligence officials told The Washington Post that the cyberattack was conducted as part of a wider effort to derail al-Qaida’s online propaganda initiatives.
“You can make it hard for them to distribute it, or you can mess with the content. And you can mess with the content in a way that is obvious or in ways that are not obvious,” one intelligence official told the newspaper.
According to reports, there is an ongoing discussion in the intelligence community about whether the government could justifiably broaden its efforts to disrupt websites that “promote radicalization.”