The 11th issue of the al-Qaeda biweekly ?Sawt al-Jihad? [Voice of Jihad] online magazine has been released. In this issue, we find three main points of emphasis:
This issue places great emphasis on propaganda, especially through the internet. Time and again, the magazine states that one of the great successes of the mujahideen in the past year was managing to spread their ideas and mobilize public support, despite the Saudi regime?s effort to stop them. In this context, the new Al-Qaeda video entitled ?Badr Al-Riyadh? is referred to at length, with great emphasis on its impact. This video, we learn, has set the stage for a new phase, in which people will move from passively supporting the mujahideen to actively joining them in their holy war against the infidels.
As is characteristic of the magazine, we find the usual rhetoric calling on all Muslims to ?fight the crusaders? in Saudi Arabia and in Iraq and to sacrifice themselves as martyrs for this holy cause.
The magazine continuously reemphasizes its clear, unambiguous hate-filled stand against the Saudi royal family ruling Saudi Arabia. They are presented as traitors who are collaborating with the ?crusaders,? and must be dealt with accordingly.
In an article summarizing the achievements of the mujahideen, the ?most prominent victory? at this stage is ascribed to the mujahideen?s ability to ?prove the truth of their belief.? The article goes on to explain that ?this theoretical and theological war stands in the center of the current struggle.?
This statement sheds some light on the mujahideen?s view of their main objectives over the past months. Performing attacks against western targets was important, but the main objective had been that of mobilizing public support and gaining grass root legitimacy among the Muslims, despite the ?vicious campaign against the mujahideen which has been carried out lately? by the ?renegade regime.?
Crowning these informative efforts was the video, ?Badr Al-Riyadh.? ?This video had a great impact on the tyrants of the Peninsula, it baffled them, it destroyed everything they had done… Months, and even years of organized deceit went to waste in a mere 90 minutes.?
Furthermore, this movie, we are told, has set the stage for a new phase, in which the mujahideen will move from gaining public support to mobilizing it for the holy war: ?God willing, this will be the start of a new phase, the most prominent characteristic of which will be the movement of the jihad firebrand into the midst of the people.? Instead of only passively sympathizing with mujahideen, people will move to ?giving all possible support to the mujahideen, standing by them with heart and soul, with prayers and by urging sons to become time bombs and heroic commandos against the crusaders and their allies…?.
According to this article about the video, between three and four hundred thousand people downloaded the movie from the internet in less than five days, parts of the video were broadcast by various TV news channels, and the video was also copied ?in great numbers? on video cassettes and distributed all over Saudi Arabia.
Fighting the Crusaders
Opening the new Hijra year 1425, the 11th issue of the magazine begins with a summary of the ?great events in the land of the two holy Mosques [Saudi Arabia],? in which ?The mujahideen brigades set out to fight the crusaders and launch painful attacks against them…giving them a taste of what the Muslims are being subjected to everywhere by the criminal infidels, be it in Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kashmir.? The article describes and glorifies the two attacks that were carried out in the past year against western targets in Riyadh-the attack on the residential compounds in May and the attack on the Mahyah residential complex in November. The magazine stresses that despite their small number, ?the quality of these attacks, as well as their actual and media impact, was great, creating havoc in the calculations of the crusaders and of their collaborators in the region.?
In subsequent articles our attention is directed to the great power the Mujahideen have accumulated in the past year, managing ?to establish training camps…, accumulate weapons, missiles, new equipment, and multiply the number of cells…; truly, they have become a country within a country!?
Characteristically, we also find fervent calls upon the Muslims to join this holy war: ?We will bring our ardently desired Ummah back to the times of glory and honor…We will continue on this path until Allah will bring this about, or until we die…We will put all our efforts into fighting the crusaders, in order to raise the flag of the religion, so that the holy law of Allah, the Creator of the Worlds, may rule…O, Muslims, perform your duty! Persist, persevere, and fight. Place your trust in Allah, so that you may be successful.?
Stand against Saudi Royal Family
It is impossible to overlook the hate-filled position held by the magazine against the Saudi regime, in general, and the Saudi royal family, in particular. In fact, such is its contempt for the regime that the magazine consistently abstains from referring to the family by its name, instead degradingly calling it ?Al-Salul,? meaning ?the infiltrated family.? The magazine further attacks the royal family, stating, ?the collaborating governments of the [Arab] Peninsula have rendered logistical support to the crusading American army in its fight against Iraq? and are still continuing to do so.
The issue maintains that the way to handle a situation in which a country has been occupied and is being employed as a base for launching operations against Islam is clear. This country must be fought, ?together with all who collaborate with it.? Throughout the magazine, the Saudi government continues to be denounced in the context of aiding the Americans, arresting holy warriors, launching media campaigns against them, and doing all in their power to stand in their way.