Al Qaeda bomb-making expert publishes magazine detailing how to make explosives

Apr 10, 2012 Issues: Counterterrorism

Text penned by longtime jihadist and explosives guru Abdullah Dhu al-Bajadin

NY Daily News -- by Joseph Straw AND Rocco Parascandola

Al Qaeda's many-headed media beast is back at it — a bomb-making expert has published a new e-magazine providing how-to info for would-be terrorists.

The first installment to circulate through jihadist online circles is ominously titled Al Qaeda Airlines and features an image of a silhouetted twin-engine airliner climbing into the sunset. The 73-page text was penned by longtime jihadist and explosives guru Abdullah Dhu al-Bajadin, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist Web traffic. The mysterious figure is credited with writing an Internet encyclopedia of terror tradecraft, and once fielded online questions about bomb-making from wanna-be evildoers.

The first installment outlines chemistry fundamentals and a recipe for the poisonous anesthetic chloroform.

“We chose that because the beginner mujahid can prepare it at home using materials that are available in grocery stores and supermarkets,” the author wrote, according to a SITE translation.

Al Qaeda previously shared bomb-making tips in its Arab affiliate’s English-language e-magazine Inspire. Its run ended last year when a U.S. drone strike in Yemen took out publisher and former New Yorker Samir Khan, along with radical American Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

Cops charge that Manhattanite Jose Pimentel consulted a 2010 Inspire article titled “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” in a plot to attack U.S. service members. “We continue to be concerned about terrorist Internet publications, which were used most recently by Jose Pimentel,” said Deputy NYPD Commissioner Paul Browne. “That’s why we monitor the Internet for terrorist recruiting and training.”

The Airlines title appeared Saturday on a prominent jihadist forum, which mysteriously went offline along with five others late last month; it reappeared April 4.During the blackouts, another forum featured a graphic depicting the New York skyline with the words “Al Qaeda coming soon again in New York.”Debate persists over whether to take down the forums or to stand back and mine them for crucial intelligence.

Former State Department terrorism analyst Will McCants, who advocates the latter approach, noted that such technical information is already widely available.

Hands-on terror training is much harder to come by, he said

Ex-White House homeland security advisor Frank Cilluffo, who is now withGeorge Washington University, argued the U.S. should disrupt forum activity, especially tradecraft that “obviously poses stronger concerns” than pure rhetoric and propaganda.

House Homeland Security Committee head Pete King (R-L.I.), said the new pub “underscores the growing threat from radicalization within the Muslim-American community and ‘lone wolf’ terrorism, which I have repeatedly argued pose one of the gravest threats to U.S. national security.”