SITE, an Internet monitoring group, has drawn attention to a new web-based jihadi magazine in English called Azan.
According to SITE, the magazine is believed to have been started by jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its first web issue appeared on May 5, 2013.
The English jihadi magazine, which is apparently meant to cater to English-literate Muslims in South Asia, including Afghanistan, is similar to Inspire. the English jihadi magazine of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula operating from Yemen, which has a readership among the Muslims of South India. Some Muslims arrested by the Bengaluru police last year were alleged by the Police to have been motivated by the articles carried by Inspire.
It is not yet clear who has started Azan.. One suspect is the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is the Pakistani Taliban. The other suspect is Al Qaeda headquarters in the South Waziristan area of Pakistan.
An article attacks the Pakistan Army for turning its back on traditional enemy India to fight in the tribal areas. It appeals to young Pakistani soldiers to turn away from the military. Azan says it considers the entire Pakistani state apparatus— from the army to police to intelligence agencies— as the enemy. It also carries an article on the evils of democracy.
It appeals to Muslims around the world to come up with technology to hack into or manipulate Drones. It said the Drones were affecting the jihad in the Waziristan area of Pakistan and represented a challenge to the Ummah.
It says: “With the death of so many Muslim assets, this is one of the utmost important issues that the Ummah must unite and come up with an answer to. Any opinions, thoughts, ideas and practical implementations to defeat this Drone technology must be communicated to us as early as possible because these would aid the Ummah greatly in its war against the Crusader-Zionist enemy.”
The magazine carries extracts from past speeches of the late Osama bin Laden and Mulla Mohammad Omar, the Amir of the Afghan Taliban, and carries articles on the state of the jihad in Syria, Mali and other places.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75)