Al-Qaeda Magazine Released On 9/11 Anniversary Threatens Future Attack On U.S. More Devastating Than 9/11

September 11, 2023

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On September 10, 2023, the Al-Sahab Media Foundation, the official outlet of Al-Qaeda's Central Command, released Issue 11 of its Arabic-language Ummah Wahidah (One Ummah) periodic magazine. The current issue is "dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of the #September_attacks," perpetrated by Al-Qaeda against the U.S. on September 11, 2001.[1]

The previous issue of the magazine was released on July 5, 2023.[2]

Following is a brief summary of the magazine's contents. More detailed reports by the MEMRI JTTM will follow.

The cover of the 56-page magazine depicts the destruction caused to the Pentagon on 9/11, along with the Quranic quotation: "And they thought their strongholds would put them out of Allah's reach. But Allah came upon them from where they never expected. And He cast horror into their hearts, so they destroyed their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take a lesson, O people of insight!"

The magazine begins with a brief dedication to the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks.

Editorial: 9/11 Attacks Continue To Harm The U.S. Decades Later

An eight-page editorial, titled "9/11 Should Not Be Repeated!" declares that 9/11 caused irreversible damage to the U.S. and threatens that Al-Qaeda will perpetrate a future, even more devastating attack.

Describing the 9/11 attacks as an act of "unparalleled military creativity," the editorial credits them with "awakening the Islamic ummah [nation]," making the U.S. and its allies lose their aura of invincibility, "expanding the expanse of the conflict and battle from the Islamic countries to include American and Western soil," and bringing "the spread of jihad and the ignition of its spark throughout the world," leading to the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolts and eventually causing U.S. forces to be "expelled from Afghanistan vilified and defeated."

The editorial continues: "The War on Terror was actually one of the greatest causes of the increase of terror and its spread through the world. […] The Islamic ummah's attack continues to act and make an impression for more than two decades, and will achieve its future goals without the slightest doubt [bold in original]."

Western-Led Global Order Is Collapsing

Later, the editorial states: "Today everyone sees the signs of the global order's death throes, Western culture's entering the countdown, the dissolution of unbelief-based systems, and their coming apart from within. So is there still a need for repeating the September attacks? Yes, the September raids were an intentional purposeful blow to achieve great strategic goals within a series of open battles with no borders, so it would be foolish to evaluate them in the present before their dust settles on the battlefronts and before the war ends. Its goals were long-term and its perpetrators wagered decades ago on the element of time. They still say that there is yet enough time to liberate the region [of the Muslim countries] – Allah willing – through this effective promising strategy. […] The American enemy, however far his showy military strength reaches through the world, will continue to stagger from the effects and reverberations of the September raids until Allah wills it to fall to pieces and vanish. […] Despite the succession of Islamic attacks against it all over the world, it has not managed, until today, to strengthen and develop its mental capacities to anticipate and be on the lookout for risks.

Coming Attack Will Be Unexpected And Surpass 9/11

"The coming Islamic blow must be beyond its expectations and out of what it conceives. It must also be extremely shocking and surprising. It is not important for it to occur deep inside America or to be a copy of the slap of the September Day of Victory. What matters is that its effects and reverberations surpass those of the September raids, and that it be [carried out] with new, accurate, creative planning, based on good intentions and sincere, pure action, so that it is effective in snatching away America's prestige, shaking its domination in our region, limiting its capabilities vis-a-vis the international community, and creating as many deep fissures and vertical cracks in the structure of the global order as possible. Then, Allah willing, Al-Qaeda and its heroes will play a great role in redrawing the maps of power in the world. Whether the strategy adopted relies on the principle of pursuing the enemy to his doorstep and homeland, to settle the score with him and collect the debt he owes, or on the principle of exhausting him in regional Islamic lands which he entered, in either case, the coming blow must burden the enemy with exorbitant costs forcing him to leave the entire region. […]

Al-Qaeda Does Not Need Many Funds Or Operatives To Perpetrate Devastating Attacks; It Remains Strong While The U.S. Has Weakened

"History testifies that it is not difficult for weak nations to make powerful empires fall into lethal traps, then direct smart blows at them and inflict defeat on them. The powers of global arrogance should know for sure, after all that has befallen them due to the September disasters, that the Muslims' threat still gleams on the horizon anew. They must not look toward the wrong horizons. They should know that it is only a matter of time and study to achieve the coming blow, for modern jihad does not need large armies, abundant funds, or safe havens. The Al-Qaeda group – with success from Allah alone – carried out the greatest attack in history with the smallest number of knights and the lowest military cost. For the September raids took place – by Allah's grace – with only 19 knights and at a cost of less than half a million dollars. It is not unlikely that the coming raids will be similar in a way to their previous sisters, for the matter will require only scant funds and few men […]

"America must stop its addiction to delusions and to fooling itself, so that it does not end up defeating itself […] It is foolish to imagine that drones can protect America's national security and ensure Washington's interests. It should also know that its abilities to collect valuable information on the ground have receded greatly on all fronts. […] Among our ranks – thanks to Allah – are men and heroes from all nations of the world, from India and the Far East to Africa and Morocco, and even from America, Europe, and Russia. All these men of ours are deeply-rooted and steadfast in all settings, and all of them want to visit Washington like the emir Mohamed Atta and his companions – may Allah accept them [as martyrs] – did. Recently hundreds of experts and professionals from various battlefronts of Islam have arrived to us. We have also kept and regained – thanks to Allah – many times the number of safe havens which we lost over the past two decades. There are still among our ranks a significant number of the teachers, trainers, and colleagues of the 19 September knights.

"So let America awaken from its carelessness, gambling, and confused dreams, and let the intelligent ones in the White House awaken from the swamp of dark foolishness if they want the good of themselves and their country. We are not exaggerating or boasting with what we mentioned precisely, for we are absorbed in our work and planning for the coming attack, which will – Allah willing – be harsher and wider in scale. We promise you that compared to it, the September attacks will be just a small party, Allah willing. Currently, all we need is success from Allah […] We are also – as many of you testify – more committed than you to fulfilling our promises, threats, and commitments which we have made to our dear ummah. We also commit to you and your allies to fulfill Sheikh Osama's oath and our promises which we made to everyone […] and through all this we will achieve the greatest possible comparative advantage over you, Allah willing.

U.S. Leaders Must Change Their Policies To Ward Off Future Attacks

"In conclusion, we say to America and her helpers: We did not make a mistake in the past with the September battle or the conflicts preceding it. We presented our just cause and put it before our ummah, then we warned you and cautioned you. When you failed to pay heed to what we had presented, […] our reactions came to you, proportional and commensurate with your international law and legal customs, for it is not just or reasonable that you should have a monopoly on security and peace but not we. So either our ummah and your nation will share it and we will all enjoy it equally, or one of us will make the other experience his power until Allah wills to settle the conflict between us. We warned and cautioned you many times before the events of Somalia, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and before the destruction of the destroyer [USS] Cole, but you paid no heed to our warnings until Al-Qaeda's axe reached the head of the Pentagon and the Twin Towers. We told you many times, 'Do not infringe on our Islamic ummah's security or interfere in our affairs.' But you fail every time and only wake up when we plant the axe in your head. So until when will this dominant crusader stupidity continue? And for how long will you continue to harvest bloodshed?

"Be assured that our Islamic ummah's knights – by Allah's power and might – will make you forget the horrors of September, the day when they stormed your fortresses and strongholds shielded by seas in broad daylight. You should be completely assured that today you are in greater danger than on the day of September 11. America must be well aware of its rights and obligations in its political decisions, for correct political management may be most able to avert the coming Islamic attack from America […]"

Other Content: Al-Qaeda Attacks Since 9/11 Continue To Terrorize West, 9/11 Caused U.S. To Lose Its Global Position

The magazine contains a six-page biography of Egyptian-born chief hijacker Mohamed Atta, by Abu Salah Al-Makki.

A six-page article titled "The Eleventh [of September] and the Reaction of Constant Terror," by Abu Khalid Al-San'ani, asserts that Al-Qaeda is achieving its aims against "the criminal Western regimes" by terrorizing them with successive attacks throughout the past two decades following 9/11.

A ten-page article, "The Future of the World Order After the Eleventh of September," by 'Isam Al-Maghrebi, argues that the severe losses sustained by the U.S. in the 9/11 attacks gradually led it to lose its status as the leading world power, which was one of Al-Qaeda's goals in "waging war on the Zionist-crusader tyranny in the Islamic world."

The fourth part in the series "From the Messages of [Divine] Inspiration," by Dr. Sami Al-'Uraydi, head of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, Hurras Al-Din, is titled "Justice and Establishing Fairness," and fills four pages of the magazine.

A two-page biography of Saudi hijacker Hani Hanjour, who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, is also by Abu Salah Al-Makki.

A six-page article by Muhsin Al-Rumi, "Why Didn't the American Guard Dogs Bark on the Night of September?" discusses why U.S. and Arab security officials did not discover and foil the 9/11 plot.

Another six-page article, by 'Isam Al-Maghrebi, analyzes the book "What Happened on 9/11?" by the "Jewish philosopher" Jacques Derrida.

A "gift" distributed together with the magazine is the 23-page booklet "Surat Al-'Adiyat [The Galloping Horses, chapter 100 of the Quran]: The Creator of the Inghimasi [commando-style jihadi attacks inside enemy territory] Psyche." Compiled by senior Al-Qaeda cleric Awwab bin Hasan Al-Hasani, the booklet contains an introduction by Jordanian pro-Al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Qatadah Al-Filastini, as well as brief comments by slain senior leaders Abu Muhammad Al-Masri and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, both of whose names have no benediction acknowledging them as alive or dead.

The magazine concludes with a one-page poem "Tears in the Eyes of Time," by "mujahid scholar" Muhibb Allah Al-Qandahari Al-Shinqiti, eulogizing companions martyred while waging jihad.

Al-Sahab generally releases material related to the 9/11 attacks during the days surrounding their anniversary. Last year, Al-Qaeda marked the date with an eight-page anonymous publication discussing the attacks,[3] as well as a 271-page book titled "The 11th of September Operations – Between Fact and Uncertainty," by Abu Muhammad Al-Masri, Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, who was assassinated in Tehran in August 2020.[4]

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