Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has long annoyed the West with his claims that the United States government was behind the 9/11 attacks. But he’s also bruised egos at al-Qaeda, with the terrorist group now telling the Iranian president to stop with the “ridiculous” conspiracy theories and start giving them credit for pulling off such a great terrorist strike.
The catty sniping between the two great foes of the United States is on display in the latest edition of Inspire, the propaganda magazine published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“If Iran was genuine in its animosity towards the U.S., it would be pleased to see another entity striking a blow at the Great Satan but that’s not the case. For Iran, anti-Americanism is merely a game of politics,” says an opinion piece on page four of the magazine’s fall edition.
The magazine Inspire has been published since July, 2010. There were initial doubts about its authenticity, but counter-terrorism analysts now take it seriously.
Experts believe that the magazine is edited by an American militant hiding in Yemen, and that it is aimed at recruiting English-speaking Muslim youth and encouraging homegrown terrorism.
The current issue says Iran is jealous of al-Qaeda’s success.
“For them, al-Qaeda was a competitor for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised Muslims around the world. Al-Qaeda, an organization under fire, with no state, succeeded in what Iran couldn’t. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11.”
The article alludes to the ideological schism between al-Qaeda’s Sunni followers and Iran’s Shia majority.
“Iran and the Shi’a in general do not want to give al-Qaeda credit for the greatest and biggest operation ever committed against America because this would expose their lip-service jihad against the Great Satan.”
The issue, which commemorates the 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, has on its cover the silhouettes of Manhattan’s Twin Towers, one drawn with dollar signs, the other with 1s and 0s. The headline proclaims: “The Greatest Special Operation of all time.”
Security experts who have reviewed the issue say it is thin and lacklustre when compared with previous editions, a reflection perhaps of current leadership disarray.
Jarret Brachman, a former analyst at West Point’s Combatting Terrorism Center, was unimpressed with the criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad.
“Framing the article in the negative [we did 9/11, not Iran!!]makes AQAP look desperate and pathetic,” Mr. Brachman wrote on his blog.