We usually don’t cover English language jihadi media here at Jihadica, but the recent release of a new magazine entitled Jihad Recollections (JR) attracted my attention because it is produced by Fursan media and because it is so well done. The magazine fills a gap in the world of jihadi media, as the editorial states:
“We have acknowledged that the Arabic Jihadi media have surpassed the English community by light years. Many of our hard working brothers in the English Jihadi community – may Allah reward them with mountains of good deeds – usually limit themselves to translating works rather than developing their own. Henceforth, we have decided to take it upon ourselves to produce the first Jihadi Magazine in English.”
It is not quite true that this is the first jihadi magazine in English, but this is indeed the most serious one I have seen. It is seventy pages long and very nicely designed – in many ways it resembles an English version of Qadaya Jihadiyya. JR contains a lot of original material, including several articles in the strategic studies genre. Top stories include an analysis of “Obama’s questionable economic stimulus package” and “The political implications of the CIA’s scandal in Algeria”. There are also articles on “the science behind night vision technology”, “EMP grenade technology becoming a reality” and “The principles of guerrilla warfare”. This is not to mention “Staying in shape without weights” – essentially an introduction to Pilates training.
Articles are mostly in perfect idiomatic English and are quite well edited. One can only guess where it is produced, but the American spelling, the interest in the stimulus package and the frequent references to US sources suggest to me that this is the work of people who either live or (more likely) have lived in North America. The target audience is presumably Muslims in Europe and the US, perhaps also in Africa and Asia.
Jihadi Recollections sets a new standard for jihadi propaganda in English and it will be interesting to see how long they can keep going. It is hard to tell whether it will have big readership, but generally I think the importance of English-language propaganda tends to be overestimated by western analysts. I guess one indication would be if European jihadis suddenly start getting slender, flexible bodies.
PS:If you want more details, Jarret Brachman plans a 71-part article series on JR – one for every page of the magazine.
PPS: On the Arabic language magazine front, the 34th issue of Sumud and the 52nd issue of Hasad al-Mujahidin came out last week.
Update (8 April): The good news is my instinct was right, the bad news is I didn’t do my homework. Rusty at Jawa Report identified the editor of JR several days ago as a guy named Samir Khan who is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rusty adds further details here.
Document (Arabic): 03-31-09-shamikh-sumud-34
Document (Arabic): 03-30-09-shouraa-hasad-mujahidin-52