This April 1998 file photo shows exiled al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo)
By LEE FERRAN July 19, 2011
A new edition of Al Qaeda’s official magazine claims that Osama bin Laden fought back in a "vicious battle" with the U.S. Navy SEALs before his death in May.
"He confronted them, his weapons against theirs with his, and his strength against theirs, and he accepted the challenge of those who came out with their fancy equipment, machinery, weapons, aircrafts and troops, all haughty and pompous," the magazine, Inspire, said in a eulogy for the al Qaeda leader. "His determination did not weaken in front of them, nor was he sapped of strength. Rather, he stood and confronted them face to face like a firm mountain, and continued to engage them in a fierce battle… after which he excused himself and fulfilled the trust, receiving bullets of treachery and infidelity."
The account, which is attributed to the al Qaeda organization, appears to contradict the White House version of events in which bin Laden did "resist" the SEALs, but was unarmed when he was killed.
The sixth issue of the English-language magazine features bin Laden on its cover with the words "Sadness, Contentment & Aspiration," is the first to discuss bin Laden’s death. After noting the succession of al Qaeda leadership to Ayman al-Zawahiri and giving a "special thanks" to the Pakistani Taliban for a revenge attack in Pakistan for bin Laden’s death, the magazine goes on to encourage individual acts of jihad against the West.
Under the subject "open source jihad," the magazine includes detailed, illustrated instructions on how to fire an AK-47 and create Acetone Peroxide explosives — the same explosives used in the deadly 2005 London transit bombing and the same investigators said New York man Najibullah Zazi planned to use in a foiled U.S. attack.
This issue of "Inspire", thought to be the brainchild of a young American from North Carolina named Samir Khan of the Yemen branch of al Qaeda (AQAP), appears to be the most interactive yet, featuring a section in which the magazine answers emailed questions and a solicitation for readers to send messages to Anwar al-Awlaki, one of al Qaeda’s top commanders.
Al-Awlaki, a high profile al Qaeda leader, is believed to have inspired multiple terror plots, including several planned that targeted the U.S., including the Fort Hood massacre and the attempted underwear bombing of Northwest flight 253.