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Inside Operation Hemorrhage: AQAP releases special edition of Inspire
Barry S. Zellen, 12/31/2010

Just a few short weeks after publication of AQAP's second edition of Inspire magazinethe English-language jihadist publication providing the world with a fascinating and authentic insider's view from the jihadist side of the Global War on Terrora third, "special" edition hit the web in November.

It's dedicated entirely to what AQAP has dubbed "Operation Hemorrhage"their low-cost, asymmetrical attack of the global air freight industry, a vulnerable pillar of the worldwide supply chain that fuels the western economy.

The entire budget for this operation: $4,200.

The results:  two near-misses that could have downed passenger and/or cargo aircraft over American soil; andaccording to AQAP but not acknowledged by the Westone downed UPS jet in Yemen; and a wave of mass anxiety over the American Thanksgiving holidays as new intrusive security measures were rolled out across the nation's airports as a preventive measure (albeit one better designed to thwart attacks modeled on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed Christmas day underwear attack in 2009.)

In addition to photos, including images of the explosive devices assembled from HP laser printers that were shipped using air, are a slew of essays, articles, and graphics from the operation's planners. The magazine is sharply produced, demonstrating high production values; its text is crisply edited, and its writers demonstrate a natural use of the English languageshowing its authors to be intimately familiar with our society, and possessing graphic design, writing, and media production skills on par with professionals in the West.

Even if their terror tactics have thankfully failed more often than not, their information operations demonstrate an impressive skill level, a high level of computer literacy, and a sophisticated digital communications know-how.

Selections from both the text and graphics of the latest edition of Inspire are presented below.

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Inspire cover

Cover of Inspire, November 2010 special edition

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Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage

November 2, 2010


  • What motivated al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to send the packages? What were the inside details of the operation? Why were Jewish synagogues targeted? Details are answered here.
  • Outlining the religious objectives of the operation, Shaykh al- Banna discusses the humiliation of the coalition of enemies.
  • Now that you have seen how it works, what it does to global security, and how much fear it strikes in the enemies of Allah, we reveal the technical side of the bomb including our scientific findings.
* * *

Letter from the Editor

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 3.

$4,200. That is the total cost of Operation Hemorrhage. The operation has succeeded in achieving its objectives. We thank Allah for his blessings.

The strategy of al Qaeda was to strike big while the enemy was off guard. The blessed operations of Washington and New York represent the greatest special operations in the history of man. Nineteen men ended the lives of almost three thousand Americans, cost the U.S. treasury trillions of dollars, and embroiled America in a War on Terror that it would definitely eventually lose. America has spent time, effort, and money to prevent a large scale attack such as 9-11 from ever occurring again. Even though that is what they state, on our side we believe that if Allah willed it no security measures could stand in the way of the mujahidin from repeating the glory of the operations of Washington and New York. However, to bring down America we do not need to strike big. In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage attacks that involve less players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America worked so hard to erect. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.

We dedicate this issue to cover exclusive material of Operation Hemorrhage. We reveal for the first time the details of the operation and we correct the erroneous information that has been spreading through the airwaves.

In this special issue of Inspire, the Head of Foreign Operations Team will cover the general details and objectives of the operation, Ikrimah al-Muhajir will go through some of the technical details of the device, Yahya Ibrahim will go through the economic leverage of such an operation and Shaykh Ibrahim al-Banna will discuss the religious objectives. We will also post some photos we took for some of the items we included in the packages.

We would like to congratulate the Muslim nation for the success of our operation and we ask them to pray for us that Allah enables us to carry on this fight against America, the head of today’s Crusade.

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Operation Hemorrhage: AQAP Statement No. 26

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 4.

All praise is due to Allah and may His peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his companions and family.

Allah says: {And let not those who disbelieve think they will escape. Indeed, they will not cause failure} [8: 59]

We, in the al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula would like to convey to our nation the glad news and the awaited surprise: We have been enabled by Allah to blowup a UPS cargo plane on the 3rd of September, 2010, after its takeoff from Dubai International Airport.

We have succeeded in bringing down the UPS plane but because the enemy’s media did not attribute the operation to us we have remained silent so we may repeat the operation. This time we sent two explosive packages, one was sent through UPS, and the other through FedEx.

We would like to ask: Why didn’t the enemy reveal the truth about what happened with the downed UPS plane? Is it because the enemy could not discover why the plane was brought down? Or was it because the Obama administration wanted to conceal the truth so it doesn’t expose the failure of his administration especially that it was during an election season?

We would like to say to Obama: We have struck against your aircrafts twice within one year and we will continue directing our blows towards your interests and the interests of your allies.

With the praise of Allah, our developed explosive device gives the option of detonation in the air or at the point of arrival and it is designed to evade the latest bomb detection methods.

We would like to tell the al-Saud government that Allah has exposed your treason and collaboration with the Zionists.

The packages were being sent to Jewish synagoges and yet you interfered to defend them.

May Allah’s curse be upon the transgressors.

Since the two operations have succeeded, it is our plan to disseminate the idea to the mujahidin worldwide and to expand its deployment onto both Civilian aircraft in the West as well as Cargo aircraft.

Our Shaykh Usama bin Ladin, may Allah protect him, said: “If our messages can reach you by words, then they wouldn’t have traveled by planes…”

May peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family.

al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

11/02/2010 | Dhul Qa’dah 25 1431H

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9/3/2010: The day a tree fell into a forest that nobody heard

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 5
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Questions we should be asking
From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 6.
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Operation Hemorrhage: Objectives

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 7.

AQAP Head of Foreign Operations

If your opponent covers his right cheek, slap him on his left. Since 9-11 the West has been stepping up defenses for its commercial aircrafts. The continuous attempts that followed 9-11 by our brother Richard Reid, the Heathrow airport plot and finally the operation of brother Umar Farouk have forced the West to spend billions of dollars to defend its airplanes. But what about cargo planes?

The air freight is a multi-billion dollar industry. FedEx alone flies a fleet of 600 aircrafts and ships an average of four million packages per day. It is a huge worldwide industry. For the trade between North America and Europe air cargo is indispensable and to be able to force the West to install stringent security measures sufficient enough to stop our explosive devices would add a heavy economic burden to an already faltering economy. We knew that cargo planes are staffed by only a pilot and a co-pilot so our objective was not to cause maximum casualties but to cause maximum losses to the American economy. That is also the reason why we singled out the two U.S. air freight companies: FedEx and UPS for our dual operation.

In our discussions prior to the operation we set the passage of explosive devices from any airport as a benchmark of success. For us, blowing up the planes would have made us very pleased but according to our plan and specified objectives it was only a plus. The first package made it successfully and brought down the UPS flight in Dubai. The experiment was a brilliant success. In our following operation we used a different explosive package and determined that if both packages passed through the inspection at the FedEx and UPS facilities and passed through the XRay systems at the airport, that would raise a worldwide alert that would force upon the West two choices: You either spend billions of dollars to inspect each and every package in the world or you do nothing and we keep trying again. The packages not only made it out of Sana'a but one of them made it all the way to London and if it was not for an intelligence tip, both devices would have detonated.

After the operation of brother Umar Farouk we have been experimenting with ways to bring down airplanes. We have researched the various security systems employed by airports. We looked into X-Ray scanners, full body scanners, sniffing dogs and other aspects of security. The resulting bomb was a device that we were confident that, with the will of Allah, it would pass through the most stringent and up-to-date security equipment.

We were right. The packages were inspected at the FedEx office (the deliverer reported to us that there was no checking at the UPS), they passed through the X-Ray machines at Sana’a airport, and went through the other procedures required by cargo companies. Both devices were not detected.

We are fighting a war against American tyranny. This is a new Crusade waged by the West against Islam.

Therefore we wanted to put things into proper perspective. This current battle fought by the West is not an isolated battle but is a continuation of a long history of aggression by the West against the Muslim world. In order to revive and bring back this history we listed the names of Reynald Krak and Diego Diaz as the recipients of the packages. We got the former name from Reynald de Chatillon, the lord of Krak des Chevaliers who was one of the worst and most treacherous of the Crusade's leaders. He fell into captivity and Salahuddeen personally beheaded him. The name we used for the second package was derived from that of Don Diego Deza, the Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition after the fall of Granada who along with the Spanish monarchy supervised the extermination and expulsion of the Muslim presence on the Iberian Peninsula employing the most horrific methods of torture and done in the name of God and the Church. Today we are facing a coalition of Crusaders and Zionists and we in al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula will never forget Palestine.

How can we forget it when our motto is: "Here we start and in al-Aqsa we meet"? So we listed the address of the "Congregation Or Chadash", a Gay and Lesbian synagogue on our one of our packages. The second package was sent to "Congregation B'nai Zion". Both synagogues are in Chicago, Obama's city.

We were very optimistic about the outcome of this operation. That is why we dropped into one of the boxes a novel titled, Great Expectations.

* * *
Great Expectations ...
From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 8.
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An Operation of Leverage

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 9.

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Operation Hemorrhage: Tawaghit Exposed

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 10-11.

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Banna
Translated by al-Malahem Media

Praise be to Allah who said: {We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve} [3: 151].

Allah says: {And let not those who disbelieve think they will escape. Indeed, they will not cause failure to Allah} [8: 59].

And may peace and blessings be upon the Seal of the Prophets ... who said: "I was given victory through fear the distance of walking for a month.” [Narrated by al Bukhari]

The operation of the explosive packages which was performed by the mujahidin of the Arabian Peninsula against the companies of air freight belonging to the disbelieving nations is our right. It is our right because we are defending the Muslim lands. This operation has struck fear in the hearts of the Americans and their allies.

This operation is a response to the Crusaders aggression against the Muslims of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Maghreb, Chechnya and the Arabian Peninsula. It is a response to the continuous support to the usurping Jews who are invading Jerusalem and are blockading Gaza.

Every Muslim should know that Jihad is continuing until the Day of Judgment and that the conflict between Islam and disbelief will not end until the Day of Judgment.

The Messenger of Allah ... said: "A group of my nation will continue fighting for the cause of Allah. They will not be harmed by those who are against them or those who betray them. They will continue fighting until the Day of Judgment.”

Allah says: {And let not those who disbelieve think they will escape. Indeed, they will not cause failure [to Allah]. And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged} [8: 59-60].

And since this war is one of information and technology, our duty becomes to prepare what we can. The powers of disbelief no matter how much strength they have and no matter how technologically advanced they are, cannot escape the wrath of Allah and they cannot defeat the believers who are aided by Allah.

Allah says: {And how many of a small band has defeated a larger one by the leave of Allah} [2: 249] and Allah says: {and incumbent upon Us was support of the believers} [30: 47].

This operation comes to prove to every true Muslim that there is no comparison between the price of sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the price for submission to the Jews and Christians. The mujahidin with simple means and without a state have succeeded in striking fear in the hearts of the disbelievers and this is an evidence against the governments in the Muslim world and the scholars who support them, those who fear America and do not fear Allah.

This operation comes to expose the traitor Arab rulers who are competing in pleasing their American masters.

Obama stood in front of the world with a terrified face announcing that his nation is being threatened by terrorism (i.e. real Islam) and he was thanking the government of al-Saud for the intelligence information they provided on the explosive packages.

Obama called King Abdullah to thank him on this cooperation.

Allah says: {O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. So you see those in whose hearts is disease [i.e., hypocrisy] hastening into [association with] them, saying, "We are afraid a misfortune may strike us." But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful} [5: 51-52].

Then the Yemeni President came out angrily saying that he has the political will and sufficient forces to combat al Qaeda, when the information bypassed him and was provided directly by the al-Saud government.

The Messenger of Allah ... says: "If you do not have any shame then do whatever you want.”

We tell every truthful Muslim who wants to protect his religion and nation: do not wait for these traitor governments to free Jerusalem or to stand in the face of the Crusader invasion on Muslim land like we see in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Somalia, Palestine, and tomorrow Sudan and before it was Bosnia and Kosovo, so where are their armies? And where are their weapons which they spent billions on? It is clear to you what you see with your own eyes that they are stooges to the Jews and Christians.

On the other hand there is a small band of mujahidin who are putting the nose of America in the dirt even though they do not possess the means that are available to the traitor governments.

Dear Muslim hasten to join the ranks of the mujahidin or to form cells to perform operations against the disbelievers in their own land. We are paying back America for only a small portion of what they do to our nation.

“This is an evidence against the governments in the Muslim world and the scholars who support them, those who fear America and do not fear Allah.”

* * *

Failed state ...

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 12.
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Operation Hemorrhage: Technical Details

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 13-14.

Ikrimah al-Muhajir, Explosives Department Translated by al-Malahem Media

Praise be to Allah and may the peace and blessings be on His Messenger.

The most important aspect of preparing for the enemy is having the proper creed. All victory is from Allah and thus we need to have true faith in Him. After that we need to prepare the means that are needed to fight the enemy. In this article we will go through some of the technical aspects of the explosive packages.

Metal Detection Equipment:

We have been blessed by Allah to be able to sidestep the metal detection equipment and this is evident in the operation of Umar Farouk and the operation of Abul Khayr, may Allah accept him. That capability was a result of avoiding the use of metals altogether in our detonators. We have developed five such detonators.


Good packaging and sealing of the explosive material prevents sniffing dogs or equipment from detecting the explosives. That is done by sealing the material and preventing any molecules from escaping the package, and afterwards cleaning the package thoroughly to clear off any molecules that may have dispersed during the filling of the material. We used a number of organic solvents to wash the toners from any residue that might have been on the surface.

X-Ray Equipment:

The first X-Ray machines where dual color followed by three colors and eventually six colors. Metals show up in three colors, organic material shows up in two colors and inorganic material in one color. The color depends on the atomic number of the scanned material. There are other types of machines that we have not mentioned here but we talked about in an article by the Explosives Department and published in the twelfth issue of Sada' al-Malahem.

So how did we succeed in sidestepping the X-Ray scanners?

We used a device that contains organic, non-organic material, and metals. The toner cartridge contains the toner which is carbon based and that is an organic material. The carbon’s molecular number is close to that of PETN. We emptied the toner cartridge from its contents and filled it with 340 grams of PETN. We then inserted the detonator. We designed the detonator to be short so that it wouldn’t be detected and we filled it with 4 grams of Lead Azide. We connected the wires from the circuit to the toner in a way that would raise no suspicions if inspected. When the toner is inside the printer, a metal plate on the toner would touch the circuit wire. If inspected the toner could be pulled out and would look normal without any wires sticking out. This method makes human inspection of the printer useless.

For the circuit we used a Nokia mobile phone. We removed the circuit board from the mobile and attached it next to a circuit board of the printer so if passed through a scanner the mobile circuit board would blend in with the circuit boards of the printer and even if opened it would not be recognized as a mobile since we used only the circuit board of the mobile.

“But now you can see that we revealed to you a bigger security lapse than the last one and yet you are still being stubborn.”

The wires of the circuit also blend in well with the many wires of the printer. When the toner is pulled out the circuit is disconnected. When it is placed back the circuit is connected.

The door of the printer cannot close unless the toner is in place and this way we guaranteed that even if the printer is manually inspected, the toner must be placed back in its place otherwise the printer door would remain open.

With all the intelligence information the enemy had, they could not detect the explosives even though the printers were inspected twice in the UK.

They only discovered the explosives when they had the exact tracking number of the package.

Are X-Ray scanners sufficient for the detection of explosives?

All X-Ray machines work on the same principle: The diffraction of rays off the atom of the scanned material.

The rays pass through all material except lead which doesn’t allow the penetration of even Gamma rays.

We have studied various X-Ray scanners that are in use and those that might be deployed in the future but are too expensive to deploy now.

All these scanners work on one principle even if they are different.

In the future, new scanners could be developed to designate specific colors for explosive material, but is this method practical? To answer this question we need to point out that explosive material contains a variety of a thousand different compounds and each of these compounds has its own molecular characteristics that are different than the rest. With such a huge variety can scanners solve this problem?

We would like to ask the Americans a question: Why try to solve the symptoms of the problem rather than the root?

Didn’t your security experts come together to find solutions for the security lapses in your airports and you spent millions of dollars in less than a year even though we already told you then that we knew the weak points of your equipment and by the will of Allah we would be able to exploit them? Nevertheless you were stubborn. But now you can see that we revealed to you a bigger security lapse than the last one and yet you are still being stubborn. The British government said that if a toner weighs more than 500 grams it won’t be allowed on board a plane. Who is the genius who came up with this suggestion? Do you think that we have nothing to send but printers?

Another suggestion is that the bomb maker needs to be killed. I and my brothers in the explosives department are from among the blessings of Abu Khabab al-Misri and Abu Abdul Rahman al-Muhajir who were killed in Afghanistan. Do you think that our research will only be used by al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula and won't be shared with other mujahidin?

We want to say to those of reason and wisdom among you: There is no solution for you with us except if you abide by this simple equation which has been repeated to you by our Shaykh Usama bin Ladin, may Allah protect him:

Our security = Your security

And likewise:

Our insecurity = Your insecurity

If you refuse then we will continue our war against you. In the name of Allah we are preparing for you since years and we will continue on this path.


* * *

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 15.

Two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200. That is all what Operation Hemorrhage cost us. In terms of time it took us three months to plan and execute the operation from beginning to end. On the other hand this supposedly "foiled plot", as some of our enemies would like to call, will without a doubt cost America and other Western countries billions of dollars in new security measures.

That is what we call leverage. A $4,200 operation will cost our enemy billions of dollars. In terms of time and effort, three months of work for a team of less than six brothers would end up costing the West hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of hours of work in an attempt to protect itself from our packages of death.

From the start our objective was economic. Bringing down a cargo plane would only kill a pilot and co-pilot. It is true that blowing up the planes in the sky would add to the element of fear and shock but that would have been an additional advantage to the operation and not a determining factor of its success.

During the initial discussions of the team it was determined that the success of the operation was to be based on two factors: The first is that the packages pass through the latest security equipment. The second, the spread of fear that would cause the West to invest billions of dollars in new security procedures. We have succeeded in the former and we are now witnessing the inception of the latter.

We will continue with similar operations and we do not mind at all in this stage if they are intercepted. It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy and keep him on his toes in exchange of a few months of work and a few thousand bucks. We would gladly dispense with a remote controlled device that does not require us to put a mujahid on board a plane. For our enemies to think that intercepting such a package is evidence of their success is truly ridiculous.

What has passed is the first of a multiphased operation. The next phase would be to disseminate the technical details of our device to the mujahidin around the world to use from their respective countries. The following phase would be for us to use our connections to mail such packages from countries that are below the radar and to use similar devices on civilian aircrafts in Western countries.

We are laying out for our enemies our plan in advance because as we stated earlier our objective is not maximum kill but to cause a hemorrhage in the aviation industry, an industry that is so vital for trade and transportation between the U.S. and Europe.

 * * *

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 16.

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Hear the World

Hear the World, I

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 17.

* * *

Hear the World, II

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 18.

* * *

Hear the World, III

From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 19.

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 From Inspire, Issue 3: Special Edition on Operation Hemorrhage, page 23.


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