Al-Qaeda and its ideological allies are using English-language Web sites and forums to encourage non-Arabic speakers to make war on the West as terrorists seek the next Ft. Hood shooters and “Jihad Janes.”
Their goal to widen the pool of prospective terrorists beyond traditional Middle East and Asia sources is part of a search for “white al-Qaeda” activists who could foil racial profiling and initiate attacks, according to Evan Kohlmann, a consultant with FlashPoint Partners, a New York-based security research company. The effort is consistent with the gradual decentralization of Islamic-inspired holy war, he said in a telephone interview.
“It’s a way al-Qaeda can say, ‘You don’t have to speak Arabic or Pashtun or come to Pakistan for training; you just have to be committed, and go out and kill people,’” Kohlmann said.
Appeals for nonmembers to carry out small-scale attacks are a departure for al-Qaeda, the global terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden. It maintained centralized command and training for many years, masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. After Sept. 11, it pledged to trump the mass killing with even more spectacular assaults.