FOR THE LOVE OF GOD: AL QAEDA’S USE OF IMAGERY AS PROPAGANDA IN INSPIRE MAGAZINE
Straub, Kathryn 1986-
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This study is a content analysis that examines Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) use of imagery propaganda as in the first six issues of Inspire magazine. The central questions of this study are 1). What was the predominant theme of the magazine; 2). Were English speaking countries the primary target; 3). Was the intention of the magazine to gain new recruits or further radicalize individuals already taking part in jihad. The study used four coders that identified the visible motifs contained in images in Inspire magazine, which were based on the motifs identified in the Islamic Imagery Project (IIP). The images, once coded, were subjected to an analysis that also applied information provided in the IIP handbook in order to determine what common Islamic imagery theme was represented by the motifs. The most common theme identified was a Call to Arms. The United States was referenced most frequently as a target and the magazine as a whole was geared towards new recruits. Based on the analysis, future Islamic Imagery studies should include motifs and/or other imagery that focus on the Love of Islam theme and the theme of Power. Both of these themes were a primary component of Inspire and central to the propaganda used by AQAP.