Al Qaeda is targeting Muslim women with a brand new U.S.-style glossy magazine that offers home and beauty tips alongside testimonials from the wives of suicide bombers and female jihadists. The first 30-page issue of Al-Shamikha was recently made available for purchase online by the Al Fajr Media Centre.
The Independent's Julius Cavendish notes that "sophisticated media campaigns are a hallmark of Al Qa'ida's strategists, and although some of their ideas have an almost ludicrous resonance among a Western audience, they have been masterful at tapping into the disenchanted youth in many Islamic countries." One of Al Qaeda's other recent media endeavors is Inspire, the English-language magazine geared towards recruiting American Muslims with such articles as "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."
Al-Shamikha's intimidating cover features the image of a large machine gun next to previews of the features inside: "Meeting a Jihad Wife," "Pages From the Pen of a Female Jihadist," and in the bottom right corner, tips for the house. Intrigued, we attempted some translation using a bit of college Arabic and a dictionary. Some screenshots with our best guesses, below (readers of Arabic: help us out a bit? Reader suggestions encouraged!):
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