On April 14, 2021, both Al Qaeda and the pro-Al Qaeda propaganda outlet Jaysh Al-Malahim Al-Electroni (Electronic Battle Army) released magazines that include articles about the cultural strife in America and the West more broadly. The articles touched on the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, the racial justice protests in summer 2020, and the deepening of American political divisions. Both articles portray the West as declining and divided.
The Jaysh Al-Malahim article, entitled “The Lone Wolf and the Protests,” encourages Islamist extremists to take advantage of the unrest to further destabilize Western society, while the Al Qaeda article, “America is Burning,” gleefully predicts the imminent collapse of America into civil war.
Because American counterterrorism pressure has severely degraded its capabilities, Al Qaeda appears to believe its best hope of achieving a terrorist attack against the West is to inspire domestic extremists, and both the “America is Burning” and “The Lone Wolf and the Protests” articles are aimed at encouraging potential terrorists to use the societal turmoil as an opening for attacks.