When it debuted in 2010, Inspire, al Qaeda's English-language magazine, drew mockery—from us and others—for its seemingly laughable mission to bring modern media packaging and splashy headlines to the world of primitive holy war. It turns out that, if initial reports about the confession of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are correct, it accomplished precisely what its proprietors hoped it would.
As intelligence analysts pore over the stash of documents recovered in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a picture of a "micro-manager" is beginning to emerge. For instance, he thought Joe Biden wasn't worth the time or effort to target, but authorized targeting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military brass. But there's more!