Saudi-American Samir Khan, Inspire magazine publisher, also killed in Yemen strike

Laura Rozen
The Envoy

The U.S. operation that killed Yemeni-American al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen Friday has apparently claimed another fatality from the propaganda arm of al-Qaida: the Saudi-born American publisher of "Inspire" magazine, Samir Khan.

Samir Khan, 25, born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Queens, New York, and lately based with al-Awlaki in Yemen, had "become a rising figure in jihadist propaganda and an 'aspiring' Awlaki, according to U.S. intelligence officials," ABC News reported.

Inspire, the English-language al-Qaida propaganda publication launched in 2010, was Khan's brainchild. The magazine had shown glimmers of his apparent New York sensibilities in some respects. In an article this week, for example, the publication slammed Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for floating conspiracy theories denying al-Qaida's culpability in the 9/11 terror attacks. An earlier issue this summer had featured a full page ad mocking former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) for his short-lived and doomed efforts to claim his sexting Twitter account had been hacked.

Khan edited seven issues of Inspire since it launched publication last year, ABC News reported.

Last spring, British spooks were reported to have taken credit for hacking Inspire magazine and replacing one planned article entitled "How To Build A Bomb In the Kitchen of Your Mom" with a recipe for miniature cupcakes featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.