The al-Qaida online magazine Inspire reportedly was hacked by U.S. intelligence officials in an effort to sabotage it, according to The Washington Post.
And the hacking seemed to do its job, at least temporarily, according to the report. When the magazine was published on May 14, the Post reported, its first page appeared garbled and the following 20 pages were blank.
The corrupted version of the magazine was quickly taken down. A restored version was published on May 30. According to ABC News, it “devotes a significant portion of its 30-plus pages to the April 15 bombing.”
The English-language magazine published by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is printed in English and may have served as a tool for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, according to previous reports.
ABC News also reports the magazine appeared to reference its possible link to the Boston attacks, which killed three and injured 260: "Lone-Jihad is impossible to counter and stop, except when basic cooking ingredients and building material become illegal!"
A previous issue of the magazine gave instructions on how to create a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the Boston bombings. The headline: “How to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."
The U.S. government deemed the publisher, a 25-year-old blogger named Samir Khan, so dangerous that he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
A U.S. intelligence officer quoted by The Washington Post explained the magazine is targeted because it “has a specific readership—a following. People will look for it, as opposed to something randomly posted. Two, it is very user-friendly. Inspire uses pictures and step-by-step diagrams, and that’s a problem.”