chapter  5
Attacking the West
The influence of al-Qaeda’s ideology and propaganda
BySøren Hove
Pages 21

This chapter argues that al-Qaeda propaganda has clearly developed over the years in terms of which targets the organisation promotes and which audiences it tries to instigate to commit terrorist acts. It outlines the chronologies of attacks and drawn together collections of al-Qaeda propaganda. The chapter aims to weigh and evaluate the evidence that is available through newspaper articles, courtroom testimonies, the information that al-Qaeda gives through official propaganda and that unearthed in recovered internal correspondence. It shows that after 2002 and especially after 2008 it seems doubtful whether the ideologues in the leadership have chosen the targets and means. Al-Qaeda's handling of the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis showed that al-Qaeda up to 2008 occasionally had the ability to promote specific targets in their propaganda and make their affiliates follow this up with attacks against these specific targets.