By Kevin Deutsch and Anthony M. Destefano
NEW YORK — The latest issue of al-Qaida's Inspire magazine urges lone-wolf terrorists to detonate car bombs in New York City and includes a photo of Times Square, police officials said.
The spring edition of the Internet-based, Western-aimed propaganda magazine, which officials say inspired the Boston Marathon bombers, contains instructions on how to build larger, more powerful car bombs than used in the past.
"The new edition of Inspire has instructions on a new larger device, if I understand it correctly," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday at a Police Athletic League function. "And among the photos and the encouragement of where to attack there is a photo of Times Square, 47th and Broadway."
One section — headlined "Car Bombs Inside America" — encourages jihadists to plant bombs at large public gatherings such as sporting events and political rallies. America is listed as the primary target, but attacks on Great Britain, France and other "crusading" countries are also encouraged.
"It certainly is an issue we'll continue to stay focused on," Bratton said.
Construction of the pressure-cooker bombs used in the April 15 blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon appeared to follow step-by-step instructions found in an earlier edition of Inspire, which included the article "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."
The marathon bombings were the most significant terror attack — or attempt — since Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad parked an explosives-laden sport utility vehicle in Times Square on May 1, 2010. Alert street vendors spotted smoke spewing from his vehicle and police disabled the bomb, which was also inside a pressure cooker. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Shahzad's example is cited in the latest Inspire issue, which also mentions Willis Tower in Chicago and military facilities in Virginia as potential targets.
Last month, accused homegrown jihadist Jose Pimentel pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge in federal court in Manhattan shortly before the Washington Heights resident was slated to go to trial. Authorities said he built pipe bombs targeted for New York City.
"We operate on a near permanent state of alert," John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for intelligence, said in an email. "Each day, we evaluate risk and deploy resources to high-profile places or sensitive locations based on intelligence streams and world events. We will factor what we're seeing in Inspire to that matrix."Inspire is the brainchild of al-Qaida propagandist Al-Samir Khan, 25, formerly of Westbury, who became radicalized after 9/11 while an East Meadow school district high school student. He later moved to Yemen, where he was killed by an American drone in September 2011.
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