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Arab revolutions will boost Al Qaeda, says radical US cleric Awlaki

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SITE Intelligence Group/AP

(Read caption) In this image taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group on Nov. 8, 2010, Anwar al- Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites.

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Early Wednesday morning, jihadi forums across the world lit up with the release of the fifth issue of Inspire, the English-language online magazine put out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Breaking the group's silence on recent Arab revolutions, the latest from AQAP’s propaganda wing, Malahim Media, is squarely focused on the uprisings sweeping the region.

Amid translations of recent Al Qaeda statements and regular features like “Why Did I Choose Al-Qaeda?,” the focus of this latest issue is a new article penned by radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

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In “The Tsunami of Change,” the feature that lends its title to the cover, Mr. Awlaki offers a sweeping refutation of international perception that revolutions in the Arab world, fueled by young secular, democratic movements, will be a setback for extremist groups.

“The outcome doesn't have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction,” Mr. Awlaki writes. “Whatever the outcome is, our mujahideen [holy warrior] brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation.”

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