The Pest has a new magazine out. Yes, I'm saying it's the Pest. Aaron and Rusty both say so, and that's all the convincing I need. That, and reading the thing. Hegghammer does a good job clearing some hysterical hype about it.
My first impression: its producers apparently sought to create the Salafist-jihadi answer to the yoga lifestyle magazines you find at a Whole Foods checkout.If you're interested in seeing what all the hype is about, you can find a copy over at -- where else? -- archive <dot> org:
The uploader ID, [email protected], is very active on archive.org [hint: search "maher_yassine" in archive.org]. He/she has shared a ton of material connected to or distributed through the Al Mojahden Electronic Network. I have no idea what, if any, connection exists between the uploader ID and The Pest and his network of miscreants, but my guess is that there is one.
I think it's safe to say now that the Pest and his American compatriot, Azzam al-Skippy, have applied the knowledge of American suburban pop culture to good effect in support of their cause. Integrating pop culture into religious practice isn't the summit of theological achievements, however. There are plenty of rinky dink store front churches that can do it effectively, and religious workers take courses on effective communications all the time. It's much harder to weave theological clarity into the contemporary American idiom.
They're not there yet.
Update (Sunday morning): Minor edits made.