Al Qaeda's english language publication with an in-flight magazine name Inspire, raised some flags in Washington, D.C. this week after it ran a spread featuring man sitting on a tram car from the airport's clunky AirTrain service and a caption that sounds like an explosive call to action.
The full caption/tone poem reads:
For how long will you live in tension?
Instead of just sitting and having no solution,
Simply stand up, pack your tools of destruction.
Assemble your bomb, ready for detonation.
Democratic representative Eric Swalwell of Dublin, Calif. brought the magazine spread to Congress' attention in a homeland security hearing yesterday, saying he was "disturbed" by the image of a young man sitting in the dark on a train car that thousands of passengers use every day.
According to former Boston Police Commissioner and current Harvard fellow Edward Davis, Inspire is published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and is meant for an audience of Muslim extremists. In yesterday's hearing, which was called to marked the upcoming anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Davis said the picture should be cause for concern, especially given the sniper attack on a PG&E substation outside of San Jose that happened last year on April 16th.
According to a TSA official, the agency is aware of the photo, but is simply viewing it as a piece of propaganda and it is most likely taken from an archive of stock photography, since it doesn't mention action at San Francisco International Airport specifically. On the other hand, the director of the National Transportation Security Center at San Jose's Mineta Transportation Institute pointed out that the magazine "embraces a strategy of do-it-yourself terrorism" and the photo is a reminder that transportation systems are often high-profile targets with high body counts.
Still, the FBI says there's no "clear, credible or specific threat to the Bay Area" and as Swalwell told the Chronicle, "I don't believe that people should change their travel and commute patterns," but everyone should remain vigilant.
CBS5's Joe Vazquez has more: