Dutch Police Threaten to Shut Down Public Intelligence

The latest issue of Inspire magazine.

Public Intelligence

The National Crime Squad (DNR, Dienst Nationale Recherche) of the Dutch National Police (KLPD; Korps landelijke politiediensten) has threatened to shut down Public Intelligence if we do not remove the issues of Inspire magazine which are made available on this site.  In a request made to our hosting provider in late February, the Dutch National Crime Squad demanded that we remove all issues of Inspire magazine from our website and refrain from distributing any further issues of the publication.  The notice describes the magazine’s content as “illegal” under Dutch law: “Due to the content of this magazine which is considered illegal according to the Dutch law due to the inciting content related to Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, we would like you to remove this magazine from your website.”  The notice goes on to state that if the content is not removed from this site, the Dutch police “will under the force of circumstances take down your website on the dedicated server in the Netherlands according to Dutch Law.”

Inspire magazine is a publication released on a quarterly basis that is allegedly produced by members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  The fifth issue of the magazine, released earlier this week, was recently published by this site.  All four previous issues are also available from this site.  Our publication of the magazine has been referenced by news outlets around the world including Slate, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, the Toronto Star, Der Standard (Austria), the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (Denmark), Corriere della Serra (Italy), and Dnevnik (Slovenia) , just to name a few.  Other material we have published related to Islamic Extremism has been cited in reports produced by the Chatham House, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

By making Inspire magazine available, we facilitate research by security professionals, academics, journalists and law enforcement that actually makes people safer.  We enable the thousands of security professionals who read this site to learn about threats, trends, and a variety of other factors that affect their corporation, city, state, school district, police force, agency, trade union, nation or other polity.  We understand the need for governments and law enforcement bodies to fight against the so-called “violent radicalization” of their citizens.  However, the threat of radicalization and extremist ideologies should never be construed as being so great that it requires the dissolution of our common values.  The right to share information freely is a human right.

According to U.S. statistics from 2009, the odds of an individual dying from a terrorist attack on an airplane during the last decade were approximately 1 in 10,408,947, while the odds of an individual being struck by lightning in any given year are approximately 1 in 750,000.  Yet, as populations we are relentlessly bombarded with imagery and propaganda designed to reinforce a notion of constant terrorist threats.  We have stated since the first corrupted release of Inspire magazine in the Summer of 2010, when it appeared interspersed with 64 pages of ASCII cupcake recipes, that we are highly dubious of the supposed creators of this publication.  We have attempted to point out some of these issues in the past.  However, most people are unaware of Inspire’s actual message and format because, as news consumers, they are often unable to access the actual source material of articles that take the magazine’s authenticity as undisputed, repeating its claims without critical interpretation or analysis.  This is why it is imperative that people have access to original source material, such as actual copies of Inspire magazine, so that they may evaluate its content for themselves.

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