- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2016

Al Qaeda has new advice for lone-wolf terrorists: Target white people to avoid a “hate crime” label.

Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula has analyzed the U.S. response to the June 12 terror attack in Orlando, Florida, and concluded that 29-year-old Omar Mateen erred in targeting a gay nightclub heavily populated with Hispanic men.

“Avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found,” the terror group tells its members in “Inspire guide: Orlando operation,” Fox News reported Monday. “[Target] areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated. This class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership.”

The magazine goes on to warn that doing otherwise risks the federal government “taking full responsibility” for the chaos. Mateen, who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub, was also critiqued for not using homemade bombs during his attack. Instructions for making explosive devices are regularly found in “Inspire” magazine.

“This is al Qaeda’s way of asserting itself above [the Islamic State] in the wake of its competitor’s success,” Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for Clarion Project, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks the international terror threat, told the Foreign Desk Friday.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said that investigators may never “definitively” know why Mateen killed dozens with a semi-automatic rifle, despite the man’s 911 calls pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group on the night of the massacre.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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