Australia's most senior counter-terrorism officials have been startled by an image of the Sydney Opera House in an online terrorism and bomb-making magazine produced by al-Qaeda.
The photo is included in the latest issue of Inspire, an online English-language magazine published by associates of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Fairfax Media reported today.
While it was unclear whether it was meant to encourage a terrorist attack, the image of the Sydney Opera House on a full page of the Inspire magazine was worrying, one of Australia's leading al-Qaeda experts told Fairfax.
"In the end, all we know is that a photograph of one of our most prominent landmarks has turned up on a page about bomb-making in a magazine that is encouraging people to take action on their own and blow things up in Western countries," Leah Farrall, also a former federal police terrorism analyst, said.
"At a really simple level that will be cause for concern, but it will be tempered with the recognition that these are the most publicity-hungry jihadis we have come across so far."