Al-Qaeda was able to reissue the magazine two weeks later and has gone on to produce four further editions but one source said British intelligence was continuing to target online outlets publishing the magazine because it is viewed as such a powerful propaganda tool.
The magazine is produced by the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the leaders of AQAP who has lived in Britain and the US, and his associate Samir Khan from North Carolina.
Both men who are thought to be in Yemen, have associated with radicals connected to Rajib Karim, a British resident jailed for 30 years in March for plotting to smuggle a bomb onto a trans-Atlantic aircraft.
The cyber attack also removed articles by Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and a piece called “What to expect in Jihad.” British and US intelligence planned separate attacks after learning that the magazine was about to be issued in June last year.
They have both developed a variety of cyber-weapons such as computer viruses, to use against both enemy states and terrorists.
A Pentagon operation, backed by Gen Keith Alexander, the head of US Cyber Command, was blocked by the CIA which argued that it would expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence, according to a report in America.
However the Daily Telegraph understands an operation was launched from Britain instead.
Tribal forces marching towards the capital, Sana'a, clashed with troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh for a third day running yesterday.
So ol‘ Doc Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s chief executive successor, has told the Syrian Jabhat al-Nusra that it can dissociate itself from Al-Qaeda.
Good public relations: Nusra doesn’t like the Isis “caliphate” very much, but as long as it remains a Qaeda clone, it can’t get off America’s terrorist list and qualify to join the (non-existent) 70,000 Syrian “moderates” dreamed up by David Cameron and a lot of American television networks. It denies direct ties with the group, and yet six months ago the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel interviewed Nusra’s leader, Mohamed al-Jolani, who said that it had nothing against Christians, Alawites or Americans – only that pesky president in Damascus who’s got Hezbollah, Iran and Russia on his side. Nusra boys have just released three Spanish journalists held in northern Syria for the past 10 months, after which the Qatari state news agency boasted that the Qatari authorities were involved in freeing them. Had the unlucky three fallen into the hands of those other morbid sons-of-the-desert, Isis (for whom many Saudis seem to have an unhappy affection), then the reporters would have had their throats cut on videotape against a soundtrack of yet more mushy "nasheed" music.
The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.
When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.