Al-Qaeda and the rebranding of terrorism

Weekend comment

By Mike Adams

Osama bin Laden who personifies the globalised terrorism movement, Al-Qaeda, has just had a digital face makeover by the US State Department.

The old photo images from 1998 won’t help much when making new wanted posters for the world’s number one terrorist. Through Western influence, Al-Qaeda itself is also getting a makeover. Al-Qaeda has subtly changed from being a terrorist organisation utilising the media to achieve its aims to becoming a media organisation that utilises terror to achieve its aims.

A recent example is bin Laden’s Second-in-Command, Ayman al-Zaahiri, who in his latest videos has changed the backdrop from a murky wall with machine guns to bookshelves in a library packed with Arabian literature. Al-Zaahiri has expressed his wish to intellectualise Al-Qaeda’s image in its own media presentations. It’s a major step in rebranding the whole terrorist movement. As author and poet al-Zaahiri is naturally abusing his humanistic roots, all the while leading Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Oddly enough he is also a qualified surgeon.

The media has definitely become Al-Qaeda’s weapon of mass destruction. They’ve come a long way from the crude images of the Tora Bora caves to the new online communities. It’s brainwashing on a grand scale. Propaganda is churned out in the media factories of the Internet. There’s even a new name for Islamic warriors in cyberspace – Internet jihadists.

Since 2001 As-Sahab Foundation for Islamic Media Publication has produced its video statements harnessing state of the art technology to rally Al-Qaeda’s followers, prospects and wannabes. As-Sahab is the official mouthpiece of Osama bin Laden. The media house’s logo is considered a guarantee of authenticity.

As-Sahab’s dream of reaching the non-Arab speaking world is accomplished by subtitling their film productions into German, English and Urdu. The target group is basically angry young men who are lulled into a short-lived career in violent extremism. Martyr worship is all part of the training. An online click on the name Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi (the Jordanian doctor who posed as a CIA-employee and then killed seven agents) will give you an idea what we’re talking about.

The shahads tape their own glorified farewell messages in private before blowing themselves up in public. The Taliban have their own film crews to provide their audience online with footage of the explosion of human flesh from afar. Al-Qaida’s media house has in recent years changed tactics in what it shows its viewers. You seldom see bloody executions nowadays. Their leaders are now portrayed as intellectual, reflective, orthodox, and honourable lords of war striving against the evils of the West and Israel through humble means.

The truth of the matter is a Middle-East poised to be the epicentre of the next major eruption of Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist activities resulting in many deaths. No fancy rhetoric can hide this fact. According to Israeli intelligence Al-Qaeda has managed to infiltrate operatives from Gaza, Judea and Samaria into Israel, and is waiting for the right time to mount an attack. They are, of course, brothers in arms with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.

In all this there’s a call on the people of the book, natural Jews and grafted Jews, to remain loyal to their own eternal «brand» – the God of love, and the gospel of peace. The foul-mouthed chameleon gods of the Muslims, whether human or spiritual, have no lasting value at all.

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