Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


A mujahedeen greeting to Denmark

I really wonder where the Danish journalists have done their research, when they have covered the recent As Sahab video detailing the attack on the Danish embassy in Pakistan. It still seems to me than none have made the effort to obtain a copy of the movie, only regurgitating intelligence services and companies like SITE. (Politiken, Berlingske, Jyllandsposten, TV2)

If they had looked for it out where you can find it, they would probably have had a field day with a lot of the interesting details:

* The high-quality footage of the Danish PM's New Year speech praising the US
* The details on Kurt Westergaard
* and not least, the suicide bombers parting message to Danes:

Leaning on a white little compact car (that he later blew up), like an advertisement for a used-car dealership, he delivers this message:

"As for my final message to the worshippers of the cross in Denmark: I tell them: Allah permitting, this isn't the first nor the last retaliation and Allah permitting, Shaykh Usama Bin Laden won't abandon you nor will the Mujahideen abandon you. Allah permitting, we will wipe you from the face of the earth. And we warn everyone whose soul entices him to curse the Prophet (on whom be peace) that these car bombs will be their faith, Allah willing. Finally I dedicate this song to my precious mother, who will - Allah willing - be the first I interceed for on the Day of Resurrection, if Allah accepts me as a martyr.

With the blinkers going, he then proceeds to sing a nasheed to his mother.
I won't link to the video here, but with a bit of research you can find it two steps down the usual As Sahab distribution-link. It's really worth the effort if you want a deeper understanding and an explanation from these "sad-eyed", eloquent militants.

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As Sahab video explaining the attack on the Danish Embassy

As Sahab, the professional AQ media outlet has released a video, detailing the attack on the Danish embassy in Karachi. They advertise for it using this nifty banner:

The video itself (as always hard to come by if you're late) shows various clips, including ones with the illustrator Kurt Vestergaard, the suicide bomber involved in the plot and Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (who were alledgedly killed earlier this year - and was behind the attack).

You can see the thumbs from the video here:

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Al Qaeda's strategic populism

Slate hits a sore spot, when they ask the oft-asked question "Why do they hate us?" - but then actually try to look it up. By using the recent collections of Al Qaeda's communiques, they point to the fact that Al Qaeda runs after whichever anti-American greivance that will kick up a sentiment . But these grievances are not real concerns of Al Qaeda's, and it really becomes clear if you compile the issues and put them side by side:

Most Americans would agree with many of these complaints. And that's precisely the point. These are not real grievances for al-Qaida (it does not bear mentioning that Bin Laden is probably not very concerned with campaign finance reform). They are a means of weaving local and global resentments into a single anti-American narrative, the overarching aim of which is to form a collective identity across borders and nationalities, and to convince the world that it is locked in a cosmic contest between the forces of Truth and Falsehood, Belief and Unbelief, Good and Evil, Us and Them.

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