Al-Qaida, 12th century in its philosophical construct, but 21st century enough to have a "media arm" called Al-Sahab, announced in December that deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri would take questions from the public posted on Islamic militant Web sites and would respond "as soon as possible."
Sympathizers submitted nearly a thousand questions ranging from the thoughtful: "Does al-Qaida have a long-term strategy?" to the frightening:"We are awaiting a strike against American soil. Why has that not been done? Why are the Jews in the world not struck?" to the amusing (from a 23-year-old): "I want to travel to join jihad and I sought my mother's permission, but she would not give it to me... can I go without her permission?"
The anonymous questions posted by the CIA were not too hard to spot: "I want to send the lion of jihad a birthday greeting, can you please give me Osama's home address?" and "Why don't we celebrate the Russian pullout from Afghanistan by standing out in your yards and simultaneously turning on all our cell phones at midnight on February 15th?"
Steve Rubel posted a nice note congratulating al-Qaida on "being part of the conversation" and Joseph Jaffe announced his next book would be entitled "Life After Jihad: Energize Your Brand With Kalam and Falsafa."Nick Denton offered to monetize the Q&A section with advertising, saying "It's like a perfect spot for AutoTrader... there seems to be a heavy turnover of car ownership, especially among the insurgent demo." Jeff Einstein warned, "You can still be addicted to media, even if it's leaflets dropped by long-range bombers or instruction manuals on 'How to Grow Poppies and Cannabis sativa.'"An editor of the Los Angeles Times posted his resume.
In a sign that the writers' strike is farther-reaching than first thought, the sites so far have provided no answers. So as a public service, Over the Line will cavalierly risk all and speak on behalf of al-Qaida:
"When we will see the men of al-Qaida waging holy war in Palestine? Because frankly our situation has become very bad."
As much as we'd like to help out, we are stretched a little thin at the moment. First off, thanks to the Great Satan, our training camps are lying around like somebody kicked over a giant can of Legos. And frankly, every time we train a new cadre of junior management that we hope to deploy elsewhere, a bunch of them are blown to bits by those damned Predators, or they get caught in one of those joint-operation sweeps and can't keep a straight face when the interrogators ask them, "You are al-Qaida, aren't you?" We can only send you guys fresh out of camp, and trust me, you'd be better off with a 7-11 clerk or a Wal-Mart greeter.
"What do you expect from us? Should we follow the instruction of the mother organization to target the 'far enemy'-- the Zionist-Crusader (America)--or do we focus our efforts on the apostate regime (Algeria)? Or do you advise a middle path of striking both enemies?"
While we admire your chutzpah, you are going to go Britney on us if you constantly worry if you are striking the right target. If you take a look at our track record of terrorist bombings, it should be pretty clear we don't care who gets it--women, kids, old folks, the just and the unjust. Start small, like blowing up your neighbor's mailbox with an M80, then work your way up to a rental truck filled with fertilizer and gasoline. Did we mention you have to be IN the truck when it goes bang? Footnote: We acknowledge that there has been some debate about the 72 virgins, and apparently the Qur'an doesn't really say you will get only girls; both sexes are mentioned. Good news if you play for both teams, eh?
"We hear a lot about the non-centralization of al-Qaida. Is the loss of direct control by al-Qaida's leadership over the jihadi cells harmful to al-Qaida? Does al-Qaida intend to try to reassert its control?"Listen pal, how would you like it if every time you stepped outside for a smoke some F-22 sent a cruise missile up your Serwal? Or just when you think that 300 feet of mountain over your head is sufficient protection, a GBU-28 puts Tritonal in your tea? I know lots of businesses have regional offices, but when half your job is fund raising, all that hashish gives new meaning to "it's better in the branches." Did I mention that our members are drawn from about 300 different tribes that have hated one another since the Ice Age? Let's see Jeff Mauzy and Richard Harriman Build an Inventive Organization out of this mess. Oy veh!
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