New AQ video features roughnecks, VIPs rubbing shoulders, 15 days to kill all Americans three times

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Al-Jazeera broadcasts another al Qaeda video, this one allegedly featuring Notorious OBL meeting with some 9/11 types.

The Beeb has the footage here, but it's unhelpfully sharing screen time with a reporter. As always, the actual meetings with people are hard to figure out: bin Laden is certainly seen interacting with some people, but it's not clear (to me at any rate) who they are. The ledes on most of the articles I've seen mention that he's seen meeting with the hijackers, but the exposition portions mention only that he meets with planners Mohammed Atef and Ramzi Binalshibh, while another portion of the tape includes the taped wills of hijackers Walid al-Shehri and Hamza al-Ghamdi. There are also some pretty girly-looking* kicks being thrown in terrorist Basic.

The highlight appears to be an exhortation from Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of al Qaeda in Iraq:

In the Internet statement, Muhajer urged Sunni Muslims to kill at least one US citizen within the next two weeks.

"Oh followers of (Taliban leader) Mullah Mohammed Omar, oh sons of Osama bin Laden, oh disciples of (slain Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader) Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi… I urge each of you to kill at least one American within a period not exceeding 15 days," Muhajer said.

So with about 900 million Sunnis, that means we must each be killed three times in order for every believer to fulfill whichever pillar of piety it is that involves killing Americans. See you in 15 days…maybe!

* Update: Actually, I just saw the tape on my TV, and the kicks look pretty good, even though they're being thrown by men in dresses.

NEXT: Where's My Damn Flying Car?: An Update

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  1. “So with about 900 million Sunnis, that means we must each be killed three times in order for every believer to fulfill whichever pillar of piety it is that involves killing Americans.”

    Maybe it’s like the Hajj and you could get credit for supporting someone else killing an American if you were unable to kill one yourself?

  2. Technically, I think the exhortation as worded above would be fulfilled if all 900 Sunnis got together and collectively killed just one American guy, total. Much more easily attained and a lot less scary, although it would really suck to be that one guy.

  3. Bin Laden is dead. Which is why they never release a new video of him. This, in my opinion is why the video they keep issuing is pre-9/11 or post Tora Bora re-runs of him. Only new audio is ever released. Yes, I know, I’m in the minority on this opinion.

  4. Paul, I’m not confident one way or the other, but I am fascinated at how few people seem to think he’s dead. Every time a new audio comes out, it takes about five minutes before the news nets assure us that it’s been verified as bin Laden, by state of the art Moonbase-5000 Voice Imprint technology, with 150 percent confidence. The only people I see claiming in public that he’s dead are the crackpots in the H&R comments. And yet there’s considerable reason to at least entertain the possibility.

  5. I agree with the other Paul. Something killed the video star.

  6. Tim

    I think if he were dead (no matter how), AQ would be happy to claim that he had died as a “martyr” fighting US troops.

  7. I thought the Moonbase-5000 Voice Imprint was still classified?

  8. I think bin Laden is not appearing in videos because AQ fears that clues in a new video could tip his pursuers right to him. I’ll bet he’s got a great hiding place where he’s really comfy.

    That or he was a creation of the US gov’t to use as an excuse to start a war on our civil liberties.

    Whichever.

  9. I wonder why they haven’t released the animatronic Osama? They could always claim that the video was of poor quality. But it would be a cinch to pre record tapes that would include appropriate responses to any number of events that could be released to Al Jazeera [or kept by someone within Al Jazeera] whenever some event corresponded to the tape. He would be expecting someone to do something in Europe, the United States, or Asia against the USA or its colleagues in crime. Of course, when you have 100k of troops in the Middle East to “bring democracy” to the region there will always be a few sourpusses who want their own form of democratic government.

  10. I urge each of you to kill at least one American within a period not exceeding 15 days,”

    I’m sure that helps the tourist industry in the region?

  11. I think bin Laden is not appearing in videos because AQ fears that clues in a new video could tip his pursuers right to him. I’ll bet he’s got a great hiding place where he’s really comfy.

    It’s very easy to conceal clues as to your whereabouts in a video tape. Hang a white sheet behind you and film indoors or at night.

    With the white sheet, no one can verify for sure if you’re indoors or not. That way no construction or fabrication clues could be used to identify the country of origin. Position of sun, weather or landscape backgrounds can’t be used to identify geographic region.

    Also, appearing with as few other people as possible. Ie, if Bin Laden appears in a video with person X, CIA might have intelligence that says person X is currently known to be in Pakistan, Tehran, Islamabad etc. That way ‘association triangulation’ can’t occur.

    Before Tora Bora, Bin Laden popped out more video taped episodes than the Simpsons. After Tora Bora… nothin’. Scratchy audio with a man purporting to be Bin Laden. I’m not impressed.

  12. I saw AQ and thought “Ahn’Qiraj.”

  13. “although it would really suck to be that one guy.”

    What if the one guy was Pauly Shore?

  14. “Which is why they never release a new video of him. This, in my opinion is why the video they keep issuing is pre-9/11 or post Tora Bora re-runs of him. Only new audio is ever released.”

    Uh, were you not paying attention in November 2004?

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/29/binladen.tape/

    “Although we are ushering the fourth year after 9/11, Bush is still exercising confusion and misleading you and not telling you the true reason. Therefore, the motivations are still there for what happened to be repeated,” bin Laden said.

    It marked the first videotaped message from the al Qaeda leader in nearly three years.

  15. Does it really matter if Osama is dead? If it was a centralized organization with an unclear succession, maybe. Given all of that is unlikely, he could OD on mexican meth mixed with enough crank to roll a rhino and it wouldn’t make a gnat’s ass bit of difference.

    Just to add fuel to the conspiracy fire. The question may not how Al-Jazeera got the tape but when they got the tape and who knew.

  16. Uh, were you not paying attention in November 2004?

    I confess, I missed this. I knew that a series of archive video tapes of OBL vacationing on the Caspian Sea or some such place with audio OVER them had been released, but frankly, I missed, or forgot about this one. That’s interesting– I wonder why it took him so long to release one. Perhaps it took the impersonator that long to grow the beard? HAA!

    I have read several accounts of possible death in the Pakistan earthquake, or of natural causes.

    I note the sheet behind him. OBL must read H&R.

  17. Does it really matter if Osama is dead?

    I think it matters very greatly to the Bush administration. The Bush administration wants him alive for a series of reasons. First and foremost, OBL is the Devil(tm) right now, and Bush is the preacher in the Church(tm). If there’s no Devil(tm), the preacher has no symbol to rail against. Second, the Bush administration wants (understandably so) to get OBL, not have him die and be buried in an unmarked grave. Tapes (genuine or not) of OBL help ‘remind’ the populace that the threat is still real and therefore we’re much more likely to look the other way when our phones are being tapped.

  18. Frankly, I think that most knowledgeable national security types prefer the pre-9/11 Osama-led al Qaeda to the decentralized multi-headed monster that it is today, where any disaffected Muslim youth is his own sleeper cell.

  19. Tim – yeah, I thought the kicks looked pretty good, even from the grainy video you linked to.

  20. It marked the first videotaped message from the al Qaeda leader in nearly three years.

    SR, if you listen to the interview with the editor of that tape, you’ll realize that that one’s a fake too.

  21. The video of OBL from 2004 could easily be bogus. There’s no clue in either the verbal content nor the graphics on screen that the video was made any time after 2001. It’s easy to say “Well, now it’s 4 years later, and I want you to know . . .” They may even have recorded other versions for post-9/11 years 5, 6, and 10, just in case he didn’t make it that far.

    I think OBL was killed in the Tora Bora raid, but his earthly remains were so scattered around they couldn’t even be found, let alone identified, so we (and they) will never know for sure what happened that day.

    Much as I hate to show my age, when I was a kid there was pretty serious talk about Hitler having survived the bunker and taken up residence somewhere in South America. It happens.

  22. Not every Sunni has to kill an American. That is simply a popular misconception. Desert legend, if you will. There is now a little known program that works a lot like pollution credits. Lets say your neighbor bagged three satans and a dirty Jew this week. He could, if he were so inclined, trade some of that good karma for anywhere from two goats and bag of grain, to upwards of six pounds of camel dung. Islamo-capitalism works!

  23. Crusader Rabbit,

    During the interrogation of the Taliban ally who we hired to guard the back door of Tora Bora, he described how he and his men escorted bin Laden and a few hundred of his closest friends into Pakistan.

  24. Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

    OK, actually I won’t. ‘going down to the future inlaw’s farm this weekend to try out my new (but used) Ruger P85. Got it for $250 with the original two, plus five extra 15-round magazines and some misc crap – can’t beat that with a stick. (I’m working on my down-south lingo, hows it sound?)

    While I’m showin off the new toys. I also just got a 2007 Ford Ranger, V-6 extended cab sport model, etc. Its gnarly, and 80% American. The trans is from France, but don’t tell anyone – BIG secret, shhhh.

  25. joe-

    I had not heard that before. Where did you hear about it?

  26. SR — If that guy was Pauly Shore, I’d have to consider converting.

    Paul — The Democrats also have an interest in insisting that he’s alive, in that it shows the failure of the Bush Administration to do the one thing everyone agrees should have been done in response to 9/11.

    And the successor al Qaeda leadership could have in interest in insisting that he’s alive in that they could continue to wield his authority, his continuing survival would be a symbol of American impotence, and they improve the odds of their own survival by disguising their own importance.

    So it’s a Win/Win/Win!

  27. thoreau,

    “I had not heard that before. Where did you hear about it?”

    I think it was Seymour Hersh who first broke news of this clever decision by Team USA in the New Yorker – it’s also in his book “Chain of Command”. Apparently there were a ton of Pakistani army and intelligence people trapped in Tora Bora. Musharaf struck a deal to evauate them and they thoughtfully brought along the Taliban/Al Q high command.

  28. “SR, if you listen to the interview with the editor of that tape, you’ll realize that that one’s a fake too.”

    Bin Laden should’ve hired Jerry Todd to do the post-production in the first place.

  29. “Apparently there were a ton of Pakistani army and intelligence people trapped in Tora Bora. Musharaf struck a deal to evauate them and they thoughtfully brought along the Taliban/Al Q high command.”

    I thought that happened as part of the airlift from Kunduz (also spelled “Konduz”) in the north of the country?

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/664935.asp?cp1=1

  30. Joe —

    Re: “… he described how he and his men escorted bin Laden and a few hundred of his closest friends into Pakistan.”

    That’s very interesting (and scary). But if it’s so, why hasn’t that information been much more widely publicized and/or discussed over the past 4 years? Seems like most of us “reason”-ably well-informed folks would have heard something about it by now.

  31. SR,
    “I thought that happened as part of the airlift from Kunduz (also spelled “Konduz”) in the north of the country?”

    Yes, you are right. My mistake.

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