Al Qaeda

Terrorists Have Office Politics Too

A glimpse inside an Al Qaeda affiliate.


If you thought the office politics at your job were brutal, imagine what they're like inside an Al Qaeda affiliate. Actually, you don't have to imagine it; you can read this amazing report from the AP. Here's the opening:

Time for your annual review.

After years of trying to discipline him, the leaders of al-Qaida's North African branch sent one final letter to their most difficult employee. In page after scathing page, they described how he didn't answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders.

Most of all, they claimed he had failed to carry out a single spectacular operation, despite the resources at his disposal.

The employee, international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.

Read the rest here.

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  1. The final straw was when three different supervisors demanded a copy of his TPS (Terrorist Plan and Schedule) report.

    1. His TPS were always perfect. It was the lack of a cover sheet that caused them so much annoyance. What is the point of a perfectly executed bombing if its accompanying TPS report didn’t have a cover sheet?

      1. He could at least have carried out his terrorist acts with some *flair.*

        1. Does a bandolier count as one piece of flair or many pieces?

      2. The Mo’s were pretty impressed with him, though. Straight shooter with upper management written all over him.

      3. exactly! gotta do things right!

      4. Didn’t he get that memo?

      5. It wasn’t the cover sheet alone. He didn’t file his Weekly estimate Network Use report(W.E.N.U.S.) with his TPS.

    2. “I’m going to set the building on fire.”

      /Mohammed Milton

    3. “‘PC Load Letter?’ By Allah the Merciful and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), what does that mean?”

      1. The pathetic thing is I know what it means:

        “Print Cartridge: Load Letter sized paper”.

      2. Samir: “I swear to Allah, some day I just throw this piece of shit out the window!”

        Mohammed Bolton: “You and me both, man. That thing’s luck I left my AK-47 at home today.”

        The Office Space parody script practically writes itself.

    4. It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and al-Qaida kills a few extra people, I don’t see another virgin in paradise, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

      1. Yeah, I just stare at my Koran; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after adhan, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual terrorism.

      2. Yeah, and if you are not into little boys what’s the point (you did read the book, right?)?

    5. Hey, Moktar. Watch out for your date hole, bud.

  2. This would make an awesome sitcom. It would have given The Office at least another couple of years.

  3. “Your letter … contained some amount of backbiting, name-calling and sneering,” they write. “We refrained from wading into this battle in the past out of a hope that the crooked could be straightened by the easiest and softest means.

    Who knew terrorists would be such soft-cock managers?

    1. You’d prefer that phalanx of foul cunts from HR?

      Without a second thought, I’d opt for easily-ignored epistles intermittently delivered from corporate.

    2. Well, riding roughshod over people who job is random murder can have bad consequences.

      1. I can’t imagine what their workplae violence meetings must be like.

  4. When he leaves the big company and goes to work for himself, he’s much more effective?

    Sounds like Al Qaeda’s got some serious management issues. I’d hate to have to keynote the next shareholders’ meeting.

    1. Well, he has 8 different bosses. That means every time he makes a mistake, he has 8 different people come by and tell him about it. That’s his only real motivation: not to get hassled. That and the fear of losing his job, but you know something? That’ll make someone kill just enough infidels not to get fired.

  5. Hey! How did Jesse get a picture of my boss and his boss?!?!

    1. your boss? Are you a terrorist or just support staff?

      1. That’s the big boss’s sex doll.

        1. Officially she’s the VP of PR, but everyone knows her assistant does all the work.

  6. Lots of competition for those Saudi dollars.

    1. There is probably a career to be made in terrorist grant writing.

      1. I’ve got a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel! We commit academic fraud with AQ – write these fantastic terror proposals, manufacture some data, pocket the cash and say “sorry it didn’t work out, Abdullah. The Excel spreadsheet had a forumla error”

        1. A well-chosen Blackadder reference, sir.

  7. You’re not my supervisor!

    1. You mind if I glue up?

  8. Heads are gonna roll.

  9. What they need is a good union. Then all this could be settle with arbitration.


  11. Speaking of terrorism, I had a fascinating conversation with an Afghan national last weekend about the subject of Islam and terrorism. This guy grew up in Afghanistan, moved to the US in the 1990s, and then went back and worked as an interpreter for the SF in early 02 just returning to the US last year. He made a great point about Islam and terrorism. He said Islam’s biggest problem is that the Saudis, because they own Mecca, basically own the Koran. The Imams in Mecca have decreed that it is a mortal sin to translate the Koran from its original Arabic. In Muslim countries it is the death penalty or many years in prison for translating the Koran. The Koran is not just written in Arabic. It is written in a very archaic form of Arabic. Even if you grow up speaking Arabic, reading the Koran in its original Arabic is like a modern day English speaker reading the Canterbury Tales in Middle English. You can’t do it without specialized training. So very few Muslims have actually read the Koran. He says that the biggest reason why American Muslims have not generally radicalized is that they ignore the prohibition and read the Koran in English and no what it says. In many other countries they don’t.

    1. So when someone asks him why the idiots in Boston could set a bomb down by an 8 year old kid when the Koran says it is a mortal sin to target and kill children in war, his response is that they do that because they have no idea what the Koran actually says. They have never read it. They only know what someone told them it says.

      He tells this great story about how one of the things he would always ask captured Taliban fighters in Afghanistan “who is Muhammad? Is he still alive?” He more than once was told that yes, Muhammad is alive and lives in Saudi Arabia.

      1. one of the things he would always ask captured Taliban fighters in Afghanistan “who is Muhammad? Is he still alive?” He more than once was told that yes, Muhammad is alive and lives in Saudi Arabia.

        Isn’t that like asking a Puerto Rican, “Who is Jesus?”

        Never mind, carry on. Interesting story.

        So we’re at what analogous stage of Christianity? Translating the Bible into the vulgar? Or has Islam even had their Council of Nicea yet?

    2. That story is yet another example of how intellectually backward Arabic society has become

      Intellectual isolation is a widespread Arab phenomenon, not just an Iraqi one. Some of the statistics are startling. According to the United Nations’ 2003 “Arab Human Development Report,” five times more books are translated annually into Greek, a language spoken by just 11 million people, than into Arabic. “No more than 10,000 books were translated into Arabic over the entire past millennium,” says the U.N., “equivalent to the number translated into Spanish each year.” Authors and publishers must cope with the whims of 22 Arab censors. “As a result,” writes a contributor to the report, “books do not move easily through their natural markets.” Newspapers are a fifth as common as in the non-Arab developed world; computers, a fourth as common. “Most media institutions in Arab countries remain state-owned,” the report says.

      1. It is an enormous problem. And it is why the opinions of Imams are so important. Most Muslims’ idea of what Islam is and is not comes from what their Imam tells them not from actually reading the Koran. So if the Imam tells them something, they are very likely to believe it.

        My friend pointing out something I had never thought of. The Afghans fought the Soviets in holy war for ten years and there was never a single instance of a suicide bombing. Suicide is a mortal sin in Islam and the Afghans thought of it that way. It wasn’t until later when the Saudi funded Imams came in and started saying the Koran said suicide bombing was okay, did it start to happen.

    3. I’ve read some of the Koran and Hadiths in English. Even translated, they sure read like a manual for violent cult to me.

      1. It is an extremely odd book. Harder to read than even the New Testament. But even as odd as it is, it is pretty clear that targeting civilians and suicide are mortal sins.

        1. “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.”

          Quran (4:89)

  12. I see an opportunity for a hi-larious british style sitcom modeled after this. Think The Office meets 24.

    1. I tried watching Little Mosque on the Prairie and it was awful. But it ran for a lot of years, so maybe it gets better.

  13. Why should I be the one that has to change my name? He’s the one who is a terrorist…

  14. Mohammed, hi… Yeah, if you could just go ahead and kill some infidels over the weekend… [sips coffee] that’d be great…

    1. Oh, and I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Friday, too.

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