Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Al-Zawahiri : ASK YOUR q

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    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Al-Zawahiri : ASK YOUR q

    Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Columnist: Al-Qaeda Online Media Initiative "Open Meeting with Al-Zawahiri" Is Nothing but "A Recruiting Campaign For Al-Qaeda"

    On December 16, 2007, Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Sahab and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Media Center Al-Fajr announced a joint media initiative called "Open Meeting with Al-Zawahiri," in which Osama bin Laden's deputy would answer questions from the public. [1]

    Theinitiative aroused interest as well as criticism in the Arab media. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Hussein Shobokshi wrote that it was a recruiting campaign aimed at luring young men to join Al-Qaeda, and condemned the media for giving Al-Qaeda's media activities too much publicity.

    Following are some details about the initiative, and excerpts from Shobokshi's article in the English edition of Al-Sharq Al-Aswat (the text has been edited for clarity). [2]

    The Al-Sahab announcement, which was published in the most recent Al-Zawahiri video, dated December 16, 2007, [3] asked that questions for Al-Zawahiri be kept "brief and focused" and that they be posted on four specific Islamist forums - Al-Ikhlass ( ), Al-Hesbah ( ), Al-Boraq ( ) and Al-Firdaws ( ); [4] the administrators of these sites were instructed to forward the questions to Al-Qaeda. This strengthens the supposition that these Islamist forums have direct ties to high-ranking figures in Al-Qaeda.


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