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April 26, 2006

Comments

almasdar

Presumably broadcasters were also interested in Zarqarwi's video because viewers wanted to get a look at him

jinnilyyah

More than exposing new audiences to different message styles from al-Qaeda, I think the spread of internet videos to television will contaminate the purity of al-Qaeda's web audience. Bin Laden warned against television in his tape.
Most webdizens, even jihaadi ones, frequent the same web sites daily.
On television there are commercials, and music, and shows are interleaved with news programs with gorgeous westernized anchorwomen, and there is always the temptation to surf to the latest Haifa Whebbi music video. ;)

musa

Have you read the International Crisis Group's report on Jihadist messaging? If so, what did you think?

https://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3953&l=1

No Preference

On television there are commercials, and music, and shows are interleaved with news programs with gorgeous westernized anchorwomen, and there is always the temptation to surf to the latest Haifa Whebbi music video. ;)

That might make the jihadis angrier and more fixed in their opinions.

I think that really extreme jihadis may believe that they have a dispensation to indulge in western decadence. IIRC the 911 bombers frequented strip joints prior to their crime, no doubt convinced that all would be forgiven for the purity of their sacrifice. Little did they know . . ..

tequila

I don't think most of these guys have somehow avoided TV all their lives, Jinilyyah. Most likely things like Lebanese chicks gyrating simply represents to them another Western imperialist incursion. Remember that the most dedicated, dangerous terrorists like the 9/11 pilots lived for years in the West.

jinnilyyah

ha ha, i love that Onion satire.
It is true that the 9/11 hijackers immersed themselves in strippers before the act-- did they also indulge in alchohol?
I agree they expected to be forgiven any sins for their martyrdom. So that behavior was pleasurable for them.
tequila, true too...but the hijackers could validate their indulgence with their upcoming sacrifice-- a devout jihaadi without a martyrdom plan would have to sneak peeks.
Why would Osama fear tv/radio if western images just further inflame his soldiers to their cause?

No Preference

It is true that the 9/11 hijackers immersed themselves in strippers before the act-- did they also indulge in alchohol?

There are reports to that effect. Click here and search for "Las Vegas".

Joshua Landis

Zarqawi's web video was also produced, or, at least aired on TV back to back with Maliki's inaugral address to the Iraqi people as PM of Iraq.

Sami Moubayed has written a very good article on this competition.
https://www.mideastviews.com/articleview.php?art=111

Here is a quote:

Zarqawi's speech, initially released through the Internet on April 21, was aired on Arabic satellite television within the same hour as Maliki's interview, the first since he was nominated prime minister on April 22. Both men were speaking from Iraq. One represented the state, the other spoke for the outlaws. Both were speaking about the future of Iraq. And both were addressing the Sunni community of Iraq, in dramatically different logic.

Without proper statistics, it is a sure guess that more people were listening to Zarqawi than Maliki. The 39-year-old rebel greatly overshadows the 56-year-old premier, because he is the younger speaker, speaking sentimental revolutionary language that many disgruntled Iraqi young people want to hear.

These young people are poor and angry - and they have arms, plenty of arms - that they can use against everyone and everything that threatens their interests, be it Maliki, the Iraqi Shi'ites, Iran or the United States.

In the back-to-back interviews, Maliki wore a neatly pressed Western suit, with an Iraqi flag decorating his office. Zarqawi was filmed from the wildness of the Iraqi desert, wearing a black outfit, bearded, and sitting next to a rifle. He clearly has gained much weight since the last pictures of him were released in 2004.

His 34-minute video was decorated with computer graphics, verses from the Holy Koran and a clip of Osama bin Laden praising the Iraqi insurgency, meant to raise the morale of the Iraqi fighters and strengthen Zarqawi's credentials as bin Laden's man in Iraq.

The video also showed a pair of rockets created by al-Qaeda - much to the horror of the world - called al-Qaeda I and al-Quds I. They were created, Zarqawi claimed, "to bomb enemy sites". The film came two days before triple terrorist attacks targeted a tourist resort in Egypt, killing 23 people.

These attacks, and Zarqawi's presence, are a clear reminder to the world that terrorism still lives, is still very strong, and is able to strike at any minute. To say the least, the terrorists are not losing the battle against the United States.

Moloch-Agonistes

Aardvark: You seem to be suggesting that collectively, Arab news channels do have quite a bit of power to shape the form, and even the content of jihadi messaging--but only if they continue to air their tapes. It's a clever response to the anti-Jazeera jihadists. Wean Zarqawi and crew away from more barbaric tactics like the beheadings by giving their horror-show "viral" ad campaigns airplay.

Joshua: He did look fat. This guy thought so too.

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