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(Note: reposted from 2006-10-11 05:09:14)
(Note: This is part three of a series examining recent and little-known developments within al Qaeda, focusing on "public relations" efforts within the group. Previous entries, detailing al-Qaeda's efforts to win back the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and the response they received, can be read here and here. In this installment, we turn our attention to al Qaeda's outreach to the American people...)
You probably haven't heard much about the efforts of the Global Islamic Media Front - al Qaeda's "public relations" team. The group is well known to those who monitor terrorist web sites, but rarely reported on by the mainstream media. (Although the group's recent release of a video game in which the player's goal is to kill President Bush did get some coverage in the Washington Post.)
But another recent effort from the group won't likely be reported anywhere in the western media - at least not directly. Titled "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America", the recently translated document was originally posted on a known jihaddist web site, but has received scant public attention from it's target audience. No full translations of the treatise are currently available, but a brief description of some of the content can be seen here.
Najd al-Rawi, the document's author, begins by noting that although they've been successful in many ways, the jihaddists haven't fully exploited the opportunities presented by the US media. Inspired by a video from bin Laden addressing the American people with subtitles in English, the author notes that "It seemed the Shayk wanted to send a clear message to his brother mujahadeen to pay more attention to this part of the mission." He points out that videos from the "Shayks of jihad" are in great demand in the western media.
Such videos are readily available - but for the most part translation to English is left to the media outlets that elect to broadcast them. The plan suggests a remedy for this oversight, and the paper calls for talented professionals to join the jihad - specifically, translators, and people with journalistic or literary talent who can provide a "ringing and powerful style that will have impact on the American people." Other desirable recruits are computer graphics experts, "with experience in Photoshop, 3d Studio Max, and other programs", and finally "Sharia experts" who can review the projects for materials prohibited by Islamic law, "such as pictures of women".
Suggested projects include English translations of the declarations of the Shayks of Jihad "to throw fear into the American people's hearts". Cited examples include "Sharia Rules regarding the use of WMDs" by Shayk Nasir al-Fahd, (probably a reference to a document with an English translation already available here) or "documentation of Mujahadeen acts against the U.S., such as 'Documentation of the Destruction that Befell America' by Shayk Abd-al-Aziz al-Jarbu", (a non-al Qaeda sponsored translation may be underway here) along with "other pieces the brothers deem worthy."
As an example of the sort of video material the group should provide, the author suggests "Video of attacks on US foot patrols with the caption 'Operation against the sons of the US people whom Bush cast into the fire of war against the Muslims'."
And in that we see both the political savvy and naiveté of the Global Islamic Media Front. They recognize the advantage - and relative ease - of turning as many Americans against their President as they can (dividing the enemy into opposing camps to be eliminated in turn being a primary goal of effective propaganda) but fail to grasp the idea that this requires no effort on their part whatsoever. Still - you can't blame them for being willing to accelerate the process, or contribute to the cause.
Lastly, the paper points out what the author considers the best locations for providing this material, and suggests dissemination via the world wide web, following efforts to ensure the origin can't be traced.
- US discussion forums
- US chat rooms
- Well known newspapers and magazines
- American TV channels with web sites
- Famous US authors with email addresses such as Friedman, Chomsky, Fukuyama, Huntington, and others
- Famous US web sites like MEMRI, or those of the Zionist lobby (AIPAC), or research institutes like Rand
(Note that the translation of the document I've seen does not indicate that the original author implied that any particular individual or media outlet is more sympathetic to the al Qaeda cause than any other.)
In Iraq, many Anbar residents have reached a point of sufficient outrage at the al Qaeda terrorists to take up arms against the foe. Lacking the motivation of continued bloodshed on American soil, few Americans are so inclined, and that's fine, so far. But like it or not, Mr and Mrs Average American are involved in a propaganda war, the only battle of the war on terror currently being fought on U.S. soil - and those who choose not to be victims of that battle may wonder what the appropriate response should be. Perhaps just this - bear in mind the stated goal: "to throw fear into the American people's hearts", divide and conquer, weaken resolve, and defeat America. Be aware of the plan to reach that goal, and recognize it for what it is when next you see it in action, as you undoubtedly will. (And while you're at it, spread the word - this won't be on the evening news.)
There's nothing shocking or earth shattering here - except perhaps an actual exoneration for mainstream media outlets that may have previously been accused of conspiring with the enemy. Many close observers and participants in the war on terror have accused the media of touting terrorist propaganda for years. But the Global Islamic Media Front, in calling for an actual organized effort to that end, has demonstrated that any such apparent cooperation prior to this publication has been purely coincidental.
Next: We've seen how the residents of Anbar responded to al-Qarda's outreach efforts, now watch as the American media responds to enemy attempts to involve them in propaganda schemes...
(Note: originally posted 2006-10-11 05:09:14)
"any such apparent cooperation prior to this publication has been purely coincidental."
The Libs and al Qaeda want the same thing. The overthrow of the duly elected government of these United States.
Now whether or not they knowingly, smilingly fly the banner of Islam? They are still compatriots none the less. And not in just overt ways. Generations of Americans do have some media skillsets. But the fifth column never sleeps.
We must be ever vigilant. Google, and their properties Blogger and You Tube, actively censor content. The threat from within is truly great and is not to be underestimated.Posted by Elmo at October 11, 2006 12:00 PM
"any such apparent cooperation prior to this publication has been purely coincidental." You think it possible that the MSM is that politically naïve they don't know what problems their actions are causing? For them to be actively working against freedom and their own country and not be aware of the treachery. If that is the case we have a lot of problems as it is difficult to converse with idiots. This was the same line of reasoning given when Walter Duranty lied to the American people about the famine in the Ukraine contrived by the NKGB. At first the star reporter from the New York Times was said to have been hoodwinked by Stalin, later the thinking was that he had to have been working for Stalin. They knew what they are doing when Stalin killed 10 million people in the 20's and 1930's; they know now.Posted by Ron at October 11, 2006 01:36 PM
Thks for great work Greyhawk!
I don't think it's too crazy to suggest that Al Qaeda has actually been more successful in this outreach than our most pessimistic assessments will report. Beyond the tacit dissemination of anonymous propaganda on 'neutral' public web sites and the polling of influential American media outlets, what is the likelihood of penetration by Al Qaeda into our government bureaucracy? Our intelligence community?Posted by vinman at October 11, 2006 01:41 PM
I guess I'm relieved by the tought that the U.S. media has only been a useful idiot as opposed to an accomplice... But after listening to Ted Turner's spiel yesterday (i.e., stop looking at the war like a football game, or that the U.S. should win...) I'm not at all convinced that there aren't many active anti-American "reporters" out there "determined to make the world a better place" (which they say ALL THE TIME, i.e. socialist, hedonist, relativist, and minus Israel for starters)...Posted by Dumb Ox at October 11, 2006 01:59 PM
If the media is incompetent and just blathering random chance would put off the mark on both ends of the spectrum. Yet that does not seem to be the case, implying that their sway is by design rather than accident.Posted by vilenylons at October 11, 2006 02:33 PM
I question the term "Useful Idiot." That term can be used if someone goes for a short run, but the MSM has a continous history of such activity during the GWOT.
There is an old saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." It is not so unusual to see the Jihadists and the MSM in bed together. They both hate the same thing, America. They both have many of the same goals.
Only an Idiot would assume that the beliefs and the messages of the MSM would not be incorporated into Jihadist material. Jihadists are anything but stupid, and when the recognize a friend, they will use the friendship.
Unfortunately, the MSM is either too stupid or knowingly blind to change. And they wonder why fewer and fewer people are paying attention to what they say. America needs to wake up to the damage the enemies of our country, both domestic and foreign are doing.Posted by David at October 11, 2006 04:58 PM
As usual, excellent work, GH. And important work.Posted by Steve Schippert at October 11, 2006 05:16 PM
This deserves more treatment, for sure.
In the end, one way or another, we are going to have face/confront this asssault on the media. The longer we wait, the more costly it will be.Posted by sigmund, carl and alfred at October 11, 2006 06:11 PM
I am old enough to remember when the MSM reported actual events which were news worthy. It appears that now the MSM feels the need to skew and make personal comments about events so as to influence the American people. Until we, as US Citizens, make the choice to know what is factual and what isn't, and to question the garbage we are being feed by the MSM, we don't deserve better!
I, for one, am not and will not be surprised to find that The Global Islamic Media Front has influenced the MSM. I am more surprised that it hasn't occurred before now!
unfortunately the Western Media thinks that treason is only a matter of perspective.Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs at October 16, 2006 02:57 AM
After CNN chose to show footage of one of our men being gunned down by a sniper, I think it's past time we all made our presence known. Let's get an e-mail campaign going to the White House. If networks can be fined for using the "F" word or for showing Janet Jackson's breast, why can't we bring pressure to bear on our government to fine networks for aiding and abetting the enemy???
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