After the death of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, Ayman al Zawahiri rose to become the leader of al Qaeda. Every once-in-a-while, he pops his head out of whatever hole he’s in and sends out a PR message for his group. In August of 2015, he gave 3 such messages including one to swear allegiance to the Taliban’s new emir, one to introduce the son of Osama Bin Laden to al Qaeda, and finally a lament of all the nasty flame wars going on between Jihadists on Twitter and Facebook.
The 35 minute video starts out with the emir remembering better days. He talks about the time he spent with Osama Bin Laden and the “wisdom” he gained from his former terrorist master. According to Longwarjournal.org:
Much of Zawahiri’s story focuses on al Qaeda’s escape from the Tora Bora Mountains in December 2001. He heralds bin Laden’s “wisdom,” explaining that al Qaeda’s first leader foiled the designs of the “traitors” and “hypocrites” who sought to do him in. But the Battle of Tora Bora serves a higher purpose in Zawahiri’s telling, as it is supposedly an example of how the jihadist media can counter the Western press.
Zawahiri says he escaped from the mountains before bin Laden did and heard the BBC report that all of the Arabs had been killed. This was one of the many “lies” the mujahideen’s enemies spread, Zawahiri claims, and it is the responsibility of the jihadist media to counter them.
After discussing the importance of the “jihadist media” and how it has helped expose the “lies of the Americans and the lies of NATO’s Crusader coalition”, Zawahiri goes on to lament that the same services have “become a tool for the destruction of the jihadists’ cause.” According to the al Qaeda leader, again via Longwarjournal.org:
The “jihadist media” today is filled with “insults” and “curses,” Zawahiri laments, with everyone from the mujahideen’s leaders to the rank and file being “guilty” of spreading “abuses.” He calls on jihadist media operatives to abstain from disseminating material that further sows discord in their ranks.
As his message finishes, the 7th edition of Zawahiri’s “Days with the Imam” series (not kidding), he offers some advice on netiquette to jihadist groups such as the Islamic State. He suggests that jihadi tweeters refrain from referring to one another as “nonbelievers” or claiming that other groups are being backed by the United States. He ends with a promise that al Qaeda can “pardon any personal issues” but instructs jihadists not to do anything else to tear apart the jihadist ranks.
So, is Zawahiri working to unite Islamic terrorists as he claims they once were once united under Bin Laden, or is he just sitting in a hole and reminiscing of jihads-gone-by?