Midweek Links

Weekend Links

Midweek Links

Weekend Links

Midweek Links

Weekend Links

Midweek Links

Weekend Links

Weekend Links

Al-Qaeda publishes hit list

Al-Qaeda’s Inspire Magazine has published a hit list calling for the murder of several Westerners. Those targeted by al-Qaeda include:


Quick thoughts:

  • They have a good graphic artist.
  • They made Terry Jones their primary target even though he is one of the least significant people on the list. Possible factors in their consideration are that Jones explicitly condemned Islam, that Jones is a Christian, that Jones burned a Koran while everyone else mostly gave speeches or drew cartoons, and that Jones is the least sympathetic among Western audiences.
  • They spell several of the targets’ names wrong / oddly, suggesting an artifact of translation from another language or speech over the telephone.
  • The targets are all Western or living in the West, but only a few of them live in English-speaking countries. The emphasis on targets living in Europe and the US is intriguing. One would expect al-Qaeda to have more targets in the liberal sectors of Islamic communities. Is the intended audience for this message the Muslim radical who might pick up a knife and attack the nearest target, or is the intended audience the targets themselves and whoever who might also think about criticizing Islamic extremism?
  • They seem chiefly outraged by the fact that anybody opposes them threatening to kill people for disparaging their religion. At least half of the people are on the list for publicly taking a stand against the violent suppression of speech.
  • They know how to use memes. They’ve picked up the Si Se Puede slogan via the Obama campaign, and the Western wanted poster.
  • They understand Western legal systems. While encouraging readers to kill these people, they never explicitly say to kill these people and they establish enough doubt to argue in court that they’re not really calling for readers to kill these people.