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Bin Laden Thought About Re-Branding Al-Qaida

A letter found in Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound details his concerns about the name al-Qaida and the organization’s ability to galvanize Muslims with a shorthand moniker that just means “the base” (originally it was “the base of holy war”). It is unknown to whom bin Laden’s public relations missive was directed.

According to The Associated Press, he came up with some real clunkers to replace al-Qaida, at least judging by their English translations.

AP via Google:

Maybe something like Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad, meaning Monotheism and Jihad Group, would do the trick, he wrote. Or Jama’at I’Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida, meaning Restoration of the Caliphate Group.

As bin Laden saw it, the problem was that the group’s full name, al-Qaida al-Jihad, for The Base of Holy War, had become short-handed as simply al-Qaida. Lopping off the word “jihad,” bin Laden wrote, allowed the West to “claim deceptively that they are not at war with Islam.” Maybe it was time for al-Qaida to bring back its original name.

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