Flash: Al-Qaeda Endorsement Still Up for Grabs!

It looks like I was a bit premature when I wrote in this space a few days ago about al-Qaeda’s “endorsement” of John McCain. (But the quotation-marks around “endorsement” were back in the original post, too.) From his weblog on the site of the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, Bas Benneker informs us that, actually, Al Qaida has also not yet decided.

You probably remember that Osama bin Laden did make his preferences known four years ago, when shortly before the November 2004 election he released another one of his video-hits in which he railed against the Bush administration – which, as the old Islamic fox knew full well, with its effect on the American electorate amounted to Good Housekeeping seal-of-approval for the incumbent president. Why would he do that? you may ask. Well, we have just seen the same logic in play here behind what we thought was al-Qaeda’s endorsement of McCain earlier this month: the “tough-guy” approach to addressing America’s interests in the Middle East which has been Bush’s trademark (and which McCain seems glad to continue) was just the ticket for ensuring the terror organization a steady supply of training-camp recruits.

Except that now it seems, according to De Volkskrant reporter Benneker, that that “al-Hesbah” website with “close ties to Al Qaida” that issued the McCain endorsement doesn’t actually have close-enough al-Qaeda ties to actually speak for bin Laden. Indeed, Benneker notes that there appeared yesterday another al-Qaeda video-hit in which an actual al-Qaeda leader by the name of Abu Yahya al-Libi let it be known that, as far as his organization was concerned, Allah should please “humiliate Bush and his party . . . degrade and defy him.”

So what’s all that supposed to mean? Will we finally get a video missive from bin Laden himself setting the official al-Qaeda’s line straight? (Election day is getting very near!) More to the point, should we still be bracing ourselves for some sort of terror attack, cleverly staged to advance the organization’s interests, whatever they may happen to be? Actually, in Benneker’s analysis the previous conventional wisdom that such an attack would aid John McCain’s cause no longer holds true; it would instead most likely be seen as a sign of the failure of McCain’s fellow Republican, George W. Bush, to do his job protecting the country.

No, according to the terrorist experts at the SITE Intelligence Group, the holy-war nasties are even still, at this late point, in discussion as to what to do, if anything, about the American elections. I think it’s quite possible that they have been preoccupied with going through their personnel files: McCain and his surrogates have made such an emphatic point in recent weeks about Barack Obama being a terrorist and al-Qaeda sympathizer that they feel called upon to thoroughly search through their records to see whether that might not in fact, somehow, be true.

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