A frequent refrain here at Gates of Vienna has been, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Further proof of this assertion appeared yesterday in this AP story:
|NEW YORK — A purported Al Qaeda newscast that promises weekly updates made its online debut with a report read by a masked man that included video of Hurricane Katrina — subtitled “divine punishment” — and a message from the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.|
|The first newscast of the Voice of the Caliphate, appeared on Sept. 21 showing a masked man wearing a black shirt reading the bulletin with an automatic rifle on his right side and a copy of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, on his left side.|
|The man congratulated Palestinians on Israel’s recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The video also aired parts of an audio recently made by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq group, in which he declared war on Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority.|
One of the ongoing memes floated by Wretchard at Belmont Club is the enemy's savvy and sophisticated media manipulation in this war. It amounts to a separate front in the Great Islamic Jihad, the only one in which the mujahideen can claim any significant victories. To put it bluntly, they have whupped the West’s collective ass so far in this part of the war.
Their Operational Headquarters is purportedly something called the “Global Islamic Media Front”:
|The bulletin by the Voice of the Caliphate, which is run by the Global Islamic Media Front, appeared on a Web site usually used by militant groups to post statements or videos. According to ads on the site, the bulletins will be weekly.|
|Al-Zarqawi’s group claims to have a media section that releases videos and statements almost daily. They are signed by the group’s spokesman, Abu Maysara al-Iraqi. Videos and audiotapes of bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri also surface on Islamic Web sites.|
So the Caliphate has a voice now. Well, who has been named Caliph? And is he the Caliph of Ice Cream?