As the old saying goes: It’s lonely at the top, especially if you live in various caves and rustic safe-houses in the mountainous region of Tora Bora. This goes for the most powerful CEOs and famous actors but is particularly true of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, especially since he allegedly does live in various caves and rustic safe-houses in the mountainous region of Tora Bora. (See, there’s some truth to every cliché.)
The New York Times is reporting that bin Laden and his Joe Pesci-like sidekick/enforcer, Ayman al-Zawahri, are facing their toughest foe yet in their global reign of terror: Obsolescence. Mark Mazzetti writes that a study by the United States Military Academy may mean bad news for the gruesome twosome:
In what’s billed as the “first systematic mapping” of an ideology sometimes called jihadism, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has found that Mr. bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, have had the same influence on jihadism that the Singing Senators had on Republicanism—they’re seen more as propagandists than strategic thinkers … And while the two Qaeda leaders have released a flurry of video and audio messages to their followers over the past year, the study found that the scholarly work of a group of Saudi and Jordanian clerics—most notably Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, a Jordanian—is more likely to influence the next generation of Islamic militants.
Does this mean curtains for bin Laden and Zawahri?
Not without a fight, it doesn’t. What follows are five tips to help retain bin Laden and Zawahri’s vice grip on Al Qaeda and ensure they don’t slink off like holy war Willie Lomans. None of these suggestions should be deemed as support or free consultation for America’s sworn enemies since, if they use any of these, we want to get paid.