By Abu Maghas al-Hammami
WAZIRISTAN, Pakistan — At this year’s Worldwide Jihadists Conference (WWJC), CEO Ayman Al-Zawahiri released the newest iteration of the world’s most famous terrorist organization. The group is touting the new iDeology 6, giving jihadists even shakier religious justification to pursue violent jihad at home and abroad. Codenamed “Khorasan” during development, the release’s reception has been largely negative.
Original adopters were not enthused. “I’m not happy where this group is going,” shared a member, wishing to stay anonymous. “Back when [Former al-Qaeda CEO] Bin Laden was running the show, we could expect some real innovation. Zawahiri playing it safe by pandering to the youth.” Zawahiri’s leadership has been criticized ever since he took over the core franchise in 2011, after the sudden death of his predecessor in Pakistan. The group has been struggling to stay relevant to the global jihad since.
Analysts agree that this release was timed to compete with the new organization, the Islamic State (IS), which has risen rapidly in popularity over the past year. Its adopters laud its capacity for senseless violence, its militant support, and its robust media presence. “You should’ve seen the look on my friends faces when I dropped the name ‘IS’,” Ahmed al-Ghabi, formerly of London, shares. “It was almost as if the overwhelming majority of them didn’t approve of such a thing.”
Abu Maghas is FPR’s jihad correspondent. He is a graduate of the original Afghan jihad, class of 1989. He enjoys illegitimate fatwas, Nutella, and Robin Williams movies.