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Al Qaeda... Behind the Picture? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Parallel to the monotony that accompanies our reactions to al Qaeda’s every videotape; analysts must have noticed a significant shift in production value. This issue is important and requires further examination.

In his latest tape where he expressed his condolences for the Jordanian Abu Musab al Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri appeared as if he were seated in the studios of a prominent satellite television channel. A newscaster was all that was required to complete the picture!

The Egyptian doctor did not behave like a wanted man who was continuously on the move in mountainous and ragged terrain, in order to avoid capture.

The footage of Al Zawahiri’s was professionally executed and calculated, down to the last detail, including his white Afghan dress and his black Taliban turban. With the lights focused on him, al Zawahiri read his statement, using a teleprompter. His voice was clear and a small microphone appeared to be attached to his shirt. Al Qaeda’s logo appeared in the background.

A simple analysis of the recent videotape reveals that a group of technical experts surrounded al Zawahiri and that the speech was not recorded in a mountainous area. A few days ago, it was revealed that photographers had assisted al Qaeda’s number two in shooting earlier recordings.

It is important to focus on the individuals who continue to assist al Qaeda and are benefiting from the ongoing legend surrounding it, as they surround Bin Laden and his associates with false halos.

The videotape poses a number of questions that ought to be answered; they might cast doubt on the US administration’s efforts to discover the whereabouts of al Qaeda’s leaders. Given the efforts of media professionals to broadcast these professional videotapes, it is hard to believe that there are no clues as to where these tapes were shots. more over, the ones claiming to track down Bin Laden and al Zawahiri is the world’s only super power.

Al Zawahiri’s recent tape has strengthened the sick and bloody image of al Qaeda and cast doubt on the efforts to detain the group’s leaders.

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled is a prominent and well-respected TV journalist in the Arab world thanks to her phenomenal show Bil Ayn Al-Mojarada (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries on controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and satelite channel, Future Television. Diana also is a veteran war correspondent, having covered both the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Ms. Moukalled has gained worldwide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004.

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