Monday, October 25, 2010

My First Article Published on Foreign Policy Magazine's AFPAK Channel: "Al-Qa'ida Central's Media Operation Falls Behind"

The article was published with this image, a screen grab from an AQC video featuring the group's American spokesman Adam Gadahn, who I discuss at some length in the piece.

I'm excited to write that my first article published on Foreign Policy magazine's "AFPAK Channel" (Afghanistan-Pakistan) came out today. In the piece, I focus on the decline of Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) media wing, the Al-Sahab (Clouds) Media Foundation, in recent years and raise the argument that other jihadi-takfiri groups' media campaigns are now "the model" to follow, particularly Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP; Qaeda, Qaida). The article also raises the issue of whether AQC's attempt to root itself in the Pakistani militant milieu and the possibility that AQAP is making an effort to include more online militants in their media campaign with the publication of an English online magazine produced by an American citizen.

The first paragraph reads:

"In the span of a few days earlier this month, al Qaeda Central's (AQC) Al-Sahab (Clouds) Media Foundation released a series of video and audio messages from Osama bin Laden and prominent U.S.-born spokesman Adam Gadahn on the severe flooding and resulting humanitarian crisis in Pakistan. This spate of releases strongly resembles the strategic response of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to severe flooding in 2009 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the year before in the eastern Hadramaut region of Yemen. This response leads the reader to question whether AQC's current media response to the flooding in Pakistan is perhaps even modeled after AQAP's earlier response, which in turn raises the larger question of to what degree, if any, AQC is still the model to follow, particularly in terms of media production, or whether it has instead begun to copy successful media campaigns by its regional affiliates like AQAP."


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