The Corner

Clarifications

It is now about two years since the last Osama video. His few cameos since then have been audios, and I have far less confidence in our ability to identify voices than, say, using DNA to identify a person. Zawahiri is obviously the leader of al Qaeda, isn’t he? And those stories about the death of Osama late last year look more credible, don’t they?

My few remaining friends in the so-called intelligence community insist that Osama is very much alive, and they even claim they know where he is. But they have difficulty explaining his indeniable disappearance from the AQ Media Center Productions.

My favorite line from “Azzam the American” is his warning that those who don’t convert to Islam will “go straight to hell without passing go.” We are living in a comic-book universe. He can’t even spell Scheuer (sp?) or Spencer, but he’s issuing ultimata to the western world.

The serious part of the ultimatum is the call for conversion. Mohammed once gave an enemy the chance to convert before attacking, and some of the jihadis claim — I am told, on dubious grounds — that it was actually a pattern. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Bush to convert, which some took to be a warning that an attack was imminent (and it was, as the recent events in London, and the discovery of bombs in Germany — reportedly intended for use at the soccer championships — prove).

So, all in all, we should expect attempted attacks in the West to increase, especially as we approach the anniversary of 9/11.

Michael LedeenMichael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

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