Al-Qaeda Is Making a Cartoon

According to a member of the Shmukh jihadi forum, the media wing of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is making a cartoon. I haven’t seen anything like this before and I am very skeptical that it is a real product. But if it’s legit and anywhere near like the purported screen shots and promotional banner below, it would indicate that AQAP is becoming even more sophisticated in its efforts to reach out to youth. Now they just need some action figures. (If this is old hat or a rip-off of some other cartoon, please let me know and I’ll update the post.)

Update: Adam Rawnsley at Danger Room has dug deeper. His references to the Super Friends and Thundercats clinch his credibility.

Update2: Yammani, the Shmukh user who posted the pics, provides an update today.  He explains that the film is in the final stages and the “brothers” asked him to share the pics and the basic concept with the forum to elicit their feedback. The brothers will then edit as needed.

Update3 (July 21): Shmukh members have translated a Reuters story on the cartoons that mentions Jihadica. They are elated at the press attention and are calling on the cartoonists to hurry up and release the film.

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17 Responses

  1. I share your doubt, it almost looks too good to be true (in the sense of quality). If this did happen if would open up a whole other front in the propaganda/recruitment campaign. As always, I watch this space!

  2. Memeplexes must always frak with children’s brains if they are to get copied and spread. The memeplexes need copying devices, a cartoon in this case, to maintain fidelity. They also need to be defended against from other memeplexes in the memeosphere, hence the weapons. And of course, the manipulation of our inherent altruistic impulses to promote sacrifice to maintain them.

    TED 2008: Humans Are Just Machines for Propagating Memes, Susan Blackmore Says http://bit.ly/4pRuma

  3. AQ Cartoonists are doing focus groups before their big release, I love it.

    In the business (Hollywood or AQ, I’m not sure), I think they call this a “Soft Release”, maybe?

  4. Let them have their cartoon. We still have G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to recruit our youths with. Let’s see who’s cartoon wins in a fight.

  5. I find it hard to believe that al-Qaeda’s media operatives are making cartoons subtitled with grammar mistakes that only a 1st year Arabic student would make… and certainly an Arab would never make at any age. I am happy to respond with a specific analysis, but this post is bogus Islamophobia and cage-rattling.

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