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Embracing al-Qaeda's Propaganda

At The Tank on National Review Online, Gregory S. McNeal describes a terrorist family long loyal to al-Qaeda. The father, Ahmad Khadr, died in an attack on al-Qaeda in Pakistan. His two sons, Omar and Abdurahman Khadr, were raised to be terrorists by their own descriptions.

Murder, attempted murder, material support, conspiracy, and spying are the charges against Omar Khadr, who recently faced a military commission which heard challenges to its jurisdiction. I've blogged in detail about those charges here. As I've previously noted, Khadr comes from a dedicated al Qaeda family with a tradition of terrorism. Abdurahman Khadr, Omar’s brother, boldly stated “I admit it that we are an al-Qaeda family. We had connections to al-Qaeda.” and later revealed that he had been “raised to become a suicide bomber.”

Khadr’s fathAhmad Khadrer Ahmad was killed in a targeted missile strike (others say in a shootout) in Pakistan. Prior to his death, Ahmad Khadr was a longtime member of al Qaeda and rose to the highest levels of the terrorist network, commanding a region of Logar per the direct orders of Osama Bin Laden. Ahmad Khadr contributed to al Qaeda in the form of financial support and personnel assistance to further the organization’s international terrorism objectives. In particular, he encouraged his sons to join al Qaeda and to carry out its work. The recently released "Book of 120 Martyrs," an al Qaeda recruiting tool, states that Khadr married a Palestinian who "shared with him his march to jihad, and Allah granted them several sons who shared this long, tiresome march with him." Omar Khadr heeded his father’s call.

Omar Khadr and his family made yearly trips to the bin Laden compound in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, meeting with bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and other senior leaders.

So as the captured videos released and stories from yesterday and today about al-Qaeda recruiting and training children in Iraq meet your eyes (see here, here, and here), do not be surprised. Repulsed, yes. Surprised, no.

This is the enemy which seeks to kill us wherever and whenever possible. His resolve must be matched - wherever and whenever he is found. As well, he must be ideologically confronted everywhere, consistently discredited by his barbaric means.

Nothing is more powerful than his own words and images and the wake of his own deeds. Embrace his often gruesome propaganda. Do not cede him the narrative of his own deeds. For evil in the name of God is never glorious. Never.

Training and using children for terrorist operations, kidnapping other children for ransom and strapping bombs to the mentally handicapped incapable of comprehending or objecting. None of these things can be explained away as glorious. No measure of moral equivocation can dislodge them from their evil roots.

Preying on children is evil, not glorious.

Meet your enemy.

Embrace al-Qaeda's propaganda. Take ownership of the narrative. Or surrender it to those who tout such acts as glorious obligation in attempts to widen the recruiting pool.