Not As Bad As They Seem?


Not As Bad As They Seem?

Al Qaeda recently released outtakes from a video showing an ISIS fighter trying to renew his allegiance. The allegiance was loudly interrupted by a bird, causing him to lose track of his words. He tried his best. The bird that is…


The video was put out in the middle of a spat between the two terrorist groups, who are currently fighting one another in Yemen.


This isn’t the first time videos have been used to discredit ISIS. In fact, Al Qaeda appears to be two – nill.  Last year they released a video showing ISIS fighters falling over and being unathletic in fighting training. So, for anyone assuming that being a terrorist gives you plenty of time to hit the gym, think again.


Elizabeth Kendall (Oxford University) notes that this shows Al Qaeda uses a better counter-narrative than “we do”., by “using humour and mockery in a local and very clever way”. Yes, because the last time group of cartoonists and journalists sat together mocking terrorists that ended particularly well.


Who knew terrorism would have a sense of humour. But, if fun and games aren’t your thing, environmentalism might be. 


Way before Greta Thunberg was sailing across the world; there was Al Shabaab. The Somali terrorist organisation famous for kidnapping tourists and promoting the use of Toyota pick-ups pledged to end the use of single used plastics.


They claim that discarded bags “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike”. 


Al Shabaab clearly saw a worthy competitor in the odd plastic bag. Which goes to show what good an episode of Blue Planet 2 can do. 


Aside from the plastics ban, Al Shabaab also strongly distanced itself from the logging of indigenous trees. Something that could be seen as hypocritical as their kidnapping and murdering activities are mostly funded by the ivory trade.


The BBC notes that because the group tends to use widespread violence, their orders are likely to be followed. More than a Tweet from Barack Obama? Maybe. Definitely more than charging .20 extra for a plastic bag.


That said, there is no real way of finding out how effective they’ve been, as going to Somalia would put you at a high risk of being abducted. By Al Shabaab, that is.


If you thought the #extinction rebellion were ‘eco-terrorists’ by strapping themselves to a pink boat, think again.

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