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Al-Qaida Makes a Statement on U.S. Election

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008

Terrorism analyst and translator Laura Mansfield reports that al-Qaida has made an "official statement of policy regarding the 2008 U.S. election" on a jihadist Internet forum. The statement:

. . . is a ringing "anti-endorsement" for the Republican Party.

The "anti-endorsement," posted on the jihadist forums a week before the Election Day 2008, was included towards the end of the message. The message, from Al Qaeda leader (and Bagram prison escapee) Abu Yahya al Libi, was a Khutba or sermon delivered in honor of the Eid al Fitre holiday.

Unlike 2004, when Bin Laden referenced both candidates by name, but refrained from actually endorsing either, Al Libi specifically calls for the wrath of Allah to be brought down upon the Republicans.

The message is more of a "vote against" message calling for the party of Bush to be humiliated, rather than a "vote for" message promoting Obama and the Democrats:

Oh Allah, Lord of mankind, humiliate Bush and his party!
Oh, Allah, degrade and defy him!
Oh Allah, Lord of mankind, defy him!
Oh Allah, make him live a day like the day Pharoah, Haman, and Qarun experienced . . .

No doubt the Obama camp would rather Abu Yahya al Libi had shut his fat mouth. But -- if indeed they're paying attention to this kind of thing at all -- they're probably relieved at least that the al-Qaida statement was a denouncement of Bush rather than an endorsement of Obama. Even given that the fundamental politics are overwhelmingly in Obama's favor this year, an endorsement by al-Qaida would be, it's probably safe to say, particularly unhelpful in the final days of a campaign in which Obama opponents have attempted to paint him as a pal of terrorists and a secret Muslim.