Osama Bin Laden Wanted to Rename Al Qaeda
According to a letter discovered in the raid that led to his death, Osama Bin Laden was considering alternate names for his terrorist group because he felt that "Al Qaeda" had taken on a bad connotation for killing too many Muslims. He wanted to pick a name that would "convince Muslims worldwide that they were in a holy war with America," and was apparently considering "Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad," (meaning monotheism), and "Jihad Group," as well as "Jama'at I'Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida," or "Restoration of the Caliphate Group." Al Qaeda's full name, for the record, is Al Qaeda al-Jihad, meaning "The Base of Holy War," but that had been shortened over the years, which tends to happen with all names, to the disappointment of all parents. In any case, now it's up to Bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahri, to deal with Al Qaeda's branding issues. [NYDN]
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.