First Day on the Job

Congratulations to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the new head of al Qaeda in Iraq. It’s a challenging job, but he clearly has the right stuff to lead, such as knowing which end of the gun the bullets come out of. We mention this only because apparently this fact was not known to his predecessor, Abu Musab “Big Al” al-Zarqawi, who was shown in a video requiring assistance from henchpersons before he accidentally shot off a toe. (It’s hard to inspire allegiance from international jihadists when you shoot yourself in the foot. Somebody else’s foot, maybe, but not your own.)

President George W. Bush immediately gave al-Muhajir the official United States seal of approval by publicly announcing he is “on our list to bring to justice.” That pretty much makes al-Muhajir the poster boy for thousands of young men in the Islamist world, so heckofajob, Mr. President. (White House officials privately conceded their relief at having a new face of evil in Iraq. They hadn’t had one since Dick Cheney left after his last visit.) Badumbump.

In case the world had any doubts about the virility and resolve of the new terrorist leader, a photo recently released by al-Jazeera (motto: “All the news that really annoys Americans”) shows al-Muhajir firing an AK-47 outfitted with an extra large ammunition magazine. He didn’t come right out and say it, but his message was clear: “My ammo clip is bigger than your ammo clip.” The photo also revealed that al-Muhajir is quite the man of fashion, cutting an impressive figure in his slate gray skullcap with matching boot-cut pants, accented by a dark beige bullet-proof vest. Terrorism is not pretty, but nobody said it has to be ugly.

Al-Muhajir’s first day on the job was probably typical of what any new hire would experience at the office. First on the itinerary is finding out where the office supplies are kept; you know, copy paper, Post-it notes, rocket-propelled grenades. And then he met with his staff:

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Sojourners Magazine September/October 2006
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