Osama's tracking poll terror strategy


Mark Follman
November 2, 2004 1:56AM (UTC)

Scratching your head over how to interpret the latest bin Laden tape? Not to worry, the New York Post has put some of its best and brightest on the case:

"November 1, 2004 -- WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden warned in his October Surprise video that he will be closely monitoring the state-by-state election returns in tomorrow's presidential race -- and will spare any state that votes against President Bush from being attacked, according to a new analysis of his statement.

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"The respected Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors and translates Arabic media and Internet sites, said initial translations of a key portion of bin Laden's video rant to the American people Friday night missed an ostentatious bid by the Saudi-born terror master to divide American voters and tilt the election towards Democratic challenger John Kerry."

The "respected" New York Post has just earned War Room's blue ribbon for most-hilarious-attempt to align Kerry with the terrorists and rally defiant Americans around Bush. But wait, there's more:

"MEMRI said radical Islamist commentators monitored over the Internet this past weekend also interpreted the key passage of bin Laden's diatribe to mean that any U.S. state that votes to elect Bush on Tuesday will be considered an 'enemy' and any state that votes for Kerry has 'chosen to make peace with us.' The statement in question is when bin Laden said on the tape: 'Your security is up to you, and any state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security.'...

"Yigal Carmon, president of MEMRI, said bin Laden used the Arabic term 'ay-wilaya' to refer to a 'state' in that sentence. That term 'specifically refers to an American state, like Tennessee,' Carmon said, adding that if bin Laden were referring to a 'country' he would have used the Arabic word 'dawla.' MEMRI also translated an analysis of bin Laden's statement from the Islamist Web site al-Qal'a, well known for posting al-Qaeda messages, which agreed that bin Laden's use of the word 'ay-wilaya' was meant as a 'warning to every U.S state separately.'

"'It means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president, it means that it chose to fight us and we will consider it an enemy to us, and any state that will vote against Bush, it means that it chose to make peace with us and we will not characterize it as an enemy,' the Web site said, according to MEMRI's translation."

Good thing we have the Post, which has MEMRI, which has the Islamists' own Web site, to key us into bin Laden's true red-state strategy. Attention, Homeland Security: Better get ready to crank it up to code orange in Idaho.

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Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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