Application to al-Qaeda for the position of Leader

Today marks 18 years since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. In 2011, Osama bin Laden was tracked down to his hideout in Pakistan and killed. I applied for the post shortly afterwards.

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Dear sir,

I understand a vacancy has opened up in your organisation and I thought it a good idea to get my application in early. From what I can gather, there is going to be quite a stampede for Osama bin Laden’s old job. Condolences, by the way. I’m sure he was a lovely chap and thoroughly undeserving of a bullet in the eye. Still and all. It’s an occupational hazard, is it not?

While I must commend your group on the great strides it has made in the business of crushing the depraved imperialist dogs of the West, I should point out that I will be making some changes once the job is mine.

I have asked around and many of my friends say they would love to join al-Qaeda. However, they are put off by the whole militant macho thing you’ve got going. They quite like the guns, but not so much the drab uniforms. I have to agree. Camo is so last jihad. You will be pleased to know I have convinced them that the wearing of robes is non-negotiable, although as a concession we may need to pretty them up with a sprinkling of silver and gold filigree. I suggest we model the new uniforms on the one worn by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he married those two gormless infidels the other day. Obviously we can do away with the silly hat. And yet I cannot help worrying about the effect turban-hair could have on morale.

While I intend keeping the art of torture, disembowelment and beheading as part of our training regime, I would like to incorporate a cardiovascular element. Aerobics is a fun way to meet fellow terrorists. The sessions could be conducted to a Lady Gaga soundtrack. Or even better, one of her music videos. That way the recruits would be reminded of why they are at war with America.

Although I am not of that persuasion myself, I do think al-Qaeda could benefit tremendously by encouraging gays and lesbians to sign up. These people have a lot to offer an organisation that prides itself on condemning those who disagree with their lifestyle. They don’t always condemn them to death, of course, but these are sensitive people and should be treated as such. The gays, by the way, will require regular breaks for sex. Many of them wither and die without it. To put these new recruits at ease, the training camp could perhaps have an Ibiza theme.

As al-Qaeda’s new leader, I will allow our members to drink. Not during working hours, obviously. Even I know that alcohol and explosives don’t mix. However, they will be permitted to let their hair down after a hard day of chanting revolutionary slogans and learning how to disarm an opponent with nothing more than 500kgs of Semtex. And since Sharia law makes provision for people to be stoned, the smoking of hashish will also be encouraged.

Speaking of hair, I am afraid the beards will have to go. If I am to modernise the organisation, facial hair must be sacrificed on the altar of style. I want our cadres to look as if they have stepped out of the pages of GQ and not off a Harley Davidson at a ZZ Top concert.

Obviously I will have to set the example, here. The world’s most wanted man has to be wanted by everyone – women as well as men – and if this means having a team of professionals grooming me around the clock, then so be it. It may take some time before I am ready to face the troops because I am married to a woman who has allowed me to let myself go.

Speaking of which, I will need the help of seven strong men to get Brenda accustomed to the idea of wearing a burqa. Once we have her wrapped up like a roti, the games can begin.

But first, I will need a codename. Osama would still be with us today if he had signed his name as, say, Britney Spears, when that courier from FedEx came around to the villa to pick up the weekly package of anthrax.

Your new leader,

Al Kyk-Daar Mustafa-beer bin Trovato (you can call me Al)

 

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