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Top Terror Leader Dishes in Web Chat!

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OK, this is not exactly TV-related, but it is fascinating nonetheless. al-Qaeda’s number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has posted answers to questions solicited on jihadist websites early this year and last year. Bin Laden’s deputy responded to often-hostile questions on subjects ranging from the killing of Muslim innocents to al-Qaeda’s action (or lack thereof) against Israel and Shia Islam. (The Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photos controversy did not come up, perhaps owing to the time-delay in questioning.)

It’s beyond me to infer what the questions, the answers and the mere fact of the Q&A says about the status of al-Qaeda. But it’s remarkable, just from a media-technology standpoint, to see a leader of a secretive, not exactly democratic terror organization—better known for issuing top-down pronouncements—taking questions and being challenged online as if he were doing an AOL web chat.

In related news, you still have time to submit your questions for Denis Leary! I wouldn’t bother asking him his position on the doctrine of Al-Tatarrus, however.