As I noted here at PJ Media, the establishment media was giddy last week over a Washington Post article claiming that a post on an al-Qaeda internet forum had “endorsed” John McCain by arguing that another terrorist strike against the U.S. would secure McCain’s victory and drag the U.S. deeper into conflicts in the Islamic world.
On further inspection, however, the forum posting was not an official statement by al-Qaeda. Instead, it proved little more than a desktop jihadist trying to prepare himself for a possible McCain presidency.
But just days before the elections, Reuters reports that a videotape of a sermon by a high-ranking al-Qaeda official has surfaced, calling for George Bush and “his party” to be humiliated:
“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.
ABC News reports that there is still hope that bin Laden himself might speak before the election, but the steady assault on the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan based on solid intelligence in recent weeks might make that impossible. In the absence of a bin Laden statement this election cycle, al-Libi’s sermon might be all we hear.
As the New York Times observed earlier this year, al-Libi has skyrocketed through the ranks of al-Qaeda to become its chief theological enforcer and a top recruiter. His jihadist status increased dramatically after his dramatic escape from U.S. custody at Bagram Air Base in 2005. Had he been held at Guantanamo Bay, his escape would have been near impossible. However, the Supreme Court would have granted him full habeas corpus rights and some federal judge might have freed him to roam the U.S. unimpeded.