Infamous terrorist network Al Qaeda may be many terrible things but it's no Anders Breivik.
That's the message, at least, in the latest issue of Inspire, the English-language magazine published by the terror group and delivered to The Atlantic Wire by the Middle East Media Research Institute this afternoon. In the new issue, Al Qaeda editors devote an entire article to contrasting its brand of terrorism with the Norwegian mass killer in a piece titled "Do the mujahideen and Christian terrorists have similar goals?"
It's pretty morbid stuff, but it's hard not to chuckle at the straightforward way in which the Islamic terrorists try to calmly distinguish their killing of innocent civilians with Breivik's killing of innocent civilians. Apples and oranges, they insist!
The argument consists of three points: First among them being the targeting of women and children. "It's not like we target daycare centers and children schools or gatherings known to hold only women and children!" reads the article. Sensing a counter-argument, the writer prefaces that, "If someone says that our bombings in London and Madrid for example is proof that we target women and children then we say that we purposely target specialized institutions to not only send political messages, but to damage their economies." It's sort of pointless to debate the finer points of this but interesting, nevertheless, to see how delusional the Al Qaeda propagandists are.
For its second contrast, the Inspire writer says Al Qaeda followers never "kill their own people for as ridiculous reason as 'waking them up.'" That's likely a reference to Breivik's claim that the 77 people he killed was intended to bring awareness to the dangers of social Marxism. The writer insists "the sharia draws a perimeter in the expulsion of Muslims from Islam," though obviously, this doesn't quite add up as Al Qaeda has killed as many as eight times more Muslims than non-Muslims.
The third contrast relates to the ultimate goals of both groups. "The right wing extremists are the real Crusaders who seek mere bloodshed whereas the mujahideen of the al Qaeda organization seek the establishment of a just socio-political order throughout the globe: the Shariah," says the author. "The difference is night and day."
So what inspired this retort? According to the article "Western analysts" have claimed that Al Qaeda and Anders Breivik are comparable. We're not exactly sure what that refers to, however, last month, Breivik made big headlines by claiming that he studied Al Qaeda attacks before his rampage.
"I have studied each one of their actions, what they have done wrong, what they have done right," Breivik said of the terrorist group. "We want to create a European version of al-Qaida." He also called the group "the most successful revolutionary movement in the world" and said it should be an inspiration to extreme right groups despite the difference in goals.
We suppose it makes sense that being affiliated with a right-wing extremist like Breivik hurts the brand, but admit it, Al Qaeda, you two were made for each other.
You can read the whole, perverse issue here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.