Al Qaeda is advertising on Twitter an upcoming open interview with Asim Umar, the dual-hatted Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda leader. The banner ads can be seen below.
Umar serves as al Qaeda’s top sharia official in Pakistan. His face is covered in the advertisement, so the interview won’t be that open.
Umar has been featured in al Qaeda’s propaganda on a number of occasions. He is important enough within the organization to have been featured in a propaganda film created by al Qaeda to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
This sort of thing is hardly new. Other al Qaeda ideologues have held similar events. For instance, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has hosted online question and answer sessions.
The advertisement for Umar’s appearance by As Sahab (al Qaeda’s media arm) says that questions can be submitted in four languages, including English. The session will be held in mid-May.
For some background on Umar, see LWJ report: Pakistani Taliban leader discusses ‘global jihad,’ Syria in al Qaeda video.
Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.