Lending new meaning to the phrase “the sword of Allah.”

Jihad recruitment just jumped by 40,000 percent:

The alleged ringleader of the tunnel terror plot lived the life of an international playboy – on orders from Al Qaeda…

Lebanese police, who arrested Hammoud on April 27, said in a statement that the suspect claimed he had been ordered to maintain a fun-loving, secular lifestyle to hide his Islamic militancy.

“He did just that with perfection,” the police statement said.

Here he is, keeping a stiff, uh, upper lip while contemplating the plight of his brothers in Palestine:

hammoud.jpg

It all sounds a little far-fetched, but only a little. Writing at Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares thinks the pro- and anti-Syrian elements within the Lebanese government might be playing games with the story. He also points to a quote he found in an Arab-language newspaper:

[T]he desire to identify with Andalous is coupled with a testimony by the doorman (or more exactly the guardian) of a near by building, known in Lebanon as Natoor. “A sudden change in his personality occurred lately” says the Natoor. “I don’t remember when exactly, but he started to wear the white dashdasha (long robe) on Fridays, started to goes to prayer, and wears it when he comes back from work. He stopped bringing women when he visited the area.” In short the Natoor, in his 40s, has just described the “mutation” from Casanova to Islamist. “He has become a Wahabi,” whispered the guard.

Emphasis mine. According to the FBI, the plot’s been in the works for more than a year — and Hammoud’s the mastermind. How lately is “lately”?

Meanwhile, the Asia Times says Osama’s on his last legs. It’s probably all the sex.

Update: The boss e-mails to say, “Taqiyya sure is fun!”