New Al Qaeda "big surprise" a fat load of nothing

You can download the whole 77-minute monstrosity from Laura Mansfield, but since it’s not subtitled, stick with her and Rusty’s summaries instead. Gadahn and Zawahiri appear sporadically throughout to threaten U.S. embassies, compare international law to shari’a, perform a hilarious Arabic version of “Who’s on First?”, etc etc. For the record, it looks like the Shukrijumah lookalike is just that — a lookalike. He appears throughout the video too; according to Rusty, the Urdu script at one point identifies him as “Qari Uthman.” Laura thinks he’s the guy who perpetrated the suicide bomb attack that killed U.S. diplomat David Foy in Karachi last year. A google search on the name turns up a “Qari Usman” from Karachi who tried to kill Musharraf in 2003 and was subsequently linked to the London bombings. Given all the threats against Musharraf that AQ’s been making lately, he’s probably the man in the vid. Except … according to the Times of London, he was arrested in July 2005. Did the Pakistanis let him go in the interim? Another possibility is that the man is Qari Mohammed Zafar, the alleged mastermind of the Foy bombing, who was at large in Waziristan at the time of the attack. Maybe he and Qari Usman are the same guy, maybe they’re two different people, maybe neither is the man in the vid. It’s fun to play “guess that murderer,” though.

Here are the first 30 seconds or so of the vid in which the bombing is reenacted. How soon before as-Sahab launches its first video game?

Update: WaPo recounts on page one today in excruciating detail how long it took for Musharraf to realize that his peace treaty with the tribal elders was a jihadi bonanza. Ten months in all, during which AQ was able to rebuild its leadership and set up a new base. Inaction seems to be a hallmark of his management style.

Update: The Blotter ID’s the mystery man/bomber as Al Hafez Othman.