It’s about 20 seconds long. Click the image to watch, then come on back.
According to the Blotter, the script reads, “Wait for the Big Surprise” and “Soon — God willing.” They’re paying attention to two images from the clip, with good reason: the photo of Bush and Musharraf in flames and the computer graphic of an SUV, which looks to the Blotter to be part of a motorcade. An assassination plot against Musharraf makes a lot of sense given the spate of A-list AQ leaders who have been calling for his head lately as revenge for the Red Mosque assault. Zawahiri went after him in an audio tape on July 11 (scroll down about halfway to “Aggression against Lal Masjid”) and Abu Yahya al-Libi released a 21-minute video just yesterday eulogizing Abdul Rashid Ghazi and calling for jihad against Musharraf. Ten days ago, Newsweek reported a split within Al Qaeda between the Zawahiri and al-Libi factions over whether to make Musharraf’s overthrow a priority and risk having the full force of the Pakistani military brought to bear on them in Waziristan. That question now appears to be moot so they may have put aside their differences and gotten ready to go all out.
But now look at this image, which flashes by as the fourth in succession after Osama, Zawahiri, and Adam Gadahn:
I don’t recognize him offhand. Or do I? You tell me — same guy or no?
If it’s the same guy then this may have nothing to do with Musharraf. As most of you know, the man on the left is Adnan al-Shukrijumah, who’s allegedly been tasked by AQ leadership with launching a nuclear attack on the United States. The FBI’s been looking for him since 2002. His name popped up again last year after a prominent Pakistani journalist named Hamid Mir claimed that his contacts in AQ told him Shukrijumah was still working on the nuke plot and hoped to launch the attack imminently. Which makes me wonder if that SUV is supposed to be part of a motorcade at all or if the suggestion rather is that it’s carrying a payload in the hatch.
The full video will be out in a day or two; it seems … stupid that they’d telegraph a big plot before it’s come off, but who knows. Exit question: Am I right? Is that Shukrijumah or is it some other jihadi bigwig with whom I’m unfamiliar?
Update: Here’s a higher rez version. Note the mark near his right eye. I can’t find anything online about Shukrijumah having a similar mark, but he hasn’t left much of an image trail. Just those same three or four passport-type shots and that’s it.