bin Laden wanted to "rebrand" al-Qaida?

In his final days, documents found in his compound reveal, bin Laden had decided that al Qaida had gotten something of a bad rap. (ya think?) To solve this problem, he considered turning to a more 20th century marketing based strategy than that of your garden variety terrorist. Re-branding! AQ could become more popular, much like New Coke, if he just found a new name for it.

As Osama bin Laden watched his terrorist organization get picked apart, he lamented in his final writings that al-Qaida was suffering from a marketing problem. His group was killing too many Muslims and that was bad for business. The West was winning the public relations fight. All his old comrades were dead and he barely knew their replacements.

Faced with these challenges, bin Laden, who hated the United States and decried capitalism, considered a most American of business strategies. Like Blackwater, ValuJet and Philip Morris, perhaps what al-Qaida really needed was a fresh start under a new name.

The problem with the name al-Qaida, bin Laden wrote in a letter recovered from his compound in Pakistan, was that it lacked a religious element, something to convince Muslims worldwide that they are in a holy war with America.

So what was he considering? Something “radical” along Mountain Dew lines, I hope! Sadly… no. On the list were, “Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad.” (Monotheism and Jihad Group) Or possibly “Jama’at I’Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida.” (Restoration of the Caliphate Group.)

No wonder you lost! Sorry to say, but speaking as an old marketing guy, those are terrible ideas. First of all, they’re too long and unwieldy. They just don’t roll off the tongue. (Assuming you haven’t yet cut out the tongue in question.) You need something short and snappy that will really catch the attention of that target demographic of young terrorist sympathizers and keep them up at night with excitement.

I don’t know… something like… Murder Incorporated. (No, wait. That’s already taken.) How about, Radical Infidel Carnage? That’s the ticket! And it’s got a nifty set of initials. R.I.C. You could come up with posters, and some flashy web site designs with really awesome graphics and pop-ups and…

Oh, wait. You’re dead. Sorry… I forgot.