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The Spaceball Jihad

[ by Charles Cameron — hidden humor in deep scholarship, ahoy! — with hat tips to JM Berger, Phillip Smyth, and Aaron Zelin ]

I’ve noticed that JM Berger wrote an excellent book on American jihadis and has been keeping us seriously informed on a whole host of related topics including jihadist activity on the hidden gardens of the internet, but it’s only when he notices an AQ attempt to crowdsource suggestions for improving AQ’s social media presence, appropriates their hashtag and invites his buddies to add their own suggestions that his work at last catches the attention of a larger audience via Rachel Maddow:

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Okay, lesson learned — it’s the “tainment” in edutainment that makes the “edu” suddently attractive.


So here, for your edutainment and general entercation is a serious piece of writing by Phillip Smyth in his Hizbollah Cavalcade series on Jihadology, which will no doubt be of interest to some ZP readers — Hizballah Cavalcade: Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s Liwa’a Kafeel Zaynab:

Albeit, it was a rarity for groups like LAFA to make an official written statement over social media or on forums stating AAH was a supplier. Instead, the inference AAH was supplying fighters to the group could be made by looking at the AAH imagery for their dead, which was then reposted by LAFA.

However, starting at the end of May, 2013 a number of videos (posted to YouTube) explicitly claimed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s fighters were in Syria. This differed from the more typical rolling of AAH personnel into the ranks of LAFA or other militias. While these videos were sporadic, they were the first piece of a trend which would culminate in the announcement of a unique organizational name for AAH’s force deployment in Syria.

Here’s a sampling of the wares displayed therein:

and here’s the pop-cultural ref that I missed when I first saw Smyth’s article:


Foolish me: Smyth even had a dead giveaway footnote:

[5] See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UunQXXxAWY and “Have a nice day”.

5 Responses to “The Spaceball Jihad”

  1. Producer Patrick F. Gallagher Says:

    The traditional Hollywood studios are unable to determine what the people want or can get as they would historically. When you add to that distribution on the web, headlines, web pages, from gossip to complete motion pictures. It is just a completely new world. Much of it great, some not.

  2. Mr. X Says:

    Phillip Smyth appears to have beamed down to Israel and then the University of Maryland two years ago from Planet Spaceball. I can’t find any trace of his existence online prior to 2011. Not saying he didn’t exist before then clearly he did. Just sayin’.

  3. Mr. X Says:

    And for the record I never accused him of being an Israeli spy, and his tweep @RobertCaruso simply fabricated anti-Semitic tweets and attributed them to me. I’m just saying the total absence of a ‘legend’ prior to 2011 is odd, and he does pal around with @Doranimated Mike Doran of the Brookings Institute which publically maintains the Brookings Doha Center (aka the Emir’s favorite neocons). Do we know how much cash the Qataris kickback to D.C.? Does the FBI and the Dept. of Justice’s FARA investigations unit?

    EOT for me. 

  4. tonzo Says:

    Phillip Smyth is reportedly on the payroll of the Israeli embassy in Washington. 

  5. Phillip Smyth Says:

    I find the anonymous comments (all from the same e-troll) on here, trying to link me to some secret Israel/Qatar conspiracy hilarious. If that’s the case, I’m still waiting for the shekels and riyals they supposedly owe me. Thanks guy(s)!  

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