If you have a hi-res version of the video, listen in between 6-7 minutes. There's a bird singing in the background. I wonder what species it is. Depending on the kind of terrain -- in this case mountainous -- that could ID the location within a few miles.
Who did the production on this one? It sucks. Perhaps Al-Skippy has an intern.
I'm linking to a copy of the transcript of Ayman al-Zawahiri's (aka Dr. Z) recent video, "Realities of the Conflict Between Islam and Unbelief." I'm going to take a few minutes and explore this video before I post in-depth. If you're new to the Al Qaeda media stream you may not be aware that the production and distribution of this tape is surrounded by a few mysteries and curiosities:
First, it was at least two days behind schedule.
Background: As-Sahab, Al Qaeda's media wing, usually posted a lovely animated .gif on the high traffic jihad forums like ekhlaas:
The real files usually followed 24 hours later with another posting of the links to anonymous file sharing sites where forum users can go to download the media files. An example of what a list looks like can be seen over at the Clearinghouse.
This time around the .gif was followed by news reports, and another 72 hours before the file sharing links were posted. Why the delay? I have no idea. Was it an agreement with a mainstream media contact? Was it a test to see how much coverage the video would receive? Was there a problem with internet access, etc?
Second, there's the document that accompanies the video.
It's apparently a transcript of Dr. Z's speech, but the Word document (see below) distributed with the video has an unusual file name. Usually it's just numbers, this one has a title reflecting the discussion of the Balfour Declaration, Dr_Balfour_122006_En.doc. I could be reading too much into this, but they may have started a version/file control system. This reflects, I think, a increased sophistication in media product development, as production process becomes more organized and disciplined.
Third, the properties are more telling than usual.
The Word document properties are unusual in this file, because they are in English. They're usually in Arabic or non-existent. The document below was downloaded AS IS from one of the file sharing sites, I've done nothing to it, so what you see is what the Al Qaeda dude wants you too. Could they have misstepped here and left telling information trail?
The properties data follows.
Under the General tab:
The Date Created and Date Modified sections are identical (December 10, 2006, 6:01 PM)
Under the Summary tab:
Title: A number of critical events in our Islamic world are passing us by these days and I deem it important for us to emphasize a number of their fundamental characteristics in view of the importance of educating the Ummah in the facts of the conflict between
Under the Statistics Tab:
Created: Thursday, December 7, 2006 9:58 AM
Modified: Sunday, December 10, 2006 6:01 PM
Last saved by: Muslim
Revision number: 266
Total editing time: 1682 Minutes
Could the editor(s) have intentionally created the file for December 7? In the time between December 7 and December 10th the document appears to have underwent almost 30 hours of editing. Was it done by one guy? Perhaps. Why the lag time between the final modification (December 10th) and the first media reports on (December 20)?
Many internet users are going to become familiar with the Al Qaeda media stream in the coming months, because I suspect they are going to push their productions in English. They'll have a wider distribution through the internet, and (I suspect) a much wider audience for analysis.