Osama bin Laden Thought al-Qaeda Had A Marketing Problem
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June 24, 2011:

An AP article reports a letter found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan by the Navy Seals killed him, indicates that the leader of al-Qaeda was considering changing his organizations name. He felt that the name "al-Qaeda" ("the base" in Arabic) lacked a religious component that would remind people he wasn't just waging terror on the West for giggles, that he was on a Holy Mission.

Some of the ideas he was kicking around include Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad, ("Monotheism and Jihad Group") and Jama'at I'Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida, ("Restoration of the Caliphate Group").

It's too late now, of course, but I'd say he was better off sticking with the name he had.


Game and Story Use

  • Let this be a lesson. Be sure to put a lot of thought when you come up with a name for your Organization of Evil. You don't want to get stuck with a name and then later want to change it to something like Xe, for example.
    • See also ISIS getting stuck with an Arabic name (Daesh) similar to "one who sows discord" or "one who tramples underfoot".
  • If you were to have the BBEG of your Organization of Evil fret about branding, your players will probably accuse you of being silly. You can try appealing to Truth in Television, but they'll still think it's silly. C'est la vie.
  • Plot idea: The Walton family pressures the White House to take out Osama because they're afraid that bin Laden's "Wal-Jihad" will compete with the chain of Wal-Marts they want to open in Pakistan.
    • Um. Okay, I think I just edged back into silly territory.
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