Daily Archives: February 24, 2013

Usama bin Laden’s Trademark Concerns

One year after the killing of Usama bin Laden, the U.S. Government has declassified some of the materials seized during the raid on his compound.  The media had earlier reported that the terrorist leader was concerned that his organization’s brand had become tarnished by its association with attacks on noncombatants.  CNN gave this account last April:

Bin Laden well understood that al Qaeda’s brand name was in deep trouble, in particular, because the group and its affiliates had killed so many civilians.  ….  So badly tarnished had the al Qaeda brand become that bin Laden noodled with changing the name of his group. In an internal memo, bin Laden pointed out that “[President] Obama [says] that our war is not on Islam or the Muslim people, but rather our war is on the al Qaeda organization. So if the word al Qaeda was derived from or had strong ties to the word ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslims,’ or if it had the name ‘Islamic party’ it would be difficult for Obama to say that.”usama.trademark

A recently declassified transcript of an audiotape seized during the raid documents bin Laden’s trademark concerns.  The following transcript was translated by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, located in Monterey, California.  Continue reading

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