Al Qaeda magazine mocks Anthony Weiner

Laura Rozen
July 21, 2011

Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner has had a lousy summer. First he was caught tweeting a lewd photo of himself to a female college student. After initially claiming his account was hacked in a prank -- and as many more such photos emerged, Weiner finally 'fessed up that he'd sent the images himself and been engaging in the randy Internet practice known as sexting for years with multiple online contacts.

After the obligatory announcement of plans to enter a rehab facility, Weiner was forced to resign his House seat, under pressure from President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and even his allies the Clintons. (Weiner's wife Huma Abedin is a long-time senior aide to the Secretary of State.)

And now, as if all that weren't enough, the former Democratic lawmaker is being ridiculed by terrorists.

That's right. The latest issue of al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine features a full-page "ad" mocking Weiner over the scandal.

"A faux full-page ad in the summer issue bears a photo of a feisty Weiner speaking before the House of Representatives under the banner, 'An angry Weiner head,'" the New York Daily News' Joseph Straw reports.

The mock ad makes sport of Weiner's short-lived effort to claim his account must have been hacked. "This was a prank to make fun of my name!" it quotes him claiming to fellow lawmakers.

Given all that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been dealing with lately-- the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden in May, and stepped-up U.S. drone strikes targeting AQAP senior leaders in Yemen, to name just two huge organizational challenges--it's a little odd to think that al Qaeda's Yemen branch felt moved to weigh in on the Weiner scandal with the sort of salacious jape you might find on a late-night TV talk show in the United States.

But there is a perfectly reasonable policy-based reason for the group's interest, the Daily News suggests. "Weiner landed himself on Al Qaeda's radar screen last year when he joined the chorus calling on YouTube to remove more than 700 videos featuring radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, still hiding out in Yemen," Straw posits.

And Straw adds another interesting tidbit: the magazine's suspected publisher is a former Weiner constituent. Inspire's "suspected publisher, former Queens resident Samir Khan, 25, apparently didn't forget what Weiner said about his boss," Straw writes.