The Plank

Al Qaeda Confused...and Other Friday Afternoon Links

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The latest from Ayman al-Zawahiri:

A speaker on an audiotape identified as Ayman al-Zawahri, the chief deputy to Osama bin Laden, has rejected criticism of attacks by Al Qaeda’s followers that have killed thousands of people, maintaining that Al Qaeda does not kill innocent people.

“We haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria nor anywhere else."

Except:

“If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen’s
operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of
necessity.”

Doh!

Anyway, if you are looking for something to read on a Friday afternoon, I suggest Ben Wallace-Wells' brilliant 2006 review of Taylor Branch's Martin Luther King biography. The piece actually serves as a nice supplement to columns today by E.J. Dionne and David Brooks.

Finally, be sure to check out Stephen Rodrick's biting but somehow sympathetic profile of Julia Allison, which has some juicy stuff on Harold Ford dating Allison when she was only a Georgetown undergrad.

--Isaac Chotiner 

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