Information operations

Rumor: Al Qaeda involved in making video

Advancing Against Al Qaeda
Advancing Against Al Qaeda (Photo credit: Third Way)

A very senior and very respected former intelligence official approached me today about my opinion of a rumor that was floating around. The rumor was that the film that supposedly caused the rioting in Libya and resulted in the death of four great Americans had an Al Qaeda connection, possibly they funded it or helped write or direct it.  I had to swallow twice because the sources (for him) for the rumors were actually quite respectable people.  Here I was being asked to analyze a story originating from people who are definitely in a position to help or hurt me.   So I took a best shot.

  • I hadn’t heard that rumor from any other credible sources, from friends, any news stories, even credible rumor mills.
  • Using only Occam’s Razor for my logic test, the story is far too complex.
  • Making the film would have caused extreme angst among any hardcore Muslims, especially if it was Al Qaeda (AQ).  It would have been a blasphemous action for any Muslim to have made a film mocking Mohammad, regardless of the purpose.
  • If AQ wanted to stage a cause for rioting there are dozens of simpler solutions.  Rumors alone would have been sufficient.
  • This complex intrigue is way out of character for AQ. AQ delights in simple operations.
  • Follow the money.  All the intelligence agencies are looking at the flow of money.  If the $5 M required to make the full movie flowed out of the Middle East or Southern Asia, it would have been noticed.  If it flowed into Hollywood it would have been cause for even greater alarm.

As for Sam Bacile’s character, as a phony or anything else…   Hollywood is a funny place.  Nothing is real out there, even a relative of mine, who is a well known Hollywood type. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing is what appears to be, except…  well, I can’t even say the money is real.

The funny thing, according to some research I did for this story, is that it supposedly took five years from when the film was made until now.  Talk about a delayed reaction.  I can’t verify that story…  The story just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Bottom line at the bottom.  I believe the story that AQ is behind the video is yet another conspiracy theory, a rumor at best.


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