Al Qaeda has become embroiled in a bitter jihadi spat with Isis, releasing embarrassing outtakes from an Islamic State propaganda video, in an attempt to undermine its rival.
The compilation of mistakes and mishaps was released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Hidayah Media Productions and shows an ISIS fighter kneeling, trying to renew his pledge of allegiance to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but being repeatedly interrupted by a squawking bird in the tree above.
The jihadi who has been identified as Abu Muhammad al-Adeni, is shown growing increasingly frustrated by the chirping, which causes him to forget his lines, the Telegraph reported.
After forgetting his words, he removes a piece of paper from his pocket, while another fighter attempts to calm him, asking him to ‘stay calm, keep cool’.
It remains unclear how al Qaeda got hold of the video, though some have suggested it could have been handed over by an Isil defector, or taken from an Isis base that was captured by the group.
Analysts believe the video, which al Qaeda titled ‘The Hollywood reality of al-Baghdadi group – Part 2’ had been produced by Islamic State’s branch in Yemen in 2017, when the group was growing in influence and strength.
Elizabeth Kendall, a Middle East expert at Oxford University, who shared the video on Twitter wrote: ‘Heroic bird relentlessly drowns out ISIS-Y’s attempt to renew allegiance to the caliph,’ in reference to the Yemeni affiliate of Isil.
She added: ‘Leader’s feeble memory adds to the woes… These bodged “takes” didn’t make it into the official video of this solemn event, released end July.’
‘One of the interesting things for me here is al Qaeda do counter-narratives better than we do, using humour and mockery in a local and very clever way,’ she said.
Social media users have drawn comparisons between the video and the hapless jihadists in Chris Morris’s 2010 dark comedy, Four Lions.
The Islamic State and al Qaeda have been locked in a deadly battle for territory, recruits and ideological influence in Yemen, where both groups are battling the Shia Iran-backed Houthi militants.
The two groups have also sought to compete with one another in an online propaganda war.
Fighting between the jihadists has escalated in recent months, with Isis deploying suicide bombers against al Qaeda positions.
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