The 21st Century Phenomenon




The As Sahab Foundation for Islamic Media Publication (“The Clouds”), is the media production house of Al Qaeda, used to distribute the organization’s point of views, to promote the Global Jihad, to encourage young Muslims to identify themselves with the cause and to glorify Al Qaeda.

The As Sahab started in 2001 under Abdul Rehman al-MAghrebi, Ayman Al Zawahiri son in law, and with the involvement of Adam Yahiye Gadahn and Attiya Allah. Since then As Sahab distributed through Arab TV networks, such as Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabia or local Pakistani TV stations, footages and Audios of primarily Ayman Al Zawahiri, much less of Osama Bin Laden, and footages of successful attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and all over the world.

In order to appeal to Muslims in Western Countries As Sahab also distributed videos of Islamic volunteers speaking perfect English or French, such as Adam Yahiye Gadahn himself or Mathew Stewart. In many of Al Qaeda’s affiliated operations special camera men are participating especially to later use the filmed materials for propaganda purposes through As Sahab.  

As Sahab is using available modern technology but there is a constant improvement in the quality of filming, sound, editing and special effects.  Up to 01/2006 As Sahab used couriers to deliver its videos by drop near media network offices. On 01/13/2006 USA intelligence managed to monitor such a drop which led to the devastating Damadola air strike, on 01/13/2006, on what was supposed to be an Al Qaeda leadership meeting. The attack caused many casualties but the leadership escaped unharmed. According to initial reports Abdul Rehman al-MAghrebi, the head of As Sahab, was killed in the bombardment. That report was never confirmed officially (see – Damadola Fiasco).  The attack caused the change of distributing methods by As Sahab. As Sahab materials are, now, distributed through the web only such as Samir-Khan’s websites or -GIMF- websites. .

In 2005 As Sahab distributed 16 productions, the number increased to 58 in 2006 and up to 149 in 2007.

Since early 2008 As Sahab is directed, most likely, by Ayman Al Zawahiri’s family member and was the most active, influential and operational tool of Al Qaeda.

New enterprises like INSPIRE MAGAZINE, first distributed in 07/2010, or Al-Shamika (“the majestic woman”), an online magazine designated specially for female Jihadi audience, posted the first time on the web in 03/2011, became, with time, more active and influential than As Sahab.


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