[ by Charles Cameron — hidden humor in deep scholarship, ahoy! — with hat tips to JM Berger, Phillip Smyth, and Aaron Zelin ]
I’ve noticed that JM Berger wrote an excellent book on American jihadis and has been keeping us seriously informed on a whole host of related topics including jihadist activity on the hidden gardens of the internet, but it’s only when he notices an AQ attempt to crowdsource suggestions for improving AQ’s social media presence, appropriates their hashtag and invites his buddies to add their own suggestions that his work at last catches the attention of a larger audience via Rachel Maddow:
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Okay, lesson learned — it’s the “tainment” in edutainment that makes the “edu” suddently attractive.
So here, for your edutainment and general entercation is a serious piece of writing by Phillip Smyth in his Hizbollah Cavalcade series on Jihadology, which will no doubt be of interest to some ZP readers — Hizballah Cavalcade: Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s Liwa’a Kafeel Zaynab:
Albeit, it was a rarity for groups like LAFA to make an official written statement over social media or on forums stating AAH was a supplier. Instead, the inference AAH was supplying fighters to the group could be made by looking at the AAH imagery for their dead, which was then reposted by LAFA.
However, starting at the end of May, 2013 a number of videos (posted to YouTube) explicitly claimed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s fighters were in Syria. This differed from the more typical rolling of AAH personnel into the ranks of LAFA or other militias. While these videos were sporadic, they were the first piece of a trend which would culminate in the announcement of a unique organizational name for AAH’s force deployment in Syria.
Here’s a sampling of the wares displayed therein:
and here’s the pop-cultural ref that I missed when I first saw Smyth’s article:
Foolish me: Smyth even had a dead giveaway footnote:
 See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UunQXXxAWY and “Have a nice day”.