In-depth analysis In a fortnight during which just about everyone on the planet, excluding naturally those in a coma or temporarily indisposed up some tributary of the Amazon, has offered their two bits' worth on the launch of Apple's iPhone, it comes as a bit of a surprise that al-Qaeda has dismally failed to contribute to the brouhaha.
We should add that Afghanistan's fun-loving Taliban have also maintained a resolute silence on the matter, but since they're violently opposed to absolutely everything, except hanging people from construction cranes and blowing up giant Buddhas, it can be taken as read that they consider the device an insult to Islam.
Quite how Ozzie bin Laden views the paradigm-redefining iPhone remains, therefore, a mystery. It's possible his organisation has been too busy working itself into a tizz over the Salman Rushdie knighthood announcement to consider the matter, but we're certain al-Qaeda has enough righteous indignation to throw two simultaneous strops.
So, the options are as follows: al-Qaeda is so angry about the iPhone's inflated pricetag, lack of user-changeable battery and 3G capability that it is planning something really big; or Ozzie's sidekick Ayman al-Zawahir has been stunned into reluctant admiration by Apple's audacious UI and crisp-as-a-Baghdad-winter-morning MP3 playback.
Of course, we all hope it's the latter. Since Ayman al-Zawahir is known to be a big Kylie Minogue and Death Metal fan, he'll doubtless find the seamless iPhone-iTunes interface a real boon in downloading I should be so lucky and Cradle of Filth's Loathsome Fucking Christ while planning exactly how to make the UK pay for honouring the author of The Satanic Verses.
If it's the former, then may God have sweet mercy on us all. The idea of a cellphone-provoked jihad in which kamikaze al-Qaeda operatives rain fiery death and apocalypse on the western world by crashing 4x4s packed with gas cannisters and Sony laptop batteries into airport terminal buildings is too chilling for the civilised mind to contemplate. ®
Jefferson Alberry II is a Second Life consultant and Web 2.0 leverage advisor. His previous work includes vital intelligence gathering on the CIA's Saddam Hussein WMD™©® capability report and several articles for Cnet on insurgency-busting robotic armadillos.