“Boko Haram, the militant group that has tortured Nigeria and its neighbors for years, was responsible for 6,664 deaths last year, more than any other terrorist group in the world, including the Islamic State, which killed 6,073 people in 2014, according to a report released Wednesday tracking terrorist attacks globally.”
Senior ISIS Staff Meeting, Friday morning
Ahmad (Senior Vice President): This is madness! Who in their right mind would buy these phony Boko Haram figures? Six hundred more killed? Come on!
Hamzi (Vice President, Communications): We’re pushing back hard, Emir. I’ve been on the phone all morning with this infidel’s editor at the Times. Reporter can’t be more than a teenager, totally snookered by Boko Haram. We’ve demanded a correction.
Ahmad: Well, we are going to need more than a correction. The boss isn’t happy – says this is humiliating! These snobs at the Times are completely biased – always siding with the poor Africans. As if we haven’t had to struggle! This is unacceptable! Hamzi, if you can’t fix this I’m chopping off your hand tomorrow!
Ahmad: Just kidding. But seriously, I’m getting major pressure about this from the top … “Boko Haram, Boko Haram … Boko Haram” that’s all I ever hear from the boss. They are kidnapping little girls for chrissake! How does that even count as terrorism?!
Hamzi: You want to talk about JV? Have you seen Boko Haram recruiting videos? No flame effects anywhere. They don’t even train recruits hopping through tires. How can they be ahead of us?
Hussein (VP, Sales): Stop it! Come on team! Let’s get focused here – these rankings are going to kill fundraising. We need to change the narrative.
Ahmad: Exactly! We have to do some serious brand building.
Hamzi: We could… we could…uh, how about embed infidel journalists with our front line guys —
Ahmad: Yes! Now you’re thinking! We could live-stream our great victories.
Hamzi: And then… And then! Throw cursed great Satan journalists off of high roof! Or better, a high bridge! Position camera below. Beautiful low-angle shot.
Ahmad: What? No, no, no. Listen. I need people –
Hamzi: To drag behind my pick-up truck? Ha ha! Yes!
Hamzi: Hmm. To shoot with anti-aircraft gun… burn alive? Shoot with anti-aircraft gun while burning.
Spitballing here, Emir.
Ahmad: No! No! No! Bismillah! What I need…what I need is people who can think out of the box. We need a whole new look.
Hamzi: We have the name ISIS though, Emir. Very very famous. ISIS is very very nice name.
Ahmad: And they… THEY… they have Boko Haram… Boko Haram… just rolls off the tongue. Boko Haram… Glory to Allah! It is such a cool name.
Imran (VP, Strategy): Excuse me Emir, but don’t forget we have the name ISIL, as well!
Asad (VP, Operations): Two great names!
Imran: Allah Akbar to ISIL and ISIS!
Ali (Intern): (under his breath) Too many names if you ask me. ISIS … ISIL … and … Levant – no one even knows what the hell that is. Sounds like blood pressure medication.
Ahmad: What’s that? New guy at the end of the table. With the beard. Give me some more.
Imran: Me? Allah Akbar!
Ahmad: No. Other guy with the beard.
Asad: Allah Akbar!
Ahmad: The other other bearded guy – blonde beard and funny accent. Who are you?
Ali: I am Jeff, but now I’m known as Ali. Trying to get “Ali the Butcher” to stick, but Ali works. What I’m saying is that between ISIS and ISIL … even we can’t keep it straight. And ISIS sounds like a girl’s name.
Ahmad: I like the cut of your sword, Jeff, er, Ali.
Ali: Yeah, and now Daesh. Daesh? Where did that even come from, right? As if people had been using it all along. It is all so confusing.
Ahmad: Keep going, Jeff.
Ali: Ali, Emir. Look, what I’m saying is that we need to do some serious analytic work, look at the data and really understand where we can break through … targeting and audience segmentation, maybe consider rolling out a new logo and an edgy advertising campaign. I know some guys in Minneapolis who do amazing work.
Ahmad: Sponsor a film festival? The…ISIS awards…
Ali: I mean, we’re lost in the shuffle between Boko Haram and Al Queda; before you know it we’re going to be passed by the frigging Shining Path or something … another cool name, by the way.
Ahmed: (looks at Hamzi). Last month you spent half a million on a new PR guy, and all we have is better SEO.
Hamzi: Don’t forget new app with very nice graphics.
Ahmad: That thing has never worked. We’re promoting you, Hamzi. Promoting you right out of here.
Hamzi: Out? Like…all the way… out?
Ahmad: Yes. 72 Virgins out. Please get your things. You’ll be escorted out of the building and you’ll receive a nice vest as a departing gift. Detonate it immediately, please.
Hamzi: YES SIR, EMIR! Thanks you, thank you. And goodbye.
Ahmad: And good riddance to him, eh Ali? I always suspected that guy was spending all his time playing that infernal fantasy football.
Ali: Yes, Emir.