“The Al-Qaeda brand, while known and feared by millions, has lost its way in recent years,” said marketing manager Edward Al-Zahib in a live video link-up broadcast online. “While our affiliates and franchises across the Islamic Maghreb and Arabian Peninsula, along with splinter groups around the world, helped take our message to a wider audience, people were losing sight of what we really stand for. That’s why, as of today, Al-Qaeda becomes Terminus.”
“We’ll be continuing to offer unrivaled competencies in the fields of holy warfare, grainy videos and blowing ourselves up in public places. But under the Terminus name, we’ll be doing it with a clear mission and a new emphasis on our core values.”
On the group’s new brand, Al-Zahib explained: “The name ‘Terminus’ was used by the Romans for the god of boundaries. Boundaries have always been important to us – whether it’s the mountainous one between Pakistan and Afghanistan, or the rigorous ones that we want to impose on infidel dogs the world over. In short, it perfectly represents where we are today, as a global terror network.”
Marketing trendwatcher Linus O’Toole described the decision as a bold move.
“When you have brand recognition of almost 100 per cent, many would consider a change to be foolhardy, or even downright dangerous,” he said. “But like other maverick brands such as Red Bull and Apple, Al-Qaeda has never been afraid to take risks.”
The new identity – which features a logo designed by prestigious London agency Chrome Tw@ – was unveiled in a lavish ceremony held in an undisclosed cave location somewhere in northern Pakistan.
However, the move has been met with some dissenting voices within the extremist network.
“I still have a load of Al-Qaeda branded stationery which is going to be completely useless now,” complained radical Peshawar-based cleric Ahmed Al-Anwar.