SOMEWHERE, YEMEN: Snapchat may have reportedly turned down a $3 billion bid by Facebook earlier this month, but it couldn’t say to no to a much larger offer from a secret location in Yemen.
In a deal said to be worth in excess of $5 billion, leading terror group Al Qaeda has acquired the instant messaging app – which allows users to send self-deleting photos or videos to friends – reportedly outbidding Google to claims its prize.
“We’ve long been fans of Snapchat,” said Al Qaeda managing director Ayman al-Zawahiri in a statement. “Our network of terror cells across the world is always on the lookout for ways to exchange pictures and videos – be they messages of hate from radical clerics, the latest information from one of our training camps or simply wacky holiday snaps to send home to their wives – without them ending up in the wrong hands or exposing their whereabouts. Snapchat, with its auto-erasing function, is the perfect tool.”
In owning the technology outright, Al Qaeda hopes to keep its precious data away from any forms of international government infiltration.
“As soon as the deal is complete, we’re planning to relocate the main Snapchat servers to somewhere deep in the Yemeni mountains,” said al-Zawahiri during a media conference call.
Although Snapchat is yet to generate any revenue, analysts and experts are confident that Al Qaeda will soon be able to monetise the application.
“Hundreds of millions of impressionable teenage girls use this service every single day,” said Randolph Quim, editor of Wired Middle East magazine. “With the right targetted marketing within the software, Al Qaeda could find a whole new audience for its range of jihadist literature, videos and clothing, and reach out to new potential recruits to enlist for its war against the Western infidel. Although it might want to get them to stop sending each other suggestive images and winky smiley faces first.”
As part of the deal, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel will become Al Qaeda’s director of social media and mobile applications.