Terrorist group al-Qaeda today unveiled its hotly-anticipated 2010 collection for the fashion-conscious fundamentalist. As bearded models took to the catwalk deep in the Pakistan mountains, style critics were left purring at the innovative fusion of modern high-street trends and the best of traditional insurgency attire, such as ample concealed storage for flammable liquids and detonators.
‘Gone are last year’s baggy cotton trousers and drab olive wraparounds,’ said al-Qaeda’s creative director, Ayman al-Zawahiri. ‘For the self-respecting jihadi-about-town, this season it’s all about the look. Big bulky backpacks are replaced with sleek designer man-bags, and sandals are just so last millennium now – it’s canvas deck shoes all the way for that urban indie chic. As I always tell the lads when they set out on a mission, ‘You’ve got to look the part to be blown apart, girlfriend!’’
Osama bin Laden commissioned the overhaul of al-Qaeda’s standard terrorist uniform after the single biggest cause of failed suicide attacks was found to be wardrobe malfunctions. ‘I think we can speculate all we like about the technical reasons for those missions not coming off,’ said al-Zawahiri, ‘but for me it comes down to confidence. At the end of the day these guys stepped out in clothes they didn’t want to be seen dead in.’ The new collection therefore features striking four-inch hollow platforms designed by shoe-bomber Richard Reid, and ultra-absorbent underwear for the nervous first-timer courtesy of foiled Christmas Day pants-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Other highlights of the show included a dashing tuxedo with spinning bow-tie fuse for the formal jihadi wanting to make an impression at a black-tie event, real drainpipe jeans that double as an improvised rocket launcher, and lycra swim-’n’-gym shorts ideal for leisure centre-based atrocities and any post-rendition water-boarding. The range is tastefully presented in a glossy high-end brochure containing the customary images of models with automatic machine guns draped casually over their shoulders staring off into the middle distance at an unmanned US drone just out of shot.
But despite the warm reception from the fashion industry, old-school fundamentalists have criticised the modern insurgents’ image-obsessed culture. ‘I always say it’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what on the inside that counts,’ said a veteran of the mujahideen today. ‘It’s only with some proper high-grade explosives that you’re going to turn heads, stomachs and limbs.’
Sadly his words later proved prophetic when a wager at the after-show party ended in tragedy and a young man in a fetching turquoise bomb jacket threw one shape too many on the dancefloor and, true to his word, really blew the crowd away.