EXCLUSIVE: Zawahiri Enters the After-Life


(Satire. Maybe.)

Ayman al-Zawahiri’s last memory was enjoying an early Kabul sunrise during the cool morning of another sunny summer day on the veranda at his “safe house.” He’d grown comfortable with a predictable routine in the tony, upscale Shirpur neighborhood. It was the home of a friend, Al Qaeda ally, and top aide to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Suddenly, while enjoying his early morning tea, something hit, almost without warning. It happened suddenly. He vaguely remembered a second, maybe two, of a whirring sound. He didn’t remember much other than waking up in front of an elevator, with Qasem Soliemani, in full Iranian military regalia, looking over him as he lay prostrate on the rocky floor. Soleimani’s uniform looked freshly laundered and starched as if it were the official uniform of his new locale, wherever that was.

Qasem Soleimani

“Arise, my friend, and welcome to ‘paradise,’” he said, with air quotes while rolling his eyes. “The first thing you should know is there are no virgins here. Not one, and certainly not 72. So, manage your expectations.

“But you’ll have several old friends ready to greet you,” Soleimani added without smiling. We have a journey to make. I’m your roommate. You get the bottom bunk. Osama is next door, with al-Baghdadi. But we might switch. Mohammed Atta is on the other side of us, but he has no roommate. Nobody wants to room with Atta. He’s still mad about no virgins.”

9/11 “pilot” Mohammad Atta

“In that?” Zawahiri groggily asked, pointing to the elevator as he stumbled to his feet. “Where am I? Where are we going?”

“To a Very Warm Place,” Soleimani deadpanned. “Very. Warm. Do you understand why you are here?”

“Um, no. I was just enjoying tea on my friend’s veranda in Kabul when . . .”

Hellfire “Ninja” Missile

“I know,” Soleimani sharply interrupted. “A missile hit your veranda. No explosion, but an American missile. Its blades ripped right through you and that veranda. You felt nothing. They might find pieces of your DNA, but no guarantee. The Taliban are covering up your presence there. The rest of your family and the house are safe, but that veranda is gone.”

Soleimani helped Zawahiri to his feet, grasping his right elbow as they walked slowly into the elevator. Zawahiri saw no buttons as the door closed, and they began their descent.

“Why are we doing down?” Zawahiri asked.

“You will receive many answers to all your questions, all in good time,” Soleimani answered. “Meanwhile, we have a long journey. We are near the bottom floor.”

“Bottom floor of what?” Zawahiri asked.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a Washington Post designated “austere religious scholar.” Also a terrorist.

“How do I say this?” Soleimani asked himself, pondering his response. “The most successful among us; bin Laden, al-Baghdadi, you, me, so many of our friends and colleagues. And others who proceeded us, men of many languages and religions, occupy the very bottom. You will recognize them all.

“Trust me,” Soleimani whispered, leaning into the still-groggy Zawahiri. “All your questions will be answered. You should expect to be surprised.”

“Osama is here? With Baghdadi?” Zawahiri asked, wide-eyed.

“Indeed. And you might be switching bunks with Baghdadi. He and Osama quibble too much,” Soleimani deadpanned. “It seems Osama resents Baghdadi’s boasts that it took Trump to take him out, instead of Obama.”

“Wait,” Zawahiri began to come to his senses. “Did Biden take me out?”

Soleimani sighed. “Yes, you’re a Biden trophy, the first. Baghdadi and I are Trump trophies. That gives us a special bond. You and Osama have a different kind of bond. Some might say, embarrassment.”

“I don’t even know what that means!” Zawahiri almost yelled. “Americans killed me! The Great Satan! The only thing worse would be demise at the end of a Zionist missile,” Zawahiri screamed.

Soleimani rolled his eyes again and waved off Zawahiri. “It doesn’t matter. Ah, we have arrived,” he added, turning to the doors as the elevator suddenly stopped and slowly opened. A wave of hot, dry air blew into the elevator. As they exited, the doors closed quickly behind them.

Soleimani walked Zawahiri down a narrow hallway and stopped at a door, reaching for his key. He turned to Zawahiri as he slowly opened the door. “Welcome. This is your new home. It is a nice condo, all things considered. We’ll be here awhile. Our murderous ways have their consequences. You’re lucky to be with me on my floor since your body count is higher than mine. Perhaps it is that ‘austere religious scholar’ thing that Baghdadi keeps bragging about.

Josef Stalin propaganda poster

“Wait until you meet the guys on the bottom floor. One of them has a real attitude. But he shares our disdain of the Jews, so there’s that. How’s your German, by the way? Never mind, languages are universal here. The other guy speaks Chinese. And we have a couple of Russians here you’ll recognize. See the guy with the big mustache?

Mao Zedong propaganda poster

“Let’s get you settled. Then I’ll show you around and introduce you to a few guys. Wait until you see the reserved rooms of a few people who should be arriving shortly.”

And thus began Zawahiri’s new life. Stay tuned for future adventures.

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There are 9 comments.

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  1. navyjag Coolidge

    Babylon Bee quality Kelly.

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge

    It doesn’t seem particularly hellish so far, but I suspect “the truth” wouldn’t be allowed on Ricochet.

    Also there’s more editing needed.

    • #2
  3. BDB Coolidge

    Chapter 2: The After-Life Enters Zawahiri.

    • #3
  4. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms

    But it is a dry heat…

    • #4
  5. BDB Coolidge

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    But it is a dry heat…


    • #5
  6. Steve in Richmond Member
    Steve in Richmond

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Babylon Bee quality Kelly.

    Oh no, better than that!

    • #6
  7. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel

    Highly creative! A pleasure and a diversion to read.

    • #7
  8. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    But it is a dry heat…

    Oh, I laughed!

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher

    Kelly D Johnston:

    “Um, no. I was just enjoying tea on my friend’s veranda in Kabul when . . .”

    Hellfire “Ninja” Missile

    RX9. Otherwise known as “the flying Ginsu.”

    A target from 2017:

    • #9
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