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Top Five Other Menial Jobs That May Be Path to al Qaeda Leadership

If the FBI is to be believed, Adnan El Shukijumah is the terrorist's version of a Cinderella story, having worked his way up from dishwasher to his current rank as director of overseas operations. Granted, this former Miramar resident didn't have a stagecoach that turned into a pumpkin so much as a couple of his al Qaeda bosses turned into fertilizer, courtesy U.S. military drones.

But clearly al Qaeda is one of those outfits that promotes from within. So let's consider the five al Qaeda jobs that have great opportunity for advancement.

5. Beard comber
The sun, the wind, and the sand wreaks havoc on the ZZ Top-style facial hair that remains in vogue among al Qaeda's elite, who certainly can't be seen scratching their beards while in the midst of railing against the evils of the West in some grainy video footage. Picking out the ticks and the lice from such huge beards isn't glamorous, but it's an excellent time to bounce ideas off the big guys. "So," the ambitious al Aaeda operative might begin, "I was thinking I could open a sleeper cell somewhere on the French Riviera, then maybe take the first 20 years or so to plan a suicide bombing. I mean, not that I don't love hanging in the man cave, but..."

4. Biological weapons developer
So far, al Qaeda's biological weapons developers have proved to be adept at killing... themselves, by accident. The corporate empire needs an influx of talent here, so much so that they're running a special: the next five guys who die working on biological weapons qualify for the heaven full 'o virgins usually reserved for suicide bombers.

3. Cobbler
Something about trekking through the mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border gives a guy an appreciation for comfortable, durable footwear. If you can repair a torn sandal or whip up a brand new pair from the entrails of a mountain goat, the al Qaeda brass will make sure to keep you close. They might even give you the honor of designing the next shoe bomb.

2. Osama bin stunt double
Pretending to be Osama bin Laden may sound fun, but not when you're approaching a small village where there might be an informant. If a drone suddenly blows your Osama costume and body to bits, that probably means there was one.

1. Director of public affairs 

Since 9/11, it's been hard to plan terrorist attacks, which is why al Qaeda is looking for a young man who can go on television and convincingly claim that some misfortune in the Western world was actually a jihadist plot. For instance, al Qaeda missed a golden opportunity to claim credit for the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the spill to follow. The ideal candidate should be a little better at escaping Pakistani police than Adam Gadahn.

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Thomas Francis

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