Just one day after al-Qaeda’s #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, announced that militants from the Egyptian group Gamaa Islamiya, were joining al-Qaeda, Aljazeera reports:

“The Gamaa Islamiya in Egypt stresses the lack of truth in what Aljazeera aired by Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri about it joining al-Qaeda, and categorically denies this,” the group said in a statement on its website.

And a former official in Egypt’s Gamaa Islamiya said that even if some members had joined al-Qaeda – as al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a video aired on Aljazeera on Saturday – it was unlikely that most would do so.

The group fought a bloody campaign against the government in the 1990s to set up an Islamic state before declaring a truce in 1997.

Sheikh Abdel Akher Hammad, a former Gamaa leader, told Aljazeera on Sunday from Germany: “If [some] brothers … have joined, then this is their personal view and I don’t think that most Gamaa Islamiya members share that same opinion.”

Full article here.

Now that Hezbollah is capturing all the headlines and attracting new militants from as far as Indonesia, there is little doubt that Osama bin Laden and his pals are feeling a little left out. While Hezbollah’s conduct of its war against Israel has actually succeeded in bringing Sunni and Shia together, the prosecution of al-Qaeda’s war on the West in Iraq has left a poor taste in the mouths of many Muslims, who have decried Zarqawi’s strategy of pitting Muslim against Muslim as being fundamentally against Islamic law. Despite the fact that many Islamic statists continue to celebrate al-Qaeda’s little victories, al-Qaeda remains a pariah in the Muslim world — so much so that other militants are wary of being associated with it.

It happens to all the hip clubs, you know. You stoke your velvet rope line for all its worth, and Paris and her pals are practically living in your VIP lounge — and then, without warning, a few months later the “it” crowd has moved on to the new club around the corner, complaining that the drinks at your place are all watered down and the music sucks. Once that happens, see if you can even get yourself arrested in this town . . . well, except if, maybe, you were to start blowing up stuff again. People tend to notice that kind of thing.