He has touched off a whirlwind of speculation about the future of al-Qaeda, or at least its organisational structure comprising a core leadership in the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands with affiliates around the world. Essentially his messages reflect a world in which Islamic State has gained prestige, power and wealth and al-Qaeda is struggling to adapt… as well as to survive in a region where drone strikes have put it on the back foot.
But is it true? How well-connected is Dean (not his real name) these days? Only time will tell, I guess.