PESHAWAR - Al Qaeda will celebrate a quarter century in terrorism this year with several promotions designed to appeal to traditional fans and newer ones alike. The promotions include throwback uniforms, such as the ones worn to fight the Soviets following their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the naming of a new Al Qaeda mascot. Al Qaeda’s previous mascot, The San Diego Chicken, was killed fighting United States forces during the siege of Tora Bora.

Al Qaeda leader, and founder Osama Bin Laden announced the special anniversary celebration in a videotape broadcast on the al Jazeera network last night. “I realize that some of you will object to the idea of an Al Qaeda mascot. I’ve already heard the complaints. Al Qaeda is hard core. Al Qaeda doesn’t need gimmicks. Al Qaeda is all about good old fashioned, smash-mouth terrorism,” said Bin Laden. “We still are. We just thought this would be a fun way to get young people involved.”

On at least one point, however, traditional fans of old-school Islamic fanaticism can rest easy: Al Qaeda has no plans to introduce cheerleaders. “Not as long as I’m running this organization,” said Bin Laden. The commemorative editions of the 1982 and 1984 Al Qaeda uniform will be available for purchase this fall “wherever fine jihadist clothing is available.” Bin Laden said fans will have a chance to offer their suggestions for a mascot name online at the Al Qaeda web page. The winner will be announced via videotape broadcast on the al Jazeera network at an unspecified future date.