Putting the final lie to the Bush Administration refrain that the terrorists who killed us on 9/11 are the same as those fighting us in Iraq, a bi-partisan panel of experts has concluded that the separate groups calling themselves “Al Qaeda” are as independent and unrelated as the dozens of “Ray’s Pizzas” that dot the landscape in New York City.

In the most comprehensive report on terrorism yet, the panel emphasized that the various terrorist groups are simply trying to reap the benefits and “goodwill” of the “Al Qaeda” brand name, much as copycat pizzeria owners did with the “Original Ray’s” in the 1970′s and 80′s.

In fact, the report notes, a number of terrorist organizations have taken to calling themselves “Original Al Qaeda,” “Famous Al Qaeda,” “Original Famous Al Qaeda,” and “Famous Original Al Qaeda,” in an attempt to sow brand confusion and attract the best jihadi recruits.

One particularly brazen terrorist cell even misappropriated the name “Famous Original Ray’s Al Qaeda,” and is known for its propensity to pack pepperoni pizzas with IEDs.

A check of court records also reveals that this widespread proliferation of “Al Qaeda” names has spawned extensive litigation, with the principals putting aside their visceral hatred of the “Zionist pigs” in order to retain first-rate legal talent.

An attorney for one litigant, although under a literal “gag order” from his client, did manage to send an email indicating that the lawsuits are expected to drag on for years, “perhaps as long as the jihad itself.”

In related news, Osama bin Laden issued a videotape from his sanctuary in the mountains of Pakistan, lamenting not only the in-fighting among competing Al Qaeda groups, but the fact that “it’s impossible to get a decent slice of pizza out here.”

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BLOGWORTHIES:

BuzzFlash: Why Won’t the GOP Allow¬†an “Up or Down Vote” to Save Our GIs?

Neoconservative Madman, William Kristol’s World of Make Believe, at¬†PDB.

The Republican Way, by Lisa Casey.

Madkane’s Filibuster (Full-a-Bluster) Song Parody.

Stephen Colbert with some advice for Senator Vitter, via One Good Move. 

Dan Kurtzman with the dueling YouTube campaign hotties.

And my 7/17/07 links at Mike’s Blog Round-Up, at Crooks & Liars.