The process of joining al-Qaeda is apparently not that different from the dreary process of applying for your run-of-the-mill desk job. Except, you know, for the question about willingness to be a suicide bomber.
Actually, apart from the eerie questions about suicide operations, al-Qaeda's application almost has the same corporate tone as every other HR styled job application form.
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently declassified a plethora of documents the Navy Seals discovered from Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Abottabad, Pakistan. Among the treasure trove of various important correspondence, U.S. government documents, and a list of the many English-language books, the Navy Seals also confiscated a priceless questionnaire that served as al-Qaeda’s recruitment form.
The three-page long, rigorous looking questionnaire asks a series of banal questions that makes you wonder if the applicants were also supposed to attach a cover letter and references.
The application opens with: “In the name of Allah the compassionate and merciful” and then delves in to instructions like: “Please write clearly and legibly” – because good penmanship is a must for becoming a terrorist.
The applicants are also prohibited “from sharing the information you provide on the application with each other,” which means al-Qaeda is at least discreet about its employees' information.
Weirdly enough, there’s no word on which ink the applicants must use in order to complete the form.
The questionnaire also inquires about member’s hobbies or pastimes before casually asking questions such as: "Do you wish to become a suicide bomber?" followed by whom should be contacted "in case you become a martyr" like every other workplace that asks it employees to provide an emergency contact.
At the time of recruitment, the terrorist organization also wants to know the foreign languages the applicant can speak, their education level, along with "date of your arrival in the land of jihad” and other travel related questions.
However, as amusing and bizarrely unremarkable as the application form is, it’s a testament that al-Qaeda is way more organized in its operations than the world probably realized.