Wherever bin Laden may be, he's not your grandmother's terrorist.
HE DEPARTMENT of Homeland Security, having just released updated renderings of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden based on greying hair and other signs of aging, have been pressured by some in the CIA to instead render bin Laden in "a hipper iteration," in an effort to give searchers "a more realistic image of the worldly-wise terrorist leader."
Citing bin Laden's college education and knowledge of Western culture, CIA officials aren't ruling out the possibility that the Muslim terrorist "might be right here in the United States, or in Europe, sporting a nose ring and a string of studs in his ears."
Other bin Laden hunters are betting that the terrorist's vanity may have also inspired him to receive a few permanent tattoos that only recent technology can remove. Tattoo-removal parlors around the U.S. are clambering for the hipster renderings of bin Laden, in hopes that he can be taken into custody right here on American soil.
"I want my whole staff to be on the lookout for this terrorist creepezoid," said Josh Riley, owner of "Un-Tattoo You" in upstate New York. "First we get him on the table, then we strap his ass down until the police come and drag him outta here. It would make my day, let me tell you."
Tattoo-removal specialists are asked to keep an eye out for designs of arabic script, airplanes, skyscrapers, and one or more virgins.
"The virgins will likely be sitting on clouds or plush pillows of some sort," explained a Homeland Security deputy. "And they'll probably look a lot like Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie, only with darker hair. But if you see a blonde virgin, don't hesitate to call us."
Criticisms of the age-progression images are also coming from several beauty product makers, who have issued a statement cautioning the Obama administration that the altered bin Laden photos "may be a complete waste of time, given the proven capacity of our product lines to stop and even reverse the most common signs of aging in as little as three months!" The makers have proposed that troops on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan be issued images of bin Laden "with age lines reduced and more even, luminous skin tones, in keeping with the advanced peptide technology we put into all our products."
Many beauty companies therefore endorse "dramatic age-reversal" images of bin Laden, insisting that the Muslim terrorist leader "can achieve younger, more radiant skin from the comfort of his cave in only a few months, if he maintains one of our simple beauty regimens between terrorist planning sessions."
The companies also point out that a simple, secure online purchase "allows even the busiest, most secretive terrorist leader to save time and money he might once have wasted in dangerous undercover shopping missions to department stores. Any one of our luxurious SPF creams, available through most online beauty vendors, can produce advanced results at a fraction of department store prices!"
Mr. bin Laden was not available to comment on his skin-care results, which may vary from terrorist to terrorist. However, U.S. operatives believe he would be pleased to know that all his beauty purchases come with an unconditional, money-back guarantee if he is not completely satisfied.
© 01.19.10 Kate Heidel