The eXile would like to thank the six participants in our First Annual Fantasy Terrorism League, as well as all the agents and friends-of-friends who put us in contact with the fringe-y celebrities who agreed to play ball. We tried to keep it interesting by offering a mix of local and international, edgy and mainstream celebrities, as well as former U.S. Embassy guard Jeremy Holt.
Russia-watcher Anders Aslund didn't need to use up the full 60 seconds allotted for his first-round draft pick in the eXile's first-ever Fantasy Terrorism Draft. He didn't even need five. No, it took Aslund all of four ticks off the clock to cash in on his number-one lottery pick and draft this season's expected ringer: Al Q'aida, last year's version of the Heisman Trophy winner.
Indeed, it was a day of few surprises, with Russia Journal columnist Peter Lavelle selecting the highly-touted HAMAS with the no. 2 selection. The until-now unheard-of owner Jeremy Holt was out of the country on draft day, but was able to call in and select the highly unpredictable Islamic Jihad with the no. 3 pick.
Holt's Mud Ferrets earned high marks from commentators for getting both a strong number one pick in Islamic Jihad, but even more impressive, a surprise number 2 pick with the Tamil Tigers. Here you have the old school terrorists who invented the suicide bomb, and the new generation suicide bombers who have taken it to the front page-and the front yard. "I feel pretty good about my team and our prospects," said Holt. "The Mud Ferrets are psyched, they're ready, and they want to die."
ESPN Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons also phoned in, and from his new home in California the fantasy sports guru took Jemaah Islamiya. "I like their energy, " said Simmons. "It may take them a few weeks to adjust to this level, but I think they're going to put up some good numbers come February and March. If they were a Seinfeld episode, they would be the one where Poppy doesn't wash his hands before making the pizza."
Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel surprised and shocked with her boldness as always by taking the Chechens with the no. 5 selection. "A lot of people think the Chechens shot their wad too early with the Nord-Ost operation," said Wurtzel. "But I think they might just be warming up."
While not happy that he drew the last pick in the first round, former Rage Against the Machine lead singer Zach de la Rocha -- who drafted the plucky Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat -- thinks his guys have the heart to compete. "My guys are going to play to win, no matter what," said de la Rocha. "It's like Lenin said: 'The worse, the better.' These guys want to make it worse for the Western stooge regime in Algeria and their reactionary supporters in the cities. If they make things worse, then for my team that's better."
The start of the eXile's first annual Fantasy Terrorism League has been pushed back to to January 1, 2003, at which point terrorist groups will begin amassing statistics for their respective teams. The season will conclude on April 15, 2003, after which the total statistics will be tallied and the winner announced. Below are the rosters for each team and the round in which each terrorist group was drafted.
Owner: Anders Aslund
- Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
- Harakut al-Mujahidin
- Abu Nidal Organization
- Asbat al-Ansar
Owner: Peter Lavelle
- Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
- Abu Sayyaf Group
- Kahane Chai (Kach)
- Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)
The Mud Ferrets
Owner: Jeremy Holt
- Islamic Jihad
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
- PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
- Armed Islamic Group
- Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army
Fuck The Yankees
Owner: Bill Simmons
- Jemaah Islamiya
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
- Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
- United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
- Real IRA
Da' Dirtay Bomb Diggities
Owner: Elizabeth Wurtzel
- The Chechens
- Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
- Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)
- Palestine Liberation Front
- Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
- Aum Shinrikyo
Owner: Zach De La Rocha, former Rage Against the Machine frontman
- Salafist Group for Call and Combat
- Lashkar-e-Tayyiba ("Army of the Faithful")
- Kurdistan Workers' Party
- Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso)
- Revolutionary Organization 17 November
- Gama'a al-Islamiyya