Washington Post 
August 14, 2013
An al-Qaeda-allied group in Syria has enlisted Tinky Winky in its fight for hearts and minds of Syrians.
One of al-Qaeda’s fatal mistakes in Iraq during the war there was alienating the Iraqi people, who turned against the group that had killed so many civilians and imposed severe Islamist rule. Now, as al-Qaeda-allied factions are pushing into Syria, they’re endeavoring to project a softer, fuzzier image. That’s recently included, for example, a family fair in rebel-controlled Aleppo, complete with ice cream eating contests and sermons about jihad .
Now al-Qaeda’s campaign for Syrian hearts and minds apparently includes toy give-aways, some of them a bit surprising for a group dedicated to total war against Western culture.
The Washington Post’s Liz Sly, toward the end of a recent must-read story documenting al-Qaeda’s growing influence in Syria , surfaced a video posted from Aleppo over the weekend that showed another jihadist family fair. Here it is: