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    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Full Text of Gadahn Video on Fort Hood

    Adam Gadahn's latest video, released this weekend

    Please credit if reporting from this transcript.

    A Call To Arms
    Brother Adam Yahiye Gadahn
    Muharram 1431

    I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the Accursed. In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful:

    "O you who believe! Fight the unbelievers who are closest in proximity to you and let them find harshness in you; and know that Allah is with those who fear Him." (9:123)

    Muslim brothers everywhere, as-Salaamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh [peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings]. Wa B'ad:

    The year 2009, the inaugural year of a new administration in Washington, ended in a truly miserable fashion for the Crusader West and its intelligence organs, who suffered a series of moral and material blows which culminated in the bloody deaths of at least 8 CIA operatives in a masterfully-planned and executed martyrdom operation inside their clandestine base in Afghanistan. This crushing blow came just a few days after the compromising of America's supposedly airtight security in a valiant attempt by a heroic soldier of al-Qaida to bring down an American airliner over Detroit. But I would like here to take you back to an earlier event, one whose hero wasn't a member of al-Qaida or any other Islamic group, but was in fact, a ranking officer of the United States Army, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who, this past autumn, opened fire on a group of American soldiers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan deep within the army's largest domestic base, Fort Hood, Texas. According to official army figures, at least 13 Crusaders were killed and more than 30 wounded in this surprise attack. Major Nidal Malik Hasan himself was shot, wounded and captured, and has had charges filed against him in a Crusader military court of inquisition in preparation for a summary show trial whose outcome is not in question.

    America may let the thugs of Blackwater off the hook, and may give the depraved guards of Abu Ghraib and the homicidal gang-rapists of al-Miqdadiyah slaps on the wrist, but it goes without saying that such concessions don't extend to defiant Muslim heroes like Major Nidal Malik Hasan. The fact is, the heroic Fort Hood operation opens up a host of new opportunities for discussion of the hypocrisy, hubris and less-than-wholesome aspects of the Western Crusader culture which bestows peace prizes on war presidents and condemns Christmas messages from captured American soldiers as cruel, even as it continues to torture and humiliate the Muslims and other prisoners in its own custody. However, in the interest of brevity, I will leave such topics for another day in favor of shining further light on the nature and motivations of the man behind this historic and trend-setting operation, our Mujahid brother Nidal Malik Hasan - Nahsabuhu Min as-Saaliheen wa La Nuzakeehi Ala Allah: We consider him to be a righteous man and we don't purify him before Allah.

    The Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan has shown us what one righteous Muslim with an assault rifle can do for his religion and brothers in faith, and has reminded us of how much pride and joy a single act of resistance and courage can instill in the hearts of Muslims everywhere. The Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, by the grace of Allah and with a single 30-minute battle, singlehandedly brought the morale of the American military and public to its lowest point in years. The Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, lightly armed but with a big heart, a strong will and a confident step, again brought into sharp focus the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of America, and again proved wrong those who claim America cannot be hit where it hurts. And most significantly, the Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers and yearns to discharge his duty to Allah and play a part in the defense of Islam and Muslims against the savage, heartless and bloody Zionist Crusader assault on our religion, sacred places and homelands.

    Just as significant and just as deserving of contemplation and emulation as what the defiant Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan did is what he didn't do. Courageous Brother Nidal didn't give the orders of men priority over the orders of Allah, nor did he fear the wrath of men more than the wrath of Allah. Nahsabahu wa Allahu Haseebuh [We reckon him so and Allah is his Reckoner]. And defiant Brother Nidal didn't make the youthful mistake he made in joining the American army an excuse for making the mistake of a lifetime and taking part in the fighting and killing of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else. This is why I believe that defiant Brother Nidal is the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes who, like him, has come to the correct collusion that true Islam isn't in a name or a set of rituals but in fact is in total submission and obedience to Allah and total disobedience to and disassociation from the unbelievers. When Brother Nidal was issued orders which conflicted with Islamic doctrine and values, he resisted them until the last bullet and thereby broke the mold of the mindlessly obedient soldier, a mold preferred and cultivated by the militaries of the world but totally rejected by Islam, which says loudly and clearly: La Ta'ata Li Makhlooqin Fi Ma'siyat al-Khaaliq - Obedience to a Created Being in Disobedience to the Creator is Impermissible.

    Not only did defiant Brother Nidal break free of the influence of the unbelievers he had grown up and worked with and served under, he also broke free of the evil influence of the anti-Jihad, pro-Crusade Shaykhs and Muftis who attempt to legitimize the killing of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere using the flimsiest pretexts and excuses imaginable. Defiant Brother Nidal didn't try to silence his conscience or justify obeying his commanders and remaining in the ranks of the unbelievers with those Shaykhs' scandalous Fatwas which permit the impermissible, prohibit the obligatory and condone the murder of Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism, or in the name of protecting salary and position, or in the name of preserving the good reputation of American Muslims and dispelling any doubts about their patriotism and loyalty to America. Brother Nidal didn't try to hide behind such ridiculous excuses because he knew that - however many famous signatures it might carry and whatever fancy title it might have - no Fatwa in this world can possibly justify breaking the clear, unambiguous and agreed-upon laws of the Shari'ah, like the law forbidding the killing of Muslims or the law ordering loyalty to the believers and disloyalty to the unbelievers, and he knew that on the day of Judgement, all the Ulama, Mullas, Muftis and Imams of this world put together would be incapable of saving him from divine retribution were he to have blindly followed their permissions and prohibitions in contravention of what he knew - in his heart of hearts and through honest research and careful study - to be Allah's ruling and decree.

    I believe that Brother Nidal realized that the insults, accusations, imprisonment, loneliness and other difficulties that one might face during or after one's mission are insignificant when compared to the punishment Allah has threatened - in numerous places in the Quran and Hadeeth - for those who abandon compulsory Hijra and Jihad despite them having access to the necessary ways and means. But at the same time, I believe Brother Nidal realized that Islam neither calls for nor approves of hasty, reckless and poorly planned actions, and that's why he acted with caution and took the necessary steps in order to avoid repeating the mistakes others have made in operational and procedural matters. For example, Brother Nidal didn't - as far as we know - discuss his plans over government-monitored-and-controlled telephone and computer systems, nor did he confide his secrets to recent acquaintances - or even long-time acquaintances - whose professed loyalty to Islam and Muslims and apparent eagerness to defend their faith and brethren may or may not be as strong or as genuine as it appears. Brother Nidal wasn't taken in by the provocateurs who infiltrate the Masjids and Muslim communities of America with hidden microphones in order to entrap Muslims eager to perform the duty of Jihad. And Brother Nidal didn't unnecessarily raise his security profile or waste money better spent on the operation itself by traveling abroad to acquire skills and instructions which could easily be acquired at home, or indeed, deduced by using one's own powers of logic and reasoning.

    For example, the first thing many people often ask is: "What weapon should I use in my operation?" But the answer to this question - and it's an important question - is not as difficult as it may seem. The Mujahid Brother Nidal Hasan used firearms in his assault on Fort Hood, but the fact is, today's Mujahid is no longer limited to bullets and bombs when it comes to his choice of a weapon. As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a minimal budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon which can take the enemy by surprise and deprive him of sleep for years on end.

    Another important and often intimidating stage of preparation for any operation is the targeting phase. When the time came to pick his target, the Mujahid Brother Nidal chose carefully, looking for a target with which he was well acquainted, a target which was feasible and a target whose hitting would have a major impact on the enemy. In Brother Nidal's case, these three important qualities came together in Fort Hood, but as you start to make your plans, you shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West. On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage to the Crusader West and further our global agenda and long-range strategic objectives.

    We must look to further undermine the West's already-struggling economies with carefully-timed-and-targeted attacks on symbols of capitalism which will again shake consumer confidence and stifle spending. We must keep in mind how even apparently unsuccessful attacks on Western mass transportation systems can bring major cities to a halt, cost the enemy billions and send his corporations into bankruptcy. We must erode our cowardly enemy's will to fight by killing and capturing leading Crusaders and Zionists in government, industry and media who talk the talk but don't walk the walk and are only interested in prosecuting their profitable wars as long as it's other people who are in the line of fire and not them. We should look for targets which epitomize Western decadence, depravity, immorality and atheism, targets which the enemy and his mouthpieces will have trouble trying to pass off to the conservative Muslim majority as illegitimate targets full of innocent people. And finally, we mustn't allow our lawless enemies to provoke us with their evil, sadistic and murderous crimes into crossing the boundaries laid down by Allah and His Prophet or doing anything which may have negative repercussions on the image of the Jihad and reputation of the Mujahideen.

    We must always remember that our role models aren't our enemies: our role models are the Prophet, His Companions and the righteous and God-fearing Mujahideen. We must always remember that we are different than the Zionists and Crusaders with whom we are locked in combat: We are not outlaws. We are not gangsters. We are not hypocrites. We are not barbarians. We are not opportunists and mercenaries. We are not enemies of freedom and civilization. We are not cowards who wage wars from behind the controls of pilotless aircraft. In other words, everything our enemies are, we are not, and everything we are, they are not. We are people of courage, honor, decency, chivalry and ethics who selflessly sacrifice themselves for the noblest cause on earth, and that is why every Muslim and every Mujahid must continue to take the high road and protect the moral high ground which we have fought so long and hard to secure.

    My dear brothers in Islam: with America and 25 of its NATO allies beginning to deploy a further 37,000 occupation troops to Afghanistan, and with armed American drones now violating Islamic airspace and terrorizing Muslim populaces from Miran Shah to Mogadishu, and with the American war president and his rabid British poodle plotting fresh aggression against the Yemen, and with the United States consolidating its cruel treatment of our brothers in Islam at new or newly expanded Muslim-only concentration camps in Illinois, Bagram and elsewhere, it is rapidly becoming clear that this already hot global battle is about to get even hotter.

    This is a war which knows no international borders and no single battleground, and that's why I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam. This is the golden, once in a lifetime opportunity to reap the rewards of Jihad and martyrdom we have been waiting for, so unsheathe your sharpened sword and rush to take your rightful place among defiant champions of Islam like Mir Aimal Kansi, Muhammad Bouyeri, Nidal Malik Hasan and many others like them: "Men who have been true to their covenant with Allah; of them some have been martyred and some are still waiting; but they have never changed in the least." (33:23)

    My Muslim brother: Jihad is neither the personal property nor the exclusive responsibility of any single group, organization or individual. Instead, it is the personal duty of every able-bodied Muslim on the face of this earth, until the last Muslim captive is freed and the last piece of occupied Islamic land is recovered and until Muslims live in safety and security in the benevolent shadow of the Islamic state. Allah subhaanahu wa ta'ala has given you faculties of reason, judgement and choice within the guidelines of Islam, and it is for you - like your heroic Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan - to decide how, when and where you discharge this duty. But whatever you do, don't wait for tomorrow to do what can be done today, and don't wait for others to do what you can do yourself:"So fight (O Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in Allah's Cause - you are held responsible only for yourself - and rouse the believers. Allah will restrain the might of the unbelievers. And Allah is strongest in might and strongest in punishment." (4:84)

    Thank you for watching, and may Allah guide your steps. Wa as-Salaam 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

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    Different American Al Qaeda Arrested

    NYT identifies the man as Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, hailing from Pennsylvania.

    Initial reports seemed to have confused the American with Adam Gadahn, a California native who has been a Qaeda spokesman and often appears on videos calling for strikes against targets in the United States.

    Senior administration officials said on Sunday that they did not believe the arrest was of Mr. Gadahn. For hours, information was difficult to confirm from Pakistan. President Obama was briefed on news reports of the arrest, but later learned they were most likely not correct.

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    Clean Version Of Today's Gadahn Video

    As CNN discovered, the encoding of the latest Adam Gadahn video is faulty, resulting in the video juddering and getting badly out of sync with the audio. I have a cleaned-up version of the video available. For the next couple days, I will make it freely available to media outlets who agree to credit

    Contact information here.

    Still no confirmation of the arrest from U.S. officials, which raises two questions in my mind. First, do they really have him? And second, might Pakistani politicians try trading him for Aafia Siddiqui.

    Public sentiment in Pakistan is wildly supportive of Siddiqui, a Pakistani with roots in Boston, who was convicted last month of trying to kill federal agents. Pakistani diplomats have been trying to secure her release for months. Gadahn is the kind of bargaining chip that could make a difference, but if they try, they're going to destroy a lot of the goodwill -- and financial incentive -- that they could otherwise reap from the arrest.

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    Gadahn's Oscar Ambitions Thwarted

    Back in the day, when Adam Gadahn was just an aspiring terrorist help desk worker rather than part of Al Qaeda's official operations, he released a couple of fairly slick videos designed to appeal to Western audiences by mimicking Western documentaries -- up to and including the presence of a musical soundtrack.

    It is therefore interesting to note that the latest release from As-Sahab (which Gadahn basically runs at this point) opens with a short disclaimer. "ATTENTION: We do not permit musical accompaniment with our productions." One second later, a nasheed (religious song) fired up, but I guess that doesn't count.

    I'm guessing this is due to input from one of Gadahn's Al Qaeda overseers. It's interesting that these guys can rationalize away visits to strip clubs but they can't handle a light orchestral score.

    On the one hand, from a Western perspective, we should applaud such inconsistencies, which tend to shine a light on the hypocrisy of AQ's theological underpinnings. On the other hand, Gadahn's message indicated that AQ is increasingly sensitive to criticism of its Islamic credentials, so this may be the first stage in a rehabilitation campaign.

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    American Terrorist Praises American Terrorist

    Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, hits the Web-waves today with a new statement praises Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, whom he wishfully (but perhaps realistically) described as "trend-setting."

    According to Gadahn, Hasan was a "hero" but "wasn’t a member of al-Qaida or any other Islamic group."
    The Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan has shown us what one righteous Muslim with an assault rifle can do for his religion and brothers in faith, and has reminded us of how much pride and joy a single act of resistance and courage can instill in the hearts of Muslims everywhere.

    In the continuation of a worrisome trend, Gadahn stated Al Qaeda's support for micro-operations, lone wolves and soft-target attacks. The myth that Al Qaeda was only ever interested in U.S. attacks that would surpass 9/11 is officially exploded at this point.
    The Mujahid Brother Nidal Hasan used firearms in his assault on Fort Hood, but the fact is, today’s Mujahid is no longer limited to bullets and bombs when it comes to his choice of a weapon. As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a minimal budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon which can take the enemy by surprise and deprive him of sleep for years on end.

    Interestingly, Gadahn showed some sensitivity to recent excesses by Al Qaeda and its affiliates, praising Hasan's choice of target in particular and showing a rare flash of concern about what the wider Muslim population thinks.
    We should look for targets which epitomize Western decadence, depravity, immorality and atheism, targets which the enemy and his mouthpieces will have trouble trying to pass off to the conservative Muslim majority as illegitimate targets full of innocent people. And finally, we mustn’t allow our lawless enemies to provoke us with their evil, sadistic and murderous crimes into crossing the boundaries laid down by Allah and His Prophet or doing anything which may have negative repercussions on the image of the Jihad and reputation of the Mujahideen.

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    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Zazi Pleads Guilty

    The plea is sealed but here's the DOJ press release:

    Najibullah Zazi guilty plea

    It's clear from the information revealed in this release that Al Qaeda Core is now focusing on smaller scale attacks.

    The conventional wisdom for years has been that AQ wanted to stage an attack even more spectacular than 9/11 and was not interested in smaller operations. I personally doubt whether this was ever true (there was already strong evidence to the contrary), but at this point no one can credibly mount such a claim.

    This has to be seen as a negative development, since smaller attacks are easier to accomplish and pressing small attacks does not preclude the simultaneous deployment of a spectacular attack.

    In fact, if the operations are properly compartmentalized, smaller attacks could distract focus away from a larger operation. U.S. counterterrorism focus is highly reactive. For instance, we might be preoccupied chasing breast impant bombs with body scanners while someone is stowing a dirty bomb on an LNG tanker from Yemen.

    Another interesting point here is that Zazi traveled specifically to fight for the Taliban and only after arriving on the ground was he diverted to Al Qaeda. Since 2003, we’ve seen an increase in cases where potential foreign fighters are diverted to terrorism before they gain any battleground experience.

    Prior to 2001, fighters would more often cut their teeth in a more traditional foreign fighter combat or even regular military environment, and after proving themselves under those conditions then be recruited to receive specialized training for terrorism.

    For instance, Khalid Shaik Mohammed went to Bosnia in 1992 to play a support role for the mujahideen, but returned in 1995 to recruit terrorist operatives from the pool of experienced fighters.

    There is a useful distinction and transition to explore between jihadist (which I am defining as a foreign fighter taking part in a localized armed conflict or insurgency) and what I would call a “networked terrorist” (attacking non-combatant civilian targets outside of a hot conflict zone). I'll get into this more in my forthcoming book.

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    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    American Arrested in Raid on Bosnian Village

    An American citizen was arrested during a police raid on a Bosnian village populated by Wahhabis, according to Balkans media outlets.

    Enis Bosnic, of Jacksonville, Florida, was among several people arrested in "Operation Light," a sting operation conducted in Gornja Maoca, in northern Bosnia. The residents of Gornja Maoca live under Shariah law.

    Some members of the community are believed to have relocated there after the Bosnian government shut down a notorious village of former mujahideen known as Donja Bocinja.

    According to Bosnian news outlets, Edis Bosnic is a Bosnian national who became a naturalized American citizen. A person by that name was nominated to the board of directors of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in 2004.

    According to the Bosnian TV news magazine "60 Minutes" (no relation to CBS), Bosnic was in close contact with Adis Medunjanin, the Queens man arrested in the U.S. on suspicion of taking part in a bomb plot led by Afghan national Najibullah Zazi.

    Bosnian journalist Bosnian journalist Esad Hecimovic contributed to this report.


    Glas Srpske

    International Relations and Security Network

    Washington Post

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    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    CIA May Set Its Drone Sights on Anwar Awlaki

    Interesting -- and significant -- story in the Washington Post today. Radical imam Anwar Alwaki -- an American citizen -- may soon be added to the CIA's drone target list.

    Much ado has been made about the fact that this would be the first time an American has been targeted -- although as I have noted elsewhere, it would not be the first time an American Jihadist was killed in a drone attack. In 2002, a U.S. drone strike in Yemen (as it happens) killed Kamal Derwish, a Buffalo native connected to the Lackawanna Six.

    It was reported earlier that the U.S. may have missed an opportunity to kill Awlaki due to wrangling over the legalities that his citizenship may or may not complicate. The questions include:

  • What standard of evidence gets you on the kill list?
  • Who reviews that decision?
  • Do you (as a citizen) have any recourse to get off of the list?

    These are not idle questions. In at least one case, U.S.-aligned forces killed an Al Qaeda suspect whose terrorist credentials were (at the least) questionable. That person wasn't a U.S. citizen, but it's still a troubling precedent. What if Eliot Ness has simply whacked Al Capone?

    The kill list is -- currently -- about two dozen names long. Most of them are active in command and control of terrorist attacks. While there are strong reasons to suspect Awlaki falls into that category, extremely significant unanswered questions remain -- not only about his role in the Detroit Christmas bomb attempt and the Nidal Hasan massacre, but about his connection to September 11.

    Realistically, the only way most of those questions are ever going to be answered in the public sphere is if Awlaki is captured and returned to the U.S. for a trial. As I have mentioned before, trials are the public's most important window into Al Qaeda and how terrorism works. And there is no case we need to understand more than 9/11.

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  • Friday, January 15, 2010

    Fallout in the Military Over Nidal Hasan

    It looks like there will changes in procedures and discipline for those who failed to spot problems that could have prevented the murder spree of Nidal Hasan, the Army major who shot and killed 13 people in November. The missed warning signs included Hasan's obsession with U.S. wars as "wars against Islam" and his contacts with radical Al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar Awlaki.

    Contrast that to the handling of Ali Mohamed, Al Qaeda's last big conquest within the military. Mohamed infiltrated the U.S. military on orders from Al Qaeda's No. 2 leader Ayman Al Zawahiri. Some of his commanding officers sent up alarm bells about Mohamed's radical leanings (including statements made on the video below which was distributed by the military to educate soldiers about the Middle East).

    No one was disciplined and nothing was changed after Mohamed's spying on behalf of Al Qaeda was exposed, a failure that spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Pentagon even stonewalled requests by the CIA for information about foreign nationals serving in the armed forces after Mohamed's duplicity was finally exposed in 1998.

    Accountability is an important tool in dealing with terrorism, because accountability leads to adaptability, which is our enemy's greatest strength. It's a lesson that could be applied even more broadly in the U.S. government, but a good start is a good start.

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    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    American Jihadists Study

    An interesting report out this week on American Jihadists. It summarizes a lot of key points to keep in mind on this subject, but it's focused mainly on post-9/11 terrorism cases.


  • About a third of the cases covered involved converts to Islam. In my own reporting, I've found that converts are an extremely important part of the jihadi mix -- especially when it comes to Americans.
  • About half of the cases they studied were Arabs, the rest were a mix of ethnicities. The cases I have documented in the book will probably end up skewing slightly higher toward non-Arab ethnicities.
  • About half the cases covered involved U.S. citizens. I expect to skew slightly higher on that front as well, although it's going to be in the same neighborhood.

    There a few important elements I will be covering in the book which are not present in the study. First off, Americans have been taking part in jihad ever since the modern age of terrorism began in 1979. I'll be looking at several of those cases in the book, including some interviews with pre-9/11 jihadists. I am also examining Canadians in the book, because the cultural and logistical markers are fairly similar.

    The second point is that not everyone who takes part in jihad also becomes involved in terrorism. I'm working to integrate some of those cases into the book as well.

    Finally, I want to note there are plenty of cases which haven't made a big splash in the news media. I'll be looking at some of those as well.

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  • Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Anwar Awlaki Describes Nidal Hasan Contacts

    Awlaki said he met Nidal Hasan nine years ago, at the Dar Al-Hijra mosque in Washington, D.C. Hasan began emailing Awlaki again on Dec. 17, 2008, almost a year before Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood.

    The pressing question for American counterterrorism officials has been: Should those messages have alerted U.S. intelligence that Hasan was a threat? Awlaki's answer to the question of the message content certainly suggests the answer was "Hell, yes."

    He was asking whether killing American officers and soldiers is legitimate or not. [...] I am surprised where were the U.S. security agencies, which claimed one day that they are able to read cars and vehicles plate's numbers from up in space, anywhere in the world. His messages were asking about the Islamic rule of killing a Muslim soldier, who served in the U.S. Army.

    And in other letters he explained his view of killing Israeli civilians and was in favor of this, he mentioned the legal and factual justifications for targeting Jews with rockets. Later, there were some of his letters that asked for a way he can transfer some funds to us, to contribute on charity works.

    More broadly, Awlaki said:

    An American-Muslim's loyalty is to the Muslim nation, not for America. Hasan has proved that, through his blessed operation; may God richly reward him.

    For the full interview, click here.

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    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    Detroit Bomber Attended AlMaghrib Institute In Houston During 2008

    The Christmas Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attended a Houston-based Islamic seminar in 2008, according to the Detroit Free Press. He was in Houston for 17 days.

    With the caveat that I don't want to read too much into this, it's interesting to note that American Jihadist Daniel Maldonado was a member of the AlMaghrib Institute's Internet forum using his online handle of Daniel Aljughafi. At the time of his arrest, he had only made two posts to the site. Oddly, one of those posts has since disappeared.

    Threads of interest on the AlMaghrib site include:

    Is it permissible to call non-Muslims kaffirs (infidels)?

    Discussion of apostates including whether it is permissible to kill them and under what circumstances

    A now deleted thread praising the writings of Anwar Awlaki (vis Google cache, I have a copy if this expires)

    List of posts mentioning Awlaki

    UPDATE: Internet Haganah has an extremely good post which sheds further light on Maldonado's connections to AlMaghrib and AlMaghrib's connection to other points of extremist interest on the Web.

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    Intel: Awlaki Linked To Christmas Bombing

    From the excellent Josh Meyer in the LA Times:

    Intercepts and other information point to connections between terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Anwar al Awlaki -- who also communicated with the accused U.S. Army gunman in last month's attack on Ft. Hood, Texas, that left 13 people dead.

    Some of the information about Awlaki comes from Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian charged with attempting to detonate a hidden packet of PETN explosive aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, the officials said.

    Under questioning by the FBI, Abdulmutallab has said that he met with Awlaki and senior Al Qaeda members during an extended trip to Yemen this year, and that the cleric was involved in some elements of planning or preparing the attack and in providing religious justification for it, officials said.

    Other intelligence linking Awlaki to Abdulmutallab became apparent after the attempted bombing, including communications intercepted by the National Security Agency indicating that the cleric was meeting with "a Nigerian" in preparation for some kind of operation, according to a U.S. intelligence official.

    Click here for the whole story.

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    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Investigators Look At Possible Link Between Detroit Bomber and Awlaki

    From the New York Times:

    A senior American counterterrorism official confirmed that American and allied authorities are looking closely into Mr. Abdulmutallab’s possible connections to radical elements in Yemen, including extremist figures on Jihadist Web sites like Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric linked to Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings last month. Investigators are trying to determine whether Mr. Awlaki may have motivated Mr. Abdulmutallab.

    UPDATE: Some later stories have been downplaying this possibility, but I'm in a wait-and-see mode. The Detroit attack appears to be well in keeping with Awlaki's "leaderless jihad" philosophy in which individuals carry out attacks with minimal guidance from headquarters. It is, of course, a critical question as to what organizational affiliation Abdulmutallab had and how strong it was. If this attack turns out to have a strong Al Qaeda component, I will have a lot to say about what that means for the future of the war on terror.

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    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Anwar Awlaki Dead?

    The government of Yemen seems to think that an air strike has killed Anwar Awlaki, the American citizen turned radical imam who was a spiritual leader to 9/11 hijackers, as well as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan. The strike also supposedly killed a couple of important Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders. There have been plenty of false reports in the last year, so we'll wait a while to see how this pans out. Another ambiguity awaiting clarification -- did the U.S. play a role in the strike? If so, that sends a powerful message about this administration's tolerance for those who support terrorism. We will see.

    12/25 UPDATE: Awlaki is reportedly still alive. Some of the stories out of Yemen said that his house (or what was believed to be his house) was specifically targeted in the strike. That question is an interesting one for the reason cited above. It speaks to the Obama administration's tolerance for terrorist supporters, and perhaps also to their definition -- as in, was Nidal Hasan's shooting spree terrorism?

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    Friday, December 11, 2009

    'Pakistan 5' Will Be Deported To U.S.

    An update from Bloomberg:

    "It's quite clear that the next step for these men is to be deported to their home country, America, but we will do so only after a full investigation is complete," Punjab province Home Minister Rana Sanaullah said today in a telephone interview from Lahore, the provincial capital.

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    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Americans in Pakistan: A Classic Case

    On CNN's Situation Room, CNN correspondent Arwa Damon said Pakistani officials told her the five Americans arrested there this week "were not motivated by Islam" but were instead traveling to a combat zone to defend Muslims against "ongoing atrocities." The report also stated that they said attacking a Muslim anywhere in the world was the same attacking all Muslims.

    I have no doubt this is an accurate quote of what Damon was told, but it's a tremendous misdirection to say that these young men were not motivated by Islam. The narrative of Muslim victimization -- and Muslim solidarity against victimization -- is the dominant theme of jihadi recruitment, and an important recurring theme in Islam generally and in jihadist thought specifically.

    It's also one of the most important factors which leads Americans to jihad, as I will discuss at more length in my forthcoming book. Americans are especially responsive to the Muslim victimization theme, for a number of reasons including media consumption, American political dialogue and cultural principles.

    If these young men said what is attributed to them (and I'm quite certain they did) that places squarely in the center of Islamic jihadist thought, and the American Jihadist theme -- not off to one side as this report suggests.

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    Five Americans In Pakistan Linked to Al Qaeda, Pak Officials Say

    This from the Wall Street Journal:
    Five young Americans detained in eastern Pakistan had developed contacts with al Qaeda operatives through the Internet and were on their way to North Waziristan to join a militant training camp, said a senior Pakistani intelligence official.

    The story cited intelligence from the men's laptops.
    Scores of radical Muslims from the West are believed to have received training in al Qaeda camps in recent years and have now been fighting on both sides of the border Afghanistan and Pakistan border. In September, Pakistani security forces arrested Mehdi-Muhammed Ghezali, a Swedish national and a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who was trying to go to Waziristan to join al Qaeda.

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    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Would-Be American Jihadists Held in Pakistan

    Five young men from Virginia were arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of trying to connect with jihadist groups there. According to a Pakistani newspaper and The Investigative Project on Terrorism, the five are named Ahmed Abdullah, Waqar Khan, Eman Hassan, Ramy Zamzam and Yasir (last name unknown).

    The five were arrested just a couple weeks after leaving the U.S., at the home of Khalid Farooqi, a member of Jaish-e-Muhammad, according to the Pakistani paper. JEM is a jihadist group focused mainly on Kashmir. It's also connected to Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which has attracted American Jihadists in the past, and both groups are suspected of playing a role in the murder of Daniel Pearl by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

    One of the group left behind a video which appeared to be expressing jihadist sentiments, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which held a press conference today to say it was assisting the investigation. In light of recent threats against American Muslim organizations by an Al Qaeda-linked forum, it will be interesting to see how the jihadists react to CAIR's collaborative role with law enforcement in this case.

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    Monday, December 7, 2009

    New charges in Chicago for alleged LeT member David Coleman Headley

    This from this Justice Department this morning:

    New federal charges filed today allege that a Chicago man, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India’s largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more.

    The defendant, David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen, earlier this decade allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar), and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks in both Denmark and India, federal law enforcement officials announced today.

    Also today, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Chicago charging Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military, with conspiracy in planning to attack the Danish newspaper and its employees. Another Chicago man, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan, was arrested in October on federal charges filed in Chicago relating to the Danish terrorism plot.

    Through his attorneys, Headley has authorized the Justice Department to disclose that he is cooperating in the ongoing investigation of both the Danish and Indian terror plots. He has remained in federal custody without bond since he was arrested in Chicago on Oct. 3, 2009. No date has been set yet for his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

    I've been tied up working on the book for the last couple of weeks, but I'll have some updates on this story (including documents) and some other American jihadist cases within the next few days.

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    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    American Muslims Threatened Over Statements Condemning Nidal Hasan

    The Al Ansar Web site, a Al Qaeda-linked jihadist forum in English and Arabic, has published a statement which threatens American Muslims who criticize Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan.
    We ... issue this statement due to the unfortunate yet expected wave of apologetic statements being given around the world which smack of apostasy, especially in the land of the Lead Crusaders, the United States of America, the likes of which are only given either to safeguard their worldly gains from living there, due to their misguidance and ignorance of firm principles which they easily throw away based on their false concepts of "general interest", or due to the verdicts of misguided or evil scholars.

    In the Al-Ansar worldview, apostasy is punishable by death. The threat is repeated again at the end of this message, which is largely concerned with justifying Hasan's attack on a theological basis.
    We warn all Muslims, both individuals and organizations, to fear Allah in the views they hold and statements they make in regards to the validity of Nidal's actions, the character of our brother, and the correct Islamic views in relation to matters of this sort. They must be very careful that they do not knowingly or unknowingly fall into disbelief and apostasy.

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    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    A Key Failure In Understanding Nidal Hasan

    From today's Washington Post:

    "[Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan] had his struggles, and he embraced his religion with such intensity that one wondered whether he" could have suffered from a form of "delusion," the [Walter Reed] staffer said. He cited as an example -- without speaking of Hasan in particular -- the belief that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are against Muslims rather than against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's government and then insurgents in Iraq.

    The view that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are directed at Islam is not "delusional" -- it's the product of a selective worldview shaped by an overwhelming amount of public discourse from authority figures within the Muslim world, and to a lesser extent, the Muslim-American world.

    This "War on Islam" concept is an major component of radical thought, although the opinion is so widespread that it's probably unreasonable to say it's outside the Muslim mainstream (on a worldwide basis).

    The "delusion" comment betrays such a profound lack of understanding and attention to the global Muslim public square that it's easy to see how Hasan's colleagues could have missed more important signs of extremism.

    And for those keeping score, one of Anwar Awlaki's more popular audio tracts is titled "It's a War Against Islam."

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    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Was Nidal Hasan A Rational Actor?

    As the hours of coverage mount, we're seeing more and more discussion of Maj. Nidal Hasan's connection to extremist imam Anwar Aulaqi, prior to his killing spree at Fort Hood last week. There's a fundamental question that comes out of that analysis, which I have not seen articulated yet.

    Was Hasan acting rationally when he killed 13 people?

    Culturally, we tend to view mass shootings as a manifestation of mental illness, in which someone's unfathomable disease prompts them to act in an inexplicable way.

    But when you look at Anwar Aulaqi's role and his comments on the shootings, we have to question that assumption.

    Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn't exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

    One can certainly disagree with this sentiment, and one can challenge its factual underpinnings. But within the factual underpinnings, the statement is rational, which is to say it's based on recognizable reasoning.

    So the key question regarding Nidal Hasan is: Were his actions based on this kind of reasoning, or the result of a collapse of reasoning due to mental illness?

    Certainly his lawyers will be considering this question. It's a standard question in murder cases and bears directly on the punishment a convicted murderer receives.

    In this instance, there's also a broader problem, because if he was acting rationally, it was likely the result of radicalization. In other words, did Aulaqi or like-minded thinkers bring Hasan around to a worldview in which his actions are considered rational?

    If Hasan was a radicalized rational actor, his actions stem from the worldview of Anwar Aulaqi. Without such a motive, we're left only with his desire to avoid deployment, and the truly rational decision based on that motive would have been to desert the Army without killing anyone.

    If Hasan was rational, the case raises enormous concerns about the success of ideologues like Aulaqi. Because -- unlike mental illness -- ideology is contagious.

    To some extent, of course, the point is moot. The media depiction is increasingly focused on Hasan's ideology. If those who share his ideological inclinations believe he was acting rationally, it will inspire imitators. But understanding if and how ideology influenced the initial act helps us understand how this worldview spreads, who is susceptible to its charms, and what factors cause ideology to transform into violent intent.

    A radical-leaning English-language Islamic forum discussing Aulaqi and Hasan was heavily populated by people who found the shootings quite rational:

    Despite his motives, Muslims all over the world are celebrating and they would've been happy even if a kafir did this. Thirteen less kuffar [infidels] who would otherwise quite possibly have raped your Muslim sisters and/or killed them and other Muslims. [...]

    Imam Anwar Awlaki has spoken the truth again and the hypocrites have been exposed. May Allah preserve him and continue to make him a beacon of truth for this Ummah and a cancer against the Kuffar no matter how much they may dislike it. Ameen. [...]

    my point was that, there lies a great disconnect between muslims and their actions and reactions as dictated by the media[.] the same type of attack that happens in afghanistan and iraq daily, and there are no condemnations[.] we dont get small biographies, photos, names, etc, we get a headline and we move on[.] here, an attack was made (whether he was sane or not, or whatever his motivation) and we have people clamoring over the fact that 13 innocent people were killed[.] i fail to see that in this story[.] and i am not talking about the kuffar and their responses, i can understand their responses[.] i am more concerned about the muslims and their responses [...]

    When the other party has murdered millions of Muslims...(need I continue with this?) would it not be better, since one is not bound by any oath, treaty or covenant, to do what nidal did [instead of just leaving the Army]? Why waste a golden opportunity like this? [...]

    Nidals "treachery" + attack = 13 less soldiers going out to kill more members of our ummah

    Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, the concept of "13 less soldiers" fighting against those perceived as "our ummah (community)" is rational. It may be based on false assumptions or wrong facts or unattractive values, but it's a logical rationale that justifies the act. The fact that this particular audience would be as likely to cheer someone who opened fire in a mall is (somewhat) tangential to the point.

    If the worldview and reasoning of Anwar Aulaqi is gaining traction in the United States, that's a real problem for law enforcement and intelligence officials. Aulaqi is an advocate of the radical Islamic version of "leaderless resistance" in which individuals and very small groups take action against perceived enemies independently. That's a very difficult problem in counterterrorism.

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    Monday, November 9, 2009

    9/11 Imam Anwar Aulaqi Praises Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan

    Anwar Aulaqi, a radical imam who served as inspiration to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and two 9/11 hijackers, has posted to his Web site with words of praise for the Army major:

    Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn't exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

    Further down, he states:

    [T]he only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

    The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal's operation. [...]

    The inconsistency of being a Muslim today and living in America and the West in general reveals the wisdom behind the opinions that call for migration from the West. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to Islam in an environment that is becoming more hostile towards Muslims.

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    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Updates on Nidal Malik Hasan

    There were two items of note in the weekend papers. The first is an exchange between Hasan and an acquaintance that clarifies why this case belongs on this site:

    "Jihad means an inner struggle, fighting against corruption and injustice."

    The young doctor responded. "That's not a correct interpretation. Jihad means holy war. When your religion isn't safe, you have to fight for it. If someone attacks you, you must fight them. That is jihad. You can kill someone who is harming you."

    The second item comes from The Telegraph. It's a bit sensational and no one else has reported this, so take it with a grain of salt for now, but:

    Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year.

    The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.

    Anwar Awlaki is a figure of high-interest to the violent jihad movement. I'll be discussing him in some detail in my book.

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    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Major Nidal Malik Hasan

    U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded dozens more when he opened fire at Fort Hood. Given the misinformation flooding the airwaves yesterday, I waited before adding him to the list. Even today, his actions look more like simple mental imbalance than traditional terrorism. Another aggravating factor that has been reported was his imminent deployment overseas.

    Nevertheless, there is mounting evidence that, at minimum, Hasan dressed his imbalance in the garb of religious ideology, and so his story is relevant here.

    CNN obtains surveillance video of Hasan at nearby store

    Reports: Hasan shouted 'Allahu Akbar' during attack

    AP: Hasan defended suicide bombers in online postings

    AP: Troubling portrait emerges of Fort Hood suspect

    Washington Post profile of Hasan

    WaPost: Hasan attended Muslim Community Center mosque in Silver Spring

    UPDATE: Here's an excerpt from a Web posting believed to be written by Hasan:

    There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that "IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE" and Allah (SWT) knows best.

    Update 2:56 p.m. EST:
    More details here...

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    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Tarek Mehanna Superseding Indictment and Evidentiary Proffer

    Two new documents filed today in Boston in the case of alleged jihadist Tarek Mehanna. According to an evidentiary proffer:

    MEHANNA also sought to provide material support to al Qa'ida and other terrorist organizations by translating and distributing videos and text that were intended to inspire others to participate in jihad.

    Among those translations, the proffer alleges, was a document called "39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad." An online correspondent of Mehanna said the work was establishing him as "Al Qaeda's English wing" and "Al Qaeda in Iraq's media wing."

    Mehanna later asked that a third party post the work so that his name wouldn't be associated with it, according to the proffer.

    Mehanna also translated videos related to terrorist acts by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the proffer alleges.

    The proffer relates the contents of an instant messaging exchange between Mehanna and another individual, which was recovered from Mehanna's computer. The exchange features the two men joking about the videotaped beheading of Nicholas Berg by Zarqawi.

    MEHANNA: we can have a movie night

    DS: What movie? ... "State of the Ummah"?

    MEHANNA: ni ... no ... Heads Up

    DS: lol ... Heads Up?

    MEHANNA: hehe joke

    DS: Does it star Mr. Z?

    MEHANNA: yes

    DS: it shoud be Heads Off

    MEHANNA: hehe yeah

    Mehanna made jokes about the September 11 attacks, the proffer alleges, and went with two friends to visit Ground Zero. One of those pictures has been published in the Boston Globe.

    Tarek Mehanna Superseding Indictment

    Tarek Mehanna Evidentiary Proffer

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    Recruitment of Americans to Fight in Somalia

    The new issue of CTR Vantage has a package of stories about recruitment of Westerners (and Americans specifically) to fight on behalf of Al Shabbab in Somalia. This is a very important topic; Somalia is shaping up to be an extremely important battlefield in the war against Al Qaeda.

    CTR Vantage: Al Shabbab's Recruiting Efforts in the West

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    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Welcome to American Jihadists

    Welcome to, a new Web site in the family. This site will start as a blog connecting to resources and documents on the subject of American citizens who take part in military jihad activities.

    The blog will give way in 2010 to a broader and more ambitious Web site that provides detailed source material from my forthcoming book, "American Jihadists." I hope to have an update soon with details about the book release.

    The subject of American Jihadists is fairly complex and has not received the media attention it deserves. There are dozens of cases of American citizens who have been arrested and indicted for various jihad-related activities.

    There are also cases in which Americans have taken part in military jihad overseas but have not been indicted and those who are not linked to terrorism. While some in the media characterize jihad as synonymous with terrorism, that is not always the case, and this distinction will be explored further in the book. However the majority of the cases featured on this site will have some sort of terrorism component, because those are the stories which become known to the public.

    You will note several posts which go back as far as March 2008. To get up and running, I imported relevant entries (along with their original post dates) from the blog. The site's actual launch date is today, Wednesday, November 4, 2009.

    A final note: There are many inside and outside of the Muslim community who will point out that jihad is not always associated with a military dimension. This site is specifically about people -- mostly men -- who take part in military jihad and related support activities. The people being profiled here themselves describe their activities as jihad, and where applicable, this site will use their terminology.

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    Updates on Luqman Abdullah-Related Arrests

    Here's a roundup of some of the latest headlines on the FBI's shooting of Luqman Al-Amin Abdullah, a Detroit imam, and the arrest of his son and several associates on weapons charges, among other alleged offenses not explicitly connected to terrorism by federal authorities (although the criminal complaint clearly offers up a strong implicit connection).

    You'll find some sharply diverging opinions about this case below, and around the Web. This case has the potential to become a very divisive and difficult flashpoint in terms of increasingly negative American Muslim sentiment about law enforcement and civil liberties and those who advocate a hardline stance on the investigation of potential terrorist threats in the U.S. This is also just the latest contribution to a widening rift between American Muslim institutions and the FBI.

    The negative turn seen in this case comes after a flurry of terrorism arrests on U.S. soil in recent weeks -- cases which have so far been much stronger (from a legal and evidentiary perspective) than many of the criminal prosecutions for terrorism carried out under the Bush administration.

    The controversy here has the unfortunate effect of undermining the FBI's recent push to prosecute more compelling terrorism cases. If Luqman Abdullah had not been shot, this case would likely have been seen by most people as another strong outing by the FBI.

    RCMP defends patting down of Muslim woman during raid

    Court Hearing Held For Six Tied To Muslim Group

    Probe asked in FBI's slaying of extremist imam

    Feds warn of reprisals after radical's death

    FBI 'murdered' radical Detroit imam, according to AP

    Read more:

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    Abu Mansour Al Amriki

    Abu Mansour Al Amriki is the newest American to show up in an Al Qaeda-linked organization, namely the Al Shabab militia, which was highlighted recently in a communique from Al Qaeda's nominal No. 2, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

    Abu Mansour Al Amriki

    Abu Mansour is shown speaking in English and Arabic. Published reports suggest that he may have volunteered in Bosnia during the 1990s.

    If you recognize this picture or have any information on this individual, please contact me.

    He's characterized as a military trainer and is shown taking part in an ambush of of what was characterized as Ethiopian and Somali troops at a location the video calls "Bardal," or Bargaal.

    Abu Masnor also delivers an after-action report on the attack. "Many of them were killed and injured," Abu Mansour said.

    Masnour eulogized the two fallen fighters. One was singled out as a particular inspiration.

    "We need more like him. If you can encourage more of your children and more of your neighbors and even your own to send people like him to this [indiscernable] it would be a great asset."

    "Our main objective, one of the things that we seek for [indiscernible] is to die as martyrs," said Mansour. "So the fact that we got two martyrs is nothing more than a victory in itself."

    Mansour has been featured before in Al Shahab videos, but his face has never been shown.

    The video also features another English-speaking jihadist and a brief clip of Osama bin Laden from an older Al Qaeda video.

    Fox News has identified Abu Mansour as Omar Hammami, a 25-year-old from Alabama. However, I've interviewed two different Bosnian mujahideen who stated with some certainty that the Abu Mansour pictured above was a mujahideen combatant during the war in Bosnia, when Hammami would have been 10 or 11 years old. I have also obtained a photograph that appears to be Abu Mansour in Bosnia. The investigation continues...

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    John Walker Lindh documents

    Documents on "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, via the NEFA Foundation

  • Criminal Complaint

    Statement of facts pertaining to guilty plea

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    Daniel Maldonado Blog and Writings

    Daniel Maldonado, aka Daniel Aljughaifi, is an American who is accused of joining al Qaeda and traveling to Somalia to take part in Islamist activities.

    Archived copy of Maldonado's blog

    According to a listing on (INTELWIRE mirror), Aljughaifi was searching for a second wife.

    Listing Salem, N.H., as his home, and using the name "dmsalafi," Aljughaifi said he was looking for "a saudi sister,verry pious,18-30,kind,shy,sweet,wears hijab and can deal with poligamy" (all typos in original).

    Aljughaifi's profile, last updated more than a year and a half ago, said he was planning to work as a computer technician in Saudi Arabia.

    A poster on, who appears to be Aljughaifi's wife, was not especially happy with Aljughaifi's efforts to add a spouse. According to the post:
    it was written there is no changing that fact. Allah made polygeny Halal and no one can change it.

    from a womans point of veiw i can see being sad ,hurt, jealous bla bla bla.. but i cant see myself jumping off a building or stabbing my dh in the back.( ok i can see it but only in a day other than that lets come back to reality.

    no matter how mad ,sad,hurt we get if our husbands want to do this..... weither thay do it or not us crying,yelling,throwing a tantrum acting out will never change the way thay feel inside, even if thay dont marry again it will always be a thought in there mind and we wont be able to change that.

    what i have come to understand is that if its written for you it will happen no matter how many tears you cry, no matter how much you dont eat, no matter how much you fight it.

    sisters lets just relax, i know easyer said than done.
    sit back and go with the flow. if your dh is a good man he will take care of you and her properly.

    Previous: Aljughaifi's Blog

    Under the same dmsalafi handle, a poster who appears to be Aljughaifi posted poetry on the IslamicNetwork message board. A selection is excerpted below:

    stuck in an ocean of tears

    hearts can not set sail on the path of Allah
    without tears for them to sail on
    sails do not move nor ever go far
    without the winds of dhikr there on
    let not your eyes be set on a star
    lest devils snicker and stare on
    such will not guide nor protect you from narr
    advise from a well wisher
    to "bear on"
    have you ever been wrecked off of tainted shores
    without anyone knowing you traveld
    regretting the fact you got on board
    when the pleasure of rowing just had you
    you knew you were heading rite off course
    paying no attention, just baffled
    showing no regret, nor remorse
    watching shaytons henchmen just pass you

    the secret you kept

    I so long to meet the one I thaught to have met
    do not think of me wrong I have no regret
    sleepless nights spent alone, awake while you slept
    I just wish I had known the secret you kept
    do not think I have hate, don't think of me less
    this is my fate, I know I am blessed
    to be with you is great, yes I confess
    I just wish I had known the secret you kept
    only if you could see the tears in my eyes
    but you were asleep, to no ones surprise
    away I creep, while you find rest
    I wish I had known the secret you kept
    I have tried to wake you out of your slumber
    not cause I hate you, but because I wonder
    what is it that you conseal in your chest
    I just wish I had known the secret you kept
    I refuse to sleep another night without you
    stand on your feet theres no need to show you how to
    you knew the Sunnah as well as the rest
    and that oh Ummah is the secret you kept

    The Heart

    I must confess I've slept with the enemy
    then found unrest without solice or serenity
    over stressed with all she pretends to be
    she acts as if she is her own entity
    she seems to shape my very identity
    but whats at stake is what she once ment to me
    my soul was broke and it was her who befreinded me
    torn apart and it was her who then mended me
    I need Quran to cure this dear freind to me
    before I morn the heart that can not depend on me
    our hearts are like woman
    although we may doubt them
    you can't live with'em
    you can't live without'em


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    Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam the American

    Video propaganda from Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam the American.

    View the clip (Windows Media)

    Azzam's very first video appearance on behalf of al Qaeda, released in 2004:

    View the clip (Windows Media)

    Previous INTELWIRE coverage of "Azzam":

    New Twists In Video From Ayman al-Zawahiri And Azzam The American

    'Azzam The American' Is A Rising Star In Al Qaeda's Media Operation

    California al Qaeda Admits To 'Demonic' Music, Sloppiness Before Islam

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    Anwar Awlaki aka Anwar Aulaqi

    Anwar Aulaqi is a Jihadist ideologue based in America prior to September 11, who was linked to some of the hijackers. He currently lives in Yemen. Although not an American citizen, he is a pertinent figure promulgating jihadist in the U.S., and therefore he's a figure of interest in the context of American citizen jihadists.

  • 9/26/2001: FBI Letterhead Memorandum, Anwar Aulaqi
  • 10/23/2001: FBI Communication, Anwar Aulaqi, Dar El Hijra mosque
  • 10/8/2001: FBI FD-302, Associates of hijackers in San Diego
  • 9/15/2001: FBI FD-302, Interrogation of Anwar Aulaqi
  • Labels: ,


    Atlanta Links To Toronto Terror Cell

  • Affidavit of Special Agent Michael Scherck
  • Full transcript of Ehsanul Sadequee bail hearing
  • Affidavit of Special Agent Gregory T. Hughes

  • Labels: ,


    Jose Padilla Documents

  • Photographs of Jose Padilla In Detention
  • FD-302 Interrogation Record for Jose Padilla, 5/8/2006
  • Padilla Criminal Charges in Florida (1991)

  • Labels: , ,


    Ali A. Mohamed Documents

    Ali Abdelsaoud Mohamed was an Egyptian soldier who became a U.S. citizen and served alongside the U.S. Special Forces at Fort Bragg. He was a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and later a member of Al Qaeda, serving a top trainer and as Osama bin Laden's chief of security for some years. He attempted to infiltrate the CIA during the 1980s and successfully infiltrated the FBI during the 1990s, before finally being arrested for his role in the 1998 East African Embassy bombings.

  • Ali Mohamed Sourcebook
  • Nat Geo DVD, J.M. Berger Lead Researcher

  • Who Is Ali Mohamed?
  • Al Qaeda Spy Crafted 9/11 Network
  • New Link Between Ali Mohamed And 9/11
  • Who Masterminded 1993 WTC Bombing?
  • 'Coleman Affidavit' on Ali Mohamed

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  • Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Criminal Complaint on Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah

    From the complaint:
    The investigation has shown that Luqman Ameen Abdullah, Imam of the Masjid AI-Haqq, in Detroit, Michigan, is a highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African-Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while they were serving sentences in various prisons across the United States. Their primary mission is to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state ("The Ummah") within the borders of the United States, governed by Shariah law. The Ummah is to be ruled over by Jamil Abdullah AI-Amin, formerly known as H. Rapp Brown, who is currently serving a life sentence in the Florence, Colorado Supermax for shooting two police officers in Georgia.

    Luqman Adbullah was taped by an informant with a variety of interesting comments, including the following:
    [U]ntil you act black and believe in that you are the leaders of mankind, you are going to be astray. If you can't please the Christians and the Jews. You cannot please them until you follow their religion. [...]

    Obama is a Kafir [infidel]. McCain, all the rest of them Kufrars, are Kuffars. You can't make them a good Kafir, bad Kafir. [...]

    The premise of Allah, and Islam said, "the worst of [unintelligible], the worst
    Muslim is better than the best Kafir." [...]

    It's impossible to for you to take and change this thing around, trying to go through it the same way. You know, like, "OK, let me become a part of it then. I'm going to change it." You cannot do that. It don't work like that. And you cannot have a non-violent revolution.

    Oct. 27, 2009 Criminal Complaint, Luqman Ameen Abdullah et al.

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    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Tarek Mehanna Complaint and Search Warrant

    10/21/2009: Criminal complaint re: Tarek Mehanna

    10/20/2009: Affidavit in support of search warrant re: Tarek Mehanna

    12/2008: Archived copy of Tarek Mehanna's blog writings

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    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Najibullah Zazi Indictment, Detention Document

    9/23/2009: Najibullah Zazi indictment

    This is an indictment for planned use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (in this case, bombs).

    9/24/2009: Affidavit in support of detention of Najibullah Zazi

    This is a much more informative document detailing why Zazi is a flight risk.

    An interesting note: Zazi rented a hotel room with a stove specifically so he could cook up TATP, a fairly powerful improvised explosive.

    Ramzi Yousef, working in a Manila apartment in 1995, also used a stove to prepare explosives, and TATP was found in his apartment after it was exposed.

    Yousef's footprint has loomed large for years after his incarceration.

    * September 11 was at least inspired by Yousef, if not wholly concocted by him.

    * The 2006 London airliner bomb plot -- the reason you can't take shampoo on a plane -- involved smuggling TATP or its components onto a plane or planes. In addition to the chemical explosive coming up again, the method of smuggling and the number of targets were both extremely similar to Yousef's Bojinka plot, which would have deployed lquid explosives against a dozen U.S.-bound airliners).

    * The "shoe bomb" concept used by Richard Reid is reminiscent of some of Yousef's plan for smuggling bomb components onto airplanes in the heels of his shoes. That bomb also used TATP.

    * Yousef's chemical recipes and specific bomb designs continue to be distributed online through jihadi forums and at terrorist training camps.

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    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Najibullah Zazi, Queens Suspect, Criminal Complaint and FBI Affidavit

    Criminal complaint for Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American suspected of ties to Al Qaeda, and his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi. According to the complaint:

    [T]he defendant NAJIBULLAH ZAZI traveled to Peshawar, Pakistan from Newark International Airport via Geneva, Switzerland and Dohha, Qatar. ...

    On or about September 11, 2009, FBI agents conducted a legally-authorized search of the defendant ZAZI's rental car, which was parked near the Queens Residence. During the search of the car, a laptop computer was found containing a jpeg image of nine-pages of handwritten notes (the "handwritten notes"). The handwritten notes contain formulations and instructions regarding the manufacture and handling of initiating explosives, main explosives charges, explosives detonators and components of a fuzing [sic] system.

    According to the complaint, the FBI obtained the passwords to three of Zazi's email accounts, through unspecified means. One of the accounts was "known to law enforcement" prior to the FBI's search of Zazi's laptop. Media reports have said Zazi traveled to an Al Qaeda-linked training camp in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area, but the complaint does not contain this allegation.

    The complaint also says Zazi's father and an individual referred to as "the imam" from New York both warned Zazi that he was under investigation.

    "The imam" was an "individual known to law enforcement, whom the NYPD has utilized as a source for information in the past," the complaints state. "The imam" said in a phone call to Zazi:

    "I want to speak with you about something . . . I want a meeting with you [and others]. You probably know why I'm calling you for this meeting . . . I was exposed to something yesterday from the authorities. And they came to ask me about your characters. They asked me about you guys....

    "I'm not sure if somebody complained about you. I'm not sure what happened. And I don't want to know. They [the authorities] said, 'Please, we need to
    know who they are ... what they're all about.' I told them that they are innocent, law abiding. ...

    "They [the police] came to the masjid to ask for help. That is a good sign. Trust me that is a good sign. The bad sign is for them coming to you guys and picking you up automatically."

    Complaint against Najibullah Zazi

    Complaint against Mohammed Wali Zazi

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    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Full Text Indictment of Daniel Patrick Boyd

    Below is the indictment for the alleged North Carolina Jihad cell consisting of Daniel Patrick Boyd, Hysen Sherifi, Anes Subasic, Zakariya Boyd, Dylan Boyd, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan and Ziyad Yaghi.

    Full text of indictment

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    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Bryant Neal Vinas Confession

    In the fall of 2007, I left my home in Long Island to travel to Pakistan with the intention of meeting and joining a jihadist group to fight American soldiers in Afghanistan. When I arrived in Pakistan, I made contact with and was accepted into al-Qaeda, a jihadist group that I knew to be responsible for attacks against the United States, including suicide bombings targeting civilians.

    As a member of al-Qaeda, I received training in courses in general combat and explosives. During my time in al-Qaeda, I took part, at the direction of al-Qaeda leaders, in two missions in September 2008 in which we agreed and planned to attack a United States military base near the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The first attack failed and we had to abort the mission before firing on the base, but a few days later, I took part in firing rockets at an American military base. Although we intended to hit the military base and kill American soldiers, I was informed that the rockets missed and the attack failed.

    Finally, during my time with al-Qaeda, I consulted with a senior al-Qaeda leader and provided detailed information about the operation of the Long Island Rail Road system which I knew because I had ridden the railroad on many occasions. The purpose of providing this information was to help plan a bomb attack of the Long Island Rail Road system.

    Full transcript

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    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Bryant Neal Vinas Indictment and Transcripts

    From the L.A. Times:
    An American Muslim convert from Long Island, N.Y., who was captured while fighting for Al Qaeda in Pakistan is now cooperating with authorities, opening a rare window into the world of Western militants in the network's hide-outs, U.S. and European anti-terrorism officials said.

    Bryant Neal Vinas, 26, is one of the few Americans known to have made the trek to Al Qaeda's secret Pakistani compounds, the officials said.

    Vinas has admitted to meeting Al Qaeda chiefs and giving them information for a potential attack on New York commuter trains, conversations that resulted in a public alert in November, said the officials, who requested anonymity because the case was ongoing.

    Here are the key court documents in the Vinas case:

    All documents

    November 14, 2008, First indictment

    November 22, 2008, Court transcript

    January 28, 2009, Superseding indictment

    January 28, 2009, Court transcript

    July 22, 2009, Order to unseal

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    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Oussama Ziade Indictment

    Prosecutors this week arrested Oussama Ziade, former CEO of Ptech, a firm based in Quincy, Massachusetts. Ptech's biggest investor was Yassin Al Kadi (sometimes spelled Al Qadi), an alleged terrorist financier. This sealed indictment was filed in 2005 and was unsealed this week.

    7/27/2005: Indictment of Oussama Ziade

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    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Descriptions of U.S. Border Security Programs, TIP, PISCES

    10/3/2002: Description of U.S. Terrorist Interdiction Program

    2/9/2002: Description of Personal Identification Secure Comparison and
    Evaluation System (PISCES), terrorist watchlisting program

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    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    American Civilians Killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, January 2001 to December 2007

    INTELWIRE filed a FOIA request for any records concerning non-military American citizens killed in Iraq and Afghanistan from January 1, 2001 to December 2007. The State Department said it found nine documents, consisting of 17 pages, which are linked below. The State Department said it was not withholding any documents, although some of the released documents were redacted.

    Despite the State Department's claim that these are the only documents it could locate, none of the documents refer to American citizen Nicholas Berg, the most famous American civilian casualty in Iraq, who was killed by Al Qaeda in Iraq head Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

    Due to this glaring inconsistency, INTELWIRE believes this request has not received an adequate search nor a satisfactory response. An appeal is in process. In the meantime, the released documents may be viewed below.

    American civilians killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, 1/2001 to 12/2007

    One point of special interest in the released documents concerned Hector Patino, of San Antonio, Texas, who was killed in an apparent friendly fire incident in January 2007. Family members have raised questions about the official account of Patino's killing.

    Reports stated Patino was driving a truck when Australian coalition military guards ordered him to stop in the vicinity of a checkpoint. He did not stop, for reasons unknown, and the soldiers shot and killed him.

    The document released to INTELWIRE has one key difference from the official report. According to a State Department cable dated Jan. 17, 2007, "Australian and U.S. military guards ... shot and killed Patino."

    As an early report, the cable may simply have erred in stating that U.S. soldiers were involved in the incident. INTELWIRE makes no special claims about the veracity of either account, but offers the document for those who may wish to investigate further.

    1/17/2007: State Department cable, death of Hector Patino

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    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Aafia Siddiqui Psychiatric and Medical Reports

    9/3/2008: Letter to the court describing Aafia Siddiqui arrest and treatment in detention, injuries, strip-search issues

    9/11/2008: Psychiatric Evaluation of Aafia Siddiqui

    The psychiatric evaluation evaluated Siddiqui as having an Axis I diagnosis of Depressive Type Psychosis, which can involve suicidal thoughts and behavior, confusion and delusions. The diagnosis has some history in arguments over whether a defendant is competent to stand trial.

    Video of Aafia Siddiqui interrogation (offsite)

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    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Aafia Siddiqui Indictment

    The Justice Department indicted alleged al Qaeda member Aafia Siddiqui in New York yesterday. According to the indictment, she was carrying handwritten notes on a "mass casualty attack" at the time of her arrest, including notes on chemical and radioactive dispersal devices (dirty bombs), along with photos of U.S. landmarks (including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more).

    She was also carrying a thumb drive with "correspondence that referred to specific 'cells' and 'attacks' by certain 'cells.' Other documents referred to 'enemies,' including the United States, and discussed recruitment and training."

    Indictment of Aafia Siddiqui

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    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    2001-09-15: FBI FD-302, Interrogation of Anwar Aulaqi

    Last week, the Washington Post reported that the FBI "now" believes radical imam Anwar Aulaqi -- who befriended 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- knowingly aided Al Qaeda. The investigative background for this belief was substantial and isn't exactly new. INTELWIRE has obtained several FBI investigative documents related to Aulaqi, including the document linked below:

    9/15/2001: FBI FD-302, Interrogation of Anwar Aulaqi

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    2001-10-23: FBI Communication, Anwar Aulaqi, Dar El Hijra mosque

    Last week, the Washington Post reported that the FBI "now" believes radical imam Anwar Aulaqi -- who befriended 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- knowingly aided Al Qaeda. The investigative background for this belief was substantial and isn't exactly new. INTELWIRE has obtained several FBI investigative documents related to Aulaqi, including the document linked below:

    10/23/2001: FBI Communication, Anwar Aulaqi, Dar El Hijra mosque

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    2001-09-26: FBI Letterhead Memorandum, Anwar Aulaqi

    Last week, the Washington Post reported that the FBI "now" believes radical imam Anwar Aulaqi -- who befriended 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- knowingly aided Al Qaeda. The investigative background for this belief was substantial and isn't exactly new. INTELWIRE has obtained several FBI investigative documents related to Aulaqi, including the document linked below:

    9/26/2001: FBI Letterhead Memorandum, Anwar Aulaqi

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    American Jihadists

      Adam Gadahn

      Aafia Siddiqi

      Ali A. Mohamed

      Anwar Aulaqi

      Bryant Neal Vinas

      Daniel Boyd

      Daniel Maldonado

      John Walker Lindh

      Jose Padilla

      Luqman Al-Amin Abdullah

      Abu Mansour Al Amriki

      Najibullah Zazi

      Nidal Malik Hasan

      Tarek Mehanna

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