10 Years After 9/eleven: A Degraded Yet Dangerous Al Qaeda Adapts & Inspires
The information of a specific, credible, yet uncorroborated terrorist threat to coincide with the tenth anniversary period of the 9/11 attacks highlights the amorphous nature of the contemporary risk landscape. This alert involving potential unnamed Pakistani U.S. residents armed with vehicular bombs targeting metropolitan New York or Washington, DC highlights one in every of two forms of potential threats. Around the time of the 9/11 attacks the main terror risk involved a more centralized and offensively oriented al Qaeda organization that had a cadre of skilled and overseas directed assailants. Whereas al Qaeda would nonetheless like to dispatch their own operatives and may still have a dangerous capacity to do so, al Qaeda inspired plotters, moderately than al Qaeda directed plotters have actually turn out to be more quite a few over the last several years.
Although far less potent right this moment, Al Qaeda, even in a diminished kind, or some of its regional affiliates like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or Somalia’s al Shabaab might have the capability to direct and dispatch a small variety of terrorists to the American homeland to efficiently undertake fatal mass assaults. That is regardless of the organization’s vital degradation and the United States authorities’s noteworthy, although incomplete enhancements. Many have noted that al Qaeda assets and management have been degraded to some extent that its management is in a fierce battle for its personal survival. Amy Zegart acknowledged this level, however appropriately maintained in a Los Angeles Times OpEd that to explain Al Qaeda as defeated is misleadingly harmful:
Yes, the United States has made nice strides within the last decade to harden targets, enhance intelligence and degrade the capabilities of violent Islamist extremists. Osama bin Laden’s dying was a significant accomplishment. However the struggle is nowhere close to being won, and America’s most perilous occasions may lie forward.
Whereas al Qaeda has not been able to replicate the 9/eleven assaults and even smaller mass casualty occasions such because the 2004 Madrid prepare bombings or the 2005 London terror assaults, it could be foolhardy to suggest that a diminished organization interprets into a concomitant eradication of the Salafist mass terror risk to the West, both by the organization itself, or alternatively by those that it evokes.
Al Qaeda’s most acute ongoing risk to America, might not simply be in it is persevering with want or capability to orchestrate its own to commit attacks here, but fairly in its capability to get its supporters to recruit and assault for them. Ten years in the past a way more potent al Qaeda group nonetheless had a nearly full inability to harness the Web to succeed in disaffected youth in the United States in English in a compelling manner that actually presented a tangible threat. That has now changed, and has made extra autonomous small cells and loners extra of a risk than they’ve beforehand been.
UK Seeds of Hate Take Root In America
One in all the key pioneers in harnessing a dangerous, but very small sliver of American youth to religious extremism is a notorious English speaking hate cleric named Omar Bakri Mohammed, fifty two. Bakri has persistently praised Osama bin Laden, as properly because the “Magnificent 19” 9/eleven terrorists, blamed the 2005 London tube bombings on the British government and people and has said Tony Blair and George Bush should be condemned fairly than Bin Laden. He has also preached: “The jihad is halal [permissible] for the Muslims wherever they’re, the whole ummah [Muslim neighborhood] wherever they are. Ok brothers – wherever you are, do it.”
In August 2010, Paul Cruickshank wrote in West Point’s Counter Terrorism Sentinel:
An emerging network of radical preachers, demagogues, bloggers, and activists are attempting to disseminate extremist ideas amongst Muslim youth within the United States. Largely excluded from the nation’s mosques, they unfold their message on the streets, outdoors the mosque, in small gatherings in private residences, on campuses and above all online, taking full advantage of new social media platforms to maximize their reach. They are a loose constellation of people, however have a transparent center of gravity in two extremist groups that function freely and openly in New York City.
The groups in question–the Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) and Revolution Muslim (RM), both affiliated with the British extremist organization al-Muhajiroun–are increasingly appearing in counterterrorism investigations.
Bakri’s banned British group al Muhajiroun’s tiny American affiliate was a precursor to three small New York extremist groups, the Islamic Thinker’s Society, the now-defunct Revolution Muslim, and its successor Islampolicy. Two members of the original New York affiliate of al Muhajiroun, Syed Hashimi and Mohammed Junaid Babar, whose mother was nearly killed in the 9/eleven attacks, have been sentenced to federal prison in the United States for their position in touring overseas to aid al Qaeda. Along with numerous postings, Bakri has appeared as a fundamental speaker over in 2010 and 2011in at the least two main live world extremist American directed Web web conferences.
Born in Syria in 1958 the “Totenham Ayatollah,” was thought-about Al Qaeda’s most distinguished spiritual supporter in the United Kingdom. In 2005 he was banned from returning there after he made a trip to visit his mother in Lebanon. Al Muhajiroun, which was disbanded in 2004 following a government pronouncement of its upcoming prohibition, was relaunched by followers and banned underneath different names, till getting banned again in 2010. Bakri was crucial in the empowerment of other notorious British radicals, including Abu Hamza al Masri, the former Imam at the Finsbury Park Mosque and vigorous bin Laden supporter who held 9/eleven commemorative celebrations and preached that killings of non believers “kafirs” is justifiable.
Whereas Bakri has been confined to Lebanon, his seeds of radicalism sprouted without him
on both sides of the Atlantic. Interestingly, considered one of his most influential ideological progeny in the United States is a transformed Orthodox Jew named Yousef al-Khattab. Al-Khattab, previously referred to as Joseph Leonard Cohen, is a forty three yr previous who cofounded the influential, but now defunct radical Revolution Muslim website with another convert and Columbia University grad named Younes Abdullah Muhammad in 2008.
Small Revolution Muslim Group Attracted Harmful Sliver of Radicals
He was additionally lively in one other New York extremist group, Islamic Thinkers Society, earlier than coming to Revolution Muslim. The Islamic Thinker’s Society started in August 2004 when Omar Bakri Muhammad requested his American followers drop the title Muhajiroun as a result of its British sister organization was underneath hearth there and about to be disbanded. In line with a Might thirteen, 2011 FBI affidavit Revolution Muslim was formed “with the publicly said goals of establishing Islamic law in the U.S.destroying Israel, and taking al-Qaida’s message to the masses.” Al-Khattab’s website “humor” included tasteless skits with him laughing over the violent loss of life of an American serviceman in Iraq whereas holding an American flag or staging a puppet present depicting the beheading of Wall Road Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He additionally lavished reward Osama bin Laden and on “officer and gentleman” alleged Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan.
Revolution Muslim cofounder Younes Abdullah Muhammad shared a typical historical past.
Each have been converts who had earlier affiliations with the Islamic Thinkers Society. Mohammad is a former Brooklyn resident and Grateful Useless fan beforehand often known as Jesse Curtis Morton. He reportedly holds a masters degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In Mid Might 2011 whereas in Morocco, Muhammad was charged within the United States with making threats over the Web in the direction of South Park producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker in April of the previous year. In “By All Means Necessary,” a 27 page mission statement released on December 7, 2008 he lays out the organization’s imaginative and prescient for the institution of an Islamic state and waging a response to the West’s “Warfare on Islam.” In it he not solely praises deceased Muslim Brotherhood icon Egyptian Sayyid Qutb and al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, but also the “19 blessed souls [who on September 11] sacrificed their selves in a preemptive and retaliatory attack on America’s military, economic and authorities capitals.”
In October 2010, NPR reported, “Of the 2-dozen homegrown plots within the United States up to now yr, Revolution Muslim was linked to one-third of them.” Dangerous Jihadists linked to both al-Khattab or Revolution Muslim embrace:
– Pennsylvania convert “Jihad Jane” Colleen LaRose, forty eight, who plead guilty to the attempted murder of Dutch cartoonist Lars Vilks.
– Virginia convert Zachary Chesser, 21, aka Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, a Samir Khan associate, who was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison in February for posting threats relating to the cartoon South Park and for his help of and attempted membership in Somalia al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab. He was arrested as he was leaving on a flight to Africa.
– Convert Antonio Martnez, 21, aka Muhammad Hussain, charged in January for a plot to bomb an Armed Forces recruiting station in Cantonsville, Maryland.
– Bryant Michael Vinas, 28, aka Bashir al-Ameriki, truck driver, converted Catholic and former Boy Scout pleaded guilty to three prices in connection to an al Qaeda plot to bomb the Long Island Rail Street
– Tarek Mehana, 28, an Egyptian Massachusetts pharmacist arrested by federal authorities on October 21, 2009 for plotting jihad attacks against U.S. buying malls and soldiers in Iraq.
American Born Hate Conjures up
Anwar al Awalki, 40, is an influential English talking New Mexico born radical Yemeni cleric who additionally has harnessed the web to advertise violent Jihad, most not too long ago on behalf of his terrorist organization, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which was formed in January 2009. Because of his command of English, his glorious rhetorical skills and his ubiquity on-line Al Awalki is arguably the most important inspirational determine to a small, however rising new breed of internet savvy disaffected young adults in the North America and Britain. As FBI director Robert Mueller told the Senate in September 2010, “The Internet has expanded as a platform for spreading extremist propaganda, a tool for on-line recruiting, and a medium for social networking with like-minded violent extremists, all of which could also be contributing to the pronounced state of radicalization contained in the United States.”
In addition to al Awalki’s uncontroversial earlier lectures on religion, an array of his radical English language jihadist exhortations have been available online including on Youtube movies, on the own defunct web sites anwar-awlaki.com and Revolution Muslim, the Web essay compilation Jihad Recollections, the internet magazine Inspire and in essays just like the 2009 44 Ways to Support Jihad and may Our Souls Be Sacrificed for You. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano advised the Senate in Febrauary 2011, “The threat continues to evolve and in some ways the threat right now could also be at its most heightened state since the attacks nearly 10 years ago.” Now former National Counter Terrorism Center director Michael Leiter also told congress throughout those self same hearings that AQAP was the biggest threat and that the its violence embracing Inspire magazine “is spiffy.” But harmful. He contended “It’s got great graphics and in some sense we think probably speaks to individuals who are like to be radicalized.”
The journal appears to be the work of Al Awalki and Samir Khan, an American techno whiz who wrote on the Revolution Muslim and different radical websites earlier than allegedly fleeing North Carolina for Yemen to help AQAP in the Fall of 2009. Authorities consider Khan is behind al Qaeda’s new slick online English magazine, Inspire that debuted in the summer of 2010. The magazine’s skilled production values and youth oriented focus make it a trigger for concern for federal authorities. There have been six editions that embrace such content as an interview with Anwar Awalki and an article entitled “How you can make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” as well as other articles encouraging readers to “mow down” individuals with vehicles and tips on stone island caot how to destroy buildings. The bomb making instructions had been allegedly hacked recently by British spies who changed it with a recipe for cupcakes. It is believed that a federal grand jury is meeting in North Carolina to research whether there’s enough evidence to indict Khan for aiding al Qaeda. Another Texas Fort Hood area plotter from earlier this summer is reported to have had Inspire Magazine materials in his possession.
Al Awalki, who called the alleged 2009 Fort Hood shooter a “hero” has also denounced his birth country:
I, for one, was born in the U.S. I lived in the U.S. for 21 years. America was my dwelling. I was a preacher of Islam involved in nonviolent Islamic activism. Nevertheless, with the American invasion of Iraq and continued U.S. aggression against Muslims, I could not reconcile between living in the U.S. and being a Muslim, and i eventually came to the conclusion that jihad in opposition to America is binding upon myself, just as it is binding on every other able Muslim.
The U.S. is leading the battle against terrorism, which in reality is a war against Islam.
Al Awlaki has been tied to a minimum of fifteen terrorist plots including the May 2010 attempted automobile bombing of latest York’s Times Square by Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad, the December 2009 attempted plane “underwear” bombing over Detroit by Umar Abdul-Mutallab, and November 2009 Fort Hood, Texas shooting by Nidal Hassan that left 13 lifeless and 30 injured. The London Day by day Telegraph acknowledged, “Alwaki’s lectures have been found in possession of nearly every radical Islamist who has executed, or attempted to execute, attacks on Western targets.” Al Alwaki’s contacts also include a minimum of two of the 9/eleven hijackers who crashed a 757 into the Pentagon on September 11 killing 184 folks. Saudi Arabians Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhazmi, had been followers of Awlaki in each California, where they took flying lessons, and Virginia prior to 9/11.
As new FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Mark F. Giuliano told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Coverage in April:
AQAP leaders comparable to Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan have printed articles on the internet detailing their intent to strike the United States. Several key AQAP figures were born or educated in the United States and understand our culture, our limitations, our safety protocols, and our vulnerabilities. They use this understanding to develop and refine new techniques and methods to defeat our security measures and attack us. AQAP additionally understands and expertly exploits social media to share their knowledge with others of similar mindsets. They realize the importance and value of reaching English talking audiences and are utilizing the group’s advertising abilities to inspire individuals to assault inside the homeland. In many instances they’re attempting to provide them with the knowledge to do so, with out having to journey or prepare abroad….I do not think this nation has ever faced a more fluid, more dynamic, or more complex terrorism threat.
Worst Terrorist Incidents Directed In the direction of Americans by U.S. Deaths
1. 9/11 Assaults, Incendiary Bombing by Aircraft, NY, DC, PA 2973 killed, 9/eleven/ 2001
2. U.S. Marine Barracks, Truck Bombing , Beirut, Leb.241killed (US) 10/23/1983
3. Pan Am Fl. 103, Aircraft Bombing, Lockerbie, Scotland, 270 killed (189 US), 12/21/ 1988
4. Murrah Fed. Bldg.Truck Bombing, Oklahoma City, Okay, 168 killed 4/19/1995
Anti-authorities extremists Timothy McVeigh/Terry Nichols
5. Wall Street Bombing, Horse cart Bomb, NY, 35 killed, 9/16/1920
Socialists/Anarchists Supsected (unsolved)
6. Los Angeles Times Bldg.Bombing,Los Angeles, CA, 21killed, 10/01/ 1910
7. Khobar Towers, Truck Bombing, Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 20 Killed (19 US), 6/26/ 1996
8. USS Cole, Boat Bomb, Aden, Yemen, 17 killed, 10/12/ 2000
9. Lod Airport Attack, Grenades/Guns, Tel Aviv, Israel, 26 killed (16 US est.), 5/30/1972
Japanese Red Military/Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
10. Fort Hood Massacre, Gun, Texas, 13 Killed, 29 wounded, 11/5/2009 Nidal Hasan(alleged)
11.TIE U.S. Embassies, Truck Bombing, Kenya/Tanzania, 224 killed (12 US), 8/07/ 1998
11. TWA Fl.
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