10 Years After 9/11: A Degraded Yet Dangerous Al Qaeda Adapts & Inspires
The news of a particular, credible, but uncorroborated terrorist threat to coincide with the tenth anniversary period of the 9/eleven assaults highlights the amorphous nature of the contemporary threat panorama. This alert involving doable unnamed Pakistani U.S. residents armed with vehicular bombs concentrating on metropolitan New York or Washington, DC highlights considered one of two types of potential threats. Around the time of the 9/eleven assaults the primary terror danger concerned a extra centralized and offensively oriented al Qaeda organization that had a cadre of skilled and international directed assailants. Whereas al Qaeda would still prefer to dispatch their very own operatives and may still have a harmful capability to do so, al Qaeda inspired plotters, somewhat than al Qaeda directed plotters have actually become extra numerous over the past a number of years.
Although far less potent today, Al Qaeda, even in a diminished kind, or some of its regional affiliates like al Qaeda within the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or Somalia’s al Shabaab may have the capability to direct and dispatch a small number of terrorists to the American homeland to efficiently undertake fatal mass attacks. That is regardless of the group’s important degradation and the United States authorities’s noteworthy, though incomplete enhancements. Many have noted that al Qaeda assets and management have been degraded to some extent that its leadership is in a fierce battle for its personal survival. Amy Zegart acknowledged this point, but correctly maintained in a Los Angeles Times OpEd that to describe Al Qaeda as defeated is misleadingly harmful:
Yes, the United States has made great strides within the final decade to harden targets, enhance intelligence and degrade the capabilities of violent Islamist extremists. Osama bin Laden’s loss of life was a major accomplishment. But the battle is nowhere near being received, and America’s most perilous instances could lie ahead.
Whereas al Qaeda has not been capable of replicate the 9/eleven assaults and even smaller mass casualty events such because the 2004 Madrid train bombings or the 2005 London terror assaults, it can be foolhardy to counsel that a diminished organization interprets right into a concomitant eradication of the Salafist mass terror threat to the West, either by the group itself, or stone island hoodie khaki alternatively by those who it evokes.
Al Qaeda’s most acute ongoing threat to America, might not just be in it is persevering with desire or capacity to orchestrate its own to commit assaults here, however moderately in its means to get its supporters to recruit and assault for them. Ten years in the past a way more potent al Qaeda group still had a just about full inability to harness the Web to reach disaffected youth within the United States in English in a compelling method that really introduced a tangible risk. That has now modified, and has made more autonomous small cells and loners extra of a threat than they’ve previously been.
UK Seeds of Hate Take Root In America
One in all the important thing pioneers in harnessing a harmful, however very small sliver of American youth to religious extremism is a notorious English talking hate cleric named Omar Bakri Mohammed, 52. Bakri has constantly praised Osama bin Laden, as nicely as the “Magnificent 19” 9/eleven terrorists, blamed the 2005 London tube bombings on the British authorities and other people and has said Tony Blair and George Bush needs to be condemned relatively than Bin Laden. He has also preached: “The jihad is halal [permissible] for the Muslims wherever they’re, the whole ummah [Muslim group] wherever they are. Ok brothers – wherever you are, do it.”
In August 2010, Paul Cruickshank wrote in West Level’s Counter Terrorism Sentinel:
An rising community of radical preachers, demagogues, bloggers, and activists are trying to disseminate extremist concepts among Muslim youth in the United States. Largely excluded from the nation’s mosques, they unfold their message on the streets, outside the mosque, in small gatherings in private residences, on campuses and above all online, taking full benefit of new social media platforms to maximize their reach. They’re a loose constellation of people, however have a clear heart of gravity in two extremist teams that operate freely and overtly in New York Metropolis.
The groups in query–the Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) and Revolution Muslim (RM), both affiliated with the British extremist group al-Muhajiroun–are increasingly showing in counterterrorism investigations.
Bakri’s banned British group al Muhajiroun’s tiny American affiliate was a precursor to a few 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 9/11 attacks, had been sentenced to federal prison within the United States for his or her position in traveling overseas to help al Qaeda. In addition to quite a few postings, Bakri has appeared as a most important speaker over in 2010 and 2011in a minimum of two main reside global extremist American directed Web internet conferences.
Born in Syria in 1958 the “Totenham Ayatollah,” was considered Al Qaeda’s most prominent spiritual supporter within the United Kingdom. In 2005 he was banned from returning there after he made a visit to go to his mom in Lebanon. Al Muhajiroun, which was disbanded in 2004 following a authorities pronouncement of its upcoming prohibition, was relaunched by followers and banned underneath completely different names, till getting banned again in 2010. Bakri was essential in the empowerment of other infamous 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 with out him
on each sides of the Atlantic. Apparently, one of his most influential ideological progeny in the United States is a transformed Orthodox Jew named Yousef al-Khattab. Al-Khattab, formerly often called Joseph Leonard Cohen, is a 43 yr previous who cofounded the influential, but now defunct radical Revolution Muslim website with another convert and Columbia College grad named Younes Abdullah Muhammad in 2008.
Small Revolution Muslim Group Attracted Harmful Sliver of Radicals
He was also active in one other New York extremist group, Islamic Thinkers Society, before coming to Revolution Muslim. The Islamic Thinker’s Society began in August 2004 when Omar Bakri Muhammad requested his American followers drop the identify Muhajiroun because its British sister organization was below hearth there and about to be disbanded. According to a May 13, 2011 FBI affidavit Revolution Muslim was formed “with the publicly stated targets 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 dying of an American serviceman in Iraq whereas holding an American flag or staging a puppet show depicting the beheading of Wall Road Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He additionally lavished praise Osama bin Laden and on “officer and gentleman” alleged Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan.
Revolution Muslim cofounder Younes Abdullah Muhammad shared a common history.
Both were converts who had previous affiliations with the Islamic Thinkers Society. Mohammad is a former Brooklyn resident and Grateful Useless fan beforehand referred to as Jesse Curtis Morton. He reportedly holds a masters diploma from Columbia College’s Faculty of Worldwide and Public Affairs. In Mid May 2011 while in Morocco, Muhammad was charged within the United States with making threats over the Web in direction of South Park producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker in April of the previous year. In “By All Means Crucial,” a 27 page mission statement launched on December 7, 2008 he lays out the organization’s vision for the institution of an Islamic state and waging a response to the West’s “War on Islam.” In it he not only praises deceased Muslim Brotherhood icon Egyptian Sayyid Qutb and al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, but additionally the “19 blessed souls [who on September eleven] sacrificed their selves in a preemptive and retaliatory assault on America’s military, economic and government capitals.”
In October 2010, NPR reported, “Of the 2-dozen homegrown plots within the United States previously yr, Revolution Muslim was linked to at least one-third of them.” Harmful Jihadists linked to both al-Khattab or Revolution Muslim include:
– Pennsylvania convert “Jihad Jane” Colleen LaRose, 48, who plead responsible to the tried homicide 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 assist 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, transformed Catholic and former Boy Scout pleaded guilty to a few costs 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. shopping malls and troopers in Iraq.
American Born Hate Inspires
Anwar al Awalki, 40, is an influential English speaking New Mexico born radical Yemeni cleric who also has harnessed the web to advertise violent Jihad, most not too long ago on behalf of his terrorist organization, Al Qaeda within the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which was formed in January 2009. Because of his command of English, his wonderful rhetorical abilities and his ubiquity on-line Al Awalki is arguably the most important inspirational figure to a small, but growing new breed of internet savvy disaffected young adults within the North America and Britain. As FBI director Robert Mueller told the Senate in September 2010, “The Web has expanded as a platform for spreading extremist propaganda, a instrument for on-line recruiting, and a medium for social networking with like-minded violent extremists, all of which may be contributing to the pronounced state of radicalization inside the United States.”
Along with al Awalki’s uncontroversial earlier lectures on religion, an array of his radical English language jihadist exhortations have been out there online together with on Youtube movies, on the personal defunct web sites anwar-awlaki.com and Revolution Muslim, the Internet essay compilation Jihad Recollections, the internet magazine Inspire and in essays just like the 2009 forty four Methods to Support Jihad and will Our Souls Be Sacrificed for You. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano instructed the Senate in Febrauary 2011, “The menace continues to evolve and in some ways the threat at present could also be at its most heightened state because the assaults almost 10 years ago.” Now former National Counter Terrorism Heart director Michael Leiter additionally instructed congress during those same hearings that AQAP was the largest threat and that the its violence embracing Inspire magazine “is spiffy.” However dangerous. He contended “It is acquired great graphics and in some sense we think probably speaks to individuals who are wish to be radicalized.”
The magazine 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 before allegedly fleeing North Carolina for Yemen to help AQAP in the Fall of 2009. Authorities believe Khan is behind al Qaeda’s new slick online English journal, Inspire that debuted within the summer of 2010. The magazine’s skilled manufacturing values and youth oriented focus make it a cause for concern for federal authorities. There have been six editions that include such content as an interview with Anwar Awalki and an article entitled “The best way to make a Bomb within the Kitchen of Your Mom,” as well as other articles encouraging readers to “mow down” people with vehicles and the best way to destroy buildings. The bomb making instructions have been allegedly hacked lately by British spies who replaced it with a recipe for cupcakes. It is believed that a federal grand jury is meeting in North Carolina to investigate whether there is enough proof to indict Khan for aiding al Qaeda. Another Texas Fort Hood space plotter from earlier this summer season is reported to have had Inspire Journal materials in his possession.
Al Awalki, who referred to as 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 within the U.S. for 21 years. America was my house. I was a preacher of Islam concerned in nonviolent Islamic activism. However, with the American invasion of Iraq and continued U.S. aggression against Muslims, I could not reconcile between dwelling within the U.S. and being a Muslim, and that i eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself, just as it’s binding on each different able Muslim.
The U.S. is leading the warfare towards terrorism, which in reality is a battle towards Islam.
Al Awlaki has been tied to at the least fifteen terrorist plots together with the May 2010 attempted automotive bombing of latest York’s Occasions Sq. by Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad, the December 2009 attempted airplane “underwear” bombing over Detroit by Umar Abdul-Mutallab, and November 2009 Fort Hood, Texas capturing by Nidal Hassan that left 13 useless and 30 injured. The London Day by day Telegraph acknowledged, “Alwaki’s lectures have been present in possession of nearly each radical Islamist who has executed, or tried to execute, attacks on Western targets.” Al Alwaki’s contacts additionally embrace no less than two of the 9/11 hijackers who crashed a 757 into the Pentagon on September eleven killing 184 people. Saudi Arabians Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhazmi, had been followers of Awlaki in both California, the place they took flying lessons, and Virginia previous to 9/eleven.
As new FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Mark F. Giuliano told an audience on the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in April:
AQAP leaders corresponding to Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan have published articles on the internet detailing their intent to strike the United States. Several key AQAP figures had been born or educated in the United States and perceive our tradition, our limitations, our security protocols, and our vulnerabilities. They use this understanding to develop and refine new ways and strategies to defeat our safety measures and attack us. AQAP also understands and expertly exploits social media to share their knowledge with others of comparable mindsets. They understand the importance and value of reaching English talking audiences and are using the group’s advertising and marketing expertise to inspire individuals to assault inside the homeland. In lots of circumstances they’re trying to supply them with the information to do so, with out having to travel or prepare abroad….I do not suppose this nation has ever faced a extra fluid, more dynamic, or extra advanced terrorism threat.
Worst Terrorist Incidents Directed Towards Individuals by U.S. Deaths
1. 9/eleven Attacks, 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
four. Murrah Fed. Bldg.Truck Bombing, Oklahoma City, Ok, 168 killed four/19/1995
Anti-government extremists Timothy McVeigh/Terry Nichols
5. Wall Road Bombing, Horse cart Bomb, NY, 35 killed, 9/16/1920
Socialists/Anarchists Supsected (unsolved)
6. Los Angeles Occasions Bldg.Bombing,Los Angeles, CA, 21killed, 10/01/ 1910
7. Khobar Towers, Truck Bombing, Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 20 Killed (19 US), 6/26/ 1996
eight. USS Cole, Boat Bomb, Aden, Yemen, 17 killed, 10/12/ 2000
9. Lod Airport Assault, Grenades/Guns, Tel Aviv, Israel, 26 killed (sixteen US est.), 5/30/1972
Japanese Purple Army/Widespread Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine
10. Fort Hood Massacre, Gun, Texas, 13 Killed, 29 wounded, 11/5/2009 Nidal Hasan(alleged)
eleven.TIE U.S. Embassies, Truck Bombing, Kenya/Tanzania, 224 killed (12 US), 8/07/ 1998
11. TWA Fl.
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