June 22, 2007

Convicted Internet Jihadi's al Qaeda Connection

swiss_internet_terrorists.jpgCan you say Black Widow? Yesterday I reported that Tunisian Moez Garsallaoui and his Belgian wife Malika al-Aroud had been convicted in a Swiss court for running a number of al Qaeda propaganda website. You'll recall that they both claimed they had no knowledge about what was being said on the website. Let me assure you that the al-Minbar websites, run by the couple, were some of the most vile pro-violent jihad websites out there.

Moez Garsallaoui was given six months in prison and Malika al-Aroud was given a suspended sentence. That means she will serve no time for her involvement in the distribution of al Qaeda propaganda--including disgustingly vile hostage beheading videos which the forum cheered on. Outrageous!

But I wonder if the judge would have been so lenient if he knew that Malika al-Aaroud's now deceased husband was Abdessater Dahmane? Because if the judge knew that and released her back on to the streets of Switzerland, then there is really little hope for Europe's future.

Who was Abdessater Dahmane? He was one of the al Qaeda assassins who murdered Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, on September 9, 2001. Dahmane was one of the two assassins who pretended to be journalists. In their interview with Massoud, immediately before they set off the bomb believed to have been hidden in the video camera they brought along, they expressed their support for Osama bin Laden.

The timing of Massoud's death was almost certainly linked to the 9/11 plot---an attempt to hurt the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance before any possible American retaliation.

In August of 2004, just as the al-Minbar websites run by the couple were beginning to be investigated, CNN sat down with Moez Garsallaoui and Malika al-Aroud. While yesterday it was Moez who got the jail time, the CNN interview made it obvious that it was his wife, the burqa clad Malika, who wore the pants in that family:

We met el Aroud on a cold February day in Guin, a small town in Switzerland north of Fribourg. She lives there with her new husband, a Tunisian named Moez Garsalloui, whom she gently bosses around. She is a woman who says what she thinks....

El Aroud is a passionate believer in bin Laden's jihad and, together with her new husband, devotes her time to running a Web site promoting it....

Gazing into CNN's cameras she told us, "It's the pinnacle in Islam to be the widow of a martyr. For a woman it's extraordinary."...

"Abdessater [her former husband] dreamed of being under Osama bin Laden's orders," she said. "Yes, he dreamed of pledging allegiance to him. Oh yes. That was his dream. It was to meet Osama bin Laden and to shake his hand and put himself under his orders."

In mid-2001 Abdessater went to Afghanistan. El Aroud said he was determined to find a theater to fight in, preferably Chechnya. But bin Laden recruited him into al Qaeda, and he trained at a camp in Jalalabad....

Yet el Aroud described this as a happy time; she was reunited with her husband and had been accepted into a close-knit community. Only later did she realize that she had lived in the "middle of Osama bin Laden's clan," a circle, she told CNN, that included bin Laden's wives.

"They seemed happy from what I could tell," she said. "They were radiant, even. Otherwise they wouldn't be married to him. I don't think he was forceful with them." ...

El Aroud said she learned of her husband's death on September 12, 2001. As she described how the families around her came to congratulate her for her husband's actions there was noticeable tension in her voice. It was a huge shock to her, and for weeks after she was numb with grief, she said.

An al Qaeda courier dropped off a letter from bin Laden that included $500. She said bin Laden had wanted to settle a debt. With the letter came a tape, chillingly from her dead husband in which he told her he loved her but that he was "already on the other side." ....

She is undaunted by the investigation into her Web site and she ushered us into her bedroom to show us how she runs the forum. As the crew recorded from behind her, a large image popped on her computer monitor -- Osama bin Laden.

And it was not only her second husband that Malika seems to have dominated. Her relationship with her former al Qaeda assassin husband seems to have been quite unusual, to say the least. From a PBS Frontline special:
Abdessatar Dahmane, one of the two Tunisians settled in Belgium who murdered Ahmed Shah Massoud, took his wife, Malika el Aroud (a Belgian citizen born in Tangier, Morocco), to Afghanistan. She wrote a book in French, telling how her husband behaved like a 'modern' man (sewing the buttons on his shirt because she hated doing such tasks).
Are we seeing a pattern her? As the CNN article makes clear, it was Malika al-Aroud, and not her husband, who was the force behind the website. If any one deserves jail time, it was her.

Today, this friend of the bin Laden family and open supporter of al Qaeda, walks the streets of Guin, Switzerland.

Related: PSA: Support Jihad on the Internet, Go to Jail
Wickepedia: Ahmad Shah Massoud

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:20 PM | Comments |