October 15, 2007
Inshallashshaheed Outted: North Carolina Jihadi in the News (UPDATED)
Michael Moss of the New York Times has outted Inshallashaheed, the al Qaeda supporting blogger who we've been investigating for over a year. I've been sitting on his true identity for months, but in one fell swoop Samir ibn Zafar Khan, who lives in Charlotte North Carolina, has been identified.
Thanks a lot to Michael Moss and the New York Times for blowing an ongoing investigation into a known al Qaeda sympathizer who lives here in the United States. I've known about this piece for a few weeks and wrote the NY Times to ask Moss not to run it. No reply from the Times.
While we appreciate Moss's commitment to spreading the word about the Internet Jihad, we really wish he would have consulted with us on the matter. He has a right to out Inshallahshaheed as Samir Khan, but doing so has jeopardized an ongoing investigation into a terror ring which begins in the US and ends in Somalia.
But that's just like the NY Times, isn't it? In Moss's defense, he seems to have asked the FBI if there was an investigation into Khan, and they declined to comment.
There's even a video of him here.
When Osama bin Laden issued his videotaped message to the American people last month, a young jihad enthusiast went online to help spread the word.You'll remember when I revealed that Inshallashaheed was an American, that he openly challenged me to prove it on his blog. In a personal e-mail to Samir I told him just to send me his address which would save me a lot of trouble.
“America needs to listen to Shaykh Usaamah very carefully and take his message with great seriousness,” he wrote on his blog. “America is known to be a people of arrogance.”
Unlike Mr. bin Laden, the blogger was not operating from a remote location. It turns out he is a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who produces his blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he serves as a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups....
Mr. Khan, who was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Queens, is an unlikely foot soldier in what Al Qaeda calls the “Islamic jihadi media.” He has grown up in middle-class America and wrestles with his worried parents about his religious fervor. Yet he is stubborn. “I will do my best to speak the truth, and even if it annoys the disbelievers, the truth must be preached,” Mr. Khan said in an interview.
What Samir didn't know was that I already had his address. I knew he lived in or around Charlotte, so I put out the word to Charlotte area bloggers for help. Thanks to Jeff of Meckdeck I learned what I thought was Samir's address and phone number. But that turned out to be another Samir Khan who lives in the area.
It turned out that our original investigation into Khan was right and that we already knew where he lived. We have a real picture of Samir. We have his address. We had a picture of his house. Hell, we have his car license plate number. All because Samir posted it on the internet, but using his real name instead of "Inshallahshaheed".
Ethical dilemma: If you live in Charlotte wouldn't you like to know if you're living next door to a known al Qaeda supporter? Should I reveal his address? Should I post a picture of him?
In an interview at a local mosque, where he sat on a prayer rug wearing a traditional Arabic robe, Mr. Khan traced his increasing militancy.Uh, not true, and Samir is guilty of other things. Let's start with his public crime: Treason. He openly supports the enemies of the United States in a time of war.
His blog has attracted enough notoriety that vigilante groups opposed to jihadi sites have gotten him shut down a few times in recent months. He said he was somewhat surprised he had not been confronted by government authorities, although, he said, “I’ve never told anybody to build bombs.”
US Constitution Article III, section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
But there are other things Samir is guilty of. He knows it and I know it. Let's see him deny it, just like he denied that he was an American.
In fact, on one of Samir's now defunct blogs, he claims to have helped a man by the name of Mujahid fe Sabeelillah prepare to go to Somalia for jihad. Of course we've always known that Mujahid fe Sabeelillah was really just one of Samir Khan's nicknames. How did we know? See this post by Samir and notice the two nicknames.
But there is some truth to the fact that he is involved with jihad in Somalia. We'll return to that later:
He described his favorite video from Iraq: a fiery suicide-bomber attack on an American outpost.So, how did Samir become an al Qaeda supporter?
“It was something that brought great happiness to me,” he said. “Because this is something America would never want to admit, that they are being crushed.”
Asked how he felt living among people who had sent soldiers to Iraq, Mr. Khan said: “Whatever happens to their sons and daughters is none of my concern. They are people of hellfire and I have no concern for them.”
Born in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khan was 7 when his family moved to New York City and settled into the Queens neighborhood of Maspeth.Samir used to be affiliated with the IONA, but I didn't need an interview with him to know that. He has a lengthy screed against democracy at an affiliated mosque's website here.
He mirrored his teenage peers, from their slang to their baggy pants, until August 2001 when, at age 15, he said, he attended a weeklong summer camp at a mosque in Queens, which was sponsored by a fundamentalist but nonviolent group now known as the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA).
He also befriended members of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a tiny group that promotes radical, nonviolent Islam by leafleting in Times Square and Jackson Heights, Queens.Those of you that have been following my personal dispute with Inshallahshaheed also know that he denied being affiliated with Omar Bakri Mohammed's American devotees in the Islamic Thinkers Society of New York. Again he challenged me to prove it.
Of course, on one of his now defunct webpages he openly declared for Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, which is what Bakri Mohammed's followers call themselves now. He also linked the Islamic Thinkers Society and used much of the same propaganda as them and of Bakri Mohammed's Islambase, which was kind of a dead giveaway.
From time to time, Mr. Khan said, his father also cut off his Internet access and, to placate him, Mr. Khan recently added a disclaimer to his blog disavowing responsibility for the views expressed on the site.Again, no mention of The Jawa Report as the force that took Samir offline a few times. I also love the disclaimer idea. It's so funny. Al Qaeda's own websites, the ones identified as "Obelisk" in recent days, run these silly disclaimers.
He has also been fending off citizen watchdogs who are working to knock sites likes his off the Internet. Twice in September his blog went dark when his service provider shut him down, citing complaints about the nature of his postings.
Mr. Khan has now moved his blog to a site called Muslimpad, whose American operators recently moved from Texas to Amman, Jordan. Their larger forum, Islamic Network, is the host of discussions among English-speaking Muslims. One of their former employees, Daniel Maldonado, was convicted this year in federal court of associating with terrorists at their training camps in Somalia.Wow, it's almost as if Moss was reading The Jawa Report.
Mr. Khan said that he had dreams about meeting Mr. bin Laden and that he would not rule out picking up a weapon himself one day. In a recent essay, he argued that jihad was mandatory for all Muslims, and he cited three ways to fulfill this obligation: join fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan or Algeria; send them money; or promote militant videos as part of the jihad media.He's also an example of a man preparing to do violent jihad. This is what he says about himself:
For now, he said, he is fulfilling his obligations by helping other Muslims understand their religion. Recently he posted a video of a news report from Somalia showing a grenade-wielding American who had joined the Islamists.
“He is an example of a Muslim who follows the Religion of Islaam,” Mr. Khan wrote.
Currently, Mujahid fe Sabeelillah is working on making Hijrah to one of the lands of Jihad so that he may obtain the pleasure of Allah and become an inhabitant of Jannah through martyrdom, inshAllah. If he is alive after the repelling of the enemies in the land of Jihad and the establishment of the Shari’ah, he intends to make his way to another land of Jihad to get rid of the enemies of Allah and liberate the land from Shirk and Kufr and to establish the Deen al-Haqq. He has given up the riches and luxuries that this world offers him, and that many Muslims have given in to, and has followed the path of his ancestors (i.e., the Sahaba) which was the life of Jihad fe Sabeelillah till martyrdom. He vows to his death to liberate the Muslim lands from Shirk and Kufr and to fight with the sword until the Angels take his soul.But there is also plenty of evidence that, although he personally has not made the trek to Somalia and then on to Iraq, like he promises he's going to do, that he has helped others do so.
More to come........
Thanks so much to Allahakchew, Howie, and the whole Jawa crew who first identified Ishallashaheed in the comments section and then later on in e-mails.
UPDATE: muslimpad is back up, and at new digs.
Thanks to TBR, Velvet Hammer, and others for notifying me.
UPDATE: It's not just North Carolina. It's Al Qaeda in ....... New Jersey. By "Northern New Jersey", of course, they mean "New York City suburbs", the home of the Islamic Thinkers Society of New York.
The British website of the same group is called "Islam Base". Significance? "Qaeda" means "base" in Arabic.
UPDATE: It didn't bother me at first that The Jawa Report and other online counter-jihadis we called "vigilante groups" by the NYT. But the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. The same article says Samir is doing nothing illegal, but by using the word "vigilante" to describe what we do, they imply we are doing something illegal.
UPDATE: Just to clarify, I was specifically asked by more than one FBI agent, and on more than one occasion, not to publicly identify Inshallahshaheed as Samir Khan.
In addition to Khan's known online association with convicted American jihadi Daniel Aljughaifi (aka Abu Mohammed ), we also know that he has had correspondence with members of GIMF--the Global Islamic Media Front.
And it was publicly known that "inshallashaheed" was being investigated by the FBI. It was even reported in the MSM.
On September 5th The Simon Wiesenthal Center revealed that "Inshallahshaheed" had posted a message: Soon, The Blessed Invasion of Manhattan-- "Special Gift" for 9/11.
That meeting was attended by four US Congressmen. It caused quite a stir as it was interpreted by some (but not us) as a warning of an impending al Qaeda attack on New York. The very next day the FBI announced that they were looking into the post that caused the scare.
That post was put up by Inshallashaheed, so of course the FBI was looking into him!
UPDATE: Stacy McCain reminded me that just last week The Washington Times ran a story about Inshallahshaheed.
UPDATE: Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundint notices that the jihad supporters at Islamic Awakening have taken a notice and are calling me a "Zionist/Neocon".
I'm neither a Zionist nor a Neocon. But I do report directly to "moneyed New York interests" who's secret cabal controls the internets. Mwuhahahahaaaaaa!!!