August 22, 2008
Emir of al Qaeda in Britain Arrested
It turns out that al Qaeda's "emir" in Britain, "Sheikh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila", is a guy in his early 20s from the Manchester area. You may remember him from the threat he made against Gordon Brown back in January on al-Ekhlaas and other forums.
A punk kid wannabe who was more talk than actual threat? Maybe. At least that's how he started out. But kids grow up. And even if he had no direct connection to al Qaeda (nobody really took him serious when he made the threat), it looks like the Brits nabbed him with two of his buddies (one of them, no doubt, his "brother" who was always bragging about him on a certain forum) as they were leaving the country.
As we've learned over and over again, it's not that difficult to go from wannabe to terrorist. And given his connection to at least two others, that makes it a cell. A cell of jihad supporters who spent their days fantasizing about killing the infidel online.
Three wannabes together are a lot more dangerous than an individual. It's a simple law of probability: one of them might actual do something bad someday: or worse, the three motivate one another to do collectively what they lacked the courage to do individually.
On a personal note to Umar Rabie, here's a bit of advice.
Anyway, on to the facts as we know them. TimesOnline:
Three men arrested under terrorism legislation are being questioned over internet threats to kill Gordon Brown and the former Prime Minister Tony Blair.Note to friends of Umar Rabie and his "brother" below:
One of the men being questioned by police in Manchester is suspected of posting a death threat on a recognised jihadi website and styling himself Sheikh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila, leader of al-Qaeda in Britain.....
The three detainees are aged 21, 22 and 23 and all come from Blackburn, Lancashire, where extensive searches have been carried out.
One man was detained in the Accrington area and the other two were arrested at at Manchester airport before they could board a flight to the Finnish capital, Helsinki.
UPDATE: The three were arrested on August 14, 8 days ago. Which may mean something .....
Since it's open source, let me just add this teaser: in addition to a lot bluster about "Umar Rabie's" ties to al Qaeda in Iraq, the group also made terroristic threats online prior to the threats they made against Gordon Brown.
Specifically, they put out a call for suicide attack volunteers to attack British civilians.
I also opened a category archive on Umar Rabie. Expect updates on this.
Friends of Umar Rabie from that other website should feel free to drop a comment or an e-mail. I'm sure all of you are as delighted as I am. And, since I know what's on your mind, the answer is: no.