July 22, 2009

American al Qaeda Member Arrested in Pakistan [Updated]

bashir_al_amreki_small.jpg

This image was labeled "Bashir al-Amreki" over at PhotoBucket before it was removed. Is this Bryant Neal Vinas? UPDATE: The photobucket page where I found the pic titled "Bashir al-ameriki" is back up.


A 26 year old Muslim convert from Long Island New York has been arrested in Pakistan and has been indicted on a number of terrorism related charges. Missing from the indictment? Treason.

CNN:

Bryant Neal Vinas fired rockets at the military base along with others during a September 2008 attack, according to a federal indictment returned Wednesday....

In addition, prosecutors allege that Vinas provided al Qaeda with information about the New York transit system and the Long Island Railroad.

Vinas is charged with conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization....

NY News adds that Vinas is from Patchogue, NY.

The New York Times notes that Vinas was recruited by noted Belgian online jihadi Malika El Aroud. Which means that before he joined al Qaeda, he must have spent at least some time chatting it up with the "brothers" in the al-Minbar or other online forums.

Al Minbar was a French language forum. I'm guessing he's an English speaker. Which means he probably has left online tracks at other forums.

No relationship between online jihad and real world terrorists my ass.....

Has anybody seen the indictment which says Vinas went by the names "Ibrahim," "Bashir al-Ameriki" and "Ben Yameen al-Kandee"?

UPDATE: Okay, here is the indictment. Thanks Stable Hand!

Okay, there are three specific charges against him.

1a - He and others attempted a rocket attack against a U.S. base in Afghanistan.

1b - He and others fired rockets at a U.S. base in Afghanistan.

[I guess the distinction being attempted attack vs actual attack?]

2 - Provided material support to al Qaeda by giving them information on the place where he formerly worked, the Long Island Railway.

3 - Received military training from al Qaeda.

Wow. Again, I ask, don't all of the above point to treason? The man is clearly a traitor, and should be treated as such!

UPDATE: Robert directs me to this post by Pamela, who cites the NY Post:

After he was captured in November he provided investigators with critical information about a plot to blow up the subway systems, a law enforcement official said.

Based on his disclosures, Washington warned city officials around Thanksgiving that al Qaeda had discussed terror attacks on the city subways and other transit systems in September.

Vinas -- who also used the names "Ibrahim," "Bashir al-Ameriki" (Bashir the American) and "Ben Yameen al-Kanadee -- has been cooperating with investigators, both American and European, since his arrest.

Perhaps he's been spared the treason charge -- which carries the death penalty -- because of his cooperation?

UPDATE:
Even though it's rather meaningless it's too good (read: inflammatory) to pass up on. ABC News:
Public records indicate lived with his father Juan Vinas in Patchogue, and was a registered Democrat who voted in local elections in 2005.
But I'm sure he voted Bush!

There's more:

Vinas' father told the Los Angeles Times that his son began spending time at the Islamic Association of Long Island in nearby Selden. His son vanished, Juan Vinas, in September 2007.
So, he left two years ago. Anybody remember seeing this guy hanging around the Minbar SOS forum at that time?

The Islamic Association of Long Island has a website here:

The IALI is located in the eastern part of long Island, NY about 65 mile east of New York city. The masjid offers 5 time daily pary and Namaz-e-Jummaa, Iqra Saturday Islamic School, Sunday School, Summer School, Marriage Services, Funeral Services, Quranic and Arabic Teachings and more.
The mosque is located at 10 Park Hill Dr. in Seldon.

One wonders what he was learning there and if anybody at the Islamic Center helped facilitate his joining with al Qaeda?

UPDATE III
: In my rush I may have failed to mention that although he was arrested in Pakistan, that he was transferred to the US late last year. This is a federal indictment.

UPDATE IV
: I have a new post about the internet's role in Bryant Neal Vinas' radicalization here.

I may have misread the El Aroud connection. It seems that Vinas trained with several connected to her and her forum. But it doesn't seem a very large leap to surmise that he was connected to the online al Qaeda network in Europe.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:14 PM | Comments |