July 23, 2009

Internet Key in Vets Treason UPDATE: Key in Arrest!

Not only is Bryant Neal Vinas a traitor, but he is also a veteran. So how does one go from a patriotic member of the armed services of the United States to joining al Qaeda and becoming a traitor?

Step 1: convert to Islam. Step 2: start hanging out at Islamist forums on the internet.

I'm sure there are other steps in the process, but today let's opt for brevity over precision.

New York Times:

He grew up in the solid middle class of Suffolk County, the son of an engineer, the child of a couple that had emigrated from South America, a fan of football and video games, an altar boy and, eventually, a Boy Scout.

But Bryant Neal Vinas became very angry, according to his mother, when his parents’ bitter divorce cleaved through his adolescence. He opted against college and instead joined the United States Army at 18.

Years later, he became a Muslim, joined a mosque, began visiting jihadist Web sites and, in 2008, found himself traveling to Pakistan, and eventually Afghanistan. There, this young man from an American suburb tried to kill American soldiers in a Qaeda rocket attack against a military base, according to federal court papers unsealed in Brooklyn on Wednesday. ...

Mr. Vinas worshiped at a mosque on Long Island, where he worked briefly as a truck driver and in a car wash, according to officials, one of whom said he had been largely “self-radicalized.” This official said that Mr. Vinas had met some people at the mosque, the Islamic Association of Long Island, but largely turned toward jihad on the Internet.

And look who used to go to Masjid with Vinas: Mujahideen Ryder. Perhaps MR could tell us if this is a picture of Bryant Neal Vinas?

Again, it looks like Vinas was on the forums before he left for Pakistan. He may have went by the handles "Ibrahim," "Bashir al-Ameriki" (alt: Bashir al-Amreeki; al-Amereki) or "Ben Yameen al-Kanadee" (alt: bin Yamin al-Kanadi). If any one ran across Vinas using these or other handles on the forums, let me know. I'd be interested to know what he was posting before he left.

He seems to have trained in the al Qaeda camps with several Europeans connected to Malika El Aroud's Minbar SOS forum, so that may be somewhere to start.

UPDATE: The photobucket page where I found the pic titled "Bashir al-ameriki" is back up.

UPDATE II: Not only was the internet key to his radicalization and recruitment, but also in his arrest. LA Times:

His arrest took place when he visited the city of Peshawar to buy supplies and use the Internet, officials said. U.S. investigators, who monitored the Europeans' e-mail as it was posted, may have tracked him down by intercepting communications.
Doubters in the power of the internet to help combat terrorism, read that one and weep.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:34 AM | Comments |