November 13, 2009

Boston Blogger Assisted al Qaeda in Iraq

A document produced by the AG's office in support of keeping would-be jihadi Tarek "Abu Sabaya" Mehanna in jail pending trial is a treasure trove of information on how the fifth columnists among us think. Even more importantly, the tone of the lengthy paper give me hope that some in the federal government finally get the online jihad.

You can check it out over at SOFIR's archives here.

A couple of things.

First, it's worth noting that Mehanna takes credit for producing this video which claims to be from the media wing of al Qaeda in Iraq -- al-Furqan. That is, he considered himself to be working in a freelance capacity for al Qaeda.

Second, I'll note Mehanna's glee at seeing the desecration of the bodies of dead Americans. For instance, this reaction to a video of two US soldiers -- Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca -- on an al Qaeda video. Mehanna says:

nice juicy BBQ

I want ... more BBQ sauce videos

Last, I'll note that Mehanna thought of his signature contribution to the jihad his widely circulated translation of the 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad by at Tibyan. It's on this point that it seems that someone at the FBI and the AG's office get it.

Several pages of the document describe how Mehanna saw himself as participating in the 39 steps. He often complained that his attempts at joining terrorist organizations had been unsuccessful. But by using the internet in support of terrorists abroad he was, in fact, participating in jihad:

The danger he poses is not limited to the commission of crimes of violence (whether here or abroad) against Americans and American interests. The weapons he used included a keyboard and computer.
And:
it is clear from many of the excerpts discussed above, that MEHANNA was serving jihad, and following many of the “Steps” set forth in 39 Ways, which was translated by him for more wider distribution and availability....

Step 2 is “Truthfully Ask Allah for Martyrdom.” 39 Ways, at page 9. MEHANNA authored a poem entitled “Make Martyrdom What You Seek.” ...

He spread praise for the individuals and glorified their military successes....(Step 12: “Praise the Mujahidin and Mention their Accounts and
Call the People to Follow in Their Footsteps.”)

“Follow and Spread the News of the Jihad” (Step 21)....

(Step 16: “Call and Incite the People to Jihad.”) 39 Ways, at page 28. As described above, MEHANNA (and ABOUSAMRA) encouraged others
(not just Maldonado)....

MEHANNA was a teacher who provided information to others who were less knowledgeable. In 39 Ways, the author directs the readers to “Advise the Muslims and the Mujahidin” (Step 17). The reader was also urged to “Speak Out
For the Mujahidin and Defend Them,” (Step 14)....

MEHANNA often criticized those in Muslim community who urged moderation or criticized the violent tactics of the mujahidin; MEHANNA was taking the step that urged him to “Expose the Hypocrites and Traitors” (Step 15). Similarly, he often
expressed true hatred for, for example, U.S. leaders and other “infidels.” (Step 31: “Have Enmity Towards the Disbelievers and Hate Them.”) ...

MEHANNA participated in message boards and other forums for discussions. His efforts were intended to “assist the Jihad on the internet.” 39 Ways, at page 45. (Step 34: “Electronic Jihad.”)...

As discussed above, MEHANNA was also constantly sharing speeches of al Qa’ida leaders in video, audio and text files, and other pro-jihadi media. He was thereby following Step 22, that directed him to “Participate in Spreading Their Releases of Books and Publications.” ...

MEHANNA took it a step further and created media projects - following the instructions “everyone should try and prepare some media projects regarding
Mujahidin and their affairs.”

In sum, it appears that Mehanna was a would-be jihadi. However, only if one views jihadis as those physically engaged in acts of terror. By his own definition and by al Qaeda's definition, there was nothing would-be about Mehanna's efforts to foment violent jihad. His electronic jihad is part and parcel to al Qaeda's overall strategy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:07 PM | Comments |