December 24, 2009

UPDATE: Cyber Jihadi #1, Traitor Anwar al Awlaki Dead!
Air Strike in Yemen Targets Al Qaeda Meeting at Home of Anwar Awlaki, Update: Associates of Cole Bomber al Quso, Newly Listed Most Wanted Terrorist (bumped: sticky)

Update 5 by Jane: Abdulelah Shayer, who conducted both interviews, just confirmed on al Jazeera that Anwar Awlaki is alive. Its early yet but reports are:

Cole bomber Fahd Al Quso- not dead
Cyber Jihaddist Anwar Awlaki- not dead
Head of al Qaeda in Yemen Nasir al Wahishi- not dead
Saudi al Qaeda deputy, Gitmo graduate Saeed Ali al-Shehri- not dead
There's five confirmed dead, including Mohammmed Saleh Awlaki, shown in a video below who, it turns out, is the son of the former head of the security forces in Lahj governorate.

When the Yemeni government starts shutting down independent Yemeni news websites, as happened today, then usually something is fishy with their story. Maybe not, time will tell.

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Fahd al Quso, convicted USS Cole bomber, added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list last month

Update 4 by Jane: In addition to the interview published today with Anwar Awlaki, Fahd al Quso also gave an interview before the raid that was published by al Jazeera today. Al Quso was added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list last month according to the interview.

He said (roughly translated) the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who interrogated him after the attack on the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole, believed there is a link between the attack and important Yemeni official figures including Brigadier General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, half-brother of the President, the Yemeni Islamic Reform Party's leader, Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zindani, and the son of the president, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Al Quso said he was released by judicial decision in 2007, and that Washington objected to his release from prison. Al Quso also said U.S. investigators interrogated him directly after his arrest in Yemen. They told him that foreknowledge of the bombing of the Cole means "to participate and punishable by death," pointing out that Yemen's judiciary sentenced on such participation.

According to Yemenat, Yemen's Supreme Security Committee said one air strike today was on al Quso's farm. And as noted below, al Quso is not among the dead. It's not yet confirmed that Anwar Awlaki is dead but this guy definately is:

Mohammad Ahmed Saleh al-Oumir (Mohammmed Saleh Awlaki), a relative of al Quso, is dead, killed in today's airstrikes. This Awlaki showed up with other al Qaeda operative at a rally in Abyan and said Al Qaeda's fight is not with the Yemeni military but with the US only.

UPDATE 3 by Rusty: The CIA's Christmas present to America? Fox News reporting that Colorado born American traitor Anwar al Awlaki is dead!

If it pans out this is big. How big? Al Awlaki (no, it's not Aulaqui) was al Qaeda's number one unofficial spokesman online. Al Awlaki like no other imam bridged the gap between cyber jihad and actual jihad.

His website was really a blog devoted to jihad. But his comments section was so active that it took on many of the attributes of a forum - which is why we never publicly called for it to be taken down. His comments were full of self-identified Americans and Europeans who vocally supported jihad.

His blog posts and sermons on the website urged his thousands of online followers to support various Salafi jihadi groups like al Qaeda, the Taliban, and al Shabaab.

This is how we should handle cyber jihadis. Yes, we should kill them.

This is war. They are the enemy. In war you kill the enemy.

And Anwar al Awlaki was cyber enemy #1.

But this is also a two-fer: Anwar was born in the US and spent most of his adult life here which makes him not just the enemy but a traitor.

Buh bye Anwar, I hope you enjoy your goat wives in hell.

~Rusty's vacationing iPhone.

Update 2 by Jane: Yemeni news site Marib Press is reporting the five names of the terrorists killed in the Shabwa strike, and Anwar Awlaki isn't among them. Fox News says US officials believe he's dead.

Update by Jane: Nasser Arrabyee reports the five killed were all associates of Fahd al Quso, convicted in Yemen as a conspirator in the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 US service members. Al Quso escaped Yemeni jail in 2003 and was indicted in NY federal court for 50 counts of terrorism. Al Quso was re-jailed in 2004 and has been free since 2006, despite a ten year prison sentence. Al Quso survived the raid, Arrabyee reports. The five who were killed were all of the Awlaki tribe. The New York Times is reporting Anwar Awlaki was killed in the raid. There were multiple air strikes in multiple locations, will update as info becomes available.

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Yesterday al Jazeera published a new interview with Anwar Awlaki, Yemeni-American terror cleric, in which he says that Nidal Hassan inquired by email specifically about the Islamic legitimacy of killing US soldiers. These are the emails the FBI said were consistent with research. Later the DC FBI field office said "San Diego failed to communicate the e-mails -- but San Diego (FBI field office) pestered the sh*t out of them, sending e-mails multiple times. The Washington field office didn't do anything on it," Voice of San Diego reports. Excerpts from the Aljazeera.net interview with Al-'Awlaqi, care of MEMRI, below the fold.

Today an air strike targeted Awlaki's house in Shabwa, Yemen where an meeting of top level al Qaeda was taking place. The Washington Post reports: The strike appeared to target the home of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the extremist Yemeni-American preacher linked to the suspected gunman in the Fort Hood army base attack in November. A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Qaeda leaders were believed to be meeting at the house. It was unknown whether Aulaqi was present at the gathering, and, if so, whether he died or escaped, the official said.

Reports indicate the head of Al Qaeda in Yemen, Nasir al Wahishi and several others were gathered to plan retailiation for airstrikes earlier in the week in Abyan and Sana'a. For details and developments, visit AOL (me).

Memri: Following are excerpts from the Aljazeera.net interview with Al-'Awlaqi:


Question: "What is your connection with Nidal Hasan, and when did it begin?"
Answer: "Nidal Hasan prayed at my mosque when I was imam at the Dar Al-Hijra mosque."
Q: "When was your first meeting?"
A: "About nine years ago, when I was imam of the Dar Al-Hijra mosque in the capital Washington, a mosque which is one of the biggest Islamic centers in America."
Q: "[There are] reports that there was more than that."
A: "Brother Nidal used to contact me via email last year, until the middle of this year."
Q: "When did the correspondence with Nidal begin?"
A: "I got the first message from Nidal on December 17, 2008."
Q: "Who initiated the correspondence, you or him?"
A: "He initiated the correspondence with me."
Q: "What did the correspondence contain?"
A: "He was asking about killing American soldiers and officers. [He asked] whether this is a religiously legitimate act or not."
Q: "So he asked you that question about a year before the operation was carried out?"
A: "Yes. And I wondered how the American security agencies, who claim to be able to read car license plate numbers from space, everywhere in the world, I wondered how [they did not reveal this]."
Q: "What did Nidal want from you in his messages?"
A: "Naturally, as I told you, the first message was asking for an edict regarding the [possibility] of a Muslim soldier killing his colleagues who serve with him in the American army. In other messages, Nidal was clarifying his position regarding the killing of Israeli civilians. He was in support of this, and in his messages he mentioned the religious justifications for targeting the Jews with missiles. Then there were some messages in which he asked for a way through which he could transfer some funds to us [and by this] participate in charitable activities."
Q: "There are other indications to your connections with Nidal, one of which is that you blessed what he did three days after he did it."
A: "My support to the operation was because the operation that brother Nidal carried out was a courageous one, and I endeavored to explain my position regarding what happened because many Islamic organizations and preachers in the West condemned the operation. So it was necessary for me [to raise] a voice that is [myself] connected to the Muslims in America and the West, while at the same time is independent and explains the truth regarding what Nidal did, especially since the media tried to connect him to me from the very beginning."
Q: "Why did you bless Nidal Hasan's act?"
A: "Because Nidal's target was a military target inside America, and there is no question about this. Then, also, those members of the military [i.e. the victims] were not regular soldiers; rather they were prepared and preparing themselves to go to battle and to kill downtrodden Muslims and to commit crimes in Afghanistan."....

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By Jane at 11:10 PM | Comments |