November 22, 2011
Would be New York Bomber Radicalized Online
Steve Emerson notes that Jose Pimental was radicalized entirely online. Pay special attention to the Samir Khan and Revolution Muslim link. Jihadi Princess, his collaborator, is still on the loose but is well known in radical online circles:
The website also indicates that [Pimental] may have been radicalized almost entirely online. Many terrorism suspects, from the New York subway plotter Faisal Shahzad to the 9/11 hijackers, require the guidance or leadership of senior terrorists at some point in their decision to plot attacks. This is especially true for terror plots influenced by Awlaki, where the plotters were either in contact with him by email, such as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, or interacted with him on his blog, like Jihad Jane.Emerson goes on to note that nothing in Pimental's writings indicated that he was mentally unstable. Emerson sees his writings as a well reasoned blending of conservative Sunni Islam and more recent Salaafi doctrines.
Pimentel, on the other hand, appears to have drawn inspiration from the online content produced by Awlaki and other al-Qaida ideologues, and acted out his ambitions according to the blueprints found in the English-language Inspire magazine. Although he posted on the websites of other New York-based extremist groups like Revolution Muslim and the Islamic Thinkers Society, nothing in his own writing indicates he was a disciple of those groups.