by Florian Flade
In December 2010 I reported about the death of a Online Jihad activist named Haitham Bin Muhammad al-Khayat better known by the Islamist cyberspace community as „Abu Kandahar az-Zarqawi“. The Jordanian Islamist was a prominent figure of the Online Jihad, posting on the most important al-Qaida-used web forums regularly. Al-Khayat was in touch with real Jihadi militants in the field, keeping the Online community informed about those who died fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq.
The famous Jordanian suicide bomber „Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani“ who killed several CIA operatives in Khost in December 2009, announced in September 2009 that „brother Abu Kandahar has arrived“. By then it was known, „Abu Kandahar az-Zarqawi“ the Cyber-Jihadi had become a foot-soldier of al-Qaida in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Al-Qaida´s As-Sahab Media Production released a new propaganda tape today titled „A Mujahid´s Diary Part I“ featuring foreign Jihadi militants in Afghanistan. Most of the al-Qaida fighters seen in the new video are from Saudi-Arabia (one is named as „Abu Hajer al-Makki“ from Mecca). Then suddenly, under the shadows of a tree in a Afghan oasis, a quite familiar face appears: Abu Kandahar az-Zarqawi.
The video names the militant wearing glasses as „Martyr Abu Kandahar“. Although it is not 100% certain it is the same person, he would say this al-Qaida fighter is most likely the Jordanian Online-Jihadi.
His biography is a prime example that the gap between the Cyberspace and real Jihad activities is not one that cannot be bypassed. Online wannabe-Jihadis like „Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani“ or „Abu Kandahar az-Zarqawi“ are able become dangerous terrorists acting on the battlefields.