Schlagwort-Archive: Fort Hood

Anwar al-Awlaki allegedly killed by airstrike in Yemen

by Florian Flade

US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

Some have labeled him „the next Osama Bin Laden“ or „the Youtube Bin Laden – for the intelligence community in the West he was a pain in the arse: US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Since he moved to his ancestors homeland of Yemen in 2004 he spread Jihadi ideology over the internet using his own blog and internet forums to promote essays and theologicial publications legitimating Jihad, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the West.

Today Arab media is reporting that Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in an airstrike in Yemen. Al-Arabiya TV quotes Yemeni officials as saying Awlaki traveled in a convoy in al-Jawf province near the Saudi-Arabian border when it was hit by Yemeni fighter jets. Awlaki and four Al-Qaida militants were killed, the Yemeni government source claims. A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington D.C. tells CNN the alleged Al-Qaida affiliated cleric was killed near the town of Khashef, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on friday morning. CBS News reports a White House official says there is „high confidence“ that Anwar al-Awlaki was indeed killed today.

If true the death of Awlaki will have a quite significant impact on the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and there ability to attract foreign Jihadis. Awlaki as a fluent English speaker and charismatic preacher had a appeal towards Western Jihadis and will not easily be replaced by other American members of AQAP like Samir Khan. Awlaki was important to AQAP not because he holds any leadership position within the organization but because of his propaganda value and the picture of him painted in Western media as one of the most dangerous terrorists desperately wanting to harm the United States.

Awlaki, who was born in Las Cruces (New Mexico) in 1971 and therefore holds a U.S. passport. The son of a Yemeni agricultural minister grew up in Yemen and the U.S. and was educated at American universities, rose the ranks of AQAP as soon as the Saudi Al-Qaida and its Yemeni counterpart merged in January 2009. He is said to have inspired Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and adviced him to carry out a attack on US forces in an e-mail exchange. Awlaki also is seen as a key element in the recruitment and radicalization of the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up a US airliner over Detroit Christmas 2009.

Earlier this year a Yemeni court sentenced Awlaki to ten years in prison because of his incitement to kill foreigners in Yemen. Numerous times U.S. and Yemeni forces tried to kill Awlaki in recent years. In May a U.S. drone strike missed the Al-Qaida cleric.

As there are contradicting reports about how and where exactely Anwar al-Awlaki was killed and the fact that U.S. officials are so quick confirming the terrorist´s death it is very likely Awlaki was killed either in a joint operation by the Yemeni and American forces or in a U.S. drone or airforce attack.

Crime As a Form of Jihad – Al-Qaida Calls for Bank-Robbery

by Florian Flade

In the latest issue of Al-Qaida in Yemen´s English-language Online magzine „Inspire“, US-Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki calls for Muslims in the West to steal the wealth of unbelievers and infidels to support Jihadi means and finance terrorism. Titled „The Ruling On Dispossessing the Disbelievers wealth in Dar al-Harb“ Awlaki´s text states Muslims in the West are not obliged to act according to the laws and rules of the Non-Muslim country they live in and respect its laws. It is theologically justified to steal the wealth of the kuffar, Awlaki argues. To do this becomes even more necessary as Jihadis worldwide lack funding and financial support.

„Dear brothers: Jihad heavily relies on money. In Quran, the physical jihad is associated with jihad with one’s wealth in eight verses. In every verse but one, jihad with wealth preceded the physical jihad“, Awlaki writes, „That is because without wealth there can be no jihad.“ The Jihadi cleric goes on by explaining: „Our enemies have realized that. Therefore they are „following the money trail“ and are trying to dry up all the sources of funding „terrorism“.“

As today´s Global Jihad largely and mainly depends on detonations of supporters, it´s financing is therefore very vulnerable. „It is about time that we take serious steps towards securing a strong financial backing for our work rather than depending on donations“, Anwar al-Awlaki´s text reads. Instead of depending on their own pockets to finance war against the infidels, Muslims should take from the infidels´pocket, Awlaki highlights. „We as Muslims should seek the wealth of the disbelievers as a form of jihad in the path of Allah“, the US citizen and wanted terrorist says: „That would necessitate that we spend the money on the cause of jihad and not on ourselves.“

The al-Qaida allied cleric argues the taking of wealth and property of Non-Muslims according to common and majority theological opinion is only allowed in countries where a war between Muslims and Non-Muslims is taking place (Dar al-Harb = „land of war“). This situation, Awlaki writes, nowadays exist in countries of the West as well, as these countries send out troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are at war with the Muslims: „It is the consensus of our scholars that the property of the disbelievers in Dar al-Harb is halal (allowed) for the Muslims and is a legitimate target for the Mujahidin.“

„Every Muslim who lives in Dar al-Harb should avoid paying any of his wealth to the disbelievers whether it be in the form of taxes, duties, or fines“, Awlaki writes. The question if this should involve illegal activities to raise money for jihad is a rather complex issue to Anwar al-Awlaki. „For Muslims who are associated with groups that work for jihad, we recommend that the decision to involve oneself in any illegal activ-ity to acquire money from the disbelievers be taken by the Amir“, he states. Muslims without any affiliation to a group and without any leader figure shall spend all the money gained from criminal activities to support the Jihad.

„The West has been plundering our wealth for centuries“, Awlaki argues, „Now is the time for payback. Allah willing, the chickens will come home to roost.“

Anwar al-Awlaki was born in the US-State of New Mexico in 1971 but grew up and spend his teenage years in Yemen. Later he studied and worked in the US for several years. He was a preacher at two mosques visited by some 9/11 hijackers. After September 11th 2001, Awlaki fled the USA and moved to the UK. In 2004 he migrated to Yemen and is now suspected of hiding somewhere in the Shabwa region with his family.

US officials believe Awlaki has close ties to the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida and has become a spiritual leader to the organization. He himself never admitted of being a member of al-Qaida but he appeared in a al-Qaida produced propaganda tape and writes for the notorious „Inspire“ magazine that attracts mainly young Muslim men in the West.

On the internet Awlaki had his own blog spreading his message of violent Jihad has a means to defeat and conquer the West. The Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan who killed 13 American soldiers in 2009 was in contact with the US-Yemeni preacher Awlaki. Both exchanged e-mails about religious justification for suicide bombings. Awlaki also knew the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up an US airliner over Detroit after being recruited and trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.

Investigations of several terror plots in Western countries have revealed Awlaki´s influence on Islamists living in Europe and North America. US authorities labeled him the most dangerous terrorist in the world and the US government has approved assassination operations against Awlaki. He is the first US citizen on a hit-list by the CIA, ordered by the President to be captured or killed.

In December 2009 Anwar al-Awlaki survived a US drone attack in Yemen and later gave an interview to a Yemeni journalist who was sentenced to 5 years in prison two days ago because of his connections to al-Qaida.

Coming soon … Jihadi Anchorman Anwar al-Awlaki

by Florian Flade

“The responsibility lying on the shoulder of the Ummah is heavy. The Ummah is in severe need to be guided in these dark times in which the Muslims are exposed to fateful dangers”

– Anwar al-Awlaki in new video release

Sitting on what likes look a newsdesk, a wooden curtain in the background, US-born Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki is featured in a new video soon to be released on Jihadi internet forums. The weekend´s release of a small clip, an excerpt of a larger tape, is a clear sign to expect the full video in the coming days.

A few weeks back, still images of the new Awlaki tape were posted in a Jihadi forum, hinting the wanted Yemeni Ideologue will appear in a new major video release, probably produced by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Awlaki, born in 1971 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is a US-citizen and has lived in the United States for years until he fled to Yemen via Great Britain. In the US, Anwar al-Awlaki, gave lectures at several mosques around the country, among them an Islamic Center in Virginia and a San Diego Mosque. At least two of the 9/11 hijackers attended Awlaki´s sermons.

Since he was chosen to live in Yemeni exile, the fluent English-speaker has risen to a prominent figure within the Jihadi circles, making him a leading ideologue influencing especially Western Muslims, often Non-Arab speakers.

The United States are on the hunt for Awlaki, as the CIA and FBI believe he was highly involved in the Ford Hood Shooting of Major Nidal Hassan in 2009. Awlaki exchanged e-mails with Hassan, convincing him attacking US soldiers is his duty as a Muslim, eventhough he is living in the USA and is a member of the military.

Soon after the Nigerian Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab, trained and prepared by al-Qaeda in Yemen, tried to blow up an US airliner over Detroit in December 2009, again indications emerged, the failed suicide bomber has met Anwar al-Awlaki during his time in Yemen. The preacher had influenced the young Nigerian, giving him spiritual advice and religious justification for his action.

Labeled as „Bin Laden of the Internet“, Awlaki has become a prime target in Obama´s war against al-Qaeda. The US president issued the order to capture or kill Awlaki – a controversial decision as the Islamist Imam is still a natural-born American.

Years ago Awlaki was an al-Qaeda supporter, a blogger and internet-preacher spreading spiritual poison, sometimes via Live video conference into European, Australian or North American mosques, speaking in English to Muslim audiences in the West.

Today, there is no doubt in my mind, Anwar al-Awlaki is a full-time al-Qaeda member, using his charisma and influence to support the organization and spread its ideology. Al-Qaeda in Yemen´s media wing, Al-Malahim Media, interviewed Awlaki earlier this year, marking the first time the American and American-hater was granted full-length propaganda video bearing the logo of al-Qaeda.

It is no coincident an administrator of a large Jihadi forum posted the trailer-like video example of the new Awlaki video at the same time, news was spreading the Pentagon had invited Anwar al-Awlaki for launch just weeks after 9/11.

The meeting apparently was part of an effort to reach out to the Muslim community, the US authorities say. Awlaki had been visited and questioned by the FBI about the alleged connection to the hijackers of the 9/11 attacks.

Asked if Awlaki has actually attended the launch at the Pentagon, spokesman Col. David Lapan told ABC News, „We believe that to be true.“
„We believe it was hosted by a small group within (but not including) the Department of Defense General Counsel’s staff,“ a Pentagon spokesman told ABC.

The FBI, US media reports, was quite „impressed“ by the English-speaking preacher and decided to reach out to him. From today´s viewpoint the situation is an embarrassing mistake made by US officials. Sleeping with the devil would be an accurate description of the event.

Nine years after launch at the Pentagon, the friendly, „impressive“ Imam is America´s top enemy, one of the most-wanted man alive and the rising star in the al-Qaeda world. Lectures by Awlaki are uploaded on Youtube every day, audio tapes are spreading in the internet forums, Awlaki´s „44 Ways of Supporting Jihad“ is a Jihadi bestseller since the US focus is on the Yemeni preacher.

The new video will very likely be released in the coming days and it is – from what you can tell from the short clip – all in Arabic. In it Awlaki mainly talks about the corrupt Arab leaders and their responsibility for the situation of the Muslim Ummah.

More to come…