by Florian Flade
“The hero of Khorasan Zaid Saleh al-Hourani, known to everyone as Abu Musab al-Hourani”, the beginning of a short biography of a Jordanian Jihadist fighter killed in Afghanistan reads. The article about Al-Hourani was posted on Jihadist Internet forums recently and gives a rare insight into the situation of foreign fighters in Afghanistan these days.
“Abu Musab al-Hourani”, a resident of Amman, from a Jericho family, allegedly was a close aid to former Iraqi Al-Qaida leader Abu Musab az-Zarqawi and recruited about 30 other Jordanians to Jihad in Iraq. In Jordan al-Hourani was imprisoned for 5 years because of his terrorist activities.
In 2010 he traveled to Pakistan and joined the mujaheddin in the tribal areas. Pictures released with his biography are showing Abu Musab al-Hourani in the Pakistani tribal agency of Orakzai. “He took part in operations targeting the Pakistani military”, the biography reads. Al-Hourani was wounded during the fighting in Pakistan, both in battle with Pakistani troops (on his leg) and in CIA drone strikes (again his leg) but recovered from the injuries. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted : Wednesday Jul 11, 2012 14:51:57 EDT
KHARTOUM, Sudan — A man who spent a decade as a prisoner in the U.S. detention facility for militants in Guantanamo Bay returned Wednesday to his native Sudan after completing a shortened sentence for aiding al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
Ibrahim al-Qosi was getting reacquainted with his wife and two daughters and other family members and will spend some time in a government-sponsored reintegration program in the capital, Khartoum, before returning to his hometown, said his lawyer Paul Reichler.
Al-Qosi, who recently turned 52, had not seen his family since he was captured and sent to the U.S. base in Cuba in early 2002. His release brings the prison population down to 168.
“I guess you call this probably the best birthday present he ever received,” Reichler, a Washington-based specialist in international law, said in a phone interview from Greece, where he was speaking at a legal conference.
The Pentagon and state-run media in Sudan confirmed al-Qosi’s release.
Al-Qosi admitted serving food and providing other services at a militant camp. He was among the first prisoners taken to the Guantanamo, the hastily arranged detention center to hold men suspected of ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban after the invasion of Afghanistan.
From a high of nearly 700, the population is now down to less than 170. President Obama vowed to close the prison but has been prevented from doing so by Congress.
Al-Qosi, who moved to Afghanistan in 1996 to work with Islamic militants, struck a deal with U.S. military prosecutors in July 2010, pleading guilty to providing material support to terrorism and conspiracy in exchange for a 14-year sentence that would be shortened to two years from his conviction. It spared him the possibility of a much longer sentence, perhaps even life.
He was never accused of any specific acts of violence. He worked as a cook and helped gather supplies for a militant camp. His lawyer said he may have accompanied Osama bin Laden as part of an entourage but was never a member of the terrorist leader’s inner circle. Bin-Laden, founder of al-Qaida, was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan last year.
by Florian Flade
Ever since Al-Qaida´s leader Dr.Ayman az-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for holding an American citizen hostage in December 2011, experts and intelligence officials have been debating wether or not Al-Qaida´s claim was in fact true. Is the American director for “J.E. Austin Associates” in Pakistan, Warren Weinstein, who has kidnapped in Lahore (Pakistan) in August 2011 really held by Al-Qaida?
“I would like to talk to President Obama and ask him and beg him to accept and respond to the demands of the Mujahidin”, Weinstein says in the video sitting at a table with food and books on it, “My life is in your hands Mr President. If you don´t accept the demands, then I die. It is important that you accept the demands.”
Pakistani sources have claimed Weinstein, who hails from Rockville (Maryland) was abducted from his home in Lahore by armed gunmen belonging to terrorist group “Lashkar e-Jhangvi”. The American was then allegedly transferred to the tribal region of North Waziristan and probably handed over to the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP), a group known to cooperate with Al-Qaida.
Inland-born jihadist Adam Gadahn – raised on a Winchester goat farm – has resurfaced in letters released this week that were tied to the attack against al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Gadahn, 33, has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a decade, officials believe, acting as a propagandist for the terrorist group. He was the first American since World War II to be charged with treason when a California court indicted him in 2005.
Now called Azzam the American and Azzam Al-Amriki, Gadahn wrote a 21-page letter in January 2011 suggesting strategies for spreading al-Qaida’s message for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The letter was released with others Thursday as part of a purge of previously classified material by Combatting Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The letters were collected from bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, where he was killed by U.S. Special Forces during an attempt to capture the terrorist leader on May 1, 2011.
In the letter, Gadahn offers suggestions on how to communicate with western media, including the idea of offering a handful of journalists a chance to interview high-ranking al-Qaida members, including bin Laden, for the attack anniversary. Gadahn also chastises Western media for not challenging U.S. officials and condemning the jihadist movement.
“They are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” Gadahn wrote, according to a translation of the original letter.
But Gadahn is also critical of some terrorist factions in the missive, openly condemning terror sects that bomb mosques while Muslims are praying.
“It has been exploited to distort the picture of the pious and loyal Mujahidin,” he wrote. “Now many regular people are looking at the Mujahidin as a group that does not hesitate to take people’s money by falsehood, detonating mosques, spilling the blood of scores of people in the way to kill one or two who were labeled as enemies.” Read the rest of this entry »
Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
The historical Radda castle, above, was overtaken by al-Qaida militants on Sunday.
SANAA, Yemen — Islamist militants have seized full control of a town southeast of Yemen’s capital, raising their flag over the citadel, overrunning army positions, storming the local prison and pledging allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, residents said Monday.
The capture of Radda in Bayda province, some 100 miles south of capital Sanaa, underscores the growing strength of al-Qaida in Yemen as it continues to take advantage of the weakness of a central government struggling to contain nearly a year of massive political unrest.
by Florian Flade
Izzaddin Abdel Aziz Khalil from the Syrian town of Al-Qamishli is now international terrorist celebrity. The 29 year-old Syrian has been added to the U.S. Most Wanted List of terrorists. A $ 10 Million reward is offered for information leading to his killing or arrest.
Khalil who is known as “Yassin al-Suri” is labeled as a senior Al-Qaida facilitator based in Iran. According to U.S. authorities Al-Suri is moving terrorist recruits across the Middle East into Iran and then to Pakistan and Afghanistan. His activities are known to Iranian authorities, the U.S. claims.
“Iranian authorities maintain a relationship with al-Suri and have permitted him to operate within Iran´s borders since 2005″ – the U.S. Ministry of Justice states – “Al-Suri funnels significant funds via Iran for onward passage to al-Qaida´s leadership in Afghanistan and Iraq”. Read the rest of this entry »
by Florian Flade
Just two days before Christmas numerous bomb explosion hit the predominately Shiite districts of Iraq´s capital Baghdad killing at least 69 people, wounding 180 others – most of them Shiite civilians. The sixteen different attacks took place only about two weeks after U.S. forces officially withdrew from the country.
Immediately blame was on Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaida. Today the “Islamic State of Iraq”, an umbrella organization which de facto represents Al-Qaida, has claimed responsibility for the December 22th Baghdad bombings. A written statement was released and posted in several Jihadi Internet forums.
The multiple attacks, Al-Qaida claims, were carried out “to support the weak Sunnis in the prisons of the apostates and to retaliate for the captives who were executed by the Safavid (Persian) government”. “Special operations”, as Al-Qaida calls the attacks, have allegedly targeted headquarters of the Al-Sadr Militia (Al-Qaida calls them “Army of the Devil”). Read the rest of this entry »