Al-Qaeda will expose double agent’s identity, security chiefs fear

Security chiefs believe the identity of the double agent who foiled an al-Qaeda underwear bomb plot will be exposed by the terrorist group within weeks.

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It was hoped that the death of al-Awlaki, its chief recruiter and planner, would have proved a fatal blow to AQAP Photo: AP

By Sean Rayment, Philip Sherwell and Jason Lewis

8:30PM BST 12 May 2012

MI5 fear that militant Islamists will attempt to exact revenge on the British spy, who penetrated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP), by publishing his photograph on the internet – a move designed to incite extremists to hunt him down.

Sources have described the British spy as “gold dust”, adding that he was one of just a handful of agents in the last ten years to have successfully penetrated one of the groups aligned to al-Qaeda’s concept of global Jihad.

AQAP now represents the “greatest operational threat” to Britain and America, according to senior Whitehall sources.

The group is known for its use of modern communication techniques including the publication of an English-language magazine, Inspire, which is distributed to supporters over the internet.

The agent, a British passport holder of Saudi heritage, volunteered to take part in a suicide mission but instead escaped with an underwear bomb designed to blow up a US airliner.

He is understood to have been recruited and trained by MI5’s G6 section – the ultra-secret part of the organisation responsible for agent handling – before being sent on his mission to penetrate the Yemeni-based terror group.

A former security official told The Sunday Telegraph that although the mission to penetrate AQAP was a success, the agent was now “burned” and would never be able to take part in covert operations again.

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How the “Underwear Bomber” Met Anwar al-Awlaki

Posted on 2012/03/13 by Florian Flade

“Underwear Bomber”  – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

On Christmas Day 2009 a young Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded US-bound Northwest Airlines Flight 253 at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. He did not raise any suspicion until he tried to set fire to his pants when the airplane was flying over Detroit. Other passengers tackled the young African man to the ground, preventing him from carrying out his deadly mission: to blow up the airliner over the US with an explosive device hidden in his underwear.

Before he started his suicidal mission, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, son of wealthy Nigerian banker, had lived in Yemen for several months. The devout Muslim had made contact with one of the most dangerous Jihadi clerics – late Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Yemeni preacher who was killed in a US drone strike in September 2011. Awlaki arranged for the ambitious Nigerian a trip to the training camps of Al-Qaida in Yemen.

Abdulmutallab, the so-called failed “Underwear Bomber” was sentenced to life in prison by a US court on February 16. New court documents reveal how Abdulmutallab came in touch with Awlaki and how he was guided into the inner core of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Here is an excerpt from a FBI document highlighting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab´s journey in Yemen and his meeting with Anwar al-Awlaki.

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“In August 2009, defendant left Dubai, where he had been taking graduate classes, and traveled to Yemen. For several years, defendant had been following the online teachings of Anwar Awlaki, and he went to Yemen to try to meet him in order to discuss the possibility of becoming involved in jihad. Defendant by that time had become committed in his own mind to carrying out an act of jihad, and was contemplating “martyrdom;” i.e., a suicide operation in which he and others would be killed.

Once in Yemen, defendant visited mosques and asked people he met if they knew how he could meet Awlaki. Eventually, defendant made contact with an individual who in turn made Awlaki aware of defendant’s desire to meet him. Defendant provided this individual with the number for his Yemeni cellular telephone.

Thereafter, defendant received a text message from Awlaki telling defendant to call him, which defendant did. During their brief telephone conversation, it was agreed that defendant would send Awlaki a written message explaining why he wanted to become involved in jihad. Defendant took several days to write his message to Awlaki, telling him of his desire to become involved in jihad, and seeking Awlaki’s guidance. After receiving defendant’s message, Awlaki sent defendant a response, telling him that Awlaki would find a way for defendant to become involved in jihad.

Thereafter, defendant was picked up and driven through the Yemeni desert. He eventually arrived at Awlaki’s house, and stayed there for three days. During that time, defendant met with Awlaki and the two men discussed martyrdom and jihad. Awlaki told defendant that jihad requires patience but comes with many rewards. Defendant understood that Awlaki used these discussions to evaluate defendant’s commitment to and suitability for jihad. Throughout, defendant expressed his willingness to become involved in any mission chosen for him, including martyrdom – and by the end of his stay, Awlaki had accepted defendant for a martyrdom mission. Continue reading

3 Executed by Militants for Helping U.S. in Yemen

Yemen division 2011-7-7

Image via Wikipedia

By REUTERS  Published: February 12, 2012

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) — Islamist militants in southern Yemen said they executed three men on Sunday for giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes in the area.

Residents of the towns of Jaar and Azzan said two Saudis and one Yemeni were beheaded at dawn by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.

A spokesman for the group later said none of those executed were Saudi citizens, but all three had been working for the intelligence services of the kingdom, a close ally of the United States.

A number of important figures in Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen are Saudi militants wanted by the authorities in Riyadh.

The United States has been launching drone strikes against militants in the south. Last month, at least 12 people were killed in one such attack. Continue reading

US Muslims Joining Islamic Insurgency In Africa

From the Associated Press:

NAIROBI, Kenya — The October al-Qaida video shows a light-skinned man handing out food to families displaced by famine in Somalia. But the masked man is not Somali, or even African — he’s a Wisconsin native who grew up in San Diego.

Militant Islamist insurgency is recruiting Americans

A handful of young Muslims from the U.S. are taking high-visibility propaganda and operational roles inside an al-Qaida-linked insurgent force in Somalia known as al-Shabab. While most are from Minnesota, which has the largest Somali population in the nation, al-Shabab members include a Californian and an Alabaman with no ancestral ties to Somalia.

“They are being deployed in roles that appear to be shrewdly calculated to raise al-Shabab’s international profile and to recruit others, especially those from the United States and other English-speaking countries,” said Anders Folk, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted suspected al-Shabab supporters in Minnesota.

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ICSR – The International Centre For The Study Of Radicalisation And Political Violence

Sep 2011

As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad

ICSR is pleased to announce the release of its newest report, As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad, by Research Fellow Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens.  This study provides the first forensic analysis of Anwar al-Awlaki’s work, which tracks his ideological path from a supposedly moderate preacher to an al-Qaeda recruiter.

Contents

Foreword 2

Letter of Support from START 3

Glossary of Terms 4

Executive Summary 6

Chapter 1

Introduction 9

Chapter 2

Methodology and Key Concepts 13Social Movement Theory 13Framing and Frame Analysis 14Frame Alignment 16Boundary Activation 17Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ 17 The Fluidity of Salafi and Islamist Thought 20

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Terrorist list’s release sparks official outrage

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accuses the Government of 'ratting out' 23 Australians to the US. Photo / AP

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accuses the Government of ‘ratting out’ 23 Australians to the US. Photo / AP

Australia has reacted furiously to the publication of names of Australians on the United States terror watch-list, revealed in cables released by global whistleblower WikiLeaks.

The 23 people identified in cables signed by US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich were alleged to have links with Yemeni-based Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has advocated violence against the West and who has been implicated in planned terror attacks against America.

The list includes a grandmother once described as the matriarch of Australian Islamist militancy, a woman arrested in Yemen after her passport was cancelled, and the wife of a French terror suspect alleged to have had links with Australian terror cells. Continue reading

Online preachers of hate: Anwar al-Awlaki,’bin Laden of the internet’

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online. Photo: REUTERS

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online

7:30AM BST 07 Jun 2011

Operating from Yemen, the US-born Islamic preacher has been dubbed the ‘bin Laden of the internet’ having been linked to numerous extremists charged with terrorism offences in Britain and elsewhere.

He has lived in Britain and America, speaks to his followers in impeccable English over the internet and is one of the key figures of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP).

Awlaki gave advice to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspected Detroit bomber, who tried to blow himself up using a device in his underpants on Christmas Day 2009.

US security sources have reportedly said there is “concrete evidence” that Awlaki recruited Abdulmutallab, who lived in Britain while studying at University College London.

Material gathered at UK properties linked to Abdulmutallab – who is being held in the US on terrorism charges – allegedly suggests he was an avid follower of Awlaki’s blog and website.

Most recently, Awlaki has been linked to Rajib Karim, the former British Airways graduate trainee, who planned to smuggle a bomb onto a transatlantic flight. Continue reading