Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eric Breininger

Member of the Islamic Jihad Union. Wanted in Germany.

CCC backgrounder on IJU, mentioning Breininger.

The following material is from a Turkish-language IJU website hosted in Turkey.



Photo, Breininger at left

Photo, Breininger in the middle

Friday, September 26, 2008

Umarov versus Zakayev in Londonistan

I don't intend here to lend credibility to non-credible threats on the internet. This piece is only about how freely such threats can be made by Londonistanis on websites based in the UK, even when the targets of the threats are also in UK.

In recent months Dokka Umarov and Ahmed Zakayev have both appointed themselves leaders of nonexistent states within Russia. On 31 October 2007, Umarov renamed his guerilla group the Causasus Emirate, with himself as emir, and immediately called for the killing of "apostates and collaborators", by which he means anybody in southern Russia who does not obey him. Twenty-six days later, Zakayev called himself Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, claiming that a phone-in election had been held, and he won. Kavkaz quickly started making death threats against Zakayev.

For their main platforms on the web, Ahmed Zakayev has "Chechen Press" in English and Russian, while Umarov's people have Kavkaz in English and Chechen Times in Russian.

I'll look at this scripted Kavkaz "interview" of the guy who runs Chechen Times, namely Zakhar Abukhanov.

From the interview:
[interviewer:]Zakhar Abukhanov claims that Zakayev contacted him with a proposal to kill Boris Berezovsky, who now has a stringent control over all Zakayev's actions and financially supports the former Chechen Foreign Minister, his family and his circle of the members of the London criminal group.

[interviewer:]"Along with it there was a report that Zakayev and Berezovsky contacted you about the 'order' [to assassinate] certain activists. The names of Abramovich and Demian Kudryavtsev were mentioned. Later on among the Chechen diaspora in France there was hearsay that Zakayev tried to organize some terrorist act in PACE [Euro parliament] through some persons: whether it was an assassination, or an explosion, but something went wrong. Which motives, do you think, Zakayev is moved by?"

[Abukhanov:]Berezovsky wanted to physically remove not only Governor of Chukotka Roman Abramovich, but a number of other Russian businessmen as well, -- Berezovsky's rivals who visit Europe often. For these purposes he was looking a responsible perpetrator through Zakayev, so that everything could be blamed on Chechens.

"I was telling Zakayev that you cannot assassinate people in Europe because it would create problems for Chechens. If there is a need to ‘settle the score' with somebody, it would be much easier and cheaper done in Russia. Everybody knows that. But both Zakayev and Berezovsky needed turmoil in Europe, so that the Chechens would be the cause of the turmoil.

"I have a proof to back my words up. I made an audio recording of my conversation with Zakayev, which I'm willing to present in any court.

"Let me repeat once again. Zakayev's goal is to discredit all who are fighting against the Russian troops at home, and make himself the main and the only Chechen democrat, whom the West could count on. This is why he and his boss wanted (and they do want it even stronger today) to mastermind a provocation in Europe and blame it all on the Mujahideen.

I do not know Abukhanov's current location, but he is a mouthpiece of the mindless Islamist Dokka Umarov and he therefore certainly has no intention of disputing anything in any court. He deals in threats, not facts.

"Sure, Berezovsky has materials that would discredit Akhmed when exposed. B.A.B. is famous for his talent to gather not only ‘black dossiers' on his subordinates, but for betraying them as well, as soon as the person is no longer needed or gets out of his control. So Zakayev does have something to be worried about.

"But Berezovsky should be worried too. Zakayev, as a person who has access to Berezovsky, may take an advantage of this situation. Everybody knows that Zakayev is now in the process of negotiating with Kadyrov and Russian FSB. Berezovsky knows about that. I'm sure that Zakayev came up with some kind of story as to why he is conducting these negotiations, and he probably even got permission from him to do these negotiations.

"To me and to any person who knows Zakayev it is clear that he is seeking forgiveness from the FSB and from Kadyrov, because he fears for his life (especially after Litvinenko got killed), and if he helps them remove Berezovsky, then Moscow will forgive him and even promote him in the status of a traitor, which is good for the FSB, they will get a puppet with the image of a democrat. So far for Russians Zakayev is totally worthless. But Berezovsky is Putin's personal enemy. This is why they could use Zakayev, who is now openly offering himself to Kadyrov, as you can see today."

That's enough of Kavkaz's stuff to illustrate the point I wanted to make.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wanted: Eric Breininger & Houssain al-Malla

Wanted in Germany. Thought to be part of the Islamic Jihad Union. Reported to have been to tribal Pakistan this summer.

Eric Breininger German hotsheet on Breininger

Hussain Al-Malla German hotsheet on Al-Malla

Breininger at left.

A Turkish-language IJU website.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kavkaz versus the "London Criminal Group"

The Kavkaz website publicises the dicta and propaganda of the violent Sunni totalitarian faction in southern Russia whose current emir-for-life is

Dokka Umarov
Доку Умаров
دوكو عمروف

Abu Uthman or Abu Usman
Абу Осман
أبو عثمان

Umarov's group is descended from the Mashkadov-Khattab-Baseyev gang that was funded from Arabia. Those three individuals are dead but Mashkadov's "foreign minister"

Ahmed Zakayev
Ахмед Закаев
أحمد زكاييف

is still alive in London. Zakayev withdrew from the heavy fighting in Chechnya to Turkey via the Pankisi Gorge (Georgia) in 2000, due to an injury. He has not been in Russia since. But he retained the endorsement of Mashkadov until the latter was killed in March of 2005. Mashkadov's successor Abdul-Halim Sadulayev went on the martyr pile in June of 2006, and it became Umarov's turn.

To his kufr hosts in the West, Zakayev claimed to disapprove of the Moscow theatre hostage-taking, which ended with about 150 people plus 50 terrorists dead. But Zakayev subsequently promoted Shamil Basayev after the latter claimed credit for the theatre incident.

Zakeyev is now in trouble, not from the West, but from Umarov's group. This excerpt from a spokesman of Umarov says what that group is nowadays about:

The statement of our Amir [Umarov] means that he considers Allah, the Most High, who sent down for us the best law and guidance through His Messenger Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the only source of authority, and not the people. He also renounced terms that contradict Islam, such as: republic, parliament, president etc. His statement is the rejection of the democratic system of governing and pagan beliefs and doctrines associated with it. Mujahideen of the Caucasus have nothing to do any more with all concepts incompatible with our Religion, such as human rights, international law, referendum, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and will of the people.

What matters to Umarov is a supply of money, a supply of weapons, and religious authorizations for aggression. Evidently his religious authorization is coming from Salafists, although he scoffs at being called Wahhabi or al-Qa'ida. And Umarov seems no longer to require money from LCG either. And if the jihad no longer has any use for Zakayev, then neither does Berezovksy and his London Criminal Group.

Lately there has been a substantial whispering campaign against Zakayev. Some say he "has links to European intelligence". Some are more specific and suggest that he gave MI6 something against the Kremlin in return for asylum in the UK. One mujahid told Kavkaz that he had been betrayed in some way by Zakayev, and then added that Zakayev would surely betray his fellow members of the LCG likewise. He even hinted that Zakayev might be plotting to kill Berezovsky. That sounds to me like an attempt to incite the killing of Zakayev by the LCG. It could work. Alexander Litvinenko is dead enough. Litvinenko was a hanger-on, or groupie, of Zakayev (they lived next door to each other) and Berezovsky and other such bigshots. As if to try to measure up, Litvinenko would tell one fantastic tale after another about the doings of the KGB, e.g. saying that an insider had warned him not to go to Italy, because it was full of KGB headed by Romano Prodi. I'll speculate that Berezovsky's LCG killed the pathetic Litvinenko, and then painted that trail of radioactive polonium -- impossible to miss -- all the way from London to Moscow, to incriminate Lugovoi and the Kremlin. Berezovsky wants to take over Russia. Realistic or not, that's what he wants.

On top of the suspicion-mongering, Kavkaz is trying to incite the lynching of Zakayev in all the usual Muslim ways:
-- accusing him of making anti-Islam statements.
-- accusing him of breaking an oath.
-- accusing him of collaborating with Kufr.

To demonstrate those claims, I will excerpt some bits from a Kavkaz "interview" of Umarov's propaganda boss Movladi Udugov in June 2008. Apart from an opening prayer, the script begins with an attack on Ahmed Zakayev:

All that has been said or will be said (or done) by the former CRI foreign minister [Zakayev] and his circle has no importance whatsoever. That man is not independent, he is in a foreign country in a position of a de facto hostage and he is dependent on certain people as well as specific circumstances. He actually is not making it a secret either. So, his words and deeds have no importance whatsoever.

But there is the flipside of the issue. Even if you take into an account that someone really does have a thick dossier with defaming materials on the former CRI foreign minister and he is being blackmailed, or the ex-minister really is a faithful democrat, as he claims to be, it still does not justify the fact of treason and betrayal of the oath, and no one has abolished the responsibility for it.

And there can never be any kind of ideological unity of the Mujahideen with the anti-Islamic London group, which has been using the same "accusatory arguments" against the fighting Mujahideen that the enemies are using.

Euro-Chechens per se (the London group of Chechen national democrats) and pro-Moscow group of Chechen Murtadin (apostates/pro-Russian collaborators) are ideological relatives. There are no ideological disagreements between them. They have different "benefactors" (this is where the mutual dislike of their leaders comes from), but the ideology is all the same: animosity towards Islam and non-acceptance of the Sharia.

So, Umarov's utterly Islamist "information director" is accusing Zakayev of apostasy and treason and collaboration with kufaar against Muslims. That means Umarov wants Zakayev dead.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update on Maqdisi's eulogy to Zarqawi

Hesbah thread number 192800
Thread starter:
أبو المهاجر الزرقاوي
Abu al-Muhajir az-Zarqawi (an awkward pseudonym)
Thread title:
إعلان هام من منبر التوحيد والجهاد
Important note from Minbar at-Tawhid wal-Jihad

The poster says that the release of the eulogy was not authorized by Maqdisi and in future the brothers should only quote Minbar at-Tawhid wal-Jihad for material from Maqdisi.

إعلان هام من منبر التوحيد والجهاد
بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

نحيط الإخوة الأفاضل بأن منبر التوحيد والجهاد هو الجهة الوحيدة الناطقة باسم الشيخ أبي محمد المقدسي وأي بيان أو كلمة أو تصريح ينسب إلى الشيخ يعتبر غير موثق وفاقد للمصداقية ما لم يقره المنبر أو ينزل فيه .. والمنبر حاليا معطل وهو قيد الإعداد ونبشركم بأننا سنقوم بإعادة افتتاحه خلال أيام معدودة إن شاء الله .. لزم هذا التنويه لأنه قد نسبت إلى الشيخ بعض التصريحات التي لم تصدر عنه بغض النظر عن رأي الشيخ فيها من تأييد أو عدمه .. وحتى القصيدة التي نزلت في المنتديات في رثاء الشيخ أبي مصعب رحمه الله فقد سجلها أحد الإخوة على هاتفه الجوال في زيارة ودية للشيخ كتسجيل خاص له وهي غير معدة للنشر والشيخ لم يأذن بنشرها .

منبر التوحيد والجهاد

22nd of Ramadan 1429 h. [ 22 September 2008 ]

Minbar at-Tawhid wal-Jihad is a big online al-Qa'ida library founded by Maqdisi. Tawhid wal-Jihad was what Zarqawi called his group before it was renamed al-Qaida in Iraq.

Monday, September 22, 2008

AQ loses a video editor, seeks replacement

Hesbah thread number 192681
Thread starter:
أبو الحارث القندهاري
Thread title:
ماذا انتم فعالون يا اخوة التوحيد بعد عامان لدولة الاسلام؟

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

احبتي في الله

مر عامان على بزوغ نجم دولة الاسلام في العراق، عامان من الصبر والكابدة، عامان من الجهاد وبذل الوصع والطاقة لنصرة دين الله، فكم استشهد من شاب وكم تيتم طفل وكم استرملت أمرأة ومع ذلك لم نرى منهم الا صبرا ولم يفعلوا الا خيرا.

عامان لدولة الاسلام اصدار حرك كل ما في من مشاعر نصرة للاسلام ودولته، اصدار بليغ مؤثر ناجع، نفذته اباد مباركة، على قاعدة من العلم الشرعي والسياسي والاقتصادي والنفسي، فظهر بصورة لا مثيل لها، وهو يعتبر من انجح الاصدارات الموجهة للعامة، حيث القاعدة الاساسية لنجاح كل عمل وبقاء كل دولة, ودولة الاسلام باذن الله باقية.

احبتي في الله

بعد اصدار عامان لدولة الاسلام الذي خصص جزء منه لاصدارات كتائب الاعلام الاجهادي

فماذا انتم فاعلون.

وهذا المتصفح نريد من الاخوة ان يكتبوا فيه:

ماذا هم فاعلون لنصرة الاسلام ودولة العراق الاسلام وكل الجماعات الجهادية؟

اين اصداراتكم المرئية؟
اين روابطكم الالفية؟
اين مقالاتكم التحريضية؟
اين همتكم يا اخوة التوحيد ؟

قصة وعبرة

احد اهم اعلاميي الجهاد الاسلامي لم يكن يتوانى في نصرة الجهاد واهله، لم ارى له مثيلا، فقد كان يقطع المسافات، ويشد رحله لنصرة الجهاد اعلاميا، كان يجمع الاخوة في ارضه، وكان بحق مركزا اعلاميا نسال الله ان يتقبله شهيدا حيث قضى نحبه وهو في رحال لجمع مادة اعلامية جهادية.

اين نحن من هذا البطل الاشم

انتظر اخواني الكرام

احبتي في الله
اخوة التوحيد

منهم مشاريع كبيرة
وخصوص في مجال توفير الروابط باستمرار
وفي مجال المونتاج المرئي والغرافيكس.
وفي كتابة المقالات

انتظر اقتراحات الاخوة في هذا المتصفح حتى نجعل منه بداية طريق نحو نصرة ابلغ

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sa'ad al-Faqih

سعد راشد محمد الفقيه
Sa'ad Rashed Mohammad al-Faqih, a.k.a.
أبو عثمان
Abu Uthman
Saudi. Lives under British protection as a political refugee from KSA.

Al-Faqih is embargoed by the UN Security Council Committee 1267 as a known affiliate of al-Qa'ida, and by the US Treasury Department since December 2004. As the Treasury statement indicates, al-Faqih is a former assistant to, or employee of, Usama Bin Ladin, and was an affiliate of Abu Mus'ab as-Suri before the latter fled the UK in 1995 for fear of arrest on a French warrant.
This bit from the Treasury statement is interesting:
AQ-affiliated author, Lewis Attiyatullah, whose statements have been published on MIRA's website, has been directly associated with Al-Faqih for several years.
The website they are referring to is the Castle forum, which has since been banned by the UK. Sheikh Attiyatullah, as he is now known, is a quite senior current AQ member, probably on the majlis ash-shura. He appears in the 2008 as-Sahab video about 9-11.

Internet Haganah in May 2005 tabulated some of al-Faqih's numerous websites. Most of those sites, including his pro-terrorism Castle forum, are dead. But these are running:
mms:// (streaming video, runs 24/7) (a compendium of links to recordings of himself)

Al-Faqih's closest familiar in the UK is his fellow Saudi fugitive Muhammed al-Massari, who ran the terrorist forum called Tajdeed (renewal) for several years before the British pulled the plug on it. Various other Londonistanis have associated with al-Faqih over the years, but not for long as a rule. One was the Egyptian Yassir al-Sirri, who ran the Marsad terrorist forum from England. Marsad means observatory; the forum was named after al-Sirri's so-called Islamic Observatory for Human Rights. Al-Sirri is wanted in Egypt for his part in an assassination attempt against Prime Minister Sedki, in which Sedki was unharmed but a child was killed.

Abdulrahman Alamoudi, a former fundraiser for Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, implicated al-Faqih as part of plea deal. Alamoudi is serving a 23-year sentence in the USA. In this DOJ press release about the sentencing of Alamoudi, the two Saudi dissidents referred to are al-Faqih and al-Massari.

Al-Faqih's so-called Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, or MIRA, or just Islah (reform), is a front by which al-Faqih poses as a nonviolent proponent of democracy and human rights in Saudi Arabia. (His concern with the rest of the Peninsula is limited.) Some naive pressmen and academics have mistaken him for a sincere reformer and have granted him interviews, in which he hides his real sympathies. In reality he has often attempted to incite assassinations in KSA and he has a long history of paying homage to his fellow Saudi Usama Bin Ladin.

Al-Faqih spends more time publicising himself on the internet than any other terrorist I know. Indeed, when you come across something pro-Faqih on the internet, the odds are good that it comes from Sa'ad al-Faqih himself.

Miscellaneous "credentials"
Dr. Sa'ad's most recent claim to fame is his appearance in the September 2008 as-Sahab video about 9-11, in an excerpt from a TV interview. Some of his self-recordings at Islah were pasted into the July as-Sahab video which eulogized Abu al-Hasan.
Al-Faqih's efforts received rather noncommittal endorsement from Ayman al-Zawahiri in the video in which he answered questions submitted to him over the internet.
Al-Faqih was a member of Ekhlaas under the pseudonym Faqih at-Ta'ifi (after the city of Ta'if near Makka) at the time Ekhlaas disappeared, and he sometimes shows up on other relatively junior pro-terrorism forums. At Ekhlaas, his prestige was little, because he won't brook any disagreement, he seldom talks about any jihad battlefront except KSA, and after all he has to behave himself at least a little while he is under kufr protection in the UK.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

AQ's 911 anniversary video for 2008

I will refer to this video as 911_2008. In a nutshell, it's all sizzle and no steak. This as-Sahab production is elaborate but its contents are essentially trivial and largely predictable.

One hour, 27 minutes, and 27 seconds. English subtitles for Arabic, and Arabic subtitles for English and Farsi.

The forthcoming appearance of 911_2008 was headlined on the Ekhlass and Firdaws forums, but both of those rooms went offline prior to 11 September and neither is back in business at the time of this writing. The enemy had additional trouble (an invalid password or a corrupted file) before the video finally appeared on 19 September. To begin with, I'll sketch the video's contents.

In its production and personnel, 911_2008 is related to two earlier videos which I will call

Hazli_2008 -- from early September, about the Saudi muezzin Salim al-Hazli a.k.a. Abu Gharib al-Makki, who blew himself up at the Danish embassy in Pakistan, killing six.
See CBS News

AbuAlHasan_2008 -- the eulogy to Abu al-Hasan al-Sa'idi.

Narration in Arabic is done by the same voice in all three videos. The three share a small amount of video as well.

The Main Cast

Ayman az-Zawahiri does most of the talking. He is in the mood to accuse a wide array of Sunni regimes of apostasy and servility. Almost in passing, Zawahiri calls for jihads here, there, and everywhere, which is usual for him. And he still finds time to target Iran along with what he calls Iran's vassal "Lebanese" Hizbullah.

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid talks quite bombastically about Afghanistan and Pakistan. He says al-Qa'ida and the Taliban are inseparable and are scoring nothing but successes. He says the NATO people are rampaging around slaughtering women and children at random. He briefly and unconcernedly mentions the recent heavy Pakistani action against armed Islamist and tribal groups in Bajaur and Swat.

Abu Yahya al-Libi does a recruitment speech. He flatters the jihadist lumpen and urges them to go to Somalia and (oddly) Chechnya. Abu Yahya is al-Qa'ida's best online recruiter.

(The preceding three guys also appear in both of the aforementioned related videos.)

Sheikh Attiyatullah, a senior and long-established al-Qa'ida ideologue, makes his first appearance in an online video. His talk is of a general nature. He admits that al-Qa'ida in Iraq has had reverses but claims that they are temporary, indeed little more than a haphazard statistical fluctuation. Unlike the others, Attiyatullah has a masked "interviewer" who recites a prepared script.

Abu al-Yazid and Abu Yahya are filmed in the same room, but they do not appear side by side.


911_2008 contains excerpts of broadcasts and interviews from elsewhere on the internet, quoting chiefly

Sa'ad al-Faqih, whom I will talk about later on this blog. The video and audio excerpts of al-Faqih are copies from his own bulky online collection.

Abdullah al-Nafisi, a contrarian and eccentric Kuwaiti cleric. His material comes from interviews and a panel discussion that had appeared on Gulf television stations.

Mullah Hasan (Mulla Muhammad Hasan Rahmani) who is called here, "Personal Advisor to the Amir of the Believers" (meaning Mullah Omar), being interviewed by a familiar Pakistani freelancer. The interview is in a clean room with couches and pillows. Hasan says UBL is alive and well.


911_2008 closes with the "martyrdom" video of the Saudi 9-11 hijacker Ahmed Salah al-Ghamdi. AQ has a history of releasing such material piecemeal.
There is some previously unseen footage of Jonathan Keith Idema at work in his illegal interrogation business.
There are excerpts from a video of Abdullah Azzam, talking about Palestine. He explicitly incites massacres.
Azzam was a Palestinian, killed in 1989 in Pakistan. He speaks here of Israel as a personal "wound" forty years old. So it seems the video was made near the end of Azzam's life. The whole video of Azzam was released on the internet a few weeks ago. It must have been taken on film and only digitized at some time long after Azzam's death. Amidst the Azzam material is a snippet of old Bin Ladin audio, urging Palestinians to fight in Iraq, and saying that Jerusalem would come next.
Abdullah Azzam was a founding member of what is now called al-Qa'ida, along with Bin Ladin, Mamdouh Mahmoud Salim, and Abu Ubeida al-Banshiri, in 1988. No group has every claimed Azzam's assassination, but the suspects include Zawahiri's group of Egyptian fugitives. The subsequent "merger" of Egytian Islamic Jihad with al-Qa'ida was announced by Usama Bin Ladin.
Azzam for whatever reason has been getting lionized quite a bit on enemy websites over the last few months, which could explain why Zawahiri, in this latest video, has started applauding him too. He never used to.

Publicity-consciousness and nerdism

The video is more form than substance. Some geek spent a lot of time on it.
The video opens with Zawahiri complaining about how al-Qa'ida has been getting bad press, by which he means, as he goes on to say, that the press is contradicting al-Qa'ida's claims that they are making progress. Zawahiri also stresses the importance of the internet to al-Qa'ida.
Later, the as-Sahab geeks themselves appear in the video. Or at least, two masked guys sitting at computers are seen, while the narrator tells us about how AQ's "intelligence branch" obtained the footage of Idema interrogating somebody from Jalalabad, and some other footage having to do with Libya. Oddly, that material is overlain with a logo that says "As-Sahab Exclusive" -- a vain and curiously amateurish and un-Islamist gesture by the geeks.
One more odd detail: The person who interviews Attiyatullah says that, in sha' Allah, as-Sahab will interview him again more fully in future. I suspect that that interviewer is the top as-Sahab computer guy himself.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Audio from Maqdisi 2008.09.20

An al-Qa'ida-connected media person calling himself
شبكة شموخ الإسلام
Islam as a Network (?)
has uploaded an unusual piece: an audio recording of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi
أبو محمد المقدسي
eulogizing Abu Mus'ab az-Zarqawi.

Maqdisi was the most influential Sunni terrorist cleric in the world until his native Jordan got him out of sight, not for the first time, in mid-2005. It was Maqdisi in person who converted Zarqawi from a street criminal to a rampaging butcher while the two were in jail together.

Maqdisi's real name is
عصام محمد طاهر البرقاوي
'Isaam Muhammad Tahir al-Barqawi.

The Maqdisi audio must have been made after the elimination of Zarqawi in June 2006, and somehow extracted from the Jordanian jail.

Zawahiri audio 2008.09.20

There's a new Zawahiri audio out today, packaged as a video with an essentially static background made from stills. Only 5 minutes and 53 seconds. Title

تعزية لأهلنا في الدويقة
Condolences to Our People in Difficulties

It's a mainly a routine diatribe against Mubarak's government in Zawahiri's native Egypt, but he talks briefly on Somalia, where the "Shabaab" group operates; that outfit has been calling itself "Army of Difficulties" lately.

The RealPlayer Presentation format
is only four megabytes and contains the same audio as the bulkier rmvb format.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the theory that AQ has killed or demoted Adam Gadahn

From what we know of Adam Gadahn's character and pattern of behaviour, there are a number of reasons to suspect that his comrades in al-Qa'ida have killed him, or are keeping him out of sight. But above all, the top guys in any criminal conspiracy such as al-Qa'ida are extremely anxious about whom they can trust. Gadahn has a history of betrayal and al-Qa'ida knows it.
If AQ has put Gadahn out of sight, temporarily or permanently, it explains why AQ has been silent about Gadahn's fate or situation.

Bin Ladin's speech of September 2007
After keeping out of sight for three years, Usama Bin Ladin reappeared in a video in September 2007. The production seems to have been scripted and coached by Adam Gadahn, ridden as it is with the buzzwords and rhetorical formulas that are fashionable in the Western mass media. Judging from UBL's beard, Gadahn might have even served as UBL's makeup man on that occasion. It is likely that Gadahn personally met Bin Ladin for the purpose of preparing that video. Once any person becomes aware of UBL's location, that person becomes a serious liability to al-Qa'ida. Moreover the UBL video, as a propaganda and intimidation effort, was a flop. The fact that the brothers had awaited it so long, made it all the more embarrassing. Gadahn's "Invitation to Reflection and Repentence" (IRR), a few months later, was also a flop, drawing a great volume of contempt and ridicule from the very people it was aimed at: the American masses. Thus AQ may have decided it was time to cancel the Adam Gadahn Show.

Loose cannon on deck
Gadahn once got expelled from a Muslim congregation in California after he assaulted its imam. If he were to behave like that toward a veteran mujahid such as Abu Laith al-Libi, Gadahn might well have been killed on the spot. We know that Gadahn is very vain and self-conscious. His contemptuous and condescending manner could soon earn him some deadly enemies in Waziristan or NWFP, or even a city such as Quetta.

Gadahn might well have given some thought to defecting, or rather reverting, from al-Qa'ida and back to the West. A hint that points toward that theory, is the religious rhetoric that he goes through in his IRR talk, which make it pretty apparent that Gadahn was still troubled by the contradictions and inadequacies that he had found in literalist religion. And moreover he might well have become simply bored by all the qur'aan-thumping that one would hear among religious fanatics and profoundly ignorant tribal people. Such ennui could bring him under suspicion of being murtad -- apostate. Islamist terrorists hate an apostate or a heretic more than they hate a kufr. Assassination is their treatment for such people.

The absence of Adam Gadahn

Adam Gadahn has not been seen on the web since his video called "An Invitation for Reflection and Repentance" in early January 2008. Since around May, there have been rumors that he was killed along with Abu Laith al-Libi on the night of 28 January, in a drone strike against the home of a tribal boss in Mir Ali, North Waziristan. But whereas Abu Laith was soon eulogized across the jihadi internet, Gadahn was not mentioned.

Going a little further back, Gadahn is thought to have scripted Usama Bin Ladin's strange speech of September 2007, in which the latter wears a trimmed and dyed beard and talks about Western pop topics such as global warming and Noam Chomsky. That Bin Ladin video -- his first appearance in three years -- mystified the mujahideen.

Gadahn narrated AQ's 9-11 anniversary videos for five consecutive years 2003-2007, but there is no sign of him in 2008.

As for what happened to him, I see these possibilities:
1) he was killed by our side
2) he was killed by al-Qa'ida
3) he has died in some other way
4) he has been demoted or reassigned by AQ
5) he has been captured
6) he has surrendered
7) he has dropped out of AQ and is now a fugitive from both sides.

Theory 1 is popular but personally I wouldn't bet on it. AQ practically always eulogizes its martyrs, but on Gadahn they are silent.

Theory 4 looks pretty good. Insofar as the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize people, Adam Gadahn is a dud as a terrorist.

Theory 2 is quite feasible. AQ could have a number of different motives for getting rid of Gadahn, and quite a variety of scenarios could have prompted them to do so.

Theory 7 is a long shot. Gadahn is narcissistic and he loves the sound of his own voice. Life on the run, alone, and needing to keep quiet, would be too much for him.

Theories 5 and 6 are fairly tenable. If Gadahn were in custody and were cooperating, our side would not say a word about it and neither would the other side -- publicly. Privately there would be some more or less serious consternation. The same would apply if Gadahn has died accidentally and neither side knows what happened to him -- a variety of Theory 3.

Abdul-Majid az-Zindani

عبد المجيد الزنداني

Some background on him:

UN Security Council list of individuals and groups embargoed for their affiliation with al-Qa'ida or the Taliban.

Press release about Zindani's designation under Executive Order 13224 and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Al-Eman "University"
جامعة الإيمان
is his compound in Sana'a where people study Islam and fiqh for ten years. It has served al-Qa'ida to some extent as a front for the entry of recruits into Yemen, there to be supplied with travel documents and a letter of introduction to join al-Qa'ida members elsewhere.

Other websites controlled by his people:

Zindani is a cult leader as much as he is a Salafist. He goes to much length to argue that a lot of modern scientific knowledge was anticipated in the the 80,000 or so words of the qur'aan, written in the Sixth Century. Zindani even claims to have found a cure for AIDS in the qur'aan, after fifteen years of such "analysis". Consequently many Sunnis regard Zindani as a major heretic, as they do Haroun Yahya and the late Rashad Khalifa.

Zindani's importance to al-Qa'ida is tied to his money and the power that he wields in largely tribal Yemen. Online, he is rarely mentioned by name by other Sunni terrorists.

Seeking information

Anything on
-- the person seen in this photo
-- the person who called himself "assistant to Zarqawi" on the (now defunct) British terrorist forum called tajdeed and who used this photo in his signature on that forum.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Anwar al-'Awlaki

Anwar al-'Awlaki
أنور العولقي
is the subject of this good article at Washington Post from February 2008, to which I will add a little.

Most of al-'Awlaki's followers are in the UK, but some are in other English-speaking countries, and a few anglophones are elsewhere in Europe. His work in terrorist incitement, at least on the internet, is almost entirely in English; few of his followers have any knowledge of Arabic. About forty of his talks are available for download from the British group that named themselves after al-Qa'ida when their previous name "al-Muhajiroon" was banned. Al-'Awlaki's material gets copied to a multitude of pro-terrorism English-language blogs. He also operates his own blog-style website, in English.

As the article says, al-'Awlaki is more dangerous than most of his fellow rabble rousers, but his methodology is broadly the standard one:

-- indulging his audience in self-pity

-- eulogizing dead assassins and terrorists

-- promising his followers a Muhammadan paradise in return for their anti-social violence

-- promising eternal torture in hell to anybody who opposes him or his followers.

Death is al-'Awlaki's favorite topic.

The lecture about Yusuf al-'Ayeeri is entitled Constants on the Path of Jihad. Yusuf al-'Ayeeri
يوسف العييري
was the first leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (as it later became known) and one of AQ's first webmasters. He was eliminated in 2003 in KSA.

The article mentions the bizarre Abdul-Majid az-Zindani
عبد المجيد الزنداني
with whom al-'Awlaki has been affiliated. See
United States Designates bin Laden Loyalist from the US Department of the Treasury, for some information on him. Az-Zindani is the richest man in Yemen.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hesbah forum

These are the usernames of the sixteen "writers" in al-Qai'da's Hesbah forum.

الشيخ حسين بن محمود
Sheikh Hussein bin Mahmoud
one of the two writers who has his own section at Hesbah. The other is "Sheikh Attiyutulla".

الشيخ د. هاني السباعي
Sheikh Doctor Hani al-Siba'i. He lives in London, and that is his real name. He is embargoed by the US and by the UN Security Council, and has been wanted in Egypt since the case of the Returnees from Albania.

الشيخ عطا نجد الراوي
Sheikh 'Atanijad al-Raawi

عبد الإله شائع
Abdul-'Illa Sha'i (he renders the first name abdulela in our alphabet)


راية العقاب
Banner of Punishment

ابودجانة الخراساني
Abu Dijanah al-Khurasani (update: dead)

زياد أبو طارق
Ziyad Abu Tariq


يمان مخضب
Ayman Makhsub

عبد العزيز شاكر
Abdul-Aziz Shakir

ابو عبد الرزاق
Abu Abdur-Razaq

مجاهدمن الصحراء
Mujahid from the Sahara

عبد الرحمن الفقير
Abdur-Rahman al-Faqir

أسد الجهاد2
Lion of Jihad 2
sometimes uses the title
رأس حربة المجاهدين
War chief of the mujahideen

أبو طه
Abu Taha

One other notable for now:
Sheikh Attiyutullah
الشيخ عطية الله

His writings are archived at Hesbah, but he does not personally participate there, as far as I know.

Abu Khalil al-Madani

أبو خليل المدني
Probably Saudi.
The photos are from the summer 2008 as-Sahab video which eulogized Abu al-Hasan.

"umar rabie" of Londonistan

Click the graphics for the original sizes.

The first graphic is a screen image of the threat from "umar rabie", who nominated himself "Emir of al-Qa'ida in Britain", just as it originally appeared on the relatively junior al-Qa'ida forum called al-Ekhlaas ("devotion"). The second graphic appeared after the first thread was deleted. IbnAbdulBari is probably in the UK as well, and as far as I can tell, is even less significant than umar rabie.

Enemy username "abulkaka"

Signs himself in English:


and in Arabic:

أبو القعقاع الشامي

(Abu al-Qa'qa' ash-Shami)

This is the guy who offered a reward for the assassination of an American Christian cleric:
He translates from Arabic to Spanish for al-Qa'ida.

The surname ash-Shami means he is Levantine, most likely Syrian.