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Second U.S. jihadi reportedly killed in drone attack; Plus: Refresher course on American bloggers vs. Samir Khan

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 30, 2011 11:24 AM

Whoa.

Fresh reports that a second U.S. jihadi was killed in the drone attack that allegedly took out al Qaeda spiritual guru Anwar al-Awlaki.

His name will be very familiar to longtime blog readers.

It’s Samir Khan:

A young American who edited al Qaeda’s English-language magazine, and had urged Muslims to mount deadly attacks on U.S. targets, was killed in the same CIA drone strike that eliminated Anwar Awlaki in Yemen Friday, U.S. officials said.

Khan, 25, was the Saudi-born, New York-raised editor behind “Inspire” magazine, the English language online publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Khan had become a rising figure in jihadist propaganda and an “aspiring” Awlaki, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

But while Awlaki relied on sermons to recruit jihadis, Khan used sarcasm and idiomatic English in an attempt to appeal to Western youth. As Khan himself has said, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I [am] Al Qaeda to the core.” He titled a rebuke of toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak “A Cold Diss.” Khan’s ability to use American vernacular, like a graphic depicting graffiti that reads, “Jihad 4 Eva,” had prompted concerns that young Muslims with an interest in jihad and al Qaeda would be drawn to a voice similar to their own.

“He does appear to be increasingly involved with operational activities [of Al Qaeda]”, a U.S. official told ABC News in 2010.

I repeat: God bless our military.

***

My friends at top counterjihad blog The Jawa Report have been on Khan for years and helped shut down several of his jihad-inciting blogs after tracking him across the Internet (he went by the name “Inshallahshaheed”).

In 2007, I noted Khan’s death threats against the founder of The Jawa Report, who goes by the nom de blog Rusty Shackelford:

Charlotte,N.C.-based Internet jihadist Samir Khan, who’s still hate-blogging, threatens the life of pseudonymous Jawa Report founder Rusty Shackleford after the Jawas wreak hot-linking havoc on the jihadist’s cyber-assets:

O Allah kill Rusty Shackleford and terrorize his family.

O Allah kill Rusty Shackleford and terrorize his family.

O Allah kill Rusty Shackleford and terrorize his family.

May this Kaafir rot in this world and be tortured forever in the Hereafter.

The Jawa Report continued to flag Khan’s online activities and his ties to jihad plotters.

Khan kept the American bloggers in his crosshairs:

In October 2007, the New York Times outed Khan.

In October 2010, Jawa Report broke the news of Khan’s coming out as an al Qaeda traitor working in America:

MSM followed up:

The text of Khan’s manifesto:

This is the story of the Muslim American jihadi, Samir Khan. After working a few years in the jihad media sector in America, he packed his bags and left for Yemen to help the mujahidin. This is an account of how he happily became a traitor to America and why he chose to make such a decision.

After my faith took a 180-degree turn, I knew I could no longer reside in America as a compliant citizen. My beliefs had turned me into a rebel of Washington’s imperialism. My faith and convictions gave me strength to lambast the greatest tyrant of our time. It angered and frustrated them, while it left me in a state of peace and joy. What they were doing and continue to do in the Muslim lands is what I felt, totally unacceptable to my religion. They installed and supported pawn regimes, sweet-talked them into deals, beefed up their military, all so that they could further their political goals of establishing a modern day ubiquitous policing government that would include in its policy the containment of all Islamic resistances that work for a just Islamic order. Throughout this process to this day, they have freely raped the Islamic nation at will, robbed what they pleased, and murdered for their ‘democracy’ while their donkey puppets went around capturing, killing and torturing those who have an ounce of willpower to defend their Islamic nation.

I decided to take up the pen and write out my thoughts and feelings regarding America’s cowboy behavior in the Islamic lands. I knew that I had to stay under the guidelines of the laws regarding freedom of speech, but at the same time, I knew the real truth wouldn’t be able to reach the masses unless and until I was above the law.

I proceeded to travel to Yemen, the land of faith and wisdom. After spending some time in Sana’a as an English teacher, I made my move quietly. I praise Allah and laugh at the intelligence agencies that were watching me for all those years. Back in North Carolina, the FBI dispatched a spy on me who pretended to convert to Islam; I took this man’s shahāda and kept him under my wing. At one point, he broke his cover, revealing his true identity. There were quite a few other incidents of regular surveillance and even one where they set me up to rain blows on an agent who pretended to be a jerk that hated me for my onlinework. I knew I had to rush out ofAmerica before the FBI got me in for a flimsy excuse as they have done to individuals like Tariq Mehanna. Even when in Sana’a, I caught one of their agents spying on me near my hotel. As I left Sana’a, I was surprised that they all easily fell for my cover. Throughout my experience of traveling from America to Yemen, I was expecting to be stopped and detained. But the most trouble I went through – if it’s even considered trouble – was that it took thirty minutes extra to get my boarding pass in North Carolina since, as the receptionist told me, I was being watched. It still surprises me when I reflect on it; I mean, I was quiet open about my beliefs online and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was al Qaeda to the core. That proved to my soul that if Allah wants to protect you, no one has the power on earth to harm you. I was to learn that lesson continually in close encounters with death later on.

I remember when I traveled from Sana’a, for what seemed like years, in a car to one of the bases of the mujahidin, the driver played this one nashīd repeatedly. It was ‘Sir ya bin Ladin’. I already knew of this nashīd from before, but something had struck me at that moment. The nashīd repeated lines pertaining to fighting the tyrants of the world for the purpose of giving victory to the Islamic nation. But it also reminded the listener that Shaykh Usama bin Ladin is the leader of this global fight. I looked out the window at the tall mud houses below the beautiful sky and closed my eyes as the wind blew through my hair. I took a deep breath to let it all out. At that moment, I realized that my entire life would be changed by this one decision of mines. I was about to officially become a traitor of the country I grew up in for most of my life. I thought about many of the possible effects it could have on my life; but whatever they were, I was ready for it. That’s because I am an individual convinced that Islam’s claim to power in the modern world is not going to be as easy as walking down a red carpet or driving through a green light. I am cutely aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed and blood has to be spilled in order for this to be a reality. Anyone who says otherwise is an individual who is not prepared to make sacrifices that heroes and champions make.

As my eyes passed over the mysterious twirls of the sand dunes, I was reminded of the enigma of jihad in the contemporary world. It’s just absolutely enthralling to know that guerrilla’s can fight off global superpowers with the bare minimum resulting in great enemy losses, drainage of the enemy’s economy and a rising popular support for the mujahidin.

After some time passed in the company of the mujahidin, I quickly acknowledged that success does not rely upon the job you undertake from nine to five, nor does it rely upon the wealth that you have accumulated, nor does it rely upon how far you have taken your studies in college. All of these things are respectable, but by being with the mujahidin, it helped open my eyes that our reason in life has nothing to do with any of these things. The only thing in the entire world that matters to me, more than ever before, is the condition of my heart when I die. From our Islamic traditions, if the heart is tainted with greed, arrogance, haughtiness, niggardliness, and such, then entering Paradise will be a difficult task. So being in jihad makes me focus on my soul’s wellbeing for the purpose of being accepted by the Lord of the Worlds since death surrounds jihad although the guarantee of death is not there. Straying from the focus only brings me destruction, even if I were to own half the world. That is my message to those who rule the Muslim lands.

How could I become a traitor to myself by throwing away this holy odyssey? Living with myself would then be like a fish taken out of water. Thus, it only brought me gleeful tears and great joy to hear that America labels me a terrorist due to my love for correcting and straightening my soul out for the better. I have become a traitor for chasing after my love. What more evidence does one need that America and her allies hate Muslims who want to practice their religion to the very core?

I would always laugh whenever the start of Ramadan would occur in America and the President would take a few minutes to articulate on how marvelous Islam is; almost as if he himself was to become Muslim. I would laugh because they would show this face in their country, and a different face in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. After knowing what America has accomplished in the Islamic world, what Muslim wouldn’t want to be a traitor? I seriously question the veracity of one’s faith when they have to think twice on taking a stand against America whether it is directly or indirectly. The list is endless when it comes to the crimes they have perpetrated upon the Islamic world. The recent leak of a 92,000-page document on the American crimes and realities of the war in Afghanistan is really only a scratch upon the surface. America has a long history of massacring and subjugating Muslims and yet the American regime is still scratching its head on the question: why did Usama bin Ladin attack us? America, take a hint for once: maybe you did something. It should then come as no surprise that the Muslims in your midst – like Nidal Hassan, Faisal Shahzad, and others – became traitors of your state due to your conduct. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life worrying about preventing another attack, then take the advice of Wikileaks editor, Julian Assange: “If U.S. forces are demoralized because they have been assassinating people without going through the judicial process or because they have been engaged in civilian casualties; if they are demoralized by that, they should change their behavior.”[1]

With that said, my status as a traitor is not entirely a reaction to America’s criminality. The core of my being is really based on religious convictions in the absence of politics. I began on this path as an Islamic activist who didn’t believe in fighting any government since, as I had believed, taking on a standing army was impossible for Muslims today. I was already aware that the government’s of the modern world a shari’ah-based state that would have jihad as a part of its foreign policy. However, that didn’t stop me from believing in my general Islamic obligation of working for the establishment of an Islamic State. The ninth verse of Şūrah as-Şaff was my inspiration: {It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah may hate it}. The way I understood this verse was that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was sent with the mission of bringing Islam to the world; not for it to only remain in the homes and mosques, but to have it as a working system of government that would shape entire societies based on the guidelines of Qur’an and Sunnah.

When my views changed regarding the obligation of jihad in this age – that it will remain individually obligatory (fard `ayn) upon all the Muslims of the world until all of our lands are recaptured from the occupiers – through a purely intellectual conviction from the religious texts (as opposed to pure hatred of American foreign policy), I knew at that point that my religion required me to fight America and her allies as Islam doesn’t shy from stating who is the occupier. I didn’t require sitting with any esteemed scholar to confirm this as the Islamic evidences supporting this position have remained irrefutable ever since the fatawa of Shaykh Abdullah Azzam became widespread; and as for many of those whom I tested, I saw fear and denial in their faces because, quite simply, the truth hurts as it requires our sacrifice to make it manifest.

I am a traitor to America because my religion requires me to be one, {although those who associate others with Allah may hate it}. I am terrifically proud to be a part of such a religion and what Muslim wouldn’t? Islam has the answer to life’s problems and it is what bonds humanity together for the good. The annual hajj is just one example of that. Islam requires its domination and after eighty plus years of living in a post-Caliphate world, I would think that it’s about time Muslims came together to tear down the obstacles. The most important of these obstacles today is obviously America. It is America who has her military and intelligence bases spread throughout our lands in order to help protect their client governments from Muslims who work for Islam’s establishment. It is America who has killed millions of Muslims around the world and is able to get away with it wearing a tuxedo. In the case of the oppressive state of Israel, it wouldn’t be what it is today without heavy U.S. military and financial backing.

A traitor can either be praiseworthy or despicable. The good and bad are defined by a certain political agenda in the eyes of someone. A traitor of Islam however only gains a loss of both worlds; the type of traitor that America prefers working with. The beauty of Islam has taught me that nobility is in the perpetuation of victorious principles and humiliation is in the inability to hold on to righteousness. Righteousness is not that you turn your face to the East or West, but that your belief in Allah remains unwavering no matter the consequences.

Therefore, I am proud to be a traitor in America’s eyes just as much as I am proud to be a Muslim; and I take this opportunity to accentuate my oath of allegiance (bai`yah) and the mujahidin of the Arabian Peninsula’s bai`yah to the ferocious lion, the champion of jihad, the humble servant of God, my beloved Shaykh, Usama bin Ladin, may Allah protect him. Verily, he is the man that has shook the thrones of the tyrants of the world. We pledge to wage jihad for the rest of our lives until either we implant Islam all over the world or meet our Lord as bearers of Islam. And how reputable, adventurous and pleasurable is such a life compared to those who remain sitting, working from nine to five?

As Rusty put it after digesting Khan’s manifesto:

This makes two Americans who are in charge of al Qaeda media — Adam Gadahn in Pakistan/Afghanistan for their as Sahab label and Samir Khan in Yemen for the English side of their al Malahein label.

This should drive home the point that the global jihad is not an Arab or a Pakistani problem. Violent jihad is not only being imported from these countries, but we are now exporting the future leaders of the jihad.

Think about that for awhile.

For those who have serious reservations about targeting American citizens using drones, I wonder if this changes anything for you? Does that fact that Khan openly and gleefully admits that he is a traitor change your mind? Or do you still think that people like Khan, Adam Gadahn, and Anwar al-Awlaki can’t be targeted due to some overriding principle of “justice” only happening within the confines of US courts?

Exit quotation from FBI Assistant Director Mark Giuliano in April 2011:

An an official “statement for the record” to the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy yesterday, FBI Assistant Director Mark Giuliano noted that al Qaeda central remains a threat, but that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is now the greatest threat to the homeland. Why? Because Americans like spiritual leader Anwar al-Awlaki and chief propagandist Samir Khan know our security weaknesses:

I believe the most serious threat to the homeland today emanates from members of AQAP. AQAP leaders such as Anwar Aulaqi and Samir Khan have published articles on the internet detailing their intent to strike the United States. Several key AQAP figures were born or educated in the United States and understand our culture, our limitations, our security protocols, and our vulnerabilities. They use this understanding to develop and refine new tactics and techniques to defeat our security measures and attack us.

***

Reax from Rusty at the Jawa Report here: “As long time readers know, Samir and I have had personal disputes over the years. It was Samir, then blogging as Inshallahshaheed, who threatened to kill my family. He even made this nice little graphic to go along with the threat. He who laughs last, laughs loudest. Also, the guy not killed in a drone strike. He laughs loudest, too.”

As regular readers know, The Jawa Report has been at the forefront of demonstrating the potent capabilities of online American bloggers/activists to play a critical role in combating jihad. The Jawas have done heroic work unmasking jihadi operatives online and on YouTube.

Last March, I linked to the Jawas’ story of the citizen who turned in the American “Jihad Jane” operative who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a Muslim terror plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who offended Islam.

I’ll say again what I said then: Be sure to send thanks and praise to the vigilant bloggers and watchdogs looking out for us and acting.

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