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May 7, 2012 0

Al Qaeda Releases Video of Abducted American

A video of War­ren Wein­stein, an Amer­i­can Jew who was abducted in Pak­istan last August, was released by Al Qaeda yes­ter­day. In the video, Wein­stein begs Pres­i­dent Obama to “please accept and respond to the demands of the mujahideen,” call­ing them “easy.” 

“My life is in your hands, Mr. Pres­i­dent.  If you accept the demands I live; if you don’t accept the demands then I die… Don’t delay… it will just make things more dif­fi­cult for me.” 

Wein­stein, who appears thin in the video, also crit­i­cizes the U.S. gov­ern­ment, say­ing that despite his years of pub­lic ser­vice (Wein­stein had a long career work­ing for var­i­ous gov­ern­ment agen­cies), not enough has been done to secure his release.

In videos released since Weinstein’s cap­ture, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed respon­si­bil­ity and specif­i­cally high­lighted Weinstein’s Jew­ish iden­tity when dis­cussing the demands for his release: “The Amer­i­can Jew… will not return to his fam­ily, by the will of Allah, until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia Sid­dique, Sheik Omar Abdel Rah­man, the fam­ily of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, and every sin­gle per­son arrested on alle­ga­tions of links with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.”

Other demands include the lift­ing of the Gaza block­ade; a halt to Amer­i­can and allied attacks in Pak­istan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Soma­lia and Gaza; and the clo­sure of Guantanamo.

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March 28, 2012 0

Jihadists Pay Tribute to French Shooter Mohammed Merah

Mem­bers of sev­eral online jihadist forums have praised Mohammed Merah for his attacks on French Jews and sol­diers. Com­ments on these forums include calls for sim­i­lar lone-wolf attacks and describe Merah’s shoot­ings as Allah’s revenge on France for its for­eign pol­icy and atti­tude toward Muslims.

Over the week­end, a video trib­ute to Merah enti­tled “The Lone Lion” also began cir­cu­lat­ing on the forums. The video begins with text com­mend­ing Merah for killing “three French sol­diers return­ing from Afghanistan” and “a Jew­ish rabbi and his chil­dren.” It also applauds him for fight­ing “the French spe­cial forces with courage until he was killed as a martyr.”

Funeral footage of Merah’s vic­tims in France and Israel is jux­ta­posed with images of bleed­ing Pales­tini­ans and videos of Israeli airstrikes car­ried out by “the ene­mies of Allah, the Jews.” This sec­tion sug­gests the type of moral equiv­a­lence that Merah claimed prompted him to under­take his attacks. 

The video also includes record­ings of Osama bin Laden speak­ing about a promised war “between us and the Jews” and of cur­rent Al Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, describ­ing Eng­land and the U.S. as legit­i­mate tar­gets because of the civil­ian casu­al­ties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza. 

The video con­cludes with a warn­ing, appar­ently directed at French Pres­i­dent Nico­las Sarkozy, that Merah’s wave of ter­ror “is the beginning.”

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February 16, 2012 0

Al Shabaab Formally Joins Al Qaeda against “Crusader Zionist Campaign”

Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab, a ter­ror­ist group seek­ing to estab­lish an Islamic state in Soma­lia, have issued a joint com­mu­nique announc­ing the for­mal merger of their groups.

While Al Shabaab had pre­vi­ously announced its align­ment with Al Qaeda in 2010, and its lead­ers had repeat­edly sworn alle­giance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, it is the first time Zawahiri has com­mented on the “join­ing of the Mujahideen Al Shabaab Move­ment in Soma­lia to Al Qaeda in sup­port of the gath­er­ing jihad against the Cru­sader Zion­ist campaign.”
Al Shabaab’s Kenyan affil­i­ate, the Mus­lim Youth Cen­ter, which has claimed respon­si­bil­ity for sev­eral grenade attacks in Kenya, also announced on its blog that it had joined Al Qaeda to form the core of a newly recon­sti­tuted Al Qaeda in East Africa.
Approx­i­mately 40 Amer­i­cans have trav­eled to Soma­lia to fight with Al Shabaab since 2007, includ­ing at least three Amer­i­can sui­cide bombers. Omar Ham­mami, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen from Alabama, has become a key online pro­pa­gan­dist for the group.

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