Al-Qaeda: France is “Number one enemy” according to Islamist group leader

Following the wave of attacks in France at the beginning of 2015, it seems the worst should be expected. Recently, an online message clip was published by the media branch of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on YouTube. Ibrahim al-Rubaish, one of the group’s leaders, indicated that France is his “number one enemy.”

With the “weakening” of the United States in the last several years, “France has replaced America in its war against Islam,” declared the group’s leader. Washington considers the branch directed by Ibrahim al-Rubaish to be the most active and dangerous branch of Al-Qaeda. It claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which resulted in the loss of 12 lives. Several days ago the leader called to “avenge” the Prophet Muhammad. Ibrahim al-Rubaish called for attacks against the “infidels” in the West, France in particular, and to attack “without consultation” those who mock the Prophet Muhammad.

The New Museum Surveys Art From the Arab World

July 15, 2014

The Western media’s obsession with Middle Eastern conflict has made it easy for American audiences to mistake war and crisis as components of Arab identity. But if there’s anything that the New Museum’s newest exhibition, “Here and Elsewhere,” works to dispel, it’s the fallacy that any single portrayal can summarize the many cultural landscapes around and within the Arabian peninsula.

The exhibition, which opens Wednesday and runs until Sept. 28, documents the work of 45 contemporary artists of Arab origin, marking the first-ever museumwide group show of Arab artists in New York City. The show’s curators were careful to avoid making any blanket statements about art from the Arab world. “We’re looking at a very diverse group of artists who share a fascination with the question of truth through images,” says Massimiliano Gioni, the New Museum’s associate director and the exhibition’s co-curator. “This question is also a question of what constitutes an identity, and how an identity like Arab is constructed through images.”

“Here and Elsewhere” is on view July 16 to Sept. 28 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, newmuseum.org.

Feds charge New York home improvement store clerk with trying to join al-Qaida-related group

October 19, 2013

 

For 25 years Marcos Alonso Zea lived in America, working most recently as a clerk at a home improvement store on New York’s Long Island.

But federal authorities have arrested the U.S.-born man, charging him with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, attempting to support terrorists and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and obstruction of justice.
Zea, who nodded at his parents as he was escorted into the court room at his arraignment Friday, pleaded not guilty and was detained without bail.

“Despite being born and raised in the United States, Zea allegedly betrayed his country and attempted to travel to Yemen to join a terrorist organization and commit murder,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said.

Federal prosecutors accused Zea of planning to travel overseas to wage violent jihad on the perceived enemies of Islam, including Yemen’s secular government.

They said he flew to London en route to Yemen in January to join Ansar al-Sharia, which the U.S. has declared an alias for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. But he was rejected by customs officials in the United Kingdom and returned to the United States.

Zea was inspired by terrorist propaganda, said George Venizelos, head of the FBI’s New York office.

Among violent Islamic extremist materials found on Zea’s computer, authorities said, were issues of an al-Qaida publication that promotes violent jihad. The publication contained articles such as “Which is Better: Martyrdom or Victory?” “’Why did I choose al Qaeda?” and “What to Expect in Jihad?”

Investigators said they also found an al-Qaida-produced video depicting detonation of an explosive device on a vehicle carrying western military personnel.

After learning he was under investigation, Zea directed an associate to erase a hard drive on his home computer and gave an associate two more hard drives to destroy, though investigators recovered them anyway, authorities said.

Lynch said once investigators were on his trail, “he engaged in a desperate effort to cover his tracks by attempting to destroy evidence — a tactic that only confirmed his violent aims.”

Kaliebe, who was arrested in January as he tried to board a plane in New York to go to Yemen, has pleaded guilty to attempting to provide support to terrorists and attempting to provide material support.

He told a judge at his plea hearing that he had brought money to give to the al-Qaida group and he had discussed with others his desire to support the group by “providing money, equipment and ourselves.” A prosecutor said the government had audio recordings of Kaliebe expressing his desire to join al-Qaida in Yemen.

He awaits sentencing in December.

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called the arrest “a vivid reminder of the threat we continue to face from domestic Islamic terrorists.”
Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/feds-charge-new-york-home-improvement-store-clerk-with-trying-to-join-al-qaida-related-group/2013/10/19/71ba7e32-387e-11e3-89db-8002ba99b894_story.html

New York police arrest man in suspected bomb plot

Police said Sunday they had arrested a U.S. citizen who planned to bomb police cars and post offices and kill U.S. servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to protest the American military presence in those countries.

Jose Pimentel, 27, a convert to Islam, had been under surveillance for two years but seemed to have stepped up his bomb-making activities and plotting after the Sept. 30 killing by U.S. forces of Anwar Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born cleric who was living in Yemen, authorities said. Awlaki was a prominent voice for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of Al Qaeda.

Awlaki’s death “really set him off,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a Sunday night news conference at City Hall. He called Pimentel a “lone wolf.”

Federal authorities also said this is not the first time since the 2001 attacks that local New York law enforcement officials have conducted their own anti-terrorism investigation without bringing in federal authorities. They cited a case in 2004 when two terrorism suspects were believed to be plotting to ignite bombs in the New York area, and New York police and their intelligence division shut down the operation.

Tribute to Stockholm Suicide Bomber

17 Feb 2011

In its latest issue the jihadist magazine “Inspire” pays tribute to the Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab. “That he lived a comfortable life and had a wife and children did not stop Taimour Abdulwahab from responding to the call to jihad (holy war),” Inspire wrote, adding, “We need more like him.”

“We are following this closely. It is a threat on an inspiration level,” says Malena Rembe of the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO), and states that it could be “an impetus for individuals who have already crossed the line between word and deed.”

The article continues, “the Swedes seem to have set out to show its dislike of Muslims and are eager to join the league of nations that are hostile to Islam and Muslims. This operation can serve as a reminder to the Swedish government and people to reconsider their position before their list of crimes against us are too long and it is too late.” According to Svenska dagbladet (SvD) revenge for the drawing by artist Lars Vilks of Muhammad as a roundabout dog has become the common denominator of violent Islamic extremism in Sweden.

Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College, says it’s not the first time that Sweden appears in Inspire, which has previously referenced Vilks and Nerikes Allehanda’s editor Ulf Johansson.

To be mentioned in this context is never good, Ranstorp added. “It is an important magazine with direct links to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Whatever pops up in it is serious,” he said. Such an article can “provide individuals with a extremist bent a push onto the path. Young people think this is cool, it is the ultimate form of rebellion against Western society,” he added.

Sweden Suicide Bomber: Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly was living in Britain

12 December 2010

Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly tried to set off a car bomb packed with gas canisters in a busy shopping street in Stockholm. The car caught fire and the bomber fled the scene before blowing himself up 300yd away 15 minutes later, injuring two bystanders.
It emerged last night that Abdulwahab, who was due to turn 29 yesterday, is a former physical therapy student at Bedfordshire University in Luton, and that his wife and three young children still live in the town.
MI5 is now investigating possible links with extremists in Luton, whether the bomber was radicalised at the university and claims that he was helped by an extremist group in Yemen, the base for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

‘I Am Proud To Be A Traitor To America,’ Boasts American Al Qaeda

The second issue of an English-language Al Qaeda magazine includes an article by an American jihadi in which he proclaims “I am proud to be a traitor” and instructions on how to mow down government workers on their lunch hour in Washington, D.C.

Samir Khan, an American citizen who left for Yemen last year, is believed to be the creator of the web magazine “Inspire,” which U.S. officials say is published by Al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and is designed to recruit Western jihadis to launch terror attacks. In a newly released issue, Khan writes about turning his back on America and becoming “Al Qaeda to the core.”

“I praise Allah and laugh at the intelligence agencies that were watching me for all those years,” writes Khan. “Back in North Carolina, the FBI dispatched a spy on me who pretended to convert to Islam.”

Dutch Politician on Al-Qaeda Magazine Hitlist

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has been named on a ‘hitlist’ in an online magazine attributed to Al-Qaeda. Inspire magazine appears to be published by the AQAP, al-Qaeda’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula. The English language magazine also names Islam critic Ayaan HIrsi Ali. It appears to be targeting an audience of radical Muslims in North America.

Rediscovery of the first truly European Muslim Muhammad Asad

Murad Hofmann, a German Muslim scholar and former ambassador, fosters the rediscovery of Muhammad Asad, one of the first European Muslim thinkers. Muhammad Asad, born 1900 in Austria as Jewish Leopold Weiss, converted to Islam during his trips to the Arabian Peninsula as a journalist. He soon distanced himself from traditional Islam and sought to reconcile it with human rights and democracy.

Asad provided a new translation of the Qur’an into English, a very modern one (too modern for some), with some notions deliberately left ambiguous, fluctuating and West-compatible. He also demanded of Muslims to question the interpretations of established scholars and rejected the punishment of stoning and beating women. Murad Hofmann has now republished Asad’s Qur’an interpretation in German. He claims that Asad’s reformist Islam is essential for European Islam today and hopes that more people will be open to this view that during Asad’s lifetime.