The Next Osama?

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It is troubling to think of how many people al-Awlaki is reaching through the Internet. Terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann says that his lecture, “Constants on the Path of Jihad,” is the “virtual bible for lone-wolf terrorists.” He says that al-Awlaki and this sermon appear “to surface in every single homegrown terrorism investigation, whether in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, or beyond.” His reach is extremely far, with even groups criticized by Al-Qaeda like Hizb ut-Tahrir linking to his sermons. The FBI has found that his sermons are still widely available in prison libraries, and Britain’s Islam Channel removed links to his sermons after the press reported on it.

A British government study found 1,910 videos of him and his material appear on YouTube, with a single one being watched 164,420 times. Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, which al-Awlaki serves with, will soon publish its first online English magazine called “Inspire” with a guest column by al-Awlaki.

This presence is allowing al-Awlaki to become frighteningly proficient in recruiting Westerners who are less likely to be detected. A Senate report says that up to three dozen Americans who have served prison time, described as “blond-haired, blue eyed-types” by one official, are now in Yemen and are suspected of being recruited by Al-Qaeda’s branch there. At least two females connected to this group have been trained, may have Western passports, and could be sent from Yemen to carry out suicide bombings. British intelligence is warning about al-Awlaki’s influence on Muslim youth, with at least one offering to become a suicide bomber after communicating with him.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told FrontPage that although Al-Awlaki’s prestige is increasing, is it a stretch to put him on Bin Laden’s level yet.

“He is also highly significant for English-speaking salafi jihadis. But al-Qaeda’s organization and operations are far more than just the outputs that we see making their way to the U.S., and the organization’s major strength does not come from its English-speaking contingent,” he said.

“Awlaki is a significant figure, but I don’t think the claim that he has eclipsed bin Laden (or even Abu Yahya al-Libi) is sustainable.”

Gartenstein-Ross, though, does not dismiss the deadly capability al-Awlaki possesses.

“Awlaki’s combination of perfect English, religious credibility (despite his lack of formal training), and jihadi message makes him a very significant figure, both in terms of radicalizing people and also operationally. The threat he poses is clearly indicated by the number of terrorist plots to which he is connected,” he said.

President Obama has wisely authorized the assassination of al-Awlaki despite his status as an American citizen. This unprecedented measure would not have been necessary had he not been released by the Yemeni authorities in 2006 and if they were fully committed to fighting radical Islam. Al-Awlaki’s tribal ties have proven to be an important asset. The closest he has come to death was in December when an airstrike targeted a meeting in Yemen he was believed to be attending. He says that he learned he was being tracked from the Washington Post which prompted him to change his location, saving his life.

“Jihad is becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea,” al-Awlaki has boasted. After 9/11, the world was shocked at Bin Laden’s ability to carry out a spectacular attack on the U.S. despite the efforts to capture or kill him. Hopefully, we won’t have to express the same shock about al-Awlaki.

This article was sponsored by Stand Up America.

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  • Robert Bernier

    How did Islam penetrate our societies ? (Part 1)
    Before 9/11 Muslim terrorists were building global networks again under the American and European radar. We had other things to consider like pacifying Mideast potentates for the oil under their sands. It didn’t matter that countries like Saudi Arabia were spreading Wahhabiism (strict Shariah Islam) which taught Muslim children that Islam is not only superior to all other religions but, one day Islam would eliminate these “false” religions under “Shariah” law and Islam would dominate the world. These children grew up and became brainwashed like “Manchurian candidates”. They filtered into other countries with the help of foreign services of the West – like the U.S. State Department.

    (More at part 2)

  • Osa

    I can't believe America is just now waking up to the danger in their midst. In Europe, we've had trouble with muslim fanatics(are there any other kind?) for decades. It's the "political correctness" of our socialist leaders that have opened the floodgates for every type of radicals. I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the socialists for terror and killings done by muslims.

  • USMCSniper

    Louis Rebe Beres proposes a policy of "Preemptive Assassination" as a covert program to contain terrorist regimes and terrorism. Normally we think of preemptive strikes in terms of military operations against enemy forces and/or infrastructures. Moreover, there are substantial prohibitions of assassination in domestic and international law that would seem prima facie to rule out this use of force as an expression of anticipatory self-defense. Yet, when we examine the issues purposefully and dispassionately, it could well turn out that assassination would be the most humane and useful form of preemption. If this is indeed the case, we must now get beyond any deep-seated visceral objections to a reasoned and careful comparison with all other preemption options. To be sure, assassination is not "nice," but neither is full-scale war and the loss of innocent lives due to acts of terrorism. There really is nothing morally wrong with a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" policy for leaders of terrorist regimes and terrorist groups.

  • Fred

    Islams theological necessity is to overthrow any government/arrangement not based on Sharia law….period. Our kiss-ass president is falling right into their hands.

    • guestspeaker

      Fred dear, our Potus is 'their hands'.
      He is in our face a member of Islam. He sat in a 'feigned' Christian church as part of the lie that it would take to get elected in a 'Christian' nation, and then he announced that the USA 'was no longer a Christian Nation' . He was telling the rest of the world that the USA's Christianity has been overcome by events.
      He is a very dangerous man.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

      He may be their hands…………..William

  • RJ Sparta

    Gee. for a minute there I thought this article was about Obama-Mao…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/aspacia aspacia

    Every mosque in the West should be wired. We have a fifth column here and too many do not realize this fact.

  • cochavi1

    He is bad news, at the same time building him up into Osama is a little suspicious. The evidence that he had a connection to 911 is what? I believe at the time he was busy with prostitutes and so on. Ryan Mauro seems to be trying too hard.

    Why can't the Islamic threat be seen as the crazy octopus as it is? Why must one guy – who most Muslims have probably not heard of – be positioned as the New Aspiring Caliph.

    Fact – the Pentagon admitted that it played up the Jordanian killer's role in Iraq, Zarqawi. It served a useful purpose. If you want credibility, just stick to what is known, like murderous attacks in Uganda. Mauro sounds a propagandist.

    • Jim C.

      Well said.

  • http://ziomania.com/ Ziomania

    IT IS ALL PART OF THE ZIONIST PLAN FOR THE MIDDLE EAST!

    Anwar al-Awlaki is what is needed for destroying Yemen as Bin Laden was for Iraq.

    Of course the sheepish American public knows so little about its own country and knows close to nothing about the rest of the world. That is where the Jewish media comes in. GIGO! That is garbage in and garbage out. What is fed to the American public is pure garbage and like a beating sheep that is what the American is heard parroting. I watched a video of this guy where he expressed his initial motivation at activism after what was done to Iraq but then I watched other videos of his where he talks about the 'Kufar' (non-Muslims) which I find offensive and it it also not in his best interest to alienate the majority of mankind instead of the colonizers and occupiers of Palestine. The place known as 'Israel' has its eyes set on Yemen for a lot of reasons and an article that appeared at Al-Ahram does a wonderful job connecting the dots.

    Read about Yemen here => http://ziomania.com/yemen/yemen.htm

    The Zionist Plan for the Middle East => http://ziomania.com/whose%20war/The%20zionist%20p

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

      The only one that would believe that crap is probably the donkey you rode in on……..
      A bad end is on the horizon for all of you, think twice about what you spread
      and become the first genius in your clan………………William

  • Ghostwriter

    Ziomania,have you gone mad? This guy Al-Awlaki is another homicidal lunatic who wants to kill Americans and Jews. Why are you shilling for people like bin Laden and those like him? They want to destroy everything good about this country and force their religion on us because they think that's what their god wants them to do. Both America and Israel have a right to defend themselves against terrorists who want to force Islam on us at the point of a gun. I hope you wake up before you end up in big trouble.

  • Ghostwriter

    Ziomania,you sound to me like an anti-semetic nut that nobody in their right mind should listen to,much less take seriously.

  • Wdwrkr

    This guy looks like the "Jewel of the Nile" from the movie of the same title.