September 27, 2012 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 886

The Life And Legacy Of American Al-Qaeda Online Jihad Pioneer Samir Khan – Editor Of Al-Qaeda Magazine 'Inspire' And A Driving Force Behind Al-Qaeda's Push For 'Lone-Wolf' Terror Attacks In West

September 27, 2012 | By Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 886

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Samir Khan, 1985-2011: Born In Saudi Arabia, Raised In N.Y., "Martyred" In Yemen
  • Samir Khan Launches His Blog "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge"
  • 2004: Khan Moves With Family To Charlotte, NC
  • 2007-2008: Failed Attempts To De-Radicalize Khan
  • 2007: Khan's Only Interview With Western Media – The New York Times
  • 2009: Khan Launches Jihad Recollections Magazine
  • 2010: Federal Grand Jury Considers Evidence Against Khan
  • 2008-2009: Samir Khan's "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge" Blog
  • AQAP's "Inspire" Magazine – 2010-2012
  • Samir Khan's Legacy


On September 30, 2011, 25-year-old American citizen Samir Khan was killed in a drone strike in Yemen, alongside his mentor, American-born Al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki. In the seven years following the beginning of his activity posting jihadi videos of Osama bin Laden, Al-Awlaki, and others on the Internet, Khan became a trailblazer in online jihad and ended as a "martyr" in the deserts of the Middle East – thus joining many other online jihadis who have moved from the pen to the sword.

From his blog "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge" to online English-language publications including the jihadi magazine Jihad Recollections and the Al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, to the document Expectations Full,[1] Khan laid the foundations for Western jihadis. A February 9, 2012 Washington Post article about Inspire stated that the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and other U.S. government organizations had come to rely on the magazine for their understanding of Al-Qaeda's agenda and roster.[2]

As this report covers, the number of young would-be jihadis arrested in the U.S. and U.K. with Khan's writings and publications in their possession continues to grow.

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Legality Of Drone Strike That Killed Al-Awlaki and Khan, Stating That Khan Was "Not Engaged In Activity" That Presented Any Threat

On July 18, 2012, the family of Samir Khan joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the family of Anwar and his son Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the U.S. government's drone strikes that killed the three.[3] The lawsuit names Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, CIA director David Petraeus, Special Operations Command (SOC) commander William McRaven, and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Joseph Votel as the defendants.

The complaint stated, inter alia: "Upon information and belief, neither Samir Khan nor Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi was engaged in any activity that presented a concrete, specific, and imminent threat to life; nor was either of them directly participating in hostilities" (p.3) and "Samir Khan was not engaged in activity that presented a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury; nor was he directly participating in hostilities." (p. 13)

Khan's Desire For "Martyrdom"

Samir Khan's dedication to jihad and Al-Qaeda and his desire for "martyrdom" were recurring themes in his writings. He wrote about them numerous times in various issues of Inspire, which he edited; in his blog, in his other writings, and in eulogies for him by his fellow jihadis.

In Inspire

In Issue II of Inspire, dated Fall 2010, in an article titled "I am Proud to be a Traitor to America," Khan wrote: "It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was al-Qaeda to the core." He went on to note, "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 acutely 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." He concluded: "I am a traitor to America because my religion requires me to be one… I am terrifically proud to be a part of such a religion and what Muslim wouldn't?"

In Issue VI, dated Summer 2010, in an article titled "Sadness, Contentment and Aspiration," he referred to "an outing trip" he was taking "with the mujahidin…" In the same issue, in a eulogy titled "Fawaz Al-Ma'ribi: Know This Man," for the jihadist of that name , with whom he had fought and admired greatly, Khan wrote: "I just look at him [Fawaz Al-Ma'Ribi] for a long time and thought about the amount of ajr (reward) he was getting. I quickly became jealous and told me companion sitting next to me how I wished to have ajr similar to this man. It was because he was not only fighting the enemies of Allah constantly and transporting ordinary mujahidin to operations and safe houses, but he was also transporting the leaders of jihad, and the people who have remarkably important responsibilities. None of these important people would have ever been able to fulfill their duties for jihad if it were not for Fawaz transporting them to their destinations. In other words, he was like a gear that kept the entire movement rolling and alive. And although we have many mujahidin that do work similar to his, an all-around person like Fawaz can never be replaced."

In Issue VII, dated Fall 2011, in his article "A Powerful Media Production is as Hard-Hitting as an Operation in America," he stated: "…Back in America, I knew the media jihad was important to the mujahidin; but I just wasn't able to put my finger on how important it was to them… [But then] a brother intervened and confirmed, 'A powerful media production is as hard hitting as an operation in America.'"

On Blog

Khan wrote on his blog about his desire to be "martyred." On June 2, 2008, he wrote, "It is to wish and struggle to die as a martyr since with the first drop of blood from the martyr, all of his sins are forgiven and the rewards in the afterlife are such that all of the gold in the world would not be able to make up for it (i.e., the pleasure and honor one will get)."[4]

A few days later, on June 16, 2008, he posted a poem he had penned about this wish:

"Remembered that our future is in the Afterlife.

"'Incoming!' warns a Mujaahid from the Mountain....

"And as I gaze upwards,

"I see incoming mortars rushing to grant my citizenship

"To the Eternal Gardens of Paradise.

"I embrace it with a grateful smile and put my trust in Allah..."

Posthumously Published Writings

On May 13, 2012, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) published a document penned by Khan before his death, titled "Expectations Full." In the section titled "Why Not the West," Khan wrote: "I strongly recommend [to] all the brothers and sisters coming from the West to consider attacking America in its own backyard. The effect is much greater, it always embarrasses the enemy, and these type[s] of individual decision-making attacks are nearly impossible for them to contain."

Eulogized By Fellow Jihadis

Following his death, Khan's fellow jihadis rejoiced at his martyrdom. In a December 20, 2011 video released by AQAP's media wing Al-Malahim, jihadist 'Abu Yazeed' notes: "There was our brother Samir Khan. Who I think is also a martyr… Samir was an army of one ma[n]. He was one of the founding members of Inspire. He inspired us through it, and contributed greatly… He migrated for Allah's sake to join the mujahedeen in the Arabian Peninsula… He knew from the very beginning that this path is a path of sacrifice. You could see that when you read his online website, which he called 'Inshallah Shaheed', meaning 'A martyr soon, if God wills.' He got what he desired…"

Most recently, in a video released by AQAP's media wing Al-Sahab to mark the 11th anniversary of 9/11, and featuring Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and others, American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn stated that he was "sad to hear the news of the martyrdom of Sheikh Anwar [Al-Awlaki] and Samir Khan. We ask Allah to accept them as martyrs, and we say: 'We are from Allah, and it is to Him that we will return.'" He added that their killing signified that "America, and Barack Obama in particular, have now shown their true colors for all to see. Even American citizens are now targets for the CIA and for the drone strikes. This is a wake-up call for Muslims in America. Today, American Muslims are being killed in Yemen, and tomorrow, they're going to be killed in New York and Los Angeles. Get ready for the holocaust."[5]

Khan's Legacy: Nearly Two Dozen Khan-Inspired Would-Be Jihadis Arrested In U.S., U.K. In 2011-2012

While the ACLU claims in its complaint that Khan was innocent of any connection to terrorism, to date nearly two dozen young men (and one young woman) have been arrested in the U.S. and U.K. with writings and magazines linked to Khan – the article "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" from the first issue of Inspire is very popular among them – in their possession and plans to carry out terrorist operations on their agendas.

As Detective Chief Superintendent Anthony Mole, head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, said in connection to the case of Mohammed Sajid Khan and his wife Shasta of Manchester, U.K. (see below), stated: "What we must acknowledge is the dangers posed by the relatively easy access to online publications which contain instructions on how to make viable explosive devices from everyday household items, and how this can create 'homegrown' terrorists. The Khans did not need to travel to training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan – the knowledge they needed to commit a terrorist act was available at the click of a few buttons from the confines of their own home. As the prosecution described it, this was 'jihad at home.'"[6]

The following are would-be jihadis arrested in 2011 and 2012 in the U.S. and the West with material connected to Khan and his writings:

In the U.S.

  • Adel Daoud, 18, of Hillside, IL, was arrested September 14, 2012 and indicted by a federal grand jury and ordered held without bond September 20, after he attempted to detonate a car bomb parked in front of a bar in downtown Chicago.[7] According to the complaint against him,[8] Daoud read, distributed and was motivated to terrorism by Inspire magazine – possessing all nine issues, recommending them and sending links to them to others, calling it "amazing" and stating that he might "use instructions from the magazine to carry out an attack," and posting comments to a jihad-related Internet forum which he characterized as "a terrorist website," and "a good jihad source with real mujahideen on the site" where he discussed his interest in carrying out an attack within the U.S. modeled on instructions from it. On the forum he noted: "I have also been reading the english Inspire Magazine. Masha'Allah is the best magazine I have read… The point is in the magazine they encourage Muslims in the West especially in the USA to attack IN America. BY all means this is something I would consider." He also discussed the magazine with undercover FBI agents, saying that he wanted to go overseas for violent jihad, but that he wanted to "do something [an attack] here [in the U.S.] at the same time."
  • Naser Jason Abdo, a 22-year-old U.S. Army infantryman, was arrested in July 2011; in August 2012 he received two consecutive life sentences for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and for possession of a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime. He received an additional 60 years for the attempted murder of "officers or employees of the United States" and other charges. He was convicted of planning an attack on a restaurant full of soldiers near Fort Hood, TX, where Maj. Nidal Hasan carried out his attack in November 2009; at the time of his arrest a handgun, bomb-making materials, and the Inspire article "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" were found in his room. At his sentencing, he said he would never end his holy war "until the day the dead are called to account for their deeds."[9]
  • Jose Pimentel (aka Muhammad Yusuf), 27, arrested in November 2011. A Manhattan resident fixated on Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki and influenced by Inspire, Pimentel planned to target U.S. servicemen, post offices, and police. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, conspiracy, and soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism. Pimentel began planning his attack in August 2011, and at the time of his arrest had nearly finished constructing three bombs. On his website were posted discussions on making bombs taken from Inspire. According to the report, he is considered a "lone wolf" with no known connection to any foreign terrorists or local radicalized individuals.[10] He was indicted in February 2012 on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Both carry the possibility of up to life in prison if he is convicted.[11]

In the U.K.

  • Richard Dart, 29; Imran Mahmood, 21; Jahangir Alom, 26; Ruksana Begum, 22; and Khalid Javed Baqa were arrested in London in July 2012 and charged with terrorism offenses. Dart, Mahmood, and Alom were charged that "between 25 July 2010 and 6 July 2012, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts, engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention." Begum and Baqa were charged with possessing "without reasonable excuse" a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism – Begum had in her possession a micro SD card which contained, inter alia, Issues VIII and IX of Inspire, while Baqa had in his possession a disc titled "O' Muslim FREE CD" containing "39 Ways to Support and Participate in 'Jihad'" and Issues II, III, IV, and VI of Inspire.[12]
  • Minh Quang Pham, 29, arrested in June 2012 in the U.K. on a U.S. extradition warrant. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, he provided material support to AQAP, based in Yemen; he is said to have "facilitated communications and provided expert advice and assistance in photography and graphic design" for AQAP's media wing. He allegedly met two American citizens, referred to in the charges as "American CC-1" and "American CC-2," and worked with the former to produce online propaganda for AQAP; both Al-Awlaki and Khan were running AQAP's propaganda operations at that time. In December 2010, he traveled from the UK to Yemen, where he received training from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. If he is convicted of all charges, he faces a minimum sentence of 40 years. He is alleged to have met Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.[13]
  • Zahid Iqbal, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, Umar Arshad, and Syed Farhan Hussain, aged 21 to 30, were arrested in Britain in April 2012 on suspicion of plotting to drive a toy car loaded with explosives under the gates of a military base. Iqbal is accused of leading a terror network under the instruction of Al-Qaeda masterminds in Pakistan; all are accused of working to recruit others, of taking their lead from Inspire, and of possessing copies of it. All four are accused of possessing Sheikh Al-Awlaki's article "44 Ways to Support Jihad"; two of them were caught discussing how to build explosive devices from instructions in Inspire. It is claimed that the gang planned to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan. Ahmed is accused of acting as a recruiter and making an "exploratory visit" to Pakistan.[14]
  • Hakan Ertarkan, 21, of London, arrested in April 2011, was found to be in possession of an issue of Inspire. He was charged with "possessing a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" – he had downloaded "How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom," and police had found a notebook titled "My Jihad," writings by Sheikh Al-Awlaki, and £3,000 in cash in his possession. He was cleared of the Terrorism Act charge, accepting his statement that he had wanted to view the group’s interpretation of Islam.[15]
  • Christian Emde, a German in his 20s, arrested July 15, 2011 when he tried to enter Britain in possession of electronic copies of Inspire. Emde was carrying "How To Make a Bomb In The Kitchen Of Your Mom." He was imprisoned in February 2012 after pleading guilty to possessing documents useful to terrorism,[16] and was deported from the U.K. the following month.[17]
  • Mohammed Hasnath, 19, from London, who defaced advertising posters of scantily clad women by painting burqas on them, was arrested in 2011 and in May 2012 was sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment for possessing terrorist literature, admitting to four counts of possessing copies of Inspire magazine on his computer memory stick. Hasnath was arrested under the Terrorism Act after posting material to a YouTube site.[18] Previously, in June 2011, Hasnath was fined £100 for posting posters of a rainbow flag with a black line through it saying "Gay Free Zone" in a London street.[19]
  • Mohammed Sajid Khan, 33, of Manchester, who was arrested in July 2011 along with his wife Shasta, 38, was convicted in July 2012 of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of possessing information likely to be useful in an act of terrorism; he was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection, which means that after a minimum of seven-and-a-half years, his position will be regularly reviewed by a parole board. His wife Shasta is to serve four years minus the 350 days she spent on remand. The Khans were in the early stages of building a homemade bomb, following instructions in "How To Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," when their plot was discovered in July 2011. Material found in their home included Christmas tree lights adapted to make a detonator as per the instructions in the article, along with electrical wires, safety goggles, a funnel, needles, syringes and chemicals such as bleach, acetone and peroxide liquid which Mrs. Khan used in her work as a hairdresser. They were also found to have spent months scouting out potential Jewish targets in Manchester, including two synagogues and the Jewish Agency building. The prosecutor told the court that the couple, who had met online in 2010 and married just six weeks later, had become radicalized by material they read on the Internet, including Inspire.[20]

In Europe and Australia

  • Adnan Karabegovic, 23, arrested September 12, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia, was found to be in possession of four issues of Inspire, including the article "How To Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" and another on using a vehicle for mass killing by welding blades to the front and driving through a crowded area. He also, according to court documents, hung a banner from an overpass on the Monash Freeway which read "Get your troops out of Muslim lands you dirty convict pigs", and another reading "Get your troops out of Muslim lands you filthy kafir." On September 25, the court refused him bail and charged him with four counts of collecting documents connected with the preparation for the engagement of a person in or assistance in a terrorist act, and he was remanded in custody to appear in the same court in December. He could face up to 15 years in prison.[21]
  • Taimour Abdulwahab, 29, who blew himself up on a street in Stockholm on December 11, 2011, also had "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" from Inspire on his computer, as well as Christmas tree lights, a necessary component according to the article, at his home in Luton, U.K. Abdulwahab's explosive belt detonated prematurely; the damage would have been much greater had the devices, which included pipe and nail bombs, detonated properly.[22]

This report reviews Samir Khan's impact on online jihad and jihadis, in his life and in his death, from his earliest blogs to his final writings in Inspire.

Source: Inspire Issue IX, May 2012

Samir Khan, 1985-2011: Born In Saudi Arabia, Raised In N.Y., "Martyred" In Yemen

Khan was born in 1985 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to a family of Pakistani descent. In 1992, the Khan family moved from Riyadh to New York. According to The New York Times, Khan's parents were "by all accounts a low-key, respected couple."[23] An October 2011 article about Khan by Zaki Khalid, a Lahore-based geopolitical analyst and commentator who had exchanged emails with him, claimed that "Samir's father Mr. Zafar Khan is a respected Islamic scholar who was once the Ameer of the Islamic Organization of North America [IONA]."[24]

Samir Khan And The IONA

Mustapha Elturk, imam and president of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA), met Khan's family in the mid-1990s during an educational program at a mosque in Flushing, Queens, NY. He said that Khan had at that time expressed interest in Islam as a way to "stay away from the peer pressure of his teenage days."

The IONA would consistently be at the center of Khan's life. Indeed, a month before 9/11, the 15-year-old Khan attended a weeklong summer camp at a mosque in Queens sponsored by the IONA,[25] and its members would later attempt to de-radicalize him. Khan would also later blog about the philosophy of the IONA.

Samir Khan And The Islamic Thinkers Society

Shortly after attending the IONA camp, Khan befriended members of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a radical, nonviolent Islamist organization known for leafleting in Times Square and Jackson Heights, Queens.[26] The New York City Police Department described the Islamic Thinkers Society as "almost bug lights for aspiring jihadis. They've got an anti-Western, anti-democratic, anti-U.S., pro-Al-Qaeda message."[27] Members of this organization would go on to found the infamous Revolution Muslim organization, made up of converts to Islam, many Caucasian, some of whose members and leaders were involved in current terrorism cases.

As the Committee on Homeland Security website (http://homeland.houThe noted on October 7, 2011, according to law enforcement sources, family acquaintances, former classmates, and Khan's own words, Khan had become increasingly obsessed with radical faith and hatred of the U.S. during his high school years on Long Island, 1999-2003. In the 2003 high school yearbook, Khan identified himself as a "Mujahid," a Muslim engaged in "jihad," and stated that he wanted "to go overseas and study Islamic Law and other subjects that deal with Islam."

Khan's Family Speaks Out On His Death

Following Khan's killing, his family released an official statement on September 30, 2011. It read: "We, the family of Samir Khan, in our time of grief and mourning, request that the media let us have our peace and privacy during this difficult time. It has been stated in the media that Samir was not the target of the attack; however no U.S. official has contacted us with any news about the recovery of our son's remains, nor offered us any condolences. As a result, we feel appalled by the indifference shown to us by our government. Being a law-abiding citizen of the United States, our late son Samir Khan never broke any law and was never implicated of any crime. The Fifth Amendment states that no citizen shall be 'deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law' yet our government assassinated two if its citizens. Was this style of execution the only solution? Why couldn't there have been a capture and trial? Where is the justice? As we mourn our son, we must ask these questions."[28]

According to the October 11, 2011 U.S. State Department daily press briefing, two phone calls were made to the Khan family to express condolences, on October 3 and October 7.[29] However, what was said in these conversations has not been disclosed.

Samir Khan Launches His Blog "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge"

Khan's online jihad career officially began with the launch of his blog, "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge" (, under the name "Inshallahshaheed." There is some dispute as to when he started the blog; according to some reports, it was in 2001.[30] NPR stated that it was in 2003,[31] while according to the Los Angeles Times it was in 2005;[32] The New York Times reported that his earliest postings were in 2003,[33] but in another article reported this date as late 2005.[34]

An editorial on the blog when it was launched included praise for jihad and "martyrdom," with Khan citing Sheikh 'Abd Allah Yusuf 'Azzam as providing religious authority to guide the website, and noting that Sheikh Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi and Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri had also provided inspiration.

He wrote: "We owe a lot to our classical Scholars who have explained this issue in-depth, and we owe even more to the contemporary Shaykh, 'Abd Allah Yusuf 'Azzaam, may Allah have mercy upon him, for making this issue as clear as day and night with his many works including his best fatwa, 'In Defense of Muslim lands: the first obligation after Imaan.' And when the cowards and condemners (of Mujaahideen) of the Ummah are confronted with this fatwa, they bury their head in the sand. We ask Allah to let this fatwa continue to be the dagger in the throat of the disbelievers, apostates, and hypocrites."

2004: Khan Moves With Family To Charlotte, NC

Intelligence sources believe that Khan was radicalized before he moved with his family to North Carolina from Queens, NY.[35] Following the move, Khan spent several years in his parents' Charlotte basement posting Al-Qaeda messages on his blog.

WJZY Charlotte, July 2007

According to an NPR report, within weeks of moving to Charlotte, Khan consulted with a local lawyer about First Amendment issues, to see how far he could go on a website without running afoul of the law. Intelligence officials say that the lawyer laid out what to do in a memo: Basically, Khan could say anything he wanted as long as he didn't incite violence.[36]

Khan's father did not agree with his son's radical views, and sought help in trying to change them.[37] He would occasionally restrict his Internet access, and Samir, to placate his father, added a disclaimer to his blog disavowing the latter's responsibility for the views expressed on the website. Khan's websites were also shut down multiple times by "citizen watchdogs" and by his service provider, who cited "complaints about the nature of his postings."

Khan then relocated his blog to Muslimpad, whose American operators moved from Texas to Amman, Jordan in 2007, is associated with a larger forum, Islamic Network; a former Muslimpad employee, Daniel Maldonado, was convicted in 2007 in federal court of associating with terrorists at their training camps in Somalia.[38]

Khan’s family home in an upscale neighborhood in Charlotte, NC. Fox News Channel, June 9, 2008

2007-2008: Failed Attempts To De-Radicalize Khan

Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) imam and president Mustapha Elturk said in an interview that Khan's radicalization began online: "He developed these militant views through the Internet, and he had arguments with his father about it. He became very much convinced that America is an imperialist country that supports dictators and supports Israel blindly... He was not promoting violence, but he had the opinion that the use of indiscriminate killing was justified."[39]

Elturk added, "In Charlotte, Khan's parents continued to try hard to dissuade him from his extremist views and sought the counsel of community members, imams, and even psychiatric counseling."[40] His father tried to pull him back to the family's more moderate views by asking Elturk to intervene. "I tried to bring arguments from the Koran and scholars, and said, 'Whatever you are thinking, it is not true,'" Elturk said. But Khan did not budge.[41]

Islamic Center of Charlotte spokesman Jibril Hough

In his eulogy for Khan, Elturk stated, "Having this conflict, I had to personally expel him from the organization. That was around 2006 or perhaps the beginning of 2007. His father, whom I know very well, is a moderate Muslim devoted to his faith. [He] tried whatever he could within his means to talk to his son and also [to] have him meet with imams and Muslim scholars to persuade him [his son] that this is not the course. The militancy views and the ideology of violence is not the right course.

"Unfortunately, to no avail. Samir Khan left the country in 2009. He went to Yemen where he met his fate last week on September 30th, when the U.S. government killed him and Anwar Al-Awlaki, two U.S. citizens, without being charged with any crimes, through a drone attack."

In late 2007 and 2008, two meetings were held at the home of Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, with Khan, his father, and a circle of elders in the Muslim community. They spent hours talking to Khan, trying to disabuse him of his beliefs that injustices against Muslims around the world needed to be corrected with violence. They talked to him about bin Laden, and attempted to persuade him that terrorism was wrong. According to two people who attended the meeting, and Hough, Khan was quiet and respectful. But it was hard to know whether the elders were getting through. Two more meetings were scheduled to track his progress, but only one of those took place.[42] "We were actively involved trying to correct him, not encourage him," Hough said. "Samir had very few friends around here, maybe one or two friends," Hough said. "So it wasn't as if he had a following here locally. The consensus here was that he was clearly going down the wrong path. And we tried to talk to him about that."[43]

Mr. Hough and the Islamic Center in Charlotte, North Carolina have been at the center of past controversy and have been accused of having connections to terrorism. It was reported in February 2010 that the center is owned by an organization previously connected to a plot to funnel money to Hamas, in one of the largest terrorist financing cases in U.S. history.[44]

Islamic Center of Charlotte, in Charlotte, NC

2007: Khan's Only Interview With Western Media – The New York Times

Khan was interviewed for an October 15, 2007 article in the The New York Times.[45] According to the article, he was inspired by the September 2007 Osama bin Laden video, said that he dreamed of meeting bin Laden and that he would not rule out picking up a weapon himself one day.

The bin Laden video to which he referred, titled "The Solution," was posted on the jihadi forum Al-Ekhlaas on September 8, 2007.[46] In it, bin Laden addressed the American people, saying: "There are [nevertheless] two [ways] to bring [the war] to an end. The first... is for us to continue killing and fighting you with ever increasing intensity [until we defeat you]... The second is... [for you] to liberate yourselves from the deception and restrictions... inflicted upon you by the capitalistic system... in the same way you liberated yourselves from the monks and kings that once enslaved you, and from feudalism." The goal of the capitalist system, he warns, is to turn the entire world into a fief controlled by large corporations.

In the video, bin Laden offers Islam as an alternative to the capitalist system, and calls upon the Americans to embrace Islam, saying: "The biggest and most irreversible error one can commit in this world is to die without surrendering oneself to Allah, namely, to die without embracing Islam." He warns that once the owners of the major corporations realize that the Americans people have lost confidence in the democratic system and have started searching for an alternative, i.e. Islam, "they will run after you to please you and fulfill your every desire, in order to turn you away from Islam."

He goes on to advise the Americans not to waver in their pursuit of Islam, since the benefits they will receive by embracing it are numerous, including a significant reduction in taxes, since Islam does not impose taxes beyond the mandatory 2.5% zakat.

Khan wrote on his blog that America needs to listen to this message from bin Laden "very carefully, and take his message with great seriousness." He added, "America is known to be a people of arrogance."[47]

Khan also told the Times that he was "struck by the simplicity in the messages of both Al-Qaeda and Malcolm X. They are geniuses for having the ability to mold their ideology into simple yet influential messages that can reach the grass-roots level."[48]

The paper also quoted him as stating that jihad was mandatory for all Muslims, and that there were three ways to fulfill this obligation: joining the fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan or Algeria; sending them money; or promoting militant videos as part of the jihad media.[49]

2009: Khan Launches Jihad Recollections Magazine

Throughout his career, Khan was influential in the use of social media, helping to pioneer jihadis' embrace of YouTube, the Internet Archives, and other sites on which he frequently posted content.

In 2009, Khan launched the precursor to Inspire magazine, Jihad Recollections. The magazine was produced by the Al-Fursan Media Foundation. Four issues of the magazine came out, between April and September 2009, to little media attention. They included multiple articles by "Abu Risaas" – a pseudonym for Khan.[50]

The editorial in Issue I, April 2009, stated: "With the help of Allah alone, your brothers of al-Fursan Media Foundation have worked hard to release this magazine: Jihad Recollections. It is the first of its kind as it is geared towards the English speaking Muslims who are interested in gaining heights in their religious, political, economical, social, technological, strategic, historical, biographical and health awareness. We have acknowledged that the Arabic Jihadi community – may Allah reward them with mountains of good deeds – usually limit themselves to translating works rather than developing their own. Henceforth, we have decided to take it upon ourselves to produce the first Jihadi Magazine in English. In short, the magazine seeks to accomplish the following: 1)Tackle issues that are not only happening abroad in the Muslim world, but also focus on domestic issues pertinent to the Muslim community in the West; 2) To clean the image of the Mujahideen; 3) Present well-researched and thought-out articles on relevant issues of interest."[51]

Issue II's editorial says: "All the praises and thanks belong to Allah alone. Our first issue has received a lot of attention from both the jihadi community as well as the non-jihadi's including some prominent academics. The fruits are much more than what we expected and we repeat that the deserving praise is to Allah alone. With that said, there have been a few misunderstanding's displayed by some… Our first Magazine was more of a test than anything else. We wanted to see how people reacted to seeing an English Jihad Magazine that tackles contemporary issues. The reaction indicated that it was well-received and that it would be a good project to pursue."[52]

The third issue of Jihad Recollections, dated August 2009, included calls for jihad and attacks on non-Muslims.[53] Issue IV was devoted to the attackers of 9/11. Each issue of Jihad Recollections included content in following categories:

  • Social: Conduct for Western jihadis.
  • Health and fitness: Staying in shape for jihad; benefits of exercise for jihad.
  • Politics and economics Information about U.S. stimulus funds; news about the CIA; and other U.S. security agencies; critiques of President Obama's health care reform; lessons from the Columbine attacks.
  • Jihadi biographies: Guerilla warfare expert Abu Layth Al-Libi; Umar Al-Khattab; Abu Musab Al-Suri; and others.
  • Strategy lessons: How to improve the jihadi current in battle for hearts and minds; principles of guerrilla warfare; the importance of online jihad.
  • Technology: How to use night vision; EMP technology becoming reality; using Apple iPhone's for jihadi purposes; and more.
  • News on Western jihadis: Adam Gadahn; Anjem Choudary; Omar Hammami; and others.

"Abu Risaas" – AKA Samir Khan – Contributor

Each issue of Jihad Recollections includes an article by Samir Khan, under his pseudonym "Abu Risaas." His articles in the first two issues, April and May 2009, were devoted to criticism of Tanzeem-e-Islami, the organization from which IONA derives. Interestingly, the August 9, 2009 issue includes a photo of some of IONA's leaders, including Mustapha Elturk.[54]



Mustapha Elturk, in gray coat, center right. Source: Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, "A Critical Look Into Dr. Israr's Tanzeem-e-Islami Makkah To Madinah Stages Or post-Madinah?" – Abu Risaas (Samir Khan) August 2009, page 57

In the April 2009 issue of Jihad Recollections, in an article titled "The Emphasis For An Identity In The Storm Of Kufr," "Abu Risaas," aka Khan, described himself as "a resident of one of the most atrocious and egotistical regimes to date."[55] He harshly criticized American Muslim organizations for what he said was their fear that the U.S. media would report that they supported jihad, saying: "Another point of notice is the fear of finger pointing of the media giants that many American Muslims have. When attending a protest in support of the people of Gaza, a few brothers and I arrived to the event with our large black flag that read in Arabic the Shahada. As soon as we came out of the parking lot, we were ambushed by the organizers of the event, and told to put the flag back in the car. After we questioned the brother, he showed his true signs of fear for what the media might say. After seeing our determination to not humiliate the banner of Tawheed, he had no choice but to let us go. Later in the day, another organizer of the event said to us, 'Put down this flag! It's not like anyone here can read Arabic anyways.' He was quickly asked, 'Why is it do I see Palestinian flags that have the Shahada banner in Arabic, and you are not approaching them?'"

He continued, "After interacting with these types of Muslims, it was difficult to not believe that they have taken the media as an idol besides Allah. This is not an attempt at all to pronounce Takfeer; rather, this is just a musing that amazes the intellect when it sees a believer more afraid of what a Kafir would say rather than worrying about being flung into the Hellfire. It further exposes the American Millah of Islam which is based upon what pleases the Jews and Christians. The antidote to this is to adopt the noble ayah: Indeed, their fears even extend to partnering with the FBI to root out suspected Muslims that lean towards Jihad.

"Recently however, this has backfired on them, as now the truth is coming out that the FBI is using paid informants and agent provocateurs to penetrate the Masajid across America to imprison innocent Muslims. This humiliation is the result of siding with those whom Allah hates; a concept absent in the minds of most American Muslims. The American Muslims have to either practice Islam in its entirety and willingly face the difficulties, or just be thrown around by their slave masters and face constant humiliation."[56]

In his article in the May 2009 issue, "Abu Risaas" identified himself as "a former believer, activist, and preacher of Tanzeem-e-Islami."[57] He wrote: "I look back upon my years as an active and excited member of this group which I portrayed as revolutionary to all. But that all changed when I furthered my knowledge in just a single aspect of the religion which was held back from members of Tanzeem. This is none other than the subject of Jihad." He continued: "I wish to detail here my knowledge of this movement and the constructive criticism I have for this movement for the purpose of letting our readers become aware of some of the false flags that appear in this movement's call for a Caliphate."[58]

"Abu Risaas" also published an article in the September 2009 issue of the magazine on FBI agent John O'Neill, who was killed on 9/11 in the World Trade Center, calling him "an egotistic leader in the FBI."[59] This article was peculiar in that it contained no original content; its content was copied and pasted segments from a PBS Frontline special and from Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower.

Younus Abdullah Muhammad – Contributor

In early 2008, native New Yorker and Muslim convert Younus Abdullah Muhammad, also known as Jesse Curtis Morton, formed Revolution Muslim, along with Yousef Al-Khattab (formerly Joseph Cohen). In February 2012, he pled guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia to conspiring to solicit the murder of the authors of the "South Park" TV show for depicting the Prophet Muhammad, and admitted that he had used the Revolution Muslim website to encourage the murder of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, who in 2010 declared an "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day." He was arrested in 2011 after extradition from Morocco, where he had fled.[60]

In the introduction to an article he wrote for the first issue of Jihad Recollections, titled "The Predications of the Conquering of Rome,"[61] Muhammad noted that the aim of "the 9/11 raids," that is, "to lure the United States" into a war "that one day [will] bankrupt the super power – has been achieved." He added that this would "ultimately lead to the conquest of Rome." Also in the article, he praised Osama bin Laden and his 1996 fatwa against the U.S. He boasted, "Today the jihad has extended from Afghanistan to Iraq, into Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Indochina, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucuses, and active cells sit in every country on the globe."[62]

Most of Muhammad's article was devoted to attacking the history of American foreign policy; he stated: "America's role as an imperialist nation started at their very root with the genocide of an entire indigenous population, the American Indians."[63]

Muhammad concluded the article with a discussion on how the West is losing the war on terror, noting: "[T]he intended results of 9-11 have been realized and the head is starting to wither away or at least showing signs of declination. Usamah bin Ladin announced more on his methodology for chopping off the head in a statement he released on November 1, 200… he stated, 'We, alongside the mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat, and all praises and thanks belong to Allah. So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.' Today, a little recognized shift in directives has witnessed the apparent belief of Al-Qaa'idah that they have indeed succeeded in their primary objective. The attacks of September 11, 2001 marked a turn in the course of history and the aggressor reared its ugly head and moved toward the initiation of that destruction... It is time to begin to think about the necessary next steps that must predicate the conquering of Rome."[64]

The second issue of Jihad Recollections, published in May 2009, included another article by Younus Abdullah Muhammad, this one titled, "Obamanomics Understanding the Fascist Implications of the New American Economy." In it, he stated: "Most people understand fascism as an era of ultra-nationalism and imperialist expansion dedicated to conquering the world. Common images are of Mussolini, the Duce, or of Hitler, the Fuhrer, propagating their political views in front of audiences mesmerized by their charisma and inspired by their vision, saluting in uniform chant and marching in step with a philosophy that today resembles the worst of authoritarianisms, a stain on history pledged never to be repeated.

"Today Barack Obama takes the political pulpit and mesmerizes an audience through language that is not clothed in the rhetoric of rampant nationalism or a disdain for human rights, but that calls to democratic traditions and that believes in individual liberty. However, when one carefully analyzes the actuality of the Obama administration in practice, obvious fascist resemblances occur. This is especially true in the economic realm, where recent American policy strongly correlates to fascist circumstances from yesteryear.

"Barack Obama represents an interesting American phenomenon that is the fruition of a form of liberal fascism that has been coalescing around the United States since the end of World War II. Certainly the policies of nationalism and imperialism never ended but, in the event they come disguised in slogans of peace and with a dictator that is loved all over, there is a very real possibility that the vision for fascist control over the entire world could be realized. Obamanomics is fascism and is the greatest threat to humanity today."[65]

He concluded with the following warning: "Fascism, by its nature, consumes itself. Islam, as a system, continues to wrest primarily in an ideological realm, but it will always remain. It is time that all of its fruits, treasures, and solutions are brought to practice. Once the U.S. rid the world of Hitler it controlled the world and chose to imitate the aggressor it defeated. The mujahideen will never do the same."[66]

Ibn Al-Mubarak/Mohamed Osman Mohamud – Contributor

Another author of multiple Jihad Recollections articles was "Ibn Al-Mubarak," a pseudonym for Somali-American student Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Mohamud was arrested in an FBI sting operation on November 26, 2010 after trying to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. According to the criminal complaint brought against him, Mohamud told undercover FBI operatives that he had written three articles for Jihad Recollections and sent them to someone who was actually an undercover agent, and that he had planned to submit a fourth.[67] Mohamud also sent the agent an article he had authored and submitted to Inspire magazine.

In his articles, published in the April, May and August 2009 issues of the magazine, Mohamud discussed the issue of physical fitness. In an April 2009 article, titled "Getting In Shape Without Weights," he offered tips on preparing for violent jihad, noting that the "mujahid... must fulfill the obligation of preparing himself physically for jihad" and that he must train "in order to damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible."[68] He noted: "[F]rom amongst preparing oneself militarily is to exercise the body and to prepare it for war which necessitates that it be able to withstand long journeys and carry heavy equipment and to be fit, generally speaking."[69]

Much of the article is devoted to explaining why "using weights to get in shape is unrealistic." He wrote, "The reason we should aim to get into shape without using weights is simply that the use of weights does not bring permanent results, as you only keep the strength you gained by continuing to use those machines and bars. This is of course unrealistic for the Mujahid in the front lines anywhere in the world today. We find that this is a major setback for the Americans and the NATO Crusading army as they cannot go to any battlefront without carrying along with them their bench, squat sets and sometimes even their machines. And we have learned this from the videos released by our brothers in Afghanistan [that t]he Mujahideen found upon capturing enemy bases bars and weights in American barracks and bases. So if this is the case for the enemies then obviously this would not work for the Jihad and due to it being a waste of money and effort as well as not being a realistic option."

He continued, "So the Mujahid must learn to get in shape and build strength and to continue to do so wherever he is with little or no resources and to be able to use his body and the ground alone to keep in shape. Another reason being that the places which one can go to where weights and gyms are available are not Islamic environments and definitely not fit for the Mujahid in Allah's cause. We find at these gyms such as 24 Hour Fitna and LA Fitna that they are full of music, semi-naked women, free mixing and the danger of one showing off during a workout which would destroy your intention and action."[70]

The rest of the article is devoted to a detailed exercise and diet plan for any potential jihad fighter to prepare for future jihad.

Mohamud's article in the May 2009 issue of Jihad Recollections is titled "Preparing For the Long Night." This article is devoted to "Physical Preparation;" "Mental Preparation;" "Exercises and Activities" and to preparing for an attack.

His August 2009 article, "Assessing the Role and Influence of As-Sahab Media," is devoted to what he terms the reasons for the success of Al-Qaeda's media wing: "command," "themes," and "quality."[71] Stating that As-Sahab has "great power in manipulating and affecting world events on a great scale,"[72] he adds, "As-Sahab has learned from its predecessors that great themes can go a long way in spreading the message and hitting the hearts and minds of Muslims."[73] He also gushes over As-Sahab's "quality": "As-Sahab is probably really the first and foremost in video and computer technology. I mean they really set the bar for security, camera quality, editing and translation. They translate their videos into so many different languages, from Arabic to English, Urdu, Pushtu, Turkish, etc. Their videos were the first to reach HD level alongside great cameramen on the ground to get different views of the battles, while Qoqaz is still at the 1990's cameras and such. They upload multiple videos without being tracked and they have great editing teams to keep their message straight to point and hardly any spelling or punctual mistakes. Not to mention their reporter-like narrators who do a great job in keeping the viewers interested."[74]

Savvy Irahabi/Younes Tsouli – Contributor

Each issue of Jihad Recollections included previously released articles by "Savvy Irahabi," who is Younes Tsouli, a Moroccan-born resident of the U.K. In 2007, Tsouli was found guilty of incitement to commit acts of terrorism, and sentenced to 16 years in a U.K. prison. Tsouli is considered the godfather of online jihadis – he was clearly influential in Samar Khan's development as an online jihadist.

Emerson Winfield Begolly – Letter to the Editor

Just as Inspire magazine would later offer options for jihadis to "get in touch," Jihad Recollections provided ways for readers to post comments through the English forum. Like Inspire would, Jihad Recollections included a "Feedback" section. In Issue III, one "Goatly" wrote in the "Feedback" section: "It is good to see this posted. May God bless all of the brothers and sisters at al-Fursan media and may He reward them for their efforts."[75]

"Goatly" is Penn State University student Emerson Winfield Begolly, who on July 14, 2011 was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly acting as a moderator for Ansar Al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF), the leading English-language jihadi forum.[76]

2010: Federal Grand Jury Considers Evidence Against Khan

On August 17, 2010, a federal grand jury in Charlotte, N.C. convened to consider whether there was sufficient evidence against Khan for terrorism charges against him, including providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. Earlier, six young men from the Charlotte area were interviewed by FBI agents, and several of them received grand jury subpoenas. Among the questions asked was whether Khan had ever mentioned going to Yemen so he could join a terrorist group and target Americans.[77] In September 2011, CNN reported that the investigation into Khan had determined that the evidence was not sufficient to seek an indictment against him.[78]

2008-2009: Samir Khan's "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge" Blog

On his blog, Khan wrote often of his wish to become a "martyr." In one post, on June 2, 2008, he wrote, "It is to wish and struggle to die as a martyr since with the first drop of blood from the martyr, all of his sins are forgiven and the rewards in the afterlife are such that all of the gold in the world would not be able to make up for it (i.e., the pleasure and honor one will get)."[79]

On June 16, 2008, he posted a poem he had penned about this wish:

"Remembered that our future is in the Afterlife.

"'Incoming!' warns a Mujaahid from the Mountain,

"The Mountain where I saw your body stabbed to death.

"I turn my face East, West, South and North in a quick motion,

"And saw no enemy.

"Then I suddenly hear your soft beautiful voice warn from the heavens,

"'You have not forgotten…'

"And as I gaze upwards,

"I see incoming mortars rushing to grant my citizenship

"To the Eternal Gardens of Paradise.

"I embrace it with a grateful smile and put my trust in Allah.

"The Sun, the symbol of life and happiness, will always be upon us my love."[80]

-Samir Khan, June 16, 2008,

Supporting Suicide Attacks, Explaining Support For 9/11 Attacks

Khan also blogged about his personal opinions of his adopted country the U.S., Islam, jihad, and "martyrdom," i.e. suicide, operations. He shared his reactions to media reports on his blogging and to reactions by his neighbors when they learned a jihadi was living in Charlotte. He also was frequently critical of the media. Khan was also a supporter of the 9/11 attacks, and blogged about that as well.

Supporting Suicide Attacks

On April 21, 2008, on his blog, Khan wrote in support of suicide attacks, saying: "A perfect modern day example of this is the hotel bombings in Amman which were carried out by Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. We all know that it not only killed the intended target (i.e. high profile Zionists), but it also killed Muslims who were attending a wedding. So the Muslims cried, 'this cannot be Jihad' etc. But what the great majority of the Muslims failed to pay attention to was that after the bombings, Abu Mus'ab expressed his extreme sadness and grief over the event, explaining the details of how it was supposed to be carried out and how the bomb was tested to not kill anyone except the intended targets. Unfortunately, the bomb was so powerful that it exceeded the intended target and it proceeded to take out the entire building and this is what he regretted day and night. He apologized deeply and regretted that it killed Muslims. It was a dark day for him and it remained like that for a long time. So are we going to accuse him with our blanket statements for this act or are we going to accept his sincere apology and come to the realization that it was a mistake that was out of his reach? Had he not taken the time out to apologize, then I would understand the rejection of him; but this is not the case."[81]

In a June 2, 2008 blog post titled "The Difference Between Violence and Jihaad" criticizing those involved in speaking out against the mujahideen, Khan explained the "difference between jihad and violence." He wrote: "Jihaad is to fight – to kill and be killed – for the pure sake of Allah, in order to make His Word the Supreme. It is an ordained duty in the Qur'aan (see 2:216). Of course, there is the spiritual – more linguistic – lexicon of Jihaad, but we are not dealing with that here. Jihaad is for lofty goals which are not worldly. Jihaad is not for money, greed, power and so on. Rather, it is to obtain the pleasure of Allah Ta'aalaa by being in constant obedience and worship to Him before, during and after the fighting. Furthermore, through this obedience and worship, many acts of worship are to be achieved such as establishing the Shari'ah on the earth, helping the Muslims who are in need (whether it be financial, physical, mental support etc.), teaching the Muslims their Religion, gaining knowledge of the Religion from the Islaamic Scholars and Preachers, and spreading the Religion to the masses. And this worship goes a step further. It is to wish and struggle to die as a martyr since with the first drop of blood from the martyr, all of his sins are forgiven and the rewards in the afterlife are such that all of the gold in the world would not be able to make up for it (i.e. the pleasure and honor one will get)."[82]

In the same blog post, Khan explained: "Jihad cannot fall under this category of 'violence' simply because Jihaad is a category by itself. It is too pure to be labeled as 'violence.'"

He added, "The negative word violence can be attributed to every struggle that requires warfare except Jihaad. The goal of the disbelievers is nowhere near the lofty goals of the believers; and this even applies to the Crusaders during the time of Salahudeen al-Ayyubi, rahimahullaah. The disbelievers fight over wealth, oil, status, power, money, greed, lust etc. The highest their goals can get is when they are defending their nation from a foreign invasion, but even this is done in the name of nationalism. In Islaam, nationalism is not only forbidden, but it is constituted as disbelief to fight and die for nationalistic reasons as opposed to religious reasons. Allah does not accept the efforts of the nationalistic Muslims because He ordained and permitted only one form of warfare: Jihaad for the sake of Allah, to make His Word the Supreme and the word of the Disbelievers the lowest. Therefore, to equate Jihaad with violence is a great injustice and an insult to the greatest act of worship in Islaam. To put down Jihaad in any way is to put down Allah Ta'aalaa. Finally, you may agree with this but still call the Jihaad today around the world as 'violence.' And this is due to what you see in the media as opposed to doing honest research and finding out what the Mujaahideen themselves are saying and doing (from their sources)… The media does not only have an agenda against the Muslims here in the West, but they have an even greater agenda against the Mujaahideen who are fighting for the sake of Allah: it is to tarnish their image so that the Muslims don't support them in any form."[83]

On June 5, 2008, he wrote about how his neighbors had begun to leave fliers around his neighborhood warning about his possible terrorist connections. One of his neighbors left the following message on his blog: "We do not condone or encourage any violence against Samir, however, you should stop by and ask him why he does this to the very people who provide him with his good life. He also volunteers at a local Mosque, perhaps they can explain what they are teaching him there."[84] Khan's response was: "Obviously, whoever did this should have realized that by giving out my details (esp. my address), a person can be motivated by violence to do something unlawful according to American law. Or people could start causing unnecessary trouble; so think before you act. This was quite childish and mischievous for you to do. As for the one who provides me this good life, it is from Allah. It is not from the American Government, or job, or salary etc. Rather, it is Allah who is the provider and He provides whom He wills in order to test them. So whether I am in America, the UK, France, or Russia, Allah tests me with this wealth which He has given me and the life which He has blessed me with. It is a test to see if I stick to the fundamentals of the religion and not stray from it, no matter where I live. It is a test to see if I stick to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) to the best of my ability and not whither here and there for my desires or for the sake of the people. It is a test to see if I live for Allah and die for Allah since living for the sake of disbelief and dying upon it is the path to the Ultimate loss. America is not the provider; rather, she is the means to the provision. Ultimately it is Allah who is the giver and taker of everything and to Him we return alone and stand accountable for the deeds which we did in this life."

He continued: "After death, the scrolls are rolled up and your chances are over. So prepare and prepare well for the moment when your soul departs this world to the next. Accepting Islaam is the first step. After that, it is to remain firm by understanding the religion, practicing it and preaching it. As for the local Mosque I attend, nobody teaches me anything there; we don't even have an Imaam. I get my knowledge from the various Scholars around the world, books, lectures, and the ultimate source of all my knowledge is the Qur'aan and Sunnah. Nothing which I say is foreign to Islaam; rather, this is all a part of Islaam and I am not one of those who are ashamed of his religion."[85]

Explaining Support For 9/11 Attacks

Many of Khan's blog posts praised the attacks of 9/11; he wrote a seven-part "series" on it titled "The Path to Understanding 9/11." The series included his recommendations for further study for understanding the attacks, including Al-Shabaab documentaries and books by former CIA intelligence officer and current adjunct professor at Georgetown University Michael Scheuer. At the end of the series, Khan wrote, "We hope you enjoyed this series and will now look at the 'war on terrorism' as a war of hypocrisy and that you will look at September the 11th as a form of retaliation from the Islaamic world upon the tyrants of the West who are the heads of the oppressors that have been killing Muslims for years on end and supporting those who terrorize the Islaamic world for many years. This was not an attempt to justify 9/11, but this was merely an attempt to isolate ourselves from the views of the Media regarding this important day and to really dive deep into the subject unlike the media who is satisfied with their superficial knowledge that is empty of wisdom and musing and full of rhetoric and blindness. It was the Badr of the 21st Century; the Badr of yesterday changed world events, so much so, that it gave confidence to the Mujaahideen to conquer nearly half the world years later. The Badr of today is a revitalization of that very concept and it only seeks to equal the playing field between the oppressed and its oppressors."[86]

On June 7, 2008, he wrote: "If America is not a terrorist state, then I don't know what is. One only deserves to be in a mental asylum to not call America a terrorist Government whilst knowing of all these atrocious crimes she committed. And when 9/11 – an act of retaliation for America's terrorism – Is done and kills 3,000 people, it seems that America is no longer the terrorists (and I'm not saying that she was even called a terrorist state beforehand!!!) and that she never committed a crime and was totally 'innocent' like a newborn baby. Now that is what you call good brainwashing by the media. To those who have further knowledge, they know it is in the hands of the Zionist Agents. It's absolutely amazing and fascinating that the media can cover up the atrocities of America so well – such as the dropping of the atomic bombs on the helpless women and children of Japan – and focus heavily on how the Mujaahideen are terrorists when in reality, they were retaliating (just as America retaliated upon Japan, but in a more sick way)…. The Mujaahideen are those who practice Jihaad, and not violence; indeed, the media and government want you to believe that the sons of Islaam practice violence. Rather, it is the American Government that practices violence. She invades our lands in the name of liberation only to bring destruction upon the earth. She comes to our lands to spread her filth, disbelief and criminal activities – and if one soldier rapes a Muslim sister, we judge the entire Army and not just him alone due to the fact that they as a whole have illegally invaded our lands as a violent foreign occupation. Every soldier becomes an ambassador of America whether he likes it or not; he is representing America. We never accepted the invasion so you should never expect us to accept the cries of forgiveness and apologies on behalf of its soldiers."[87]

In a September 10, 2008 blog post, he wrote: "In our series of understanding the path to 9/11, the next page of history we turn to is the American occupation of Saudi Arabia. It is an occupation of direct slavery between the Saudi Kingdom and America and indirect slavery between the people of Saudi and America; the Saudi Government has already admitted that it is impossible to have the Americans leave the Peninsula. Originally, the people thought that the Americans were invited to defend the land against Saddam Hussein – which was already fishy considering America's history and their heavy support for Israel, but the reality of the situation was that they were invited to occupy the Holy Land – or in professional language, to 'establish a bond between the West and the Middle East' – and use it as a base against the other lands of the Muslims such as Iraq and Afghanistan and to protect the interests of Saudi Arabia, chiefly its oil. In order to understand this vital nerve in the body of Usaamah bin Laadin, we turn to a few religious texts regarding this situation of having the disbelieving superpower of the world establishing itself in the most Holiest land in the world and what Islaam has to say about it. It is a religious issue as opposed to a secular or nationalistic one."[88]

On September 11, 2008, he added: "Now that you have understood the immense frustration and great anger of Usaamah bin Laadin – which is all for the sake of the religion – against the head of this snake, America, this helps you realize that this so-called 'war on terrorism' is a complete cover up (to the reality of this war) and that there is another side to the war… the unreported side which the Government purposely hides from you since they want to make the appearance of the enemy seem simple: that they are terrorists and that they are the bad guys. The reality is that these 'terrorists' are far above this and have morals, aspirations and ethics that are much greater than what the United States makes them to be."[89]

Khan recommended videos by Al-Jazeera and As-Sahab to aid in understanding 9/11, saying: "Here, we turn to a few documentaries and videos (and one book) to understand this a step further:[90]

"1. Al-Jazeera: The Road to September 11

"2. Al-Jazeera: Usaamah bin Laadin – Tora Bora Speech

"3. As-Sahab Media: Knowledge is for acting upon

"4. As-Sahab Media: The Power of Truth"

The series continued on September 12, 2008, with a blog post titled "The Path to Understanding 9/11: The Will of the Hijackers."[91]

"For the average American (and Westerner)," he wrote, "not much is known about the 19 Hijackers, the lives they led, the sacrifices they made, and the motivations that led them to be known as the 19. In the path to understanding September 11th, it is important to understand why the people who did it acted upon their intention. For the ignorants who don't give a thought to reality, they often brush off outside information – that is, information which the Government doesn't want them to see. So here, we present to you the will of some of the hijackers.

"Not all of the wills have been released; but it seems more is to come in the near future. Some of the wills have already been presented in yesterday's entry in the video, 'Knowledge is for acting upon.'"[92]

The last installment in this series was posted September 13, 2008. In it, Khan wrote: "In our last part of the series on 'The Path to Understanding 9/11,' we now turn to the words of the intellectuals and think-tanks amongst the Mujaahideen; this is the last stage to opening our eyes to a world that is not even thought about in the West: people who know why 9/11 was done and what were the benefits behind it."

He continued: "What is important to note is that what happened on 9/11 was not an attempt to hurt the US economy, even if the strike caused enormous damage. Rather, it was a symbolic, ideological strike that has accelerated the decline of America much like the decline of the Soviet Empire. It can be said that the strike was an attempt to escape the setbacks of the Jihaad in Egypt, Algeria, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Somalia at the end of the '90s. It appears to have been an attempt to provoke the enemy which sits on top of his throne overseeing the world affairs; and by his response to the provocation, he seems to have fell into the trap of Usaamah bin Laadin which was to reunify the Mujahideen and mobilize the Muslim masses, as was done against the Soviets, but this time, a global Jihaad aimed at both the disbelieving and apostate regimes that stand in the way of the Shari'ah's establishment. 9/11 was the 'umf' that the vanguard of Islaam needed in order to remobilize its efforts and to see the greater picture; and the greater picture tells us that Allah is al-Akbar (The Greatest) whereas the United States is not. The image of the United States as a 'feared Roman Empire' started to diminish with 9/11 and is now in the abyss of humiliation with its battles overseas.

"By focusing his lenses on retaliation for the crimes of the United States, it seems that Usaamah actually had a deeper intent in-store for the Ummah at large.

"We will be looking at a few articles taken from the magazine, 'Kitaab al-Ansaar' in their issue focused on September 11th. Before we post the links to each of the articles which have been translated, we will post the 'Letter from the Editors' here to give our readers a brief introduction upon what they are about to embark upon. Although, the past articles in our series have made this issue of 9/11 clear, these articles take it a step further and thus, deserve the complete attention of those who ponder and this is why we saved the best for last. What happened to the United States came as no surprise. All of these devastating operations are only part of the harvest that the United States has sown throughout the world. The United States was struck once, yet the United States has struck other countries on numerous occasions. The US people suffered once, yet other peoples have suffered–and continue to suffer–many times from the criminal acts of its Zionist government. Why should the United States not suffer some of what it has inflicted on others?

"It also came as no surprise that behind this blessed raid stood the international jihad movement embodied by al-Qaa'idah. This organization has been working to this end for a long time. Its previous experience fighting the United States confirms that it is serious about going to whatever lengths necessary. The direct struggle with the United States began with the Al-Khubar explosions on the Arabian Peninsula. They were followed by the attacks on the US embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi and the incident with the destroyer Cole. All of these events prove the seriousness of al-Qaa'idah's strategic intentions. It is determined to fight the United States and send it the way of the Soviet Union. Only the likes of al-Qaa'idah dare to take on the United States, which inspires dread the world over. The most important factor in this is faith [Imaan], which gives Muslims hope in their war with the enemy, no matter how arrogant he is, and spurs them on to break down the barriers of fear. Al-Qaa'idah can operate globally thanks to the individual capabilities of its members and the structure of its organization."

"We will not discuss the perpetrators' identity. The mujahideen put an end to this discussion immediately after the raid. Instead, on the one-year anniversary of the raid, we have chosen to discuss its intellectual, strategic, political, and educational ramifications in the first issue of our new project, 'Writers of Al-Ansar.' This project aims to provide comprehensive treatment of Islamic issues, using an Islamic vision to put events in their proper context to help Muslims to understand and interpret correctly the events of the struggle. Everyone recognizes that the raid was an event of worldwide importance. As such, it deserves study, and especially from an Islamic vantage point. Our enemies have already made every effort to muddy the waters. Their intent is to present the event in a tragic light, although it targeted a criminal state that is hostile to the Islamic community. The truth, however, is too great for poisoned pens and resentful shouts to harm it

"The raid's positive significance is obvious to all. It represented a qualitative shift in the clash between the Islamic community and its Jewish and Crusader enemies. This book is an attempt to provide a serious interpretation of the event. Each of the writers examines the 11 September raid from a particular angle and supplies a unique view. Readers of varying interests will find here an overview of the event that shook the world."[93]

Posting on August 11, 2008, Khan wrote about U.S. activity in Iraq: "Bush and Company says they came to 'Iraaq to liberate it… to help the civilians… to make life better for them… and here, look at his minions… laughing away and not showing an ounce of care or urgency to stop her from getting hurt. And all they do is laugh at her and use foul language like a bunch of idiots. Do you stupid Americans (i.e., disbelievers who are too arrogant to realize that America is a hypocritical Regime) now realize why we, the Muslims, are pissed at you and your garbage army??? Do you stupid Americans now realize why the Mujaahideen fight your Army and slaughter you into pieces??? […] May the curse of Allah be upon them all! May Allah never allow them to repent! May Allah's curse be upon them! May the Army of Allah slaughter them and make them feel the pain! May the Angels tear apart their necks, and instill extreme fear in their hearts at all times. […] Our Mujaahideen rush to protect the blood of the Muslims, putting their lives on the line constantly, whilst the Americans rush to defend their own blood and forget the rest. And whenever they do show them 'caring' for civilians, the media makes it seems as if that's the norm and that all the soldiers have great love and care for the 'Iraaqi citizens. It's fake love, an empty hand of care and an army with no morals that lies to the world that they are the best."[94]

On June 28, 2008, Khan wrote a poem titled, "You talk of 9/11… but 9/11 happens everyday in my lands…":[95]

"You talk of how 9/11 was a day you suffered, And how it was a day where it killed 3,000, And a sad day that must be remembered for eternity…

"And it is a day you keep reminding us about, And you cry over it repeatedly…

"When does the second face of the hypocrite expose itself?

"In Palestine, my people are bombed constantly, Homes bulldozed like grass being cut with a lawnmower.

"In Afghanistan and 'Iraaq, my people are cowardly bombed from the sky, Most of the time, killing women and children, And destroying homes and families.

"In Somalia, my people are raped and their neighborhoods bombed, Until my people wake up every morning, expecting the worst.

"But of course, none of this matters to you.

"Because the blood of an American is worth more than a Muslim…

"So glad tidings of hypocrisy to the two faced people, Who cry of innocent deaths on 9/11,

"But turn their faces away towards the innocent deaths of daily life, Committed by its own people and her allies.

"And glad tidings to these two faced hypocrites, Who attack the Muslim lands after 9/11 based on retaliation, Yet, for some reason, the Muslims don't have this same right, When they retaliated for the crimes of America On September the 11th.

"You talk of 9/11, But 9/11 happens everyday in my lands."

Khan on the Online Jihad Forums

On October 8, 2008, Khan wrote about the Online Jihad Network,[96] in an important post about online jihad and the main forums: "As many have started to note, the major Jihadi Networks – such as al-Ekhlaas (which is the cream of the crop), al-Firdaws, Al-Ma'arik al-Salafiyya, Shura and al-Faloja – have been down for about a month. For those who don't know, these are the forums which give the official and authentic voice of the Mujahideen and their views. They are vital forums because they chiefly develop the Salafi-Jihadi culture. The majority of what you see on this blog is from these forums such as the videos, statements, translations and whatnot. Our actual contribution to the Jihadi culture is very little compared to what we import. And since many of the Kuffaar are terrified of this blog as well as the amount of them in the Government Agencies that keep tap of it, you can imagine just how high-ranking these forums are. For these forums to be hacked is a very big deal.

"However, there are some points and reminders that are important to lay out regarding this situation for those who are both informed of this as well as those who are new to this:

"-Taking down the forums does not kill the Jihadi culture entirely since this culture is firmly rooted in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Those who stick to the traditional method are those who revive this culture whether they do so consciously or not. This is a reminder for the Kuffaar that are celebrating behind their monitors; the inevitable result of shutting down the forums is that there will be other channels to revive the culture… In these difficult times for the Admins of the forums, we must not forget that they are technical experts in their respected IT fields. They are not ignorant youtube-google browsers that just stumble upon information; rather, these brothers are well-trained in their fields and they take their work very seriously. In this case, it could be that they are moving servers to different countries and building their security defenses from scratch, hence the long downtime. The point is one, two or three months of downtime doesn't mean anything except that they are re-building their networks with more caution and vigor than before, In Sha' Allah.

"-The Kuffaar who celebrate on such occasions as these are the quickest to forget that there are minor forums and sites which the Mujahideen still get their statements and media releases across successfully. We have been seeing this work flawlessly for the past month on Arabic forums such as Ansar al-Jihad, Noon as-Salafiyya, Shamookh as well as non-Arabic forums that are not directly affiliated with the authentic Salafi-Jihadi voice.

"-The active shutting down of the forums is a reminder to the Muslim Community worldwide that there is an actual struggle of the disbelievers to not give the Muslims a chance to express their thoughts and spread their media. It is clear that any form of media by the Muslims exposing the Western Governments is considered a threat; and this is a glad tiding to us that the disbelieving hypocrites are not pleased with our Millah (see 2:120) nor can they handle their weaknesses being exposed. Interestingly enough, the majority of what is put out on these forums are bits and pieces of guidance for the Muslim community in these troubling times; these documents, discussions, and books primarily focused on rectifying the 'Aqeedah of the Muslims and clearing the thick cloud of dust from the air of international politics and religious issues. The fact that they were hacked by the disbelievers is a sign that these disbelievers don't even want us to be guided and would rather want us to be misguided like them.

"-Finally, it is a reminder to all of the believers that the internet war is only one part of this war against the West. The physical battle is the most important battle and this is where the success of the Ummah lies in. With Allah's help, our Admins will help bring these forums back up and continue their Jihad of the tongue against the worldwide disbelief."

Khan In "The Return of the Blog"

On January 5, 2009, Khan wrote, in a post titled "The Return of the Blog,"[97] that "after a brief halt, our blog has returned. The blog was not shutdown due to any hacks or infiltration or heavy traffic or server reports, rather it was shutdown on our own accord in order that we may move the servers. We apologize for the delay, however the move is successful and this will be permanent, In Sha' Allah... In addition, al-Thabaat forums are back up. Please visit the main page here. We have dedicated a video to the return of the blog below to strike fear in the hearts of the Kuffaar and Munafiqeen. Please pass the message on."[98]

At the end of the blog post was a video posted on Khan's YouTube page with the username "AbuRisaas."[99] As of May 2012, this YouTube page was still active and had five videos on it.

Khan often posted comments about his blog being shut down and moved to other hosts. On January 29, 2009, he wrote about creating a Google group to communicate with his fellow online jihadis: "We have created a Google group for all of those who are interested in staying updated about the situation of this blog. If this blog is shutdown again or goes down for maintenance, then members of this group will be notified when it comes back up, especially if the URL is changed. In addition, if there are any issues that you would like to discuss that have not been discussed before on this blog, then this Google group will be the means to do so. If you would like to be a part of this google group, please leave a comment that has your E-mail address (we will keep it private); we will then proceed to notify you via E-mail for further steps."[100]

Khan Criticizes White House for "Cheap Shot"

On January 15, 2009, Khan wrote a post criticizing the White House for its "cheap shot" against a bin Laden video. He stated: "The White House gave a despicable, arrogant, pathetic sucker punch statement (x10) regarding the recent Shaykh Usama video that was released. They said, 'The White House said Wednesday that the recent audiotape believed to carry a message from Osama bin Laden reflects the "isolation" of the al-Qaida leader whose influence over the terrorist network has waned. [...] "It appears this tape demonstrates his isolation and continued attempts to remain relevant at a time when al-Qaida's ideology, mission and agenda are being questioned and challenged throughout the world," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House.'

"Talk about a cheap shot! These enemies of Allah cannot even admit that what Shaykh Usama said is correct! How arrogant! In addition, they have to lie their way through to hide the reality from the world! AllahuAkbar! Anyone with a head can easily see that America's support is fading throughout the world: For the past few years, have we seen massive protests around the world – expressed in the millions of conscious human beings – against al-Qaa'idah's war in 'Iraq or against the United States' war in 'Iraq? For the past few years, have we seen massive anti-war movements against the policies of al-Qaa'idah or against the policies of the United States? For the past few years, have we seen protesters - both Muslim and non-Muslim - burn Jihad flags or American flags? For the past few years, have we seen large number of defectors and anti-war veterans coming out of al-Qaa'idah's army or America's army? For the past few years, have we seen protesters burn down al-Qaa'idah hot spots or American franchises? For the past few years, have we seen protesters proclaim that Usama bin Ladin is a liar or that Bush is a liar? For the past few years, have we seen political cartoons humiliating al-Qaa'idah more than America? For the past few weeks, have we seen protesters throw shoes at Jihadi symbols or American symbols? For the past few weeks, have we not seen the world go absolutely nuts when the American backed Jewish terrorists invaded Gaza? Or where they protesting al-Qaa'idah's intent to fight the Israeli's? Indeed, it is the liars in the White House that are the ones who are isolated from the rest of the world.

"Allahu Akbar! When was the last time you saw a regime lie this much and puff up their chests this high?

"May the curse of Allah be upon you white liars!

"May Allah disgrace you sons of Pharaoh!

"May Allah punish every single one of you lying dirty Kuffar!

"May Allah expose you for your war crimes upon humanity!

"May Allah humiliate you Kuffar on the Day of Judgment!

"May Allah hasten the destruction of your Democrazy!"[101]

Khan "To Obama... The U.S. Is At War With Islam"

On April 8, 2009, Khan wrote a blog post titled, "To Obama & the Naive World: The U.S. is at War with Islam,"[102] that included an article by Al-Qaeda Ayman Al-Zawahiri titled "Have We Forgotten Who Is America?" What is noteworthy about this post is that Khan states that it is "[a]n excerpt from our recently released magazine to the idiotic people who believed what he said about US not being at war with Islam." The magazine to which he refers is the first issue of Jihad Recollections

Khan: "Swine Flu: Allah's Curse Upon America"

On April 27, 2009, Khan posted an article titled "The Swine Flu: Allah's Curse Upon America."[103] In it, he stated: "Everything comes from Allah. Anyone who disbelieves in that statement is not a Muslim. Anyone with eyes can clearly see that this new disease is a curse from Allah upon America. The Mujahideen and those who support them continue to ask Allah to destroy America. Allah responded. Today, they are being destroyed military, economically, and now they are being destroyed with a new disease that is spreading fast. May Allah protect the Muslims in the West from this disease and may this disease reach all the enemies of Allah so that the American Government can no longer move a finger against the Ummah! […] The people of the world should start realizing that the prohibition of pork in Islam has more benefits than harm. Islam is the only way out for success in both worlds. In addition, Americans need to start realizing that their Government is fighting Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala in this bogus 'war on terrorism'. The lesson of the day: if you fight Allah, Allah will terminate you in both worlds. By the way, according to al-Jazeera, this flu has also reached Israel! I ask my Rabb to continue punishing America, her allies and Israel in ways we never expected."[104]

Khan Responds To News Reports On Him

On May 17, 2008, Khan commented on a Fox News report about his blog – which the report called a "'gateway drug' to terror." He wrote, "The Kuffaar behind FOX News have done a short report on our blog. Let's look at some of the things they said.

"'When former Guantanamo inmate Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi blew up an Iraqi police station – and himself – in April, a U.S.-based Web site was quick to post a reaction. "This is what you call a success story," Revolution.Muslimpad said of the homicide attack, which killed six. It described al-Ajmi as a hero, a "martyrdom bomber" who sacrificed "his life for the sake of Islam..." When the blog, also called "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge," listed its top "scholars of Islam" and people to "take knowledge from," it wasn't hard to notice that the list of 63 names contained mostly known terrorists – including Usama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The site provides links to their works, all translated into English.'

"Why do you call them 'terrorists?' You call them terrorists because they believe Jihaad is an Islaamic obligation; and this is firmly rooted in the Qur'aan and Sunnah, our primary texts. Go through the Qur'aan and Sunnah and you will find a plethora of verses and sayings regarding Jihaad and the lofty position in Paradise for the one who performs it. So in reality, you are calling my Prophet, Muhammad – peace be upon him – a terrorist. But of course, you guys won't say that directly because you fear the wrath of the Muslims. So instead you will retort to calling the believers who practice the teachings of Islaam – and one of the teachings is Jihaad against the occupier – as terrorist because you are too cowardly to admit to the reality of who you are referring to. And you call Usaamah bin Laadin a terrorist because of the September 11th attacks. His men destroyed the WTC and a part of the Pentagon and in the process, it had killed over 3,000 people. Therefore, you call him a terrorist.

"But when America shamelessly bombed Hiroshima (and many, many other Countries) with a weapon that was much stronger than 4 airplanes combined, you don't call her a terrorist nor live as a people who disassociate themselves from her. We all know that Hiroshima killed more than 3,000 people. Why the double standard? Why is Usaamah a 'terrorist' but the American Government isn't? Is it because white people are more valuable than dark skinned people?

"The reason why you don't call America a terrorist is because she did an act of 'retaliation' against the nation of Japan. They did this because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor – a large military base full of military personnel – and it killed quite a lot. So as an act of retaliation, America bombed Hiroshima to nothing and it killed way more than those that were killed in the Pearl Harbor incident. Of course, many Americans probably couldn't swallow this, but the vast majority were OK with it because they knew that 'Japan deserved it' for their attack on Pearl Harbor, thus the act of retaliation was justifiable even though it killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people that had absolutely nothing to do with Pearl Harbor or the Japanese military; in fact many were women and children. But hey, it was justified after all, right??

"Since then, very few have successfully 'demonized' the image of America as an extreme terrorist government that shamelessly and cowardly killed thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Why? Well for the most part… 'the act of retaliation was justified because the Japanese ambushed the Americans… and even though the Americans killed way to many innocent civilians in the atomic bombs, at least it sent a strong message to the Japanese government to halt their attacks.' So it was also an act of deterrence. America could have dropped more nuclear bombs upon Japan, literally wiping out the Country, but perhaps this was only done twice (Nagasaki being the other) in order to give Japan a severe warning, even though countless amount of civilians were killed shamelessly. Now, let's look at September 11th. I'm not going to justify it nor am I going to promote it. I'm just going to apply logic and be fair and just because as a Muslim, we are obligated to be fair and just with everyone, including our enemies.

"You say Usaamah bin Laadin is a terrorist because he killed 3,000 people on that day. Why did Usaamah bin Laadin do it? Was he bored? Did he want to create chaos for no reason? Was he just sick minded at the time and just wanted to see destruction? This is what you want the American public to believe, but clearly, none of these aforementioned reasons were the case. Usaamah bin Laadin did September 11th because it was an act of retaliation. You can probably sense where this is going. Usaamah has said this on many occasions

"Usaamah said, 'The Events of September 11 are but a reaction to the continuous injustice and oppression being practiced against our sons in Palestine and Iraq and in Somalia and in Southern Sudan and in other places like Kashmir and Assam…'

"So again, why is Usaamah a terrorist for doing an act of retaliation – for the crimes of America and her immense support for an extremist terrorist state that openly kills and oppresses Muslims – which killed about 3,000 people, and America is not a terrorist for doing an act of retaliation – for the Japanese ambush of Pearl Harbor – which killed well over 200,000 people and more are dying due to the radiation of the atomic bombs? Why the double standard? And you know what? I haven't even started on what the Americans did directly in the 'Iraaq bombing campaign (of course, during Saddam's time) with their use of the depleted uranium and how it killed over one million 'Iraaqi people, mostly children! Just watch this. So either you be fair by stop calling Usaamah bin Laadin a terrorist or you start calling the American Government a terrorist."[105]

"'He launched his site while taking classes at a community college and during his off-hours as a knife salesman, it was reported.' What does this have to do with my blog? Are you trying to suggest that selling kitchenware items and 'free time' is what 'radicalized' me? Honestly, what is the point of even mentioning such things? 'Intelligence experts told that Khan may be working with other radical Muslim bloggers based in the U.S., such as Yousef al-Khattab.' Not once have I met Brother Yousef al-Khattab in person nor have I talked to him (whether it be over the phone, E-mail etc.). That just goes to show you how 'intelligent' your 'experts' are."[106]

Khan Responds To Neighbors' Reactions To Him

On June 5, 2008, Khan wrote a post about his neighbors' reactions to learning that an Al-Qaeda sympathizer – himself – was living in their neighborhood. In the post, titled "Response to a disbeliever spreading mischief in my neighborhood,"[107] he wrote, "There is a disbeliever or perhaps a few of them that are spreading mischief in my local neighborhood. He or she went to every single mail box in the neighborhood and placed a 3 page document about my blog on it. Here is a picture:

"On the first page, he writes at the top,

"'Your neighbor, Samir Khan, has made international news with his Jihad supporting website. He routinely posts pictures of wounded and dead American soldiers and celebrates their suffering. Right below, is a post celebrating the tormented suicide of one of our veterans.'

"And then he shows this post: My response to this person is: Before I touch upon anything, I say to this person (and everyone else): If you have any questions, then drop a comment on this blog and we'll discuss as intelligent human beings provided that you follow the blog rules. I post pictures of wounded and dead American soldiers so that the American public can realize that their sons are being injured and killed for the sake of Bush – a man who lied to the entire nation and world about the 'Iraaq war, a man who unjustly invaded Afghanistan, a man who sends his troops to Somalia, and a man who heavily supports the illegal Occupation of Israel. How can one fight and die for this war criminal?

"My response to this person is: Whether you like it or not, it is the obligation of every Muslim to rouse the Muslims to support the cause of Islaam against the cause of infidelity when the disbelievers attack the lands of the Muslims. Just because I live in America, doesn't mean I support their Army and Government; rather, my allegiance is to Allah. I love that which Allah loves and hate that which Allah hates. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: So my allegiance is to Allah and not the people or false governments. Whatever Allah orders us to do as Muslims, we do it seeking His pleasure with the sincerest of intentions.

"Also, I humbly ask the American public and those who read this to read the following post regarding how there is a difference between violence and Jihaad; it is unjust to label Jihaad as 'violence' since Jihaad itself deserves its own category:

"On the last page, towards the bottom, this person writes: 'We do not condone or encourage any violence against Samir, however, you should stop by and ask him why he does this to the very people who provide him with his good life. He also volunteers at a local Mosque, perhaps they can explain what they are teaching him there.'

"My response to this person is: Obviously, whoever did this should have realized that by giving out my details (esp. my address), a person can be motivated by violence to do something unlawful according to American law. Or people could start causing unnecessary trouble; so think before you act. This was quite childish and mischievous for you to do. As for the one who provides me this good life, it is from Allah. It is not from the American Government, or job, or salary etc. Rather, it is Allah who is the provider and He provides whom He wills in order to test them. So whether I am in America, the UK, France, or Russia, Allah tests me with this wealth which He has given me and the life which He has blessed me with. It is a test to see if I stick to the fundamentals of the religion and not stray from it, no matter where I live. It is a test to see if I stick to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) to the best of my ability and not whither here and there for my desires or for the sake of the people. It is a test to see if I live for Allah and die for Allah since living for the sake of disbelief and dying upon it is the path to the Ultimate loss. America is not the provider; rather, she is the means to the provision. Ultimately it is Allah who is the giver and taker of everything and to Him we return alone and stand accountable for the deeds which we did in this life. After death, the scrolls are rolled up and your chances are over. So prepare and prepare well for the moment when your soul departs this world to the next. Accepting Islaam is the first step. After that, it is to remain firm by understanding the religion, practicing it and preaching it. As for the local Mosque I attend, nobody teaches me anything there; we don't even have an Imaam. I get my knowledge from the various Scholars around the world, books, lectures, and the ultimate source of all my knowledge is the Qur'aan and Sunnah. Nothing which I say is foreign to Islaam; rather, this is all a part of Islaam and I am not one of those who are ashamed of his religion."[108]

Khan Responds To TV Reports On Him

On July 22, 2008, Khan blogged about a local TV station's report on him:

"Recently, a news station has done a report on our blog (for the sake of ratings of course). They have done a report previously, but we didn't bother showing it since it was completely useless. This time however, in addition to their useless reporting, they threw lies upon the blog (for more ratings). The thing is, it doesn't only stop there; it goes beyond this and into the frail of the backwards hypocrisy of American law as well as the mindset of the Islamophobes.

"First, let's take a look at the video. Starting at 1:28 all the way till 1:42, we have never ever seen these video footage's before. In fact, we don't know where on our website they accessed such videos. It seems to us that they went to YouTube and searched for Jihadi videos and then associated it with our website (unless they think we own YouTube). We haven't seen any video footage of the dead American hanging from the back of the truck nor children singing songs. This is an example of a white American lie. They associate something to us which is not true and use the most delicate words to capture the emotions of the people. These people have attempted to lied about the blog in order to destroy the image that is presented. We ask the American people to harshly question WBTV in their attempt to bring footage's which have never been presented on this blog before. In fact, we challenge WBTV to show us where they found this footage on our blog. To us, it is clear that they showed these images in order to destroy the image of the blog. So in turn, we will destroy the image of WBTV to the American public and expose them for their lies and hypocrisy. Anyone who attempts to ambush us in their 'interviews' unfairly will have their credibility and trustworthiness humiliated.

"Secondly, in the beginning of the video, they mention that they are 'investigating' this blog. Just what exactly are they 'investigating?' Does it mean that now they are allowed to spy on and secretly record one of their US Citizens (who is obviously minding his own business in public) as they have done? Does it mean that they are now allowed to defame the public image of a US Citizen and make him lose his job which they have done? Does it mean that they can constantly harass a US Citizen by waiting for hours at his front door step, taking many pictures of his house and cars, trying to get his local neighbors on their side, visiting his local Mosque to harass more US Citizens and bothering him whenever they want? Does it mean that now they can show the world who the US Citizen is (which he was keeping private) so that the violent American's can have a chance to attack him, follow him, and bother his family as it has happened? What on earth are they 'investigating' when all the answers to their questions are on the blog itself? We are not complaining though because the reward is with Allah. We are only showing the hypocrisy of America's 'freedom.' Where is the 'freedom' of this US Citizen when he is constantly harassed and ambushed and can no longer get a job without being harassed – a freedom which the United States boasts about? Allah says, When it is said to them: Make not mischief on the earth, they say: Why, we only Want to make peace! Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize (it) not. [Qur'aan: 2: 11-12] And this is the same story when it comes to Bush's Administration in their hypocritical attempt to establish Democracy in the Middle East. They claim to bring 'peace' and 'liberation' but they only destroy the lives of the people…

"Even a few 9/11's would still not do justice to the extreme act of terrorism that the United States committed in Japan. And don't get us started on Vietnam, 'Iraaq, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere. But this is just a scratch on the surface. Imagine if China said, 'America has weapons of mass destruction… they hold a powerful nuclear arsenal… their President is a tyrant because the poor keep getting poorer and the rich keep getting richer… and now the poor can't afford the gas prices… and their President is a war criminal because he has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraaq, Afghanistan and elsewhere… and many of his people are sick and tired of American Democracy due to the injustice and the open display and promotion of sin and corruption… therefore, we have decided to invade America and liberate that Country from its evil…' Now that's more justified than the American invasion of Iraaq! But let's look at it a little more deeply.

"If a Sovereign nation invades your Country based on lies, and then ends up killing thousands of your native people, and raping hundreds of your native women (oh wow, it already sounds like the invasion of the Native Americans…), and humiliates thousands of prisoners (i.e., Abu Ghraib etc.), are you a terrorist for defending your Country? Or are you a doofus for standing around, submitting as a 'house negro' and 'boot licker' to American foreign policy, and letting them corrupt the earth? Once you understand that, then you have understood the first step within the mentality of the Mujaahideen. And this is right of every human being. Essentially, America is launching a war propagation effort to defame all forms of retaliation in order to protect the image of her throne. By the will of Allah, this throne will soon crumble and the rule of Islaam will be the final rule; and this will be the time when the American people will wish that they had the Islaamic rule much beforehand due to the great justice and purity in the society, economy, and politics. Fourthly, these fools at WBTV call intelligent discussion on Jihaad and showing the media which the US Media purposely hides from the American public as 'cheer leading for Jihaad.' If these people knew anything about basic human rights, they would know that it is the right of every human being to defend his homeland. But for them of course, it's terrorism if Muslim's do it. In addition, Islaam takes defense of the Muslim lands a step further and makes it an Islaamic obligation; so to bash me for my focus on Jihaad is to bash the Islaamic Religion…"[109]

On July 23, 2008, Khan responded in a blog post to another TV report about him. He wrote, "WBTV is at it again. They have a 3 part series on our blog and we will respond every time. In the article, it is written, He claims to have never before seen the video footage we found in attached links to his site. Yes, and you have yet to prove that the link was on my site. All I ask is to point out where you found the video footages between 1:28 and 1:42. If you prove it, then I'll take it back (but I've never seen it); and if you can't prove it, then it stands true that you are fabricators. They wrote, He calls the reporting 'useless' and a way to try and get ratings. Yeah obviously it's useless because the New York Times did a report on it and it answered all of your questions which you keep repeating. Secondly, if you have any questions, you can just simply ask on this blog and I will answer you…

"They wrote, Two pictures posted on Samir Khan's website jump out at you. The first… American soldiers heading to Iraq with the caption, 'Here they come.' Second photo? Flag-draped coffins, with the words, 'And here they go.' Opinionated commentary like that – and explosive videos – leave no doubt this 22-year old publicly hates America… Yes, the purpose of that post was to show that the US war on Islaam is completely useless. You'll have thousands enter Baghdad and you'll have thousands leaving Baghdad in coffins. In addition, it was to show that fighting and dying for a flag that represents nothing except destroyed morals, corruption, murder, cowardice and injustice is not worth it. As for those who fight for Allah, then know that Allah is The Irresistible, The All Compelling Subduer, The Abaser, The Exalter, The Utterly Just, The Overseeing Protector, The Nourisher, The All-Mighty, The Tremendous, The Most Pure, The All-Knowing, The Ever Forgiving, The Ever Providing, The All-Loving; and these are just some of his names and attributes. Allah is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth and the American flag is nowhere near the throne of the All-Majestic, Allah. The American flag had a beginning and will have an end and Allah has no beginning and no end. Our troops, the Muslims, fight to meet Allah as martyrs – one who has sold his life to Allah in order to seek the eternal pleasure in the Hereafter, whereas your troops, the Americans, fight to meet their opponents as army puppets – and they are of those who seek the pleasures of this temporary world. So weigh our lofty goals on the grandest of scales, And you will come to know that your goals are of no match, Because our dead are in Paradise, whereas your dead are in Hell.

"And even if you were to give the Mujaahideen all the gold in the world, they would never change their Islaamic creed due to their firm belief in the Hereafter. As for you, the American Government can make 'promises' and good salaries so that the American's would be attracted to fight for their cause; but their well-being in the Hereafter is no cause for your Government and great humiliation will be their end. Islaam is what will save mankind from falling into the pits of Hell; not Uncle Sam. To say I 'publicly hate America' is incorrect. I publicly hate the American Government, its Army, its house Negroes and its stooges. Why? Robert Scheuer can tell you. It has something to do with American Foreign Policy if you haven't already guessed… The American Government is what Allah has described, When it is said to them: 'Make not mischief on the earth,' they say: 'Why, we only Want to make peace!' Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize (it) not. [Qur'aan: 2: 11-12] I'm still waiting on intelligent responses by WBTV but all I'm seeing is garbage reporting, spreading of Islamophobia and open hatred for the Islaamic Religion (since Islaam ordains Jihaad). This is turning out to be as bad as FOX News."[110]

AQAP's "Inspire" Magazine – 2010-2012

Al-Qaeda Media Expands Reach with Khan's New English-Language Magazine

Samir Khan's work as a blogger and as editor of Jihad Recollections was soon to find a wider audience in a larger and more prominent jihadi publication. In the days leading up to June 30, 2010, the major jihadi web forums featured promotional banners for a new English-language Al-Qaeda magazine called Inspire. The magazine was produced under the auspices of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's media wing, Al-Malahim, and was to include an exclusive interview with the Emir of AQAP, Abu Basir Al-Wuhayshi, as well as a "guest article" by Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki. Although described as a guest writer, it stands to reason that Al-Awlaki was the star attraction for media attention to the magazine. The Yemen-born American citizen Al-Awlaki, who was killed alongside Khan, was involved in terrorist attacks within the U.S., notably those by "underwear bomber" Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab and Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, and his teachings were, and still are, avidly followed by Western jihadis. Khan was his main disciple – and Inspire's editor.

Inspire is notable as a major vehicle for AQAP efforts in outreach to Western Al-Qaeda recruits and in inspiring homegrown terrorism, and in helping to create an army of Al-Qaeda followers in the West. In Issue IX, the editor wrote: "As for this blessed magazine, it is here to stay because it was not found to end with the end of its founders. Rather, with their end, it would only become deep-rooted and its objectives would become clearer. This magazine was set up to fulfill two objectives. The first one is to call for and inspire to jihad in the English speaking world and second one is to deliver to every inspired Muslim anywhere around the world the operational know-how of carrying out attacks from within the West. Inspire is and will be an effective tool regardless of who is in charge of it, as long as it aims at fulfilling those mentioned objectives. Hence, we are still spreading the word and we are still publishing America's worst nightmare."

Khan's Terrorist Connections

One of the most significant things Khan did, on his blog and in his publications, was to help introduce Anwar Al-Awlaki to the West, and to promote him – long before jihadis in the West had heard of him. He wrote about other American Al-Qaeda operatives, such as spokesman Adam Gadahn, and about other prominent English-speaking jihadis. He also wrote about the importance of online jihad – a subject on which he actually provided valuable insight.

Khan: Spreading the Message of Anwar Al-Awlaki

On his blog "The Ignored Puzzle Piece of Knowledge," to accompany his October 6, 2008 posting of Al-Awlaki's "Imam Anwar al-'Awlaki: Is the Franklin morphing into the Washington?!" Khan wrote: "Imam Anwar's article is a comment on the current Economic Crisis in America. Alhamdullilah, CNN just reported that the stocks plunged again. Allah is making America bleed to death; and this is because of their transgressions against His worshipers and their sins which they spread amongst themselves. Here is Imam Anwar's article:

"'For those readers outside of the US who have no clue what the title of this post is talking about: Benjamin Franklin is the US statesman who is featured on the face of the $100 bill and George Washington is on the $1 bill. Even though I am not an economist there is an issue on this topic that I would like to share with my brothers and sisters. Gold has been recognized as currency for thousands of years. FIAT money (Paper money) is a new invention and is only worth the political and economical strength of its issuers and the trust the world has in this political and economical strength. That is obviously the case with nations that issue paper money without gold backing such as the US. Because the US economy is the powerhouse of the world and is the greatest economy on the face of the planet its currency enjoys the trust of the world. It has become the most recognized and it is the world's foremost reserve currency. Today rather than commodities being valued in gold or silver they are valued in dollars. Oil for example is priced in dollars. In fact gold itself is priced in dollars. The Messenger of Allah says: Allah has destined that whatever goes up must come down. Therefore if the US falls politically or economically the dollar falls with it.

"'Today America is the home of an interesting assortment of sins that are handpicked from all over the nations that existed before us: the obstinacy of the people of Nuh; the arrogance of the people of Aad; the rejection of Allah's signs by the people of Thamud; the sodomy of the people of Lut; the financial deviance of the people of Shuayb as America is the biggest dealer and promoter of the interest based economy; the oppression of Abu Jahl et al; the greed, deception, love of the temporal life, and the bogusness of the children of Israel; along with the arrogance of the Pharaoh who had the misled notion that just because he is the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and is at the top the greatest army of his time he can somehow defeat the servants of Allah. Brothers and Sisters this leads to the belief that the punishment of Allah is hovering over America. When? And how? Allah knows best.

"'If you are a person whom Allah has bestowed wealth upon then you should avoid owning property in the US and you should diversify out of the dollar into gold and silver. Gold and silver have retained there value over history and there is no reason to think that they would not do the same in the future. In addition to this being the prudent thing to do from a financial point of view, it is also the recommended thing to do Islamicly. Muslims should not be supporting the economy of a nation that is fighting them. Finally, for those who are contemplating purchasing a home in the US based on mortgage which is a clear form of Riba they should fear Allah. In addition to it being one of the most evil sins in Islam it is putting money in the wrong place. Allah says that He will destroy Riba. It is a promise from Allah. There is no blessing in anything based on it. What is happening in the US nowadays is a testimony to that. Do the disbelievers think for a second that they are safe from the punishment of Allah? Nay, the punishment of Allah is near.'"[111]

Khan: Communicating with American Al-Qaeda Central Spokesman Adam Gadahn

Khan Posts Gadahn On "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge" Blog

On October 6, 2008, the same day he posted Al-Awlaki's article "Imam Anwar al-'Awlaki: Is the Franklin morphing into the Washington?!" Khan posted excerpts from a video by Gadahn, titled "The Believer Is Not Stung From The Same Hole Twice."[112]

Referring to the video, Khan noted: "This is of course an English release. As usual, it refutes the claims of the pathetic claimants that Adam Gadahn was killed in an air strike some months back. In this release, the brother focuses on Pakistan post-Musharraf as well as the fake image that the Pakistani Government is showing that they are 'protecting' their borders from their ally, the United States. Here are some notable excerpts from the release: 'It's time for you to put aside tribal, ethnic and territorial differences and petty worldly disputes not just for now but forever and unite to restore the glories of your forefathers and hasten, Allah willing, the defeat of the Zionist-crusader enemy and the establishment of the Islamic state, the Ummah, the so eagerly anticipated.' He also said, 'The enemies of Islam are facing a crushing defeat, which is beginning to manifest itself in the extending crisis their economy is experiencing. The crisis, whose primary cause, in addition to the abortive and unsustainable crusades they are waging in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, is they are turning their backs on Allah's revealed laws, which forbid interest-bearing transactions, exploitation, greed and and injustice in all its forms and demand the worship of Allah alone to the exclusion of all false gods, including money and power.'"

Khan Publishes Gadahn in Jihad Recollections Magazine

Khan's Jihad Recollections magazine includes numerous articles by and quotes from Gadahn. The second issue, dated May 2009, included excerpts from Gadahn's infamous video titled "How to Prevent a Repeat of the Gaza Holocaust."

Khan Publishes Gadahn in Inspire Magazine

Inspire included articles by "Abu Suhail" – which, according to the National Terrorism Center, is one of Gadahn's aliases.[113] An article by Abu Suhail in the Spring 2011 Issue V of Inspire, titled "The Way Forward," was dedicated primarily to the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Most interestingly, the article quotes John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman – whom Gadahn frequently cites.

Issue VII of Inspire, dated Fall 2011, included an Abu Suhail article titled "Iran and the Conspiracy Theory." The article claimed that Iran had promoted conspiracy theories about who is really behind 9/11 because of its envy of Al-Qaeda's prowess and accomplishments. It noted: "Iran and the Shi'a in general do not want to give Al-Qaeda credit for the greatest and biggest operation ever committed against America because this would expose their lip-service jihad against the Great Satan."

This article was one of many volleys in an ongoing dispute between Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Hizbullah. Previously, in April 2008, Al-Qaeda's media wing As-Sahab released a two-hour audio recording by Al-Zawahiri that was a response to questions posted on Al-Qaeda forums for him to answer. One question concerned "the theory that has circulated in the Middle East and elsewhere that Israel was behind the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." In his response, Al-Zawahiri accused Hizbullah's Al-Manar television of starting the rumor, saying, "The purpose of this lie is clear – (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it."[114]

In Issue IX of Inspire, "Abu Suhail" wrote in an article titled "Where Are the People of Al-Sham?": "ABU SUHAIL, YEMEN – The unfortunate events taking place in Syria makes me wonder: Where are the people of al-Sham? The virtues of al- Sham found in the aĥadith are full of wonder. Aĥadith like, 'The foundation of the state of the believers is in al-Sham,' and, 'When the great trials occur, Allah will send from Damascus helpers, from the most noble knights of the Arabs, and the best of them in weaponry. Allah will assist the religion by way of them,' are enough to make you think as to when the people of this region will show what they're made of.

"Al-Assad's attack on the sons of al-Sham will continue to be a massacre if the people don't start doing something to seriously counteract the military. Reliance on the Gulf States and Western powers has proven futile in this event since neither of them have much interest in Syria to begin with. Their endless talks and threats show that they've clearly slapped the gear into turtle speed. I mean, the West's hypocrisy lays bare for all to see when it comes to comparing Libya vs. Syria. In Libya's case, it is becoming all the more apparent that the question on the mind of their leaders was not 'should we invade for the sake of the innocent?' but 'should we invade to guarantee oil preservation?' Cornel West said it all in his interview with Riz Khan, 'Two and a half years ago, we had precious Palestinians who were being massacred by the hundreds. Barack Obama didn't say a mumbling word.'"

"With that said, I must admit, it is quite humorous to pick the peels off the foreshadowing actions of the West. It's a can of worms waiting to be opened; and they have little option but to open it. If they were to start military operations in Syria, then the world would cry (thanks to media giants like al-Jazeera) for intervention in Bahrain. If they went into Bahrain, they would be pushed to do something about invading Iran. Then the world would complain about the crushing of protester freedom in Saudi Arabia, some of the Gulf States and so on. And if the West holds back, everyone hates them. For us, that's good; they put themselves in that position and deserve to remain in such a dilemma."

Issues VI and VII of Inspire both announced an upcoming interview with Adam Gadahn titled "The Arab Intifada: Hopes, Concerns & Dangers." Both issues claimed that the "exclusive" interview was coming soon, but neither the interview nor any further announcement of it appeared in Issue IX.

Summer 2010: Inspire Issue I – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Releases First Edition of Online Magazine[115]

On July 1, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the first edition of its English-language online magazine Inspire. The magazine, a slickly produced propaganda document, represents an effort to engage the English-language world and to recruit English-speaking Muslims to join the cause of jihad.

Inspire's primary message to its readers is that they too can be part of Al-Qaeda and its mission, but from the comfort of their own home. Instead of traveling thousands of miles to join the jihad, the reader need only turn on their computer and visit websites to receive training – i.e. viewing videos and listening to sermons of their favorite leaders, and learning to handle weapons, explosives and even planning attacks. For example, a Q&A section in the most recent edition of Inspire includes an unnamed Muslim living in the West asking for guidance regarding the best way to join jihad and reach the jihad fronts. The magazine's answer to him, and to all readers, is: "[B]ased on your ability, you choose the target [in your home area]. Your pool of targets is large, so make sure to think of all of the available options. An example of something local, easy, and effective is attacking an army recruiting center, nightclub, highway, or busy shopping mall."

Fall 2010: Inspire Issue II Features Samir Khan Article: "I Am Proud To Be a Traitor To America"

On October 11, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released its second issue of its English-language magazine Inspire. Among the topics presented is an interview with Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi (aka Sa'id Al-Shihri), an article by American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn titled "Legitimate Demands 2," and two articles by Anwar Al-Awlaki. The second edition also includes an article by Khan titled "I Am Proud To Be a Traitor to America."

The cover page of the article states that the following 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." The following are excerpts from the article:

"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 online work. I knew I had to rush out of America 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 'Sirya 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 acutely 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: "'f 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.'

"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 were not particularly happy about 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…

"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... 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?"

Winter 2010: Inspire Issue IV Features Samir Khan Article: "Muslims Join Jihad Not In Response to Actions by Israel and the U.S., But Because Jihad Is an Individual Duty"[116]

In an article in the Winter 2010 issue of Inspire, published January 16, 2011, Khan discusses the essential reason that causes Muslims to become jihadis. The article showed that Khan was fairly well-versed in Salafi-jihadi ideology and literature. Khan dismisses the notion that Muslims join the jihad movement for political reasons, namely grievances against the U.S. for its actions or anger over Israel's conduct vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Rather, the core issue that brings Muslims to join jihad is that it is a religious duty cast individually upon every Muslim. To support his claim, Khan summarizes the opinion of radical Islamist scholars, who have ruled that every Muslim must fight jihad in order to liberate the Muslim lands that have been invaded by foreign forces and rid them of the occupiers. According to these scholars, jihad is incumbent not only against non-Muslim occupiers, but against the secular, "apostate" regimes that aid them as well.

Khan summarizes the history of the idea that the current regimes in Islamic countries are apostate regimes that must be fought. The foremost example of such a regime, according to this notion, is the Saudi monarchy, to which Khan dedicates several paragraphs in order to explain its apostasy. This discussion is quite typical of AQAP's publications, due to the fact that it views the Saudi state as its main enemy.

Apropos his discussion of the faults of the Saudi government, Khan mentions an interesting anecdote, which is that the jihadis in Saudi Arabia claim that the security forces there use magicians and even contact "vile jinns" in order to locate the jihadis' hideouts. In a footnote, Khan writes, "This may shock many, but many mujahidin who made hijrah from there [i.e. jihadis who fled from Saudi Arabia to join AQAP in Yemen] have attested to it. The brothers make it a point to recite the daily adhkar [i.e. Koranic verses] especially in the morning and evenings for protection from these jinns that give away our positions." This testimony to superstitions among jihadis in AQAP is remarkable, since such superstitions clearly contradict the Salafi-jihadi creed.

Following are excerpts from the article:

"Th[e] central issue… is the catalyst of what makes a Muslim begin his journey as a jihadi. No, it is not the mass slaughter of the Palestinians by the Israelis nor the atrocious actions of America towards the Muslim world. It is not the jihadi hymns or the jihadi films… The central issue's makeup is entirely theological and fiqh based. The central issue is that jihad is individually obligatory (fardh 'ayn) on all Muslims from East to West, until all of our lands are freed. The issue of jihad being fardh 'ayn is the fulcrum of the modern jihad. The world is witnessing the rise of jihadis because of the very fact that Muslims are becoming more aware of the central issue, and thus their obligation towards God.

"This central issue was revived by [someone] who is referred to as 'the godfather of jihad', the Islamic Scholar Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. It was his revival of this issue that brought countless thousands of foreign fighters to Afghanistan to support their Afghan brethren against the Soviets. He really was the sole reason for the institution of what we now know as the global jihad… The argument Dr. Azzam brought forth was that this obligation started as early as the fall of Andalusia. Today, we have various lands that are occupied by foreign powers. Thus, the obligation has grown significantly today…"

"Then something of major significance happened. The idea of defending the Muslim lands from the disbelieving occupation forces had taken on a new meaning. It was an idea that paved the way for the Al-Qaeda organization. Mujahideen jurists and thinkers from Egypt, who had the lengthiest and toughest experience in working for the re-establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt, exported the idea that the so-called Muslim governments in the Islamic lands are in fact occupation forces. Unless and until they are removed physically, the Muslims would be living in the same state of sin similar to that of a foreign disbelieving army occupying a Muslim land…

"Today the Saudi monarchy is the prime example of this ugly apostasy. Their monarchy can be likened to dog dung wrapped in gold silk. They claim shari'ah as their law and use [Islam's two holy sites, Mecca and Madina] to their advantage of clinging onto power and validity in the ummah

"This is only the beginning. Then comes Saudi's romantic relationship with America, that includes military aid to fight Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula and in return the Crusaders are given military bases to launch wars against the Muslims around the world that go beyond the boundaries of their own laws in killing and weapon deployments; their protection of Israel from the Muslims; their childish interfaith dialogues that shamelessly calls for a new religion; the scholars they promote who justify anything that the government does; their use of magic and communication with vile jinn's to locate positions of the mujahideen; and finally their torture dungeons that don't even spare the elderly scholars…..

"If the mujahideen were to leave the jihad altogether, then imagine what America would have been able to accomplish in Afghanistan and Iraq! Fitna [strife] of all shades would roll out into the Muslim communities, adding open approval of sinful activity, kufr [heresy], shirk [polytheism], and fasād [corruption]. It would also undoubtedly give them supplementary power in the Islamic regions, making it possible for them to influence Muslims in religion, politics, and social life. All of this can already be seen in those areas that the mujahidin have not controlled. So why would any sane Muslim want to stand as an obstacle to the banner of tawĥīd – a banner which seeks the protection of the shari'ah's sanctity? This is what central issue comes down to."

Spring 2011: Inspire Issue V Features Samir Khan Article: "The Egyptian"[117]

In the fifth issue of Inspire, published March 29, 2011, Khan calls for the establishment of an Islamic state in post-revolution Egypt – a state in which the primary source of authority is the Koran and the Sunnah. Khan said that if the government decides against this, the Egyptians should demonstrate their loyalty to Allah, rather than to the government. He claimed that the U.S. demand that Egypt maintain its peace treaty with Israel runs counter to Islamic law. According to Khan, Egyptians must choose the path that is right according to Islam – which contradicts the one which is acceptable according to democratic principles.

Following are excerpts from the article:

"You, the Egyptian, are standing amidst one of the prime moments your country has ever gone through… How do you run your life? Is it by what the constitution says or by what the [Lord of the Universe] says?… Your loyalty should be to Allah and His Messenger.

"This means that all matters of disagreement or [matters that are] in question should be referred back to the Koran and Sunnah. Turning to this law or that leader only leads to a great loss in the afterlife… and those in position of leadership who don't judge by the shari'a are at the greatest loss here…

"The question now is: What do you do if your government decides not to rule by shari'a? Who does your loyalty go to? To the state or to Allah? The answer is clear and does not need to be expounded upon here. Wala' [loyalty] and bara'[disavowal] for [the sake of] Allah is the strongest knot of iman [faith]…

"Today your people have found themselves in a new dilemma… Sure, the enemy may have left the seat of authority, but you now are faced with a complex [conflict] between what is democratically acceptable and what is Islamically acceptable. What America wants – and has even put forward as a condition for the next government – is the maintenance of the peace treaty with Israel.

"In addition, they have already expressed their dissatisfaction [with the possibility] of the country falling under the rule of 'Islamists' or Muslims who fear their Lord. This is what is democratically acceptable and allows life to go on quietly. At the same time, it will contradict [one of] the fundamentals of Islamic law, which is that peace treaties with an enemy [whom one has an individual obligation]… to repel are null and void. [A leader] who makes such a decision will bear the sins – and this includes his administration and supporters. It is the shari'a way that will always lead to success in this life and the next, no matter the trials…"

Summer 2011: Inspire Issue VI Features Samir Khan Article: "Fawaz Al-Ma'Ribi: Know This Man"

In the sixth issue of Inspire, published July 18, 2011, Khan wrote an article dedicated to Fawaz Al-Ma'Ribi. The article also provides insight into Khan's editing of the magazine. The article, which Khan dedicated a to fellow AQAP member who was martyred, provided details showing that Samir was involved in fighting with AQAP in Yemen.

The following are excerpts from the article:

"He grew up in the harsh desert environment of Marib. After Amir Abu Basir, may Allah preserve him, and his brothers broke out of prison from Sana'aa in 2006, Fawaz soon joined the caravan of jihad and quickly became a trustworthy transporter."

Khan wrote, "He wasn't just a transporter. He was a passionate fighter. He was known for traveling with heavy ammunition…He would also never go a day without praying two raka 'at in the morning. I still remember that day when I was traveling with him and asked him a question. I noticed he didn't respond and looked at him to see if he was paying attention. Instead, I found him in prayer. He was praying while driving! I was astonished and praised Allah that such men existed in the ranks of the mujahidin…"

"I remember one time when I sat in the backseat of a pickup truck while he was resting in the passenger side. I just looked at him for a long time and thought about the amount of ajr (reward) he was getting. I quickly became jealous and told my companion sitting next to me how I wished to have ajr similar to this man. It was because he was not only fighting the enemies of Allah constantly and transporting ordinary mujahidin to operations and safe houses, but he was also transporting the leaders of jihad, and the people who have remarkably important responsibilities. None of these important people would have ever been able to fulfill their duties for the jihad if it were not for Fawaz transporting them to their destinations. In other words, he was like a gear that kept the entire movement rolling and alive. And although we have many mujahidin that do work similar to his, an all-around person like Fawaz can never be replaced."

"There was a time when I was thinking about what kind of image to use for the front cover of the forth issue of the Inspire Magazine. I couldn't think of anything related to the main subject until I looked at Fawaz's face. He had the eyes of a lion. The ferocious look in his eyes conveyed everything that the mujahidin were. And just to make sure that I saw the same thing as everyone else, I asked around me if that's what they saw in his eyes. Everyone agree. When I told him of the idea, he laughed and compiled. He wanted to do whatever he could to help the cause of the da'wah and jihad. I was very grateful for that."

"Allah blessed him with numerous military operations; and in the battle for Abyan, he was always at the forefront. Not only was he driving brothers to the frontline, but he himself took part in the most important operations that the mujahidin ever took part in…."

Khan concluded with an account of Fawaz's death: "The operation began. The mujahidin ravaged the checkpoint in no time, killing everyone except one soldier. He ran somewhere and hid himself. He was a sniper. As Fawaz went to look for him as a lion looks for its prey, the sniper shot him in the neck. The bullet entered from the side of his neck and came out the back. He let out a laugh and collapsed to the earth. The brothers quickly rushed to the apostate. Then one of them took out a knife and severed his head."

"Never in the history of the jihad in Yemen has anyone had so much respect that his brothers would – in revenge for him – sever the head of the enemy, especially in such an immediate fashion. In fact this is the second time in the history of the modern jihad in the Arabian Peninsula where the enemy was beheaded in revenge for killing a brother; the first instance was in revenge for Shaykh Yusuf bin Saleh al-'Uyayri, may Allah have mercy upon him."

Summer 2011: Inspire Issue VI Features Samir Khan Article: "Sadness, Contentment and Aspiration"[118]

In the feature article of the sixth issue of Inspire, released July 19, 2011, Khan commemorates Osama bin Laden and promises that the Muslims will avenge his death. In the article, titled "Sadness, Contentment, and Aspiration," Khan describes the mixed emotions that struck him and his fellow mujahideen when they heard the news of bin Laden's death, explaining that the contentment derived from their belief that he had attained martyrdom. He extols bin Laden for his pioneering role in spearheading the jihad against the secular rulers of Muslim countries and in declaring open war against the U.S. Khan also praises bin Laden for having set an example for other Muslims by leaving his comfortable life to wage jihad in Afghanistan. It should be noted that Khan addresses the circumstances of bin Laden's assassination, denying that he was killed while in his bed. This reflects AQAP's ongoing attempt to reconcile with the fact that bin Laden did not die on the battlefield but in the compound where he was living, surrounded by his wives.

Following are excerpts from the article:

"When I was leaving [for] an outing trip with the mujahidin, we came across the news. All of a sudden, the world felt a bit empty. Was it really his time? Did Allah really take the soul of the lion that shook the thrones of the tawaghit [tyrants]? It was hard to absorb due to his iconic status of resistance against wrongdoing and American intervention.

"The news brought us a mixed sentiment of sadness, contentment and aspiration. Sadness because we lost one of the greatest Islamic revolutionaries – if not, the greatest revolutionary – in modern times. Contentment because we knew that he achieved what [the] Prophet Muhammad always yearned for: shahada [martyrdom]. Aspiration because we remembered our Prophet's guarantee that jihad will [continue] till Judgment Day. It therefore suggests that the Shaykh's martyrdom wouldn't in any way, shape or form limit our struggle to [implement] the shari'ah in the Muslim lands.

"Shaykh Usama, may Allah have mercy upon him, was a revolutionary [who] destroyed the barrier of fear between the believers and kuffar [infidels], showing us that iman [faith], yaqin [complete trust] and tawakkul [complete trust] in Allah can destroy the fortresses of kufr [heresy]. He stood up to America's atrocities like no other when the storm brewed above the ummah. [He was] a light of hope at a time when the Ulema [Islamic scholars] feared the thrones of dictators, revitalizing the purest form of tawhid [monotheism] in the chests of the believers, reminding them to never fear the creation.

"The impressive courage he showed America made him a star in the heavens, such that residents of this planet would be able to see him from where they stood. From the marshes of Indonesia to the African Sahara, his name was [synonymous] with honor, piety and jihad. His foes would be taken aback by the strength of his religious principles, evoking memories of [Sultan] Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi. He established an Islamic movement that would have a long arm of justice all throughout the globe, giving errant governments a piece of what they deserve. He was truly the hand that swung the sledgehammer of jihad against the enemies of Allah. They feared him like no other personality in history...

"Living in the States never made me think twice about the path I was undertaking, although many of the mujahidin leaders were killed, such as Abu Layth Al-Libi, Abu Khabbab Al-Masri, Mullah Dadullah, Abu Mus'ab Az-Zarqawi and others. For me and all of those who follow the path correctly, jihad is not for the sake of these commanders and leaders; rather, it's for the sake of Allah. I had always hoped that it would be the same for my beloved mujahidin brothers around the world, since the death of every mujahid leader is a mere test and trial for the believers. Those who remain steadfast will [find] delight...

"America and her allies may celebrate a temporary victory here, but in reality they are worried sick behind closed doors. The kuffar [infidels] are now expecting attacks from us as well as the Islamic ummah in general, and they are well-aware that the martyrdom of Shaykh Usama is not going to go unanswered. His death will only bring them misery and it will be a curse for them until they leave our lands.

"Rather than incessant weeping, we praised his martyrdom and saw it as a tremendous gift from Allah. Allah had protected him for over a decade, allowing him to terrorize the kafirin [infidels] around the world, becoming a source of happiness and pride in the hearts of Muslims. His end was nowhere near loss; he was not captured, he didn't die on his bed, nor did he leave the religion…"

Fall 2011: Inspire Issue VII Features Samir Khan Article: "A Powerful Media Production is as Hard-Hitting As an Operation in America"[119]

In an article in the seventh issue of Inspire, dated Fall 2011, Khan hails Al-Qaeda's "media jihad" as a component in the war against the U.S. that is of equal importance to actual attacks on it. Khan asserts that Al-Qaeda has won the preliminary stages of the battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims, thus ensuring that the organization's ideology will live on. One of the reasons for this victory, he explains, lies in the fact that the West and the media present Al-Qaeda's ideology as nothing but terrorism, whereas the organization's creed is that of Islam, a fact that earns it the support of Muslims.

Khan concludes the article by listing the four key elements which enable Al-Qaeda to win the media war: the technological savvy of Al-Qaeda's media operatives, the U.S.'s failure to respond to Al-Qaeda's propaganda, the U.S.'s media "blunders" which damage its image in Muslim public opinion, and the general suspicion in which Muslims view the U.S.

Following are excerpts from the article:

"… Back in America, I knew the media jihad was important to the mujahidin; but I just wasn't able to put my finger on how important it was to them… [But then] a brother intervened and confirmed, 'A powerful media production is as hard hitting as an operation in America.' It was the first time I met individuals who were so ideologically enveloped in the media effort against America and the West.

"It was also the first time that my mind opened up to the comprehensiveness of the media jihad highlighting its serious authority and impact upon the world. In addition to that, it laid out to me the importance of all the roles in the media jihad effort and that there isn't one role that is sufficient enough to drive it. And although the mujahidin are considered to be the underdogs in the war, it goes without saying that we have thrown something at America and her allies which they will forever be stuck with…

"This century has experienced a conflict that has never been fought before… the media conflict.

"When I look to those enemies that actually acknowledge our victory in this field, I feel that there's always an important element missing in that confession; that is, once it's won in the beginning, its branches will never be chopped off in the end. This is especially true seeing the climate the ummah is currently in throughout the world. A peek into the oppression and aggression in Palestine and East Turkestan – amongst the many other Muslim countries, the revolutions sweeping the carpet from the tyrants, and the growing anti-American anti-Western sentiments, the ideology of Islam can only flourish.

"Too bad our enemy and many of the independent media giants equate Al-Qaeda's ideology with only and only terrorism; by forgetting the fact that our entire makeup and culture is Islam and that our understanding of practically everything is deeply embedded in juristic works and that Islam is only what we prefer for the people to follow, they end up missing the street at every corner: by criticizing us and misplacing our ideas, they end up insulting millions of those Muslims who know and practice Islam. Try to guess in whose favor that goes into?

"Take a simple example. The word shari'ah is always identified with barbarism in the media and that defending it — like the stoning or chopping off of the hands — becomes a breach of the "universal human rights" code. Honestly, how often is the shari'ah looked at from a positive and open-minded perspective in the media?...

"The priceless thing though is that it's a damn if you do, damn if you don't situation. Either way, it would help Islam thus empowering the mujahidin globally. Criticizing us for adhering to the shari'ah hurts them in the long run and making the shari'ah look good gives us a boost

"As we pointed out, this media conflict between the West and the mujahidin quickly became a war of Western secular ideology and Islam. Shaykh Usama intended to attack the West to point out to the world America's police-state foreign policy upon the Muslim world and not the West's corrupt secular principles. But because the West was ardent to point out the mujahidin's attachment to Islam as extreme, portraying them as 'fundamentalists,' Muslims throughout the world asked: 'Wait, are they not then concluding that a good practicing Muslim is their fundamentalist enemy?; Zakir Naik, the popular television personality who is known for his religious debates and runs the PeaceTV network, has repeatedly echoed, 'Every Muslim should be a fundamentalist as a fundamentalist is one who sticks to the fundamentals of Islam.' This attack led by America on the mujahidin's adherence to Islam was one of the main reasons that led to the defacement of their legitimacy in the eyes of millions of Muslims. To this day, America has still failed to realize that.

"With that said, Our ideology is durable and formidable because of reasons related to our media jihad and the mistakes of the West. With Allah's help, we are where we are today chiefly due to four reasons.

"1. The hardworking tech brothers

"There were namely three things that the brothers focused on in their media efforts: quality and content of productions, Internet security and a media dissemination strategy. While America was focused on battling our mujahidin in the mountains of Afghanistan and the streets of Iraq, the jihadi media and its supporters were in fifth gear. Thousands of productions were produced and dispersed to both the net and real world. Something that was produced thousands of feet above in the mountains of Afghanistan was found distributed in the streets of London and California. Ideas that disseminated from the lips of the mujahidin's leaders were carried out in Madrid and Times Square.

"2. America's failure to respond

"Not only was America too late in responding, but they never took up the opportunity to respond to what they labeled as "Al-Qaeda propaganda." How can people believe it to be genuine propaganda when America's in-depth response is nowhere to be found? By never responding to our videos, books, and other media productions, they quickly lost the edge. We preached that America's foreign policy is highly objectionable in Islamic law, thus forcing us to act accordingly. By never opening the door of debate with us, we continue to rein supreme and the layers of bullet proof vests multiplied over our line of thought. Because there wasn't anything remotely scholarly coming from America, Al-Qaeda and its supporters turned their focus to the scholars for dollars in the Muslim countries that have now, for a long time, badly lost the debate.

"The only thing America would do in this regards was to use its typical argument that they were attacked for their freedoms and whatnot. Over the past few years, a lot of people have lost belief in this reasoning citing that the real reason is found in Al-Qaeda's media; that the actual underlying purpose is U.S. Foreign Policy. To that effect, former CIA agent Michael Scheuer said regarding Al-Qaeda on al-Jazeera's 'The Image War': 'Their propaganda beats us to hell every time, every time. We're not even in the same league with them.'

"3. American blunders

"The countless major blunders on behalf of the American administration swiftly destroyed their image to the world as champions of human rights. Baroness Manningham-Buller, former Director General of the MI5, was asked on BBC's 'The Secret War on Terror,' in light of America's torture of detainees: 'Did torture play into the hands of Al-Qaeda?' She answered, 'It's a propaganda coup for them (al-Qaeda) to be able to say that the West with its much wanted principles adopts these techniques.'

"Besides the many other political and military blunders, America had done one thing which was a part and parcel of their democracy: let their hate mongering preachers and right wing groups loose on Islam; this is the inherent problem with a democracy. They hypocritically say they love the Muslims and Islam and then stab us in the back saying, "And our freedom allows us to malign your religion; what a great and free country this is!" Although the government is not directly linked to these individuals and groups, the fact that their laws allow such people to preach blasphemy against our religion — keeping in mind that it was during a time when America needed the Muslim world's support the most — it caused their glass house to shatter from the inside. Witnessing thousands of offended Afghani's repeatedly protesting throughout the capital on different occasions of blasphemous offenses against Islam in American and Western societies was what cost them the battle for the hearts and minds.

"4. U.S. in the eyes of the Muslims

"It can be safely asserted that by nature, the Muslim world holds America with suspicion. It is not rare to find in a typical Muslim household in America, for example, that has at least one member that holds something against the American government, even if that person is inherently secular. I've personally attended mosques in over ten States in America; and in all of them, one will always be able to categorize a large group of Muslims as having anti-American sentiments even if they aren't that practicing. If I were to add the experiences of my friends who visited mosques in other parts of the country, it really becomes clear just how far reaching this is. This is America; how about then Europe and the Muslim world at large?

"The media conflict is the symbol of Islam's nascency in the modern world. We exhibit Islam and they exhibit man-made failure. This battle is going to continue until they find themselves powerless under our dominion. And indeed Our soldiers! They will be the victors! [Koran 37: 173]"

Fall 2011 Inspire Issue VIII Features Samir Khan Article: "Blended Duality: Muslim and American?"[120]

In Issue VIII, Samir Khan notes "As the tenth anniversary of the September [9/11] attacks passed us" – indicating that it was written after that date. In the article, he criticized the Muslim community in the U.S. for largely sacrificing its religion for the sake of a comfortable life there. He claimed that a Muslim could not truly reconcile loyalty to Islam with being "proud of being American," adding that there was nothing about America in which Muslims could take pride. He called on the Muslims to emulate those mujahideen who had come out of the U.S.

The following is Khan's article "Blended duality: Muslim and American?":

"As the tenth anniversary of the September attacks passed us, the much re-formed Muslim identity in America continues to search for itself a place in an imbalanced world. It is a world that says faith and country should coalesce into a culturally accepted manifestation of religion. Inevitably, a secular world that most Muslim Americans feel obliged to be enslaved in.

"While the world watches the revolutions taking place around the Muslim lands, one can't help but feel the inconsistency in the doctrine of the 'moderate' Muslims in America. It wasn't long ago that they were inherently opposed to taking up such antagonistic stances against any status quo. Life for the Muslim Americans really meant struggle without sacrifice, preferring an enemy's ballot box to receiving his bullet. But because their own kind have achieved major stripes of success back home - namely, an end to the fear of tyrants - the Muslim American community felt the need to show that open support for them. A contradiction of principles perhaps?

"A new way forward? If truth be told, it's more like they have found themselves deeper in the Muslim American dilemma grave which they've dug up for themselves.

"Earlier this month, the BBC ran a two part segment entitled, 'American Muslim' which displayed the distance Muslims have gone in letting go of their religion and the efforts they've made in proudly exhibiting that. All of that trouble for nothing really. The right wing is on the rise in the political sphere and is not planning on building any bridges with the Muslim community; in fact, they only intend to make matters worse for them. And everyone knows that getting into the upper echelons of government as a traditional practicing Muslim is troublesome as it will never extinguish the suspicions and anger surrounding those who reject the Muslim faith. Even some of the most highly educated are no exception. This racial culture exists in every rank and file of the American civil population.

"In view of the fact that the Muslim Americans are an inexperienced and impressionable community that doesn't learn from its early history in the Muslim lands, it's needless to say that it will continue to be in an identity predicament much like a midlife crisis. Much of the American Islam is fashioned by how the Muslims view themselves by the outsiders. It has even come to the point where scholars produce fatâwâ in favor of the American army so that a Muslim would be unable to penetrate it from within. This is on account of their fear of living a difficult life; changing the religion thus appeared as a less formidable alternative for them.

"The BBC documentary concluded by showing that the duality of being Muslim and American is feasible by quoting Congressman Keith Ellison as saying that if a five year old Muslim dreamt of becoming president, that shouldn't be a problem. Apparently, it was said in defense of everyone's right in America to be as they wish and that a person's religious choice should not be the determining factor in whether or not that dream can come true. The problem with this is that people like Keith are trying to erase that line - that is, the boundary set by Allah - between ĥalâl and ĥarâm, and as a result between Islam and kufr. Although not all 'moderate' Muslims may agree with Keith on every issue, they support the fundaments of erasing that very line nonetheless. The implication of this is that it runs into a multitude of problems and clashes with the Kitâb and Sunnah. For example, even though Allah says it's a necessity to rule by shari`ah, it is entirely irrelevant to these people to judge by His law. Becoming one of the 'fâsiqun,' 'dhâlimun' and 'kâfirun' (as is stated in Șurah al- Mâ'idah) seemingly doesn't cause much worry to these Muslims. There are countless of examples of this subtle attitude of, "I don't care what God says; I'm a Muslim American," found not only in ordinary Muslims but in their organizations, imam's and leaders. When the layers are peeled off one by one, it comes down to Muslims throwing the Qur'an behind their backs similar to the way Allah described the Jews in Șurah al-Jum`ah

"To say one is proud of being American is not merely a cultural declaration but one of allegiance.

"With that said, are they proud of how the American heritage commenced with the slaughter of the Native Americans? Are they proud of having a ribâ-based economy that makes the rich richer and poor poorer and exploits the wider world, especially the LDCs (Less Developed Countries) through some of its major corporations? Are they proud of associating themselves with a nation that continues to maim and kill the ummah around the world both directly and indirectly? Are they proud of paying taxes that are converted into bullets and missiles that penetrate the bodies and homes of the downtrodden Palestinian Muslims? Or are they proud of being American because being one welcomes cowardice and hiding one's head under the sand is conventional behavior while the real problems exasperate throughout the Muslim lands?

"To be a Muslim is one thing while to be an American is another. To be the latter is to undertake what Allah detests and to overlook the religious texts for the sake of creation. The mujahidin that have come from America have been exceptional role models for the rest of the ummah there. They risked their lives for a greater cause, evocative of the transition of the Șaĥâba's lives in their rejection of the Quraysh's leadership for the favorable acceptance of Muhammad's guidance. They became landless for the sake of fighting for the construction of an Islamic one."

Samir Khan's Legacy

Following Khan's death, online jihadi activists and AQAP members eulogized him; there also have been, and continue to be, arrests of would-be "lone-wolf" jihadis with copies of Inspire.

Samir Khan's Will, Provided By Abu Yazeed; The Reward Of the 72 Hoor Al-'Ayn

For Issue IX, AQAP English Speaker Abu Yazeed provided excerpts of Samir Khan's will, saying that he had obtained it from Khan's computer. In his will, Khan wrote:

"In the post-September world, the most honorable of deaths has been looked down upon in the Muslim public as it is now linked with the enemy's charge of terrorism. We must be reminiscent of the fact that the sunnah of Allah never changes, no matter what time one is in. When one thinks more about death, the more he will think about dying in the most noblest of ways since the chances of entering the hell-fire are much less than dying a normal death."

Quoting a Hadith on the rewards awaiting a martyr, Khan wrote: "The Prophet said: 'The shaheed will be granted seven rewards: he will be forgiven of his sins with the first drop of his blood, he will see his place in paradise, he will be saved from the punishment of the grave, he will be saved from the great terror on the day of Judgment, a crown will be placed on his head with jewels that are more beautiful than the earth and everything in it, he will be wedded to 72 from the hoor al-'ayn, and he will be able to intercede on behalf of 70 members of his family.[']"

After discussing the rewards for martyrs, Khan went on to justify Al-Qaeda's collateral killing of Muslims: "In the politics of warfare, when the Muslims are fighting the disbelieving enemies and there are Muslims residing amongst the enemy, this causes unintentional deaths amongst the Muslim population. For instance, the 9/11 operation in New York City killed around 500 Muslims as some reports suggested. Is that the fault of the mujahideen? They were merely targeting the economic infrastructure and symbol of America as they are the ones who use their economists as an advantage to build a global empire where the world becomes subservient to them. So for Muslims to live in America, it is dangerous since America and the Western world are lands of war, giving Muslims the ability to freely attack them in whatever methods they choose."

Abu Yazeed concluded by saying, "This was Samir's Wasiya. Samir who will always be remembered for his euphoric smile that came with his warm greeting. Whenever I would advise the brothers, I would cite examples of Samir. His optimism, kindness, generosity, humility, and bravery were what set him apart from many others. He was a role model for the mujahideen and will forever reside in our hearts as such."

Lone-Wolf Jihadis Arrested With Inspire

Following Samir Khan's "martyrdom," his jihadi legacy continues to grow – as was promised on the Al-Qaeda forums. His Inspire magazine has been translated from English into Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, German, French, Bangladeshi, Turkish, and other languages. The Washington Post even reported that U.S. security officials miss the magazine's regular publication, because it provided them with a lot of information about Al-Qaeda.[121] Clearly, Samir Khan has left a lasting legacy in the war on terror, and continues to serve as a role model for young jihadis in the West.

As Detective Chief Superintendent Anthony Mole, head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, said in connection to the case of Mohammed Sajid Khan and his wife Shasta of Manchester, U.K. (see below), stated: "What we must acknowledge is the dangers posed by the relatively easy access to online publications which contain instructions on how to make viable explosive devices from everyday household items, and how this can create 'homegrown' terrorists. The Khans did not need to travel to training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan – the knowledge they needed to commit a terrorist act was available at the click of a few buttons from the confines of their own home. As the prosecution described it, this was 'jihad at home.'"[122]

In the past year, nearly a dozen would-be lone-wolf jihadis, inspired by Khan or by the writings he disseminated, have been arrested in the U.S. and the West alone (for a complete list, see Introduction).

Abu Yazeed Eulogizes Al-Awlaki and Khan

Three months after the killing of Samir Khan, on December 20, 2011, the media wing of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Malahim, released a video titled "Shaheed Al-Da'wa (The Da'wa Martyr)." The video, 33 minutes and 16 seconds in duration, features an extended eulogy for Anwar Al-Awlaki by AQAP mufti Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Rubaish, a frequent contributor to Inspire, as well as never-before-seen footage of Al-Awlaki, in which he addresses the American people as well as Muslims living in the West, particularly in the U.S.[123]

The video also contained a segment with "Abu Yazeed," who speaks in English about the alleged double standard of U.S. man-made laws, especially when it comes to fighting Islam and the Muslims.

Yazeed's appearance marks the first time an English speaker besides Al-Awlaki has appeared in an AQAP video.

In the video, Yazeed eulogized Samir Khan and detailed his importance in the jihadi movement, stating: "There was also our brother Samir Khan. Who I think is also a martyr [unintelligible]. Samir was an army made of one man. He was one of the founding members of Inspire. He inspired us through it, and contributed greatly [unintelligible]. He gave an example to every young Muslim, that we shouldn't say 'we are alone, we have no supporters.' He confirmed this after he did it himself. As for him, he worked many years in the media sector inside America, reviving the worship of jihad, calling upon every Muslim to fulfill their duty to [unintelligible], and to participate in the collective effort made by groups who represent the jihad in our time, with the objective of restoring Islam's supremacy. And because he was on the edge of being arrested or imprisoned, he migrated for Allah's sake to join the mujahedeen in the Arabian Peninsula. He continued in this holy path, despite the hardships, and was able to eliminate all manmade restrictions. He knew from the very beginning that this path is a path of sacrifice. You could see that when you read his online website, which he called 'Inshallah Shaheed,' meaning 'A martyr soon, if God wills.' He got what he desired, and we think that [unintelligible]."

Abu Yazeed Writes In Issue IX Of Inspire On Samir Khan: "The Face of Joy"

Issue IX of Inspire includes an article on Khan penned by Abu Yazeed, titled "The Face of Joy," which could constitute an attempt by Yazeed to enshrine Khan in jihadi history. This article includes excerpts from Khan's last will and testament, which was found on the hard drive of his computer after his death.

Abu Yazeed called Khan his "closest friend in Jihad." He told of how when he arrived in Yemen, Khan had helped him acclimate, and had even taught him computer skills: "During his company, he taught me everything he knew about presentation of certain material, special designing for the magazines, how to work in certain visual design programs. He taught me how to use the best from my skills. His generosity was unmatched. He was considered one of the best Muhajreen in AQAP. I ask Allah to gift him with the best of akhira."

Ansar Al-Mujahideen Forum Eulogizes Khan

On September 30, 2011, in northern Yemen's Al-Jawf province, the U.S. government targeted Yemeni-American Al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki in a drone attack, killing him and three other suspected Al-Qaeda members, including Khan.[124]

Following AQAP's confirmation of the deaths of Al-Awlaki and Khan, on October 11, 2011 the English-language jihadi forum Ansar Al-Mujahideen (AMEF) eulogized Khan, comparing him to "the heroes Abu Dujanah al-Khurasani [who carried out the December 30, 2009 suicide bombing at the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan] and Mu'sab Sayyid [the Maldivian suicide bomber who participated in the May 27, 2009 attack on the Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan]."[125]

The statement also noted that Khan had been inspired to travel to Yemen by AQAP leader Nasir Abdel Karim Al-Wuhayshi, saying: "Our brother Samir, may Allah have mercy on him, is well-known to all the members of the English-speaking jihadi forums. He was a frequent contributor on the forums, and via his blogs, until he also decided to answer the call of [AQAP leader] Emir Abu Baseer [Nasser Al-Wuhaishi] (may Allah protect him) and make hijra to Yemen. It is worth pointing out that brother Samir left his home and family, knowing that he would be called an extremist, knowing he would face many hardships along the way, and knowing that he would most likely never return. Our brother used the same online username consistently: Inshallahshaheed. Let us ponder this fact for a moment: Brother Samir, may Allah have mercy on him, was seeking martyrdom right from the start. After he proved his intentions were sincere – by actually making hijrah and not just talking about it – Allah granted him that which he sought so earnestly...

"Our brother Samir, may Allah have mercy on him, joins the long and illustrious list of brothers from the forums who have been martyred in the path of Allah. The list includes names that will live long in Islamic history, such as [Khost bomber] Abu Dujana al-Khurasani from [the] Al-Hesbah [forum] and Mu'sab Sayyid from [the] Al-Firdaus [forum], but it also contains the names of many brothers who weren't as well known. Like the heroes Abu Dujanah al-Khurasani and Mu'sab Sayyid (may Allah have mercy on them both) Samir has left us with much beneficial material, compiled before his date with destiny...We ask Allah that the sermons of Imam Anwar and the writings of Samir Khan continue to 'inspire the believers,' and continue to add to the balance of their good deeds.

"We ask the brothers involved in producing English-language jihadi material to redouble their efforts, so that we actually see an increase in the quality and quantity of English-language jihadi material being produced, instead of a decrease, as the kuffar [infidels] are hoping. We ask Allah to make the brothers at AMEF, [the Al-Qaeda affiliated media companies] GIMF [Global Islamic Media Front], Dar Al-Murabiteen, Ansarullah, and all other English-language jihadi media outlets successful in their attempts to assist His deen [religion]. We ask Allah to unite their vision, fortify their ranks, and protect them from the plots of the murtadeen [apostates] and the kuffar."

AQAP Mufti Eulogizes Khan

Also in Issue IX is an article by AQAP leader and mufti, and frequent Inspire contributor, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Rubaish. He writes: "Many inquiries have been brought forward regarding the fate of Inspire. Some assumed the magazine won't be issued anymore. Mistakenly, a lot consider the magazine to be Shaykh Anwar's. Hence, they thought that the Shaykh is the magazine and vice versa. Accordingly, they assumed that the magazine will be buried along with him. As a matter of fact, Shaykh Anwar was the guest writer and the most active one was brother Samir Khan who exploited all of his energy and effort for this sake. In other words, the Shaykh was the spirit of Inspire where Samir was its tongue. Their martyrdom means that their written work will be transformed into reality because their writing with the ink is replaced now with writing with their blood. And this is what will have a greater impact – insha'Allah."

AQAP Releases Document By Khan Explaining What Potential Mujahideen Can Expect from Jihad, Encouraging Attacks on U.S. Soil

On May 13, 2012, AQAP released a document by Samir Khan, titled "Expectations Full" and dated Spring 2012, offering advice to those wishing to join the jihadi organization. As is clear from its content, the 16-page document, which was produced by Al-Malahim and posted on the Al-Fidaa jihadi forum, is directed particularly at Muslims from the West. Among other things, Khan encourages Western Muslims to attack the U.S. on its soil, saying that "the effect is much greater" when the enemy is struck "in its own backyard," and that such attacks are "nearly impossible for them to contain."[126]

The foreword explains that in his document Samir Khan "gives his fellow Muslims a sense of what the li[f]e of a mujahid would be during the twenty first century… For those Muslims coming from the West, this is a must-read document, as it includes invaluable information which will enable them to appropriately understand the importance of their role in the scale of this battle and provide them with [the foresight needed] to aptly choose their next step. This is the account of our brother Samir Khan, may Allah have mercy on him."

In his own introduction, Samir Khan explains that in addition to granting one "many realizations about how guerilla warfare is conducted... living with the mujahideen will actually transform one's lifestyle and habits." He goes on to elaborate on the various aspects of the mujahideen's difficult life, including the training offered in Al-Qaeda's training camps, consisting of rigorous physical training and studying "guerilla warfare, its history, its importance, its strategy, and so on, taking it from an assortment of books from both jihadi authors as well as non-jihadi works. In short, prepare for the worse, and hope in the best."

The document is divided into the following categories:

  • "Cleanliness"
  • "Base to Base"
  • "Living Outdoors"
  • "It's a Secret"
  • "Why Not the West?"
  • "Aerial Bombardment"
  • "Dealing with Injury"
  • "Khidmah"
  • "Training Camps"
  • "Bringing Your Family"
  • "Domestic Politics"
  • "The Importance of Adhkar"

"Why Not the West?" – Encouraging Muslims to Attack "America in Its Own Backyard"

In this section, which includes an image of the San Francisco skyline and the Oakland Bay Bridge, Samir Khan encourages Western Muslims to consider the option of carrying out jihad not only in Islamic lands, but in the West, particularly the U.S.: "If you're coming from the West, especially America, you might be asked by the leaders of the mujahideen or those who know where you're from why you didn't partake in jihad inside your country. If you tell them, 'to help the mujahideen,' they might tell you that attacking the enemy in their backyard is one of the best ways to help jihad. They certainly will not force you to go back home, but they will leave that option open for you just in case you change your mind and decide to attack the enemy back home."

He goes on to support this notion, stating: "I strongly recommend [to] all the brothers and sisters coming from the West to consider attacking America in its own backyard. The effect is much greater, it always embarrasses the enemy, and these type[s] of individual decision-making attacks are nearly impossible for them to contain."

Khan concludes by explaining that he has intentionally left out certain details out of the document because "I don't want our enemy to know what we do." He adds that his aim was not to deter potential jihadis but only to prepare them for the difficult realities of a mujahid's life: "I didn't write any of this to scare my readers or to make them think twice; rather, I want to prepare them for the reality so that they don't commit the major sin of leaving jihad when Allah has blessed them with it. Also, now that you know what to expect, you can compare that with doing jihad in the West, weigh the pros and cons, and make your decision."


*Steven Stalinsky is the Executive Director of MEMRI; R. Sosnow is head editor at MEMRI.



[1] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4731, {{nodeurl-6373}}l, May 14, 2012.

[2] Washington Post, February 9, 2012.

[3] Legal documents can be found on the ACLU's website at:

[6] Huffington Post, July 19, 2012.

[7] Huffington Post, September 20, 2012.

[8] U.S. Criminal Complaint,

[9] ABC News, August 10, 2012.

[10] The New York Times, November 21, 2011.

[11] The Guardian, March 13, 2012.

[12], July 19, 2012; The New York Times, July 20, 2012; BBC, July 18, 2012

[13], July 5, 2012;, June 29, 2012.

[14] Times of India, May 1, 2012.

[15], June 23, 2012.

[16] BBC, February 6, 2012.

[17], March 30, 2012

[18], May 11, 2012.

[19], June 1, 2011.

[20] Huffington Post, July 19, 2012.

[21] Herald Sun (Australia), September 13, 2012; Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), September 25, 2012.

[22] Washington Post, December 13, 2010;, December 7, 2011.

[23] The New York Times, September 30, 2011.

[24], October 30, 2011. The IONA is an Islamic revivalist organization owing its allegiance to Dr. Israr Ahmad (1932-2010) – a Pakistani Islamic scholar who founded the Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan, or the Islamic Organization of Pakistan. The Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan runs several religious organizations in many parts of the world, including the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran in Lahore. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4177, {{nodeurl-5692}}, October 4, 2011.

[25] The New York Times, September 30, 2011.

[26] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[27] CNN, New York Police Department, Mitch Silber, June 11, 2010.

[28], October 6, 2011.

[29] U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing, October 11, 2011.

[30] Newsday, October 6, 2011.

[31] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[32] Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2011.

[33] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[34] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[35] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[36] NPR, October 12, 2010.

[37] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[38] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[39] Newsday, October 7, 2011.

[40] Newsday, October 7, 2011.

[41] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[42] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[43] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[44] The Keith Larson Show, March 8, 2010.

[45] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[46] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1709, {{nodeurl-2364}}, September 10, 2007.

[47] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[48] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[49] The New York Times, October 15, 2007.

[50] The Sunday Times, January 2, 2011.

[51] Jihad Recollections, Issue I, April 2009.

[52] Jihad Recollections, Issue II, May 2009.

[53] ABC, November 29, 2010.

[54] Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, "A Critical Look into Dr. Issar's Tanzeem-e-Islami Makkah to Madinah Stages or Post-Madinah?" Abu Risaas, August 2009.

[55] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[56] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[57] Jihad Recollections, Issue 2, May 2009.

[58] Jihad Recollections, Issue 2, May 2009.

[59] Jihad Recollections, Issue 4, September 2009.

[60] ABC, February 9, 2012.

[61] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[62] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[63] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[64] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[65] Jihad Recollections, Issue 2, May 2009.

[66] Jihad Recollections, Issue 2, May 2009.

[67] United States v. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, U.S. District Court District of Oregon Portland Division (2010).

[68] United States v. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, U.S. District Court District of Oregon Portland Division (2010).

[69] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[70] Jihad Recollections, Issue 1, April 2009.

[71] Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, August 2009.

[72] Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, August 2009.

[73] Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, August 2009.

[74] Jihad Recollections, Issue 3, August 2009.

[75] Jihad Recollections, Issue III, August 2009.

[76] MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 837, {{nodeurl-6292}}, April 20, 2012.

[77] NPR, August 18, 2010.

[78] CNN, September 30, 2011.














[92] The As-Sahab video "Knowledge is for acting upon" included the "last wills" of 9/11 hijackers Abu Al-'Abbas Al-Janubi, Ahmad Al-Haznawi, Sa'eed Al-Ghamdi, and Abu Mus'ab Waleed Al-Shihree, in addition to a "Message from Shaykh Usaamah [bin Laden]" and bin Laden's denial that a 20th hijacker was involved.





















[114] BBC, April 22, 2008.

[116] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3517, {{nodeurl-4922}}, January 17, 2011.

[117] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3718, {{nodeurl-5151}}, March 30, 2011.

[118] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4008, {{nodeurl-5479}}, July 19, 2011.

[119] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4169, {{nodeurl-5680}}' September 27, 2011.

[120] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4686, {{nodeurl-6320}} May 2, 2012.

[121] Washington Post, February 9, 2012.

[122] Huffington Post, July 19, 2012.

[124] Fox, September 30, 2011.

[125] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4197, {{nodeurl-5716}}, October 11, 2011.

[126] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4731, {{nodeurl-6373}}, May 14, 2012.


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