While the left and some others might want to jump to the conclusion that his actions meant nothing regards the GWoT they should be reminded that Major Hasan's actions fit right in with the 1998 fatwa commandment of Usama bin Laden to kill Americans wherever they are found. This obviously does not require the involvement of others. Many of the US plots uncovered in the last several years seem to be in that vein yet somehow it's not terrorism if it's not connected to the home of terrorism in Pakistan. Seems overly nuanced, but oh well.
Perhaps it was just a coincidence he attended the same mosque as a few of the 9/11 hijackers but it might be prudent to look back over some of the circumstantial dots connecting various and sundry terrorists or suspected terrorists living in the United States and Canada during the past few years.
The case of Dr. Hassan Faraj is interesting. A Syrian, he was once accused by the feds of working with Benevolence International Fund (since closed down by Patrick Fitzgerald) in the Balkans during the 90s and later for vouching for suspected AQ terrorist Amir Abdulrazzak (perhaps Bill Clinton's foray into that region was more than just stopping genocide, eh?). BIF was founded in part by Mohammed Bayazid with help from Enaam Arnaout of Chicago, who reportedly fought with bin Laden against the Soviets and knew the late Mohammed Atef, who was involved in al Qaeda's WMD procurement efforts through his affiliation with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and Zawahiri.
As to Faraj, the feds were also interested in blueprints for the Capital Avenue overpass in Washington, DC found in his residence. He claimed they belonged to his civil engineer brother who had since moved on from his job as a professor at a local university. A related story about these blueprints in "Tollroads News" contains this reference:
In another incident of apparent target casing, on August 20 an associate of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, Ismail Selim Elbarasse and his family were stopped by police after they were observed videotaping vulnerable points in the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.The story described Elbarasse as an accountant by trade who lived in northern Virginia, a naturalized citizen of Palestinian descent (Hasan was born on American soil but his parents were Palestinian refugees to Jordan). They accused Elbarasse of having ties with HAMAS. Weak spots, bridges--someone could mention Minneapolis but that would represent a most conspiratorial jump to conclusions.
There's even more circumstantial weirdness regarding Faraj. He was in residence at the Lenox Hills hospital in New York in 2001 when the anthrax letter attacks occurred. One of the victims was Kathy Nguyen, an employee of the affiliated Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital. They explained her exposure as cross-contamination via the mails. Faraj later contributed a paper about this subject published in JAMA.
Interestingly, another medical technician named Nguyen died mysteriously around the same time in another part of the world along with renowned microbiologist Don Wiley here in Memphis, leading to more conspiracies (being that it was Memphis a more likely explanation would be incompetence by the locals).
As to Bayazid's connection, according to the 9/11 Commission report an Iraqi named Mubarak al-Duri was called AQ's top guy for WMD procurement. He had lived in Arizona then moved to Canada, where he was linked to jihadists in Toronto connected to bin Laden and the EIJ. After 9/11 FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agent Jack Cloonan traveled to the Sudan to interview both al-Duri and Bayazid, who were conveniently there together (this was the only headline). Both were later interviewed by the CIA but apparently remain at large despite their high level status. Why?
As to the Canadian connection, another jihadi who disappeared shortly after 9/11 was Abderraouf Jdey who, like 1993 WTC bomb mixer Abdul Yasin, remains lost. As to the latter, like Hasan he was American-born but his parents hailed from Iraq, where he had duel citizenship. Here's how he explained the reason for the 93 bomb:
The attack was ''revenge for my Palestinian brothers and my brothers in Saudi Arabia,'' Mr. Yasin said.It will be interesting to hear Hasan's explanation, should he recover and should the public be privy to it.
Clearly, this is rather shadowy, conspiratorial and circumstantial but what jumps out is the relative innocuous public status of some of these people. They are doctors, engineers, cab drivers and other normal people much like the Fort Hood shooter Hasan. Perhaps that's obvious for a sleeper. BIF fundraiser Yusuf Wells allegedly attended a paint ball game in northern Virginia in early 2001:
They call it 'training' and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.. Many were confused as to why I had been 'trusted' to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities."Paint ball. Just a bunch of guys out having fun in the woods. But "4 or 5 ex-military"? Sounds interesting in light of recent events.
In the end it might add up to a bunch of nothing. The larger message here is undeniable--the enemy is definitely within our borders. The press never played up the story of Ali Mohammed, another Egyptian who was working both sides but mainly the other during the Clinton years. He did a stint in the US Army, even serving at a high level facility at Fort Bragg while helping the rise of AQ. Jamal Khalifa, UBL's late brother-in-law, was arrested in America in 1994 but was allowed to be extradited back to Jordan on other charges and we lost his intelligence. According to Peter Lance it was Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, one of the 9/11 Report commissioners, who made that call. Khalifa was allegedly another founding member of BIF.
This tangled web, coupled with the fact of government involvement, suggests less an international conspiracy to control the world and more that we got...as the youngsters say..."punked" in our attempts to target and use intelligence assets before 9/11. The reluctance to pursue those gaffes might explain to some degree the lack of sunshine.
And the jousting begins. The Times story came out yesterday suggesting no links to anyone, now today other sources report a link. The WaPo report had the following generic paragraph:
The FBI investigated Aulaqi nearly a decade ago, after he briefly served as vice president of the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity that federal prosecutors later described as a front organization used to support al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The FBI learned that he also may have been contacted by a bin Laden "procurement agent," who served as fundraiser for a charity that the Treasury Department designated a bin Laden financier, and said that Aulaqi's group was its Yemeni partner.That's taken from the 9/11 Commission Report, footnotes, page 534:
The FBI investigated Auluqi in 1999 and 2000 after learning that he may have been contacted by a possible procurement agent for bin Ladin.The only 'procurement agents' from the report are from the notes on page 538:
Al Qaeda figures at the university or in Tuscon included Mubarak al-Duri, reportedly bin Ladin's principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction; Mohammed Bayazid, an al Qaeda arms producer and trainerSince the WaPo claimed it was the person associated with the charity they are likely talking about Bayazid, who remains free (perhaps until something else happens). Him and al-Duri were in Tuscon when suicide pilot Hani Hanjour arrived there in the early 90s and became radicalized. By the way, compare this quip about Hanjour with Hasan:
As the years rolled by, Hanjour seemed to wear his religion on his sleeve less and less, Yasser felt. He resumed watching television and listening to music and interacted more with his family and others. Hanjour's family occasionally reminded him that he was getting well past the age when Saudi men traditionally started a family. Hanjour responded that he didn't want to get married. He wanted to wait until his life became more stableSeems to be a common thread involving problems with women with too many of these guys. Hasan is on record of not wanting his photograph taken with a women yet he visited strip bars. Sounds somewhat like a clue based on a known profile.
At any rate, summing it up the mosque leader Hasan apparently tried to contact had allegedly been contacted by Bayazid in the 90s, himself allegedly a founding member of AQ and alleged to be present when AQ tried to purchase uranium. He was later captured in America in 1994 but released for some reason. Maybe he works for us? Otherwise, it's hard to understand why he's still a free man.