Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, January 23, 2003

An interesting look at a Canadian al-Qaeda recruit captured in 2001.

Taken to Canada and then the United States for interrogation, Jabarah admitted his role in a December, 2001 plot to attack Western targets in Singapore with as many as seven suicide truck bombs, according to a confidential intelligence document summarizing his confessions. A copy of the document was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

Australians in doubt take notice. Dealing with JI alone or South East Asia is not the solution.

Jabarah's account to authorities also provides solid evidence of the close working relationship between Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah, a group believed responsible for dozens of bombings across Southeast Asia, including the Oct. 12 Bali blasts that killed nearly 200 people. Jabarah's job was to serve as the intermediary between Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah, which also contributed men, money and explosives to the Singapore conspiracy.

Born in Kuwait in 1982, Jabarah moved to St. Catharines with his family when he was 12. He lived on a quiet street in the city of 130,000 and prayed regularly at the local mosque.

According to his account, Jabarah was attracted to radical Islam as a teenager, especially when he returned to Kuwait during summer holidays.

After high school he travelled to Pakistan, and from there was recruited to attend Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, where his courses included weapons handling, urban guerrilla warfare, mountain warfare and sniper training.

As Jabarah was training to become an Al Qaeda member, the terrorist network was — apparently unknown to him — in the final stages of planning the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S.

In Kandahar, Jabarah told investigators, he met four of the future Sept. 11 hijackers at a guest house. One, Ahmed Al Haznawi, who was aboard United Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, could recite the entire Koran from memory.

Jabarah also said he met bin Laden four times. In June, 2001, bin Laden came to speak to graduates of the mountain warfare course and hinted that attacks were coming that would be "severe enough to make the United States forget Vietnam," according to Jabarah's account.

< email | 1/23/2003 02:38:00 PM | link

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