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25 October 2010

Video urges Detroit area Muslims to attack

bilde.jpgIn a video released today, a senior al-Qaida leader calls for Muslims living in metro Detroit to commit jihadist attacks inside the U.S. -- a call that was condemned by a local Muslim-American leader.

In a 48-minute recording posted on the Internet, Adam Gadahn -- a native of California who is now al-Qaida's American spokesman -- called upon Muslims living in what he called "the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit" to attack Americans, citing as examples the Ft. Hood shooter in Texas and the man who tried to set off a bomb on a plane descending into Detroit Metro Airport on Christmas Day.

Metro Detroit, known for its Muslim population, was the only U.S. city mentioned by the al-Qaida leader. London and Paris also have significant Muslim communities in their metro areas.

This was the first time in memory that al-Qaida referenced metro Detroit's Muslim population, say local leaders.

The video was publicized today by the Maryland-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorism. The video has been posted on YouTube.

Detroit FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold said: "We are aware of the matter and are currently looking to verify the authenticity."

Speaking into a camera, Gadahn said he had a message "to my Muslim brothers residing in the states of the Zio-Crusader coalition … from the emigrant communities, like those which live on the margins of society in the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit."

He also addressed Muslims "arriving in America or Europe to study in its universities or seek their daily bread in the streets of its cities."

Gadahn tells Muslims living in metro Detroit and across the West:

"Know that jihad is your duty as well, and you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil. As long as there is no covenant between you and them, here you are in the battlefield just like heroes before you." Gadahn claimed that Muslims are religiously justified in the attacks because of U.S. military opearations in the Muslim world, but Gadahn's views have been slammed by other Muslims.

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Gadahn then praises the actions of terrorists such as Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers; Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the native of Nigeria who tried to set off a bomb on a Michigan-bound airliner. Gadahn also calls upon Muslims not to harm other Muslims or their property when committing jihadist attacks.

Gadahn's comments were attacked by Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"He obviously doesn't know Muslims in Detroit," Walid said today. "It appears to be a desperate plea by al-Qaida, which has virtually no support among Muslims in any Western countries."

Gadahn "should turn himself in and renounce al-Qaida's murderous ideology," Walid said. "Up to 85% of al-Qaida's casulties are Muslims. His whole discourse is irrational and insane. … Al-Qaida is an enemy to Islam itself."

Tarek Baydoun, 26, of Dearborn also slammed Gadahn's remarks.

"He's either mentally ill or utterly evil," Baydoun said. "He has nothing to do with any faith tradition. He's disconnected from Muslim-American as can be."

Referring to Gadahn's remarks about what he called the "miserable suburbs" of Detroit, Baydoun said: "We have wonderful suburbs and communities."

SITE said on its website that Gadahn "urged Muslims to take initiative and carry out acts of individual jihad in states of the 'Zio-Crusader coalition' in a video released on jihadist forums."

The video was made by the media branch of al-Qaida, as-Sahab, and is called "The Arabs and Muslims: Between the Conferences of Desertion … and the Individual Duty of Jihad,” said SITE.

The video also contains clips featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni cleric who previously lived in the U.S. and influenced the Christmas Day bomber.

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com or 313-223-4792


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