Early Jihadi influence
Turns out, Mikey’s mom is the District Attorney! Ha ha. In the car my dad told me to just stay quiet. I told him: if they ask me I will just say that we kill people for making fun of our religion! My father flipped on me and told me to just keep my stupid mouth shut. Ha ha. To explain my frame of mind, around those times I used to go to the website of the Mujaahidiin of Shiishaan (chechnya ) in the school library! P15
Theological journey to the “obligation of jihad”
Disenchantment with “neo- salafism” and move towards jihadi salafism
There was also another problem there. My friends had begun listening to scholars who had been considered off limits before. According to the “Salafi” ideology (or rather the Neo- Salafi ideology) anyone who talks about the “Muslim” leaders or talks about Jihaad, like Sayyid Qutub, is a serious heretic. P21
Personal experiences of Socio-political landscape post 9/11
Later on some people would actually do more than look at me in that way (some acted like they would run me over while driving their big trucks, others yelled at me from their balconies with beer cans in their hands shouting “my buddy died in Afghanistan,” others got out of their cars at red lights, others acted as if they would not fix my car unless I denounced bin Laden and praised George Bush, and so forth) p 21
Lingering Doubts about the permissibility of 9/11 and similar acts, despite lack of sympathy.
I was mixed between the “hatred of terrorism” instilled by the “Salafis” and between my real hatred for America, the disbelievers, and their oppression of the Muslims. Although I did go through a denial phase and blamed it on the Muslims for not engaging in enough Dacwah (as is reported by the USA school newspaper theVanguard) I still remember finding myself alone in the Masjid that day and I jumped upand said: Allaahu Akbar! P21
Withdrawing from “scholarly or scientific Salafism” to “jihadi salafism”
But 9/11 itself didn’t “radicalize” me as they say. I took things a bit more intellectuallythan that (and luckily so, because most people who do come to Jihaad based on emotions and revenge usually leave fairly quickly once it runs dry). In specific, there was a well-known scholar who was having a scholarly debate with one of the top scholars of the“Salafis,” Shaykh Rabiic bin Haadi al-Madkhali. This guy…psh…may Allaah guide him.He just attacks everyone like a rabid dog. The scholar was defending himself with proofs and Shaykh Rabiic was just attacking him personally based upon nothing but conjecture. Istarted to have serious doubts not only about Shaykh Rabiic or those who follow him, butthe whole “Salafi” movement as a whole. I noticed that it was supposed to be built uponseeking knowledge and thereby bringing about change. However, those who ascribe to itrarely seek real knowledge. They are only engaged in talking about one another. Even if they seek real knowledge, they hide their findings when it comes down to issues that anger America and the Saudi government. All of this led me to the realization that I should read both sides. I should hear from those scholars that have been warned against all of these years. P21
The second thing that made me leave the fake “Salafi” way is the war in Iraq. As I said the original act of September 11th and the invasion of Afghanistan didn’t really change my perspective. But for some reason (maybe due to the other changes I mentioned), by the time the Iraq war started I could not find anyway for us to say that it is anything less than obligatory to fight the Americans there p22
I went back to reading Islaamic books. I used to read from morning tillnight in the good old days, but then the work had started to eat away from my time. Now Iwas back on track. I also started reading the books that were “banned” by the “Salafis” and I realized that the problem with the “Salafis” is extended to their most famous scholars: al-Albaani, ibn Cuthaymiin, bin Baaz, Muqbil bin Haadi, and so forth. The true followers of the Salaf were more adamant in standing up to the rulers and they had a clear understanding of Kufr and Imaan. I also started to feel my old emotions towards Jihaad once again and I began to believe that Hijrah is Waajib. At that time I had left the thoughtof marriage and I started thinking of going back to Syria and waiting for the Jihaad to spillover from Iraq (who would have guessed that it would start from within?). I think I was watching the Khattaab documentary quite a lot those days. P28
Visit to Syria
Around this time I found out that my uncle, Rafiiq, had been released from the torture chamber of the Syrian regime. So I had to go see him. This was the man I had only heard about for my entire life. So I told my dad (who was still angry with me) that I have to go with him to Syria. P22
Anyway, we reached Syria and I met with my uncle for the first time to find that I was stilla bit too “Salafi” for his tastes. Despite that, he still loved me a lot and wanted me to travelaround with him and his friends; which was to be a learning experience because I learnedabout what jail is like and how the Muslims coped with their torture. It gave me more of ahatred for the disbelieving rulers of the Muslim countries. It also gave me an urge to freethe Muslim prisoners around the world. He told me how the Asad Regime would preventthem from praying and fasting. P23
Accounts of foreign Fighters
Abu Muxammad al-Amriiki, (Daniel Maldanado)
That was the scene while I was there, and it was under such circumstances that I met one of my best friends and closest brothers: Abu Muxammad al-Amriiki, Daniel Maldanado (may Allaah free him from the oppression of the Americans). I was surfing the net one day and I found someone talking about the English institutes in Egypt who sounded like an American. I read what he had said and I noticed that he was talking about Alexandria. I managed to get his email address and ask him how it could be possible that another American is living in Alexandria. I told him to give me a ring so we could discuss things better. A few minutes later I received a phone call and my mobile phone read: ‘Daniel.’ About a week prior to that incident, a Shaykh had told me that there was a new American with children that needs some help finding a place to educate his children and so forth. P33
On His mentor/theological guide Abu Muxahamad (Daniel Maldanado)/ theological reasoning /influences for jihad/
One of the main things that struck us both was that we both had a love for seeking knowledge and a love for helping the Ummah. As I said before, I had been dabbling in the idea of Jihaad for some time now, but I was also under the impression that there was no where for me to go and the only answer was to call others to the realization that at least something must be done. Abu Muxammad was a bit more advanced. He had spent his time as a Muslim reading about Jihaad and discussing Jihaad with other like-minded people. His only problem was that he felt that it was impossible to find a way and therefore the road to Jihaad was blocked. Regardless, Abu Muxammad managed to give me guidance about which books are necessary to read about Jihaad and about the Jihaadi Manhaj. He also told me about some Jihaadi scholars that I had previously been too scared to read from. I remember when I finally decided to read “Millatu Ibraahiim,” by Abu Muxammad al- Maqdasi. I was at work. I went to the website, I opened the book, I took a deep breath, and I read the introduction. I was so surprised to see how well the Shaykh was supporting his ideas with proofs. I was even more surprised to see the names of the scholars he was quoting. Abu Muxammad, my friend, had been telling me that I should read more about Muxammad bin Cabdul Wahhaab but I didn’t take it very seriously. When I saw Abu Muxammad al-Maqdasi quoting things from him and his children and grandchildren that I would never have dreamed of hearing from a “Salafi” scholar, I was dumbfounded. I went on to read the chapters about Jihaad, Hijrah, and commanding the good and forbidding the evil from the book ad-Durar as-Saniyah.
Any remaining doubts in my head that were instilled by my early days as a “Salafi” (i.e. neo-Salafi) had been removed. Jihaad is truly an individual obligation upon all of us. We do not have to wait for a Khaliifah to establish this obligation of Jihaad. There is nothing wrong with making Takfiir of the rulers and those who judge by other than the Sharicah and make friends with the Disbelievers. I had become a Jihaadi (call it Salafi Jihaadi if you want, or even call it Muslims who believe in adhering to all of the Sharicah, and not just some parts, if you choose).
Interest in Somalia
Anyway, the issue of Somaalia started growing larger by that time and it was becoming clear that the ‘Islaamists’ would soon take over the country. Abu Muxammad (Daniel Maldanado) and Icouldn’t just sit back and watch. We started making our plans. P34
Parting with abu muxammad (Daniel Maldanado) and subsquent turn of events
I told him that if he saw Xasan Turky, whom we thought to be a huge AQ operative, that heshould give him my salaams and I told him how jealous I was that he would meet him first.He was busy tending to his wife and children in the midst of a calamity so I didn’t havemuch time to say goodbyes. And with that we departed our separate ways. (It is worthnoting that I would later learn that Abu Muxammad would be coerced into testifying against Taariq Mehanna his capture and detention. It would seem that different times and places can sometimes affect our character. May Allaah forgive us all.) P60
Somali suspicions and encounter with Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (the interrogator)
I was told to enter the SUV and I did so a bit hesitantly (partly because I thought I was being sent back, and partly because I thought Icould just be killed at any moment). I saw an AK next to the man and I figured I was beingtreated as a spy or something. They told me to bring evidence that someone knows me. Itold them that I’m coming to visit my wife’s grandmother. At one point they asked for a visa and I told them that the Prophet (S) never asked for visas. People who make Hijrah must only say the testimony of faith and I am a Muslim. They couldn’t debate with that but they didn’t accept it. I finally told them that I came for Jihaad but they did not accept my proof of identity. Finally they told me to call my wife and to have her call her grandmother and prove that I’m here to visit them. The only problem with that was that I hadn’t told anyone that I was coming due to security reasons. She was surprised about the whole thing, but she called her grandmother anyway and they came to the airport to get me. The interrogators accepted this but it was clear that they were still very suspicious of me.I later realized that the good cop in that scenario was none other than the famed terrorist Fazul, may Allaah accept him as a martyr. P41
Abu hafs (Tunisian?)
One of the Arab brothers, Abu Xafs (may Allaah accept him as a martyr), had slept under the net and was wearing some thick socks, but still the mosquitoes gave him a run for his money the whole night. He woke up with swollen ankles. P48
When I reached the other side the Arab brother, Abu Xafs (with the swollen ankles) was singing Nashiids for the brothers crowded around him. This guy was absolutely amazing when it came to Nashiids. He would even pretend to re-wind the ‘tape player’ by making the squealing rewind sound. He had been in a Tunisian jail for terror charges (playing with Nitric Acid and other chemicals ha ha), and after being set free by virtue of a French passport he made it to Somalia. When he arrived he began his experimentation immediately and he always traveled with Sulfuric and Nitric Acid wherever he went. It was also there that one of the brothers (who would later be our ‘trainer’ may Allaah protect him) gave me a belt for my gun (which I had for an extremely long time until it broke and caused me great pain). P48
But later on I realized how extremely bait this man was. I even found out that he had asked someone to keep an eye on a Palestinian brother from the Scandinavian countries (may Allaah accept him as a martyr). He said: ‘I want to know where he ends up.’ Very strange guy. P49
The battle of bargal
So Abu Muxammad and I told the Amiir that we wanted the front line. We were also accompanied by three other brothers. One was the Ethiopian brother who became a martyr in Idaley. The other was a British Somali who became a martyr much later on during some fighting in Mogadishu in the last days of Ramadhaan (while having been recently married just prior). The last was an Eritrean brother who was amongst those who became martyrs in Bergal in the North of Somalia when their boat came under attack at the port. I ask Allaah to accept them all.
Abu Talha as-Sudaani & the spy
He was also confronted with his contradictory stories. A Muslim Aid worker, a boat captain, a Mujaahid that wants the frontline, someone who wants to organize outside operations, and his latest: he was sent to Kismaayu to help out with the development of the city. He was told to prove the last story by writing out what types of measures could be taken to improve income. He started writing out a system for fishing licenses and he also suggested that we bring the Chinese to start using our ports for business. The Amiir (Abu Talxah as-Sudaani, may Allaah accept him as a martyr) was not really impressed. p52 (also 60,79,86)
Abu mansur Al yemeni Al bayhani (seasoned jihadi)
The most significant benefit we received from linking up with this group was the collectiveexperience and knowledge of Abu Mansuur al-Yemeni (al-Bayhaani) (may Allaah accept him as a martyr) and Maclim Qaasim. Soon after meeting with them the learning began andit wouldn’t stop until Abu Mansuur left Somaalia. P81
The most interesting class was our tactics course in which Abu Mansuur reenacted for us a famous battle of Khattaab (as he was in Shiishaan for a while and can be seen in one of the videos about Dagestan) and had us take turns leading the battle before dawn. He taught us how to fight in the city, how to set ambushes, and how to plan raids. He taught us the basics of guerrilla warfare and always stressed elements that we would continuously see ignored in future stages of our stay in Somaalia.P84 (see also 86,87,89,90,92,93,99,122)
Accounts of One time allies
Encounter with “reformed” warlord turned Islamist yusuf siyad Indhacade
Ironically, Yusuf Indhacade was also present. Abu Cabdallaah had brought him to us previously after the retreat of the 9 days war and he gave us his testimony that the man had been reformed. He said he came back from Xajj and entered the fighting. He fought with courage and was injured in the arm and now he has renounced his life as a warlord and so forth. Now, on this particular occasion he hugged me, as he did before, and gave me $100 for my marriage and pronounced how much he loved the Muhaajiriin. He eventually ended up fighting for the government of Shariif. P97
Axmad Madobe was with us that night as well. He wasthe ‘Mayor’ of Kismaayu and he was posing as a very hardcore member of the Shabaab atthat time (later it become known to me that in reality he was a very hardcore supporter of his own stomach and then of his own particular tribe). (also see pages – 50,51,64,69,76,78,94)
Memoir Q & A
On “The muslim brotherhood” (al-Ikhwan al muslimeen)
The Ikhwaan …, they usually tend to support tangible steps like fighting up until the first opportunity for selling out comes their way. Then they try to derail the entire movement by entering a merry-go-round of politics that leads only downward; without us even touching on the Sharci ruling for such useless actions.
18)Could you shed some light on the scholars who have or are actively participating inthe conflict in Somalia?
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