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Author Topic: Wat Zoo Exhibit #5 - Bryant Neal Vinas: US Citizen Who Trained With Al Quaeda  (Read 3341 times)
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« on: 26 July 2009, 20:39:18 »

His mother recalled her little boy, her “teddy bear” who would cry at the sound of thunderstorms. But that was long ago. She has not seen him since a divorce court hearing when he was 18, in 2001. "He's not my son no more," said Maria Luisa Uraga, 59. "I don't know him if he's able to do this. He has no family anymore. I raised a good boy; he was beautiful, normal. I love him as a son, but I don't know nothing about him. He’s a follower, I know that, it’s a disgrace" (*1)

What has happened in the life of a 26 year old former Boy Scout, extremely devoted Catholic, raised as son of Argentinian/Peruvian immigrants in the US, who had joined the Army and seemed well educated and soft spoken, to suddenly convert to a fundamentalist Sunni Sekt and travel to Pakistan/Afghanistan to train with Al Quaeda?

We won´t know for some time, but we know some stuff:

In a chilling confession, Long Island-bred terrorist Bryant Neal Vinas told how he joined Al Qaeda to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and help plot a commuter train attack.

"In the fall of 2007, I left my home in Long Island to travel to Pakistan with the intention of meeting and joining a jihadist group to fight American soldiers in Afghanistan," Vinas said on Jan. 28 in Brooklyn Federal Court.

A transcript unsealed last night by Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis shows the homegrown terror suspect was reading from a prepared statement.

"When I arrived in Pakistan, I made contact with and was accepted into Al Qaeda, a jihadist group that I knew to be responsible for attacks against the United States, including suicide bombings targeting civilians," Vinas said.

Law enforcement officials believe Vinas, who was raised a Catholic, converted to Islam and grew to hate the U.S. based on what he perceived was mistreatment of Muslims.

But even fellow Muslims at the Selden, L.I., mosque where he worshiped were revolted by his extreme views, sources said. (*2)

His tesimony offers some unique insights into the way Al-Quaeda capures and trains its followers, and is probably crucial iin the trial of some Belgian supected terrorists, it aslow gives insights inot the life and longings of Mr Vinas himself.

In the United States, by contrast, Mr. Vinas appears to have left the lightest of footprints. Much is unknown, not the least why he became a Muslim and how he came to embrace Al Qaeda. He was neither a hardened street gangster, like the Brooklyn-born Jose Padilla, convicted as a terrorism conspirator, nor did he hail from an insular community, like the Yemeni-Americans in Lackawanna, N.Y., who pleaded guilty to attending a Qaeda training camp.

So quiet as to be anonymous, the soft-spoken and asthmatic Mr. Vinas was apparently deeply scarred by his parents’ bitter divorce battle. His photograph appears in no junior or senior high school yearbook; one friend said he dabbled in drugs, then went “straight edge,” even drawing crosses on his hand to indicate his commitment to an abstemious lifestyle. But most former classmates, a Boy Scout leader and parish officials at local Roman Catholic churches — where Mr. Vinas may have served as an altar boy — say they have little or no memory of him.

He joined the Army in 2002 but washed out after just three weeks at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, either for physical reasons or because he had not adjusted to military regimentation. (*3)

Anyway, known by the aliases "Ibrahim" or "Bashir al-Ameriki" he received all kinds of training with explosives, weapns, the lot, and even participated in two (both failed) attacks on US American Bases in Afghanistan.

On Sept. 10, 2007, Mr. Vinas boarded a flight to Lahore, Pakistan. In the interrogation summary, he says he relied on friends to help plan the trip, but he says they knew nothing of his plans. Once in Lahore, however, he says he placed a call to a different New Yorker (his identity is cloaked in the summary), who set in motion introductions that would eventually lead Mr. Vinas to the Qaeda training camps.

Within three weeks, Mr. Vinas tramped across the mountainous border into Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, in the company of militants. Some attacked an Afghan army base with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, while others, Mr. Vinas among them, stockpiled munitions on a mountainside.

Upon returning to Pakistan, the young man from Long Island was asked to become a member of a unit that carried out suicide bomb attacks. He agreed but Al Qaeda leaders soon rethought the matter, saying he needed further religious indoctrination.

Only later, in Waziristan between March and July 2008, did Mr. Vinas undergo a proper Qaeda education. There were three basic courses, each with 10 to 20 students, according to the interrogation notes.

The first course offered an introduction to the AK-47, the machine gun and the pistol. Then came a class in what became Mr. Vinas’s concentration: explosives. This 15-day course taught students to manufacture suicide belts, how to tuck the belts around their waists and how to test the battery and voltmeters.

Classmates become comfortable seeing, smelling and touching various explosives, according to the interrogation summary.

The third Qaeda class offered an introduction to rocket-propelled grenades. Shortly after, Mr. Vinas graduated from terror school. (Other classes offered instruction in forgery, poison and advanced bombs. None mentioned the Geneva Conventions or the treatment of prisoners and civilians, the summary notes.) (*4)

Probably the trials will shed more light on the background, but o far we just can stick whith the short facutal summary that Time in thier online edition reveal:

• Instead of going to college, Vinas joined the U.S. army at age 18.

• He started attending Islamic services three or four years ago and eventually converted. He joined the the Islamic Association of Long Island, a mosque where most attendees are from Pakistan. While there, he went by the name Ibrahim.

• Vinas became a licensed truck driver but quit his job and left home in 2007, saying he wanted to study Islam and Arabic. His parents had no idea where he went.

• His confiscated computer revealed that prior to leaving home, Vinas had visited jihadist websites.

• Because the young American had no previous criminal record and no connection with any other terrorist groups, he was able to travel freely through foreign countries.

• Traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in late 2007 or early 2008, where he went by a number of names, including Ben Yameen al-Kanadee and Bashir al-Amriki (Bashir the American).


• Vinas was in Peshwar, Pakistan in November 2008, supposedly to buy supplies and use the Internet, when he was arrested by Pakistani authorities. Authorities have not revealed how they located him.

• Vinas was charged with conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens, providing information to a terrorist organization, and receiving "military-type training" from a Al-Qaeda. He originally pled not guilty but switched on Jan 28 and pled guilty to all charges.

• According to court documents, he admitted to firing rockets on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan in September 2008.

• Vinas informed U.S. officials of an Al Qaeda plot to blow up a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in New York's Penn Station, saying that he had provided them with details of the New York transit system. This revelation lead authorities to issue a Nov. 25 2008 terror alert.

• He is expected to be a key witness in the cases of other Al Qaeda members, including that of Malika El Aroud, a Morrocan-born Belgian woman accused of recruiting Al Qaeda members over the Internet.

• Vinas is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in an undisclosed location somewhere in New York.

Again, what happened in the life of this young man to make him go so far astray? A mystery to me...


(*1): Whole paragraph composed from snips from Michael Powell, JUL 23, 2009 and John Marzulli, JUL 24, 2009

(*2): John Marzulli, JUL 24, 2009

(*3): Michael Powell, JUL 23, 2009

(*4): Michael Powell, JUL 23, 2009

"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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« Reply #1 on: 1 May 2010, 04:41:35 »

Al Qaeda is the new rage against the machine.
Globalization is a funny thing.

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