FBI: Two U.S. Residents Help Run al Qaeda

By Brian Ross And Vic Walter

Sep 7, 2006 12:18pm

Two men who grew up in the U.S. are now believed to be in the top ranks of al Qaeda, operating out of Pakistan. U.S. officials say the alleged turncoats, from California and Florida, work closely with al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, in planning attacks on their home country. FBI officials identify the men Adam Gadahn of Orange County, Calif., and Adnan Shukrijumah of Broward County, Fla. Gadahn, a one-time heavy metal music fan, has been seen frequently on al Qaeda video tapes, most recently last weekend. In the most recent tape, Gadahn spoke of Americans as drivers of gas guzzling cars with cell phones and college diplomas. "I can’t forget the day when as I was praying a prescribed prayer with one of the brothers in a shopping center parking lot in suburban America, a man sped by in his sports utility vehicle shouting from his open window, ‘Worship Jesus, Your Lord,’" Gadahn said as he invited others to convert to Islam. The FBI has a $5 million reward for the second American al Qaeda, Shukrijumah, a one-time student at Broward Community College. Shukrijumah is suspected to have had contacts with 9/ll hijack leader Mohammed Atta before leaving the United States shortly before the attacks. FBI officials say Shukrijumah traveled to Houston, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., to spot potential targets. Officials say Shukrijumah has been in Pakistan since March 2004 and works with his fellow American, Gadahn, in producing and distributing al Qaeda videos. In the effort to find Shukrijumah, the U.S. has distributed match books in Pakistan with his picture and details of how to collect the $5 million reward. Virtually every one of the FBI’s 56 field offices are involved in the hunt, according to Stuart McArthur, the assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami field office, who heads up the bureau’s hunt for Shukrijumah. "Shukrijumah is a dangerous individual. He’s a trained al Qaeda operative. He’s received explosives and fire arms training," said McArthur. "He poses a danger to the U.S. in that he spent a considerable amount of time here and is very familiar with our customs."

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