This lengthy piece contains numerous revealing extracts from writings by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who murdered one soldier and wounded another in a jihad attack outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. He makes his Islamic motivations fully clear. I didn't reproduce here the material from various learned analysts explaining how Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad has gotten jihad and Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong, because ultimately the article offers no evidence of anything that the Muslims who supposedly reject Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad's understanding of jihad are doing to make sure that other Muslims don't misunderstand Islam the way he did. And that's because they aren't doing anything to ensure that more Muslims will not misunderstand Islam in this way.
Note also that Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad attempted to firebomb the home of a rabbi -- acting out the Islamic antisemitism that he learned in the Qur'an that told him that the Jews are the Muslims' worst enemies (5:82).
"Memphian drifted to dark side of Islamic extremism, plotted one-man jihad vs. homeland," by Kristina Goetz in the Commercial Appeal, November 14 (thanks to Axel):
What I had in mind didn't go as planned but Allah willing He will reward me for my intentions.
He planned for weeks, buying guns secondhand to avoid the FBI.
Then, to test whether the feds were watching, he bought a .22-caliber rifle over the counter at Walmart. He stockpiled ammo and practiced target shooting at empty construction sites.
By his own account, he was preparing for jihad.
From a black Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Memphis native, watched two soldiers in fatigues smoking outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock. He aimed an assault rifle out the window and fired.
Muhammad sped away, hoping to flee 150 miles to Memphis where he would switch cars. But a wrong turn in a construction zone led him to police.
He stepped out of the SUV wearing a green ammo belt around his waist.
"It's a war going on against Muslims, and that is why I did it," an officer heard him say. "You see how I gave up with no problem."
Much of this account emerges from police reports and an 18-page mental-health evaluation contained in court files. But Muhammad tells a far broader, detailed story in seven handwritten letters to The Commercial Appeal. Taken together, those letters are not just an admission of guilt but a profession of failure for having not caused more death and destruction.
The letters, written in pencil between May and October, provide a rare glimpse into the thoughts of a self-described jihadist, according to one national security expert. Muhammad describes in his own words how he took his declaration of faith in a Memphis mosque; his motives for moving to Yemen and his attempt to travel to Somalia for weapons training; how and why he planned multiple attacks in the U.S, including ones in Nashville and Florence, Ky., that didn't go as intended; and how he allegedly executed the Little Rock assault.
In his own words:
It's a war out against Islam and Muslims and I'm on the side of the Muslims point blank ... The U.S. has to pay for the rape, murder, bloodshed, blasphemy it has done and still doing to the Muslims and Islam. So consider this a small retaliation the best is to come Allah willing. This is not the first attack and won't be the last.
Muhammad is yet to convince U.S. authorities he's anything other than the murderer of Pvt. William A. Long of Conway, Ark. He's being held on state charges, awaiting a February trial.
But one senior consultant to the U.S. government on global terrorism believes Muhammad's self-described attack in June 2009 and others like it -- lone gunmen with no formal al-Qaida training or direction -- illustrate the new nature of an old enemy.
Al-Qaida has shifted from a far away, tough-to-join group to a social network that almost anyone, anywhere can join. Even a middle-class, Baptist kid from Memphis, born Carlos Bledsoe, who played youth basketball and worked at Chuck E. Cheese's. [...]
"Regarding my pre-Islamic past ... I don't like to talk about it," he wrote to the newspaper. "... I was known as Bledsoe in the neighborhood and did things most teenagers do." [...]
During a visit to a Nashville mosque, he watched the synchronized movements of 50 to 75 people as they bowed and prostrated themselves in prayer. He was amazed.
"So I attempted to join and after realizing I didn't know what I was doing, somebody (asked) when did you become Muslim? I said I'm not just interested in it? And when I said that the whole place lit up. I mean brothers shouted 'Allahu Akbar'!! (Allah is the greatest) and embraced me like I was a long (lost) brother."
A man from the mosque explained the religion's fundamentals -- belief in one God, angels, the revealed scriptures, the prophets, predestination and the day of judgment. He also gave Muhammad a copy of the Quran.
Later, at Masjid As-Salam in Memphis, Muhammad recited the Shahada in Arabic: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
"They are not Mujahideen or militants or preach jihad," Muhammad wrote about the Memphis mosque. "But that's where I became Muslim."
So to make a long story short I believed in it wholeheartedly and decided to become a Muslim in a local Memphis masjid. I took my declaration or testimony of faith and bore witness to the truth. The year was 2004 and I was 19 years old.
* * *
A senior member of Masjid As-Salam and the Muslim Society of Memphis board, Mohammed Moinuddin, facilitated a meeting between mosque members and the FBI after the shooting at the agency's request. Muhammad spent very little time at the mosque, he said, but the few who remembered him described him as calm, not belligerent or hostile.
Moinuddin said he encourages people to speak up if they know about potential threats so law enforcement officials can be informed.
"Islam, our religion of faith, does not believe in killing people and stuff like that," he said. "It's a very peaceful religion. The very meaning of the word Islam means peace. And therefore it's kind of ironic that people are sometimes distorting the image of Islam."...
You can tell Moinuddin is lying right off, when he claims that the word Islam means "peace," when actually it means "submission." And he must know that. So it is hard to credit anything else he says.
By 2007, Carlos Bledsoe had become deeply observant and legally changed his name.
"So step by step I became a religiously devout Muslim, Mujahid -- meaning one who participates in jihad," Muhammad wrote. "I was a jihadist before I traveled to Yemen. I've loved jihad every since I became Muslim." [...]
And he ultimately went to Yemen, where he got involved in jihad activity:
He declined to answer certain questions about other Muslims for "security reasons." He also said in one letter that he was "asked many times to carry out a martyrdom operation in America" but "didn't have proper training in regards to explosives."
He did not elaborate.
Muhammad spent his days studying and then taught English after the Asr, or third prayer of the five daily prayers. He felt uncomfortable teaching "the language of the enemy" and considered it only a source of income. He learned Arabic by interacting with native speakers.
Muhammad met an elementary school teacher to whom he taught English and eventually married. He told the state psychiatrist he sold his car in America to help pay for the dowry.
When Muhammad had been married about two months, he was arrested at a roadside checkpoint. He carried a fake Somali passport and lacked the proper government permissions to travel.
He also had videos and literature about the daily operations "by our Muslim soldiers in different parts of the world," literature from people such as Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American Islamic cleric who uses the Internet to spread al-Qaida's message, and explosive manuals that included tips such as how to make gun silencers, he said.
Muhammad's plan had been to travel to Somalia for training in how to make bombs, particularly car bombs.
Instead, he was imprisoned in Yemen's Political Security Organization.
(H)ad I got this training my story would of ended a lot differently than it's going to end now. My drive-by would of been a drive-in with no one escaping the aftermath!! [...]
In regards to the CIA & FBI yea they followed me, yea they tapped my phone, read my emails, interrogated me not once, not twice but three times before my jihadi attack on the crusader recruiting center but what good did it do? I outsmarted them and they know it. That's why they don't want to pick these charges up and are leaving me in state court to be hung. ...
I know the real reason why they're so (quiet). And it's because they dropped the ball with me and not just me. Nidal (Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army major charged in the Fort Hood shootings), Umar Farouk (the Nigerian charged for trying to detonate plastic explosives on a Northwest Airlines flight), Faisal (Shahzad, the Pakistani-American sentenced to life in prison for his failed attempt to bomb Times Square) and others who evaded their agents and devices and paid-informants posing as Muslims.
They can't catch us all....
Muhammad bought several guns and stockpiled ammunition over a period of weeks because he was "on a budget." He didn't use a credit card to buy supplies because "Muslims don't believe in interest."
When he bought the rifle at Walmart and wasn't questioned, he recalled walking to the parking lot with the new gun, thinking: "It's on," meaning he was not under surveillance. "The FBI had not put a hold or checked."
Plan A, as he called it in one letter, was to assassinate "3 Zionist rabbis in Memphis, Little Rock and Nashville. Then target recruitment centers from the South to the nation's capital. And other Zionist organizations in the northeast. That was the plan, which mostly failed."...
Next he drove through Memphis to Nashville. He had prepared a carton of Molotov cocktails, lit one and threw it at what he believed to be the home of an orthodox rabbi. But it bounced off the glass. [...]
We believe in an eye for eye not turn the other cheek. ...We are all brothers under the same banner fighting for the same cause. ... (T)he war has no boundaries as you can see. ... Unless the U.S. government pulls fully out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop(s) helping Israel in (its) massacre of Muslims, blood will flow in the U.S.A. like tap water.
* * *
On the morning of June 1, 2009, Muhammad drove down Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. His Plan B, he said, was a "random and unplanned attack" for which he chose the recruiting center.
"I went around the corner so they (couldn't) see me," he said of the soldiers standing outside smoking. "I did not want them to see me coming. I had the SKS with me and put it out the window. I rolled by and started shooting."
He made his intent clear: "I was trying to kill them." [...]
He also explained that when he returned to America, he had hatred for the U.S. and was angry at what he saw as news outlets such as CNN filtering its reporting. He accused military personnel of target shooting the Quran and urinating on it.
Muhammad said he'd have killed more soldiers had more been in the parking lot.
Muhammad also told police there were at least six Molotov cocktails in a milk crate in the bed of his truck -- green and clear bottles filled with gasoline and oil and duct taped.
"And compared to what I had planned originally it was like a grain of sand," Muhammad wrote about the attack. "One crusader dead, one wounded, 15 terrorized, big deal. Nidal Malik (Hasan, the accused Fort Hood shooter) is the real Islamic warrior, and my plan A was on that scale."
Days after his arrest, Muhammad called The Associated Press to say he wasn't guilty of murder because "murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason."
I'm just one Muhammad There are millions of Muhammads out there. And I hope and pray the next one be more deadlier than Muhammad Atta!! (peace be upon him) commander of the blessed raids in NY and D.C. on 9/11.
In one letter, Muhammad explained what jihad means to him:
"In Islam there's a call to duty -- jihad -- and it's of different types but the one I'm mentioning is a defensive struggle or fight with weapons against those who attack, kill, maim the Muslims. And this is a part of Islam." [...]
Far as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula I won't say much but yes, I'm affiliated with them. And it's more of a Islamic Revivalist Revolutionary Movement than an organization. Same with other Al-Qaeda fronts. Our goal is to rid the Islamic world of idols and idolaters, paganism and pagans, infidelity and infidels, hypocrisy and hypocrites, apostasy and apostates, democracy and democrats and relaunch the Islamic caliphate ... and to establish Islamic law (Shari'ah) -- Allah's law on earth and anyone who strives for this is affiliated with the movement.
So yes I'm Al Qaeda and proud to be. [...]
Muhammad now spends 23 hours a day alone in a cell in the Pulaski County Detention Center. He speaks to no one and can't see out the windows. His only book, he said, is the Interpretation of the Noble Quran. [...]
Good thing he is reading that, eh? Twenty-three hours a day with nothing but the Book of Peace and fairly soon he will be as "moderate" as the day is long!
I knew this would end with the enemies of Allah killing me. But the good thing is -- Martyrs don't die! Allah says, "Don't think of those who are killed for the sake of Allah as dead. Rather they are alive with their Lord and they have their provision!" (Qur'an 3:169) And that's what I believe. The jihad lives on. May Allah accept my jihadi operations and grant me what he promises all of the ... (martyrs) Ameen. [...]