The fact that one of the seven wanted Al-Qaeda members is an American citizen, a convert to Islam, speaks volumes. Of course, several converts have already won headlines in the war on terror: John Walker Lindh, Juan Padilla, Richard Reid, Jack Roche, etc. It is obvious why Islamic terrorist groups would want to recruit such people. Less often noted is the significance of the fact that they can be recruited at all. For they approach the Qur’an and other Islamic texts without the culturally ingrained ways of understanding them that Muslims pick up in Islamic societies. In other words, they come to Islam more or less in a pure, abstract form. The force of any given passage of Qur’an or Hadith is not blunted by cultural habit and familiarity. This is extremely revealing of the nature of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
[Last night I posted the above graphic with a similar story. I was surprised to see that it quickly disappeared, but it was while the site was being worked on by the technicians. So I posted it again, made sure it was up, and turned to other work. Now this morning I find it gone again. I am no computer expert and don’t know why this is happening, but I suspect it is also why some of you have found you can’t post occasionally, or encounter other difficulties. Apologies for any inconvenience, and I will try to figure out what’s going on. I thought the problems had been taken care of, so this is really puzzling.]
From the Washington Post:
The nation’s top law enforcement officials, saying they are convinced al Qaeda is planning an attack on the United States in the coming months, issued an urgent plea yesterday for information about seven people who they said could be involved in such an effort.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III asked for the public’s help in tracking down six men and one woman associated with al Qaeda who either are familiar with the United States or have a history of involvement in attacks on U.S. interests.
All but one — Adam Yahiye Gadahn, 25, a Southern California convert to Islam linked to top al Qaeda captive Abu Zubaida — have been sought for many months by the FBI. Officials said they do not know whether any of the seven is in the United States. …
“Credible intelligence, from multiple sources, indicates that al Qaeda plans to attempt an attack on the United States in the next few months,” Ashcroft said. “This disturbing intelligence indicates al Qaeda’s specific intention is to hit the U.S. hard.” He said the information has been “corroborated on a variety of levels.”