“Keep up the dawah and the psychological warfare,” Ahmad told the sailor, a Muslim serving in the US Navy. From the San Diego Union Tribune, with thanks to Nicolei and Teri:
Investigators are trying to determine whether a San Diego sailor passed Navy secrets about security weaknesses and warship movements to a British man accused of having terrorist links, according to court documents unsealed yesterday.
E-mail messages from the unnamed sailor, sent in late 2000 and 2001 before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, were found in December in computer files belonging to Babar Ahmad, who was detained Wednesday in London, according to the 31-page arrest affidavit….
Investigators say the messages were sent from a Benfold e-mail account, including one in which the sailor wrote that he was on active duty in the Middle East….
The e-mail messages extolled the bombing of the destroyer Cole in October 2000 and the actions of Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya, according to the affidavit documents.
A return message from Ahmad’s computer account “praised the enlistee’s comments and encouraged the enlistee to ‘keep up with the dawah (an Arabic term for missionary work) and the psychological warefare (sic),’ ” the documents stated.
The sailor, in another e-mail, discussed an on-board briefing about protecting the ship from terrorist attacks like the Cole bombing, according to the documents. In that attack, an explosives-laden boat was brought alongside the destroyer while it was anchored in Aden, Yemen, and blown up. The explosion killed 17 sailors, including one from San Diego.
The same floppy disk contained a separate file describing the composition of the Constellation battle group, the ships’ planned movements and a drawing of the group’s formation for the transit of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passage between the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, court documents said.
Under a heading of “weakness,” the computer file stated, “They have nothing to stop a small craft with (rocket-propelled grenade) etc., except their SEALs’ Stinger missiles.”
It also noted the expected date for the battle group’s transit through the strait….
Several defense analysts said the possibility of a spy or terrorist sympathizer within the military is plausible.
“I think it’s disturbing, but not surprising,” said analyst Jack Spencer with the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. “Clearly, our military capabilities are a target of al-Qaeda.”
Another defense analyst wondered whether the military is able to prevent people from supplying information to terrorists.
“During the Cold War, they were set up to sniff out Communists, but I don’t know if they’ve come up with a program to address (terrorists),” said John Pike, director of the think tank GlobelSecurity.org. “There have been enough of these instances where service members have tried to help the (Islamic) jihad that you wonder how many that we haven’t caught.”
There will continue to be many that we do not catch as long as the military refuses to acknowledge that any Muslim can be radicalized.