A religious awakening led Hadi bin Mubarak Qahtani to become “an anonymous fireball.” (An intriguing contrast to Pentecost.) Yet we are still to believe that to examine the workings and causes of such religious awakenings would be irrelevant. How long will the media (left and right) continue this masquerade? From the Washington Post via MSNBC, with thanks to Skeetstreet:
Before Hadi bin Mubarak Qahtani exploded himself into an anonymous fireball, he was young and interested only in “fooling around.”
Like many Saudis, he was said to have experienced a religious awakening after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and dedicated himself to Allah, inspired by “the holy attack that demolished the foolish infidel Americans and caused many young men to awaken from their deep sleep,” according to a posting on a jihadist Web site.
On April 11, he died as a suicide bomber, part of a coordinated insurgent attack on a U.S. Marine base in the western Iraq city of Qaim. Just two days later, “the Martyrdom” of Hadi bin Mubarak Qahtani was announced on the Internet, the latest requiem for a young Saudi man who had clamored to follow “those 19 heroes” of Sept. 11 and had found in Iraq an accessible way to die.
‘Melting pot for jihadists’
Hundreds of similar accounts of suicide bombers are featured on the rapidly proliferating array of Web sites run by radical Islamists, online celebrations of death that offer a wealth of information about an otherwise shadowy foe at a time when U.S. military officials say that foreign fighters constitute a growing and particularly deadly percentage of the Iraqi insurgency.
The account of Qahtani’s death, like many other individual entries on the Web sites, cannot be verified. But independent experts and former government terrorism analysts who monitor the sites believe they are genuine mouthpieces for the al Qaeda-affiliated militants who have made Iraq “a melting pot for jihadists from around the world, a training group and an indoctrination center,” as a recent State Department report put it. The sites hail death in Iraq as the inspiration for a new generation of terrorists in much the same way that Afghanistan attracted Muslims eager to fight against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
I discuss this phenomenon in Onward Muslim Soldiers. Between Afghanistan and Iraq there was Bosnia. Where will be next? The pretext changes; the jihad remains constant.