Any friend of al-Awlaki warrants extensive scrutiny. “Indiana Grandmother, a Muslim Convert, Being Investigated for Possible Terror Link,” by Jana Winter for FoxNews, December 28:
A 46-year-old Indiana grandmother is under investigation for her possible ties to suspected and convicted international terrorists, FoxNews.com has learned.
Muslim-convert Kathie Smith, 46, a U.S. citizen living in Indianapolis who has blogged about her granddaughter, last year married a suspected German jihadist, and has been flying back and forth between the U.S. and Germany as recently as two weeks ago.
A pro-jihadist video featuring Smith and her husband – alongside photos of members of the Islamic Jihad Union charged with plotting failed terror attacks against U.S. targets in Germany — is being investigated by the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center. The center is a counterterror intelligence clearinghouse staffed by law enforcement officers from local and federal agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
“Certainly, it’s being looked at and evaluated by Indiana State Police, which runs Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center, ” Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Emily Norcross told FoxNews.com, adding that the video would be passed along to appropriate law enforcement for further investigation. […]
In lengthy e-mail exchanges with FoxNews.com, Smith alternatively defended her online postings, denied being anti-American, called the Sept. 11 attacks an inside job, the U.S. a terrorist organization and praised the American-born radical Muslim cleric Anwar al Awlaki — architect, trainer and inspiration for many of the recent terrorist attacks attempted or committed against the U.S. President Obama last April approved Awlaki’s inclusion on the CIA’s targeted killing list. […]
In the nearly six-minute video under investigation, Smith and her husband, known online as Salahudin Ibn Ja’far, 28, appear posing and hugging and holding weapons interspersed with photos of known and suspected terrorists and assorted jihadist propaganda, like an Awlaki sermon album cover.
There also are photos of German Taliban Mujahideen — German nationals who have formed their own splinter group within the Taliban — and mug shots of members of the Saarland cell of Islamic Jihad Union charged with plotting failed terror attacks against U.S. targets in Germany, including a 2007 plot to bomb the U.S. Air Force base at Ramstein.
Smith said of the Ramstein plotters featured in her video:
“The so-called ‘jihadists’ you have mentioned are actually personal friends of my husband from childhood. In the video he was expressing his love and gratitude to his friends, who have died fighting for freedom. Just like any other American or European citizen who displays pictures of soldiers who have died on their videos. There is no difference in gratitude and love. It is just that your government has deemed these noble men as ‘terrorists’ because they are not on the same side. Least us not forget the Mujahideen who fought the Russians for the U.S. They were deemed ‘heroes’ and lead by Osama Bin Laden at that time, and now because the government says so… they are “terrorists.– […]
While it is true, and was utterly wrongheaded, that the U.S. aided mujahedin against the Soviets, it is false that Osama bin Laden was in any way involved.
In addition to being close childhood friends of convicted terrorists, Salahudin has posted content from the German Taliban’s media outfit and the Islamic Jihad Union on forums and social networking sites. He’s also written in support of his “noble leaders” — bin Laden, Awlaki, the Sept. 11 hijackers and other terrorist leaders.
Salahudin appeared to maintain forums devoted to hosting Awlaki’s sermons. Earlier this month he uploaded videos to his since-deleted YouTube account that included German muhajideen training at jihadist camps in Pakistan, and another featuring the widow of a German Taliban jihadist directing the wives of jihadists to fulfill their obligations while their husbands are off fighting. […]
On Facebook, Smith “likes” Awlaki, has belonged to a Facebook group called “Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb to answer your questions,” referring to the North African branch of Al Qaeda. Smith also is Facebook “friends” with pages claiming to be the terrorist groups Al Shabaab and Ansar al Jundullah, in addition to “friends” Sheikh Faisal and Youself al-Khatb, the reported spiritual leader and co-founder of Revolution Muslim, respectively. Her “Likes” and “Groups” are visible to the public; a friend request from this reporter to Smith was not accepted. […]
On her MySpace page, currently available for viewing via Google cache, Smith wrote: “As salamu alaikum akhi.. it is time for Jihad and it is now Fard ayn for ALL Muslims whether their in the United Snakes or else where…Insha’Allah!!!!” […]
In classic Islamic theology jihad warfare is fard kifaya, an obligation of the community as a whole but not of every individual believer. Jihad becomes fard ayn, obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in some way, when a Muslim land is attacked.