Al-Qaida is aggressively recruiting black Americans for suicide operations
against the homeland, say FBI analysts who have reviewed recent videotaped
messages from the terror group’s leaders.
A speech released May 5 by Osama bin Laden’s deputy confirms earlier fears
that African-Americans are the No. 1 recruiting target for the next generation of
attacks. Al-Qaida has been trying to lower its Arab profile to reduce the
odds that its terror cells will be subjected to security scrutiny.
“Federal and local law enforcement authorities should be aware that al-Qaida
terrorists may not appear Arab,” warns a recent Homeland Security
intelligence report obtained by WND. “Non-Arab al-Qaida operatives could
find it easier to avoid unwanted scrutiny since they may not fit typical
In the latest message, al-Qaida No. 2 Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri clearly seeks to
sow political and racial discontent among African-Americans. He makes
frequent references to what he calls the “martyr” Malcolm X, and says “I
want blacks in America to know that we are waging jihad to lift oppression
from all mankind.”
Zawahiri encourages African-Americans to follow the example of Malcolm X,
a.k.a. al-Hajj Malik al-Shabaaz, who he says was not afraid to sacrifice his
life to fight American “oppression.”
According to a transcript of the hour-long screed, Zawahiri said this is
“the culture which the struggler and martyr Malcom X (may Allah have mercy
upon him) fought against when he told his repressed black brothers in
America, ‘If you’re not ready to die for it, take the word “freedom” out of
“Freedom is something that you have to do for yourself,” he quotes Malcolm X
as as saying. “The price of freedom is death.”
Zawahiri, again citing the teachings of Malcolm X, suggests that black
Muslims who do not rise up against America are no better than “house
It’s the first time al-Qaida has identified Malcolm X as a fellow Islamic
“struggler and martyr,” analysts say.
“Zawahiri’s focus on race relations may be benefiting from the input of a
U.S. citizen named Adam Yahiye Gadahn – a.k.a Azaam al-Amriki – who is a
senior member of al-Qaida’s media committee,” said former CIA analyst
Michael Scheuer, now an analyst for the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington,
D.C.-based think tank specializing in national security.
“Indeed,” he added, “the deftness and political timeliness of Zawahiri’s
statements suggest that al-Qaida may have more than a single American
Last year, in another nearly hour-long videotaped speech, al-Qaida
propaganda chief Gadahn invited blacks to convert to Islam and take revenge
against a nation that enslaved their ancestors.
Gadahn, a white convert from California thought to be operating out of
al-Qaida’s new base in Pakistan, slammed his native America, which he said
“shamelessly brought us lynch laws, Jim Crow, and a death row where only
convicts of certain races are sent.”
In courting African-Americans, he also encouraged them to forsake
Christianity, which he claims whites have used as an excuse to abuse blacks.
“Islam rejects the Judeo-Christian doctrines concerning Eve and Ham, which
the West has used to justify all manner of abuse and ill treatment of women
and blacks,” Gadahn said. “Islam is for everyone.”
Gadahn, who is wanted by the FBI for treason, also claims that America
Islamic terrorism analysts point out that al-Qaida’s racial history lessons
conveniently leave out the fact that Arab Muslim slave traders sold Africans
“The Arab is the true master of the African,” said Bill Warner, director of
the Center for Study of Political Islam. “Blacks like to imagine Islam is
their counterweight to white power, not that Islam has ruled them for 1,400
Blacks account for the largest share of Muslims in America. A great many of
them are converts to Islam. And remarkably, the religion is flourishing
among African-Americans since 9/11. Analysts fear the trend plays right into
bin Laden’s hands.
Black converts say Islam has more in common with their African heritage than
Christianity. In fact, black Muslim leaders often refer to such conversions
as “reversions,” claiming black “reverts” are merely returning to the
Islamic faith prominent among their African forebears who were forced into
“You have African-American men seeking liberation,” explained black Muslim
leader Eric Erfan Vickers, “and many see Christianity as a white man’s
religion that continues to oppress.”
Vickers, a convert to Islam, does not consider al-Qaida a terrorism group.
“They are involved in a resistance movement,” he contended.
Prisons have already proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for al-Qaida,
spawning the likes of shoebomber Richard Reid and alleged dirty bomber Jose
Christian prison chaplains say Islam is so popular with inmates they are
having a hard time competing with Muslim chaplains for their souls. Blacks
are being converted by the cell block. The FBI worries blacks could be the
next face of terror in America.
Since 9/11, the agency has already disrupted several homegrown terror plots
involving black Muslim converts, including:
up the Sears Tower in Chicago (some had rap sheets).
a local shopping mall.
classified information about U.S. battleship movements in the Strait of
military recruiting stations and synagogues in the state. The plot was
initially hatched in prison.
Still, some analysts doubt al-Qaida’s pitch will resonate in today’s black
community beyond a handful of malcontents. They point out that
African-Americans are no longer held back by institutional racism, and are
growing wealthier as evidenced by the expanding black middle class.
Indeed, Zawahiri does not paint a very enticing picture in describing the
sacrifices required along the path of jihad, especially for those used to
the material comforts of America.
“If we continue to aspire to nothing more than diplomas, positions,
salaries, pensions and the raising of our children, there will be nothing
but humiliation in store for us, our children and our grandchildren,” he
argued. “If, on the other hand, we are happy with killing, captivity,
emigration, losing one’s spouse, orphanage, and losing one’s wealth,
homeland and beloved in the path of Allah, then with Allah’s help, no power
on the face of the earth can defeat us.”
Zawahiri in his latest speech also made fresh threats about coming attacks
He warns that a new “squadron of martyrdom-seekers” is lined up behind
“hundreds” of new leaders who are following in the footsteps of captured
9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
“They shall achieve more than he achieved,” Zawahiri vowed. “The Americans
shall pay dearly.”
He says American voters had a chance to fire Bush in the last presidential
election for invading Iraq, but they chose instead to reelect him. He
suggests they forfeited their chance for protection from terrorism, and
“The Americans deserve what they’re getting,” he said. “They chose this liar
two times, so let them pay the price for their choice.”
Gadahn has said “the streets of America shall run red with blood,” later
singling out Los Angeles as a target of attack.