Bashir the American, one of millions of a tiny itsy bitsy fringe group, inspired by devotion to the Koran, attacked a US base in Afghanistan and helped plot blowing up the NY subway system on Thanksgiving. It's peace, man. Peace. :)
Bashir, nee Bryant, was converted in a Long Island, NY mosque. It's no wonder CAIR is campaigning to keep law enforcement out of the mosques.
A 26-year-old Long Island truck driver — who went to Pakistan to
be trained by al Qaeda — fired rockets at a US military base in
Afghanistan and provided information about a possible terror attack on
New York's subways, court documents revealed today.
Bryant Neal Vinas, who was born in the US and converted to Islam at
a Long Island mosque, was arrested in Peshawar, Pakistan after trying
to kill GIs in the September 2008 attack.
Court papers also revealed that Vinas, of Patchogue, provided al
Qaeda with "expert advice and assistance" based on his "specialized
knowledge" of New York's subways and the Long Island Rail Road.
After he was captured in November he provided investigators with
critical information about a plot to blow up the subway systems, a law
enforcement official said.
Based on his disclosures, Washington warned city officials around
Thanksgiving that al Qaeda had discussed terror attacks on the city
subways and other transit systems in September.
Vinas — who also used the names "Ibrahim," "Bashir al-Ameriki"
(Bashir the American) and "Ben Yameen al-Kanadee — has been
cooperating with investigators, both American and European, since his
His identity had been kept secret until court papers were unsealed
today in Brooklyn federal court. He is being held at an undisclosed
Vinas was described as a former truck driver and car wash worker —
who also had "specialized knowledge" of the "communications equipment
and personnel" of the city subway system and LIRR.
Court papers said Vinas received "military-type training" from al Qaeda, apparently from May 2008 until his capture.
He is believed to have information about two terror cases in Europe
and may be a prosecution witness against al Qaeda members who trained
with him in Pakistan.
UPDATE: The LA Times has much more here:
reporters in Washington with Tribune (parent company of the Los Angeles Times).
Until then, the case had remained a closely guarded secret at the heart of
interconnected investigations in at least seven countries. It is a massive case," said a U.S. Justice Department official.
Vinas abruptly left home in September 2007 after talking about
wanting to study Islam and Arabic, his father said. A year later, after a truck
bomb killed 55 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, FBI agents from the
New York Joint Terrorism Task Force interviewed the family, relatives
from that era include Adam Gadahn, a fugitive propaganda chief; fellow
Californian John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban" serving a 20-year prison
sentence; and Jose Padilla, a former street gang member convicted in 2007 of
terror-related crimes after allegations of a "dirty bomb" plot were
After Al Qaeda lost its Afghan sanctuary, the increasingly
difficult and dangerous route to the network's new base in Pakistan has
dissuaded many extremists. One of the few Americans recently accused of joining
the core Al Qaeda network is Syed Hashmi, a Brooklyn College graduate who
journeyed to his native Pakistan in 2003. He awaits trial on charges of
providing material support to the terror network.
He told his father he attended a mosque and community center about eight miles
away in Selden, the Islamic Assn. of Long Island.
The worshipers at the
area's oldest mosque, a white wood building that used to be an Episcopalian
church, are predominantly Pakistanis. The mosque president, pharmacist Nayyar
Imam, does not recall Vinas. He said in an interview that he talks periodically
to the FBI and Homeland Security agency and stays alert for suspicious
"I keep an eye like a hawk on this place," Imam said.
the other hand, a former FBI counter-terrorism official said suspected
extremists have been identified at the mosque.
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