Jihad – Who? What? Where? When?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2002

Such curiosity! Let’s take them one at a time. The &uot;who&uot; does not apply – not a person. &uot;What&uot; fits. It’s the &uot;holy war&uot; in the Muslim religion. Where? Oh, my, yes! At present in Afghanistan, and you can bet the farm it will be in Iraq sooner or later as President Bush would like to remedy what his father did not accomplish in the Gulf War – getting Saddam!

A quick glance tell us that Jihad is in the Middle East and Muslims. Startling fact: Hundreds of Americans have – and do – follow jihad. Jibreel al Amreekee grew up in Atlanta -a soft-spoken youth of 19 with a passion for sky diving. He enjoyed reading books on world religions. The religion of Islam drew his attention altho’ he was Baptist.

He attended North Carolina Center University, converted to Islam, and by 1997 he was spending most of his time in Ibad-al-rahman mosque in Durham.

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Attending this mosque were African-Americans and immigrants from Egypt. Here he was taught that Muslims were being slaughtered and jihad was every Muslim’s obligation.

At this point al Amreekee dropped out of school, read the Koran daily and took up with a militia outfit closely allied with bin Laden. They sought to plant Islamic flags in Tel Aviv and Washington.

He trained in Pakistan and was assigned to a unit ambushing Indian troops in Kashmir. After two and a half months he was dead attacking an Indian army post. He had told a friend he wanted to die a martyr.

Americans are accustomed to the jihad movement overseas in Pakistan schools and Saudi mosques. We found another would-be martyr – but a live one. John Walker Lindh – American prisoner. Many Americans – estimated at 1,200 to 2,000 left comfortable homes to fight with foreign armies. We even list an FBI terror chief. What’s with our guys here? Someone should talk to them and have them thinking right.

Florence Arena is a regular columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald.