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Saturday, August 7, 2004

British Suspect's Web Site Praised Taliban, bin Laden Before 9/11

By J.M. Berger

According to a U.S. indictment, Webmaster Babar Ahmad deleted dozens of files from his jihadi Web site,, in the wake of September 11. The site is no longer active at all.

But the Internet has a long memory. INTELWIRE has recovered two pages hosted on prior to the September 11 attack, which praised the Taliban and defended the sect's decision to protect Osama bin Laden against U.S. extradition attempts.

The pages, recovered from the Internet Archive (, are mirrored here for the use of news media and terrorism researchers. Both pages were live on during 2001, prior to September 11, according to the Archive's records. Some images and links are non-functional. Links to pages hosted on may load on a second or third attempt, but some are non-functional.

UPDATE: Qaeda-Linked Site Sought $10 Million A Month For Taliban

The first page, an index of Taliban-related material, bears the headline "Taliban: Allah's Blessing on Afghanistan." It contains pictures and links to various articles about the Taliban, as well as to a page titled "What you can do to help the Taliban (01 Feb 2001)." That page could not be loaded as of this time of this update.

The second page defends the Taliban's policy of harboring Osama bin Laden, despite U.S. attempts to apprehend him for trial.

The author of the page asks: "What type of Shariah (Islamic law) is it that fails to protect the lives and well-beings of Muslim refugees from their enemies? Why did Usama bin Ladin go to Afghanistan? Because that was the only country in the World where he could be safe from the persecution he was facing for his religion."

Repeating an argument used by Ramzi Yousef, among others, to justify terrorist attacks on the United States, the author challenges the U.S. designation of bin Laden as a criminal by drawing parallels to the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II:

"And which nation is it that has labelled Usama bin Ladin a terrorist and a criminal for allegedly causing the deaths of a few dozen Americans?" the author writes. "Is it the same nation that was the only nation in history to use atomic weapons in anger, when it dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing over 220,000 Japanese? Weren't those people human beings as well? Or do Japanese not count as human beings like Americans do?"

Later, the author states, "It is very clear to any intelligent individual, Muslim or not, that it is not possible to plan and execute bombings of embassies and ships sitting in a barren country thousands of miles away with no telephone lines, broken highways and where most of the population gets its electricity from diesel generators."

Babar Ahmad was arrested in the U.K. and faces extradition charges related to publishing the Azzam Web site, soliciting funds for use in terrorism and conspiracy to support terrorism (external link).

U.S. authorities also said Ahmad was found in possession of classified information sent by an active U.S. Navy enlistee stationed with a carrier group in 2001. As reported previously on INTELWIRE, al Qaeda is known to have infiltrated the U.S. military both before and after the Gulf War, and the terror network actively recruited U.S. veterans during the early 1990s with the assistance of at least one active duty serviceman. (related story)


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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