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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Glimpse At Khalid Aldawsari's Blog

Khalid Ali Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested Wednesday for plotting to build a bomb which authorities believe may have been intended for use against the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.

The latest in a series of jihadists with an online presence, Aldawsari kept a blog in both English and Arabic. In some ways, it is typical blog content including discussion of music and movies such as "The Taking of Pelham 123" and zombie movies. But over time, the blog moves into stranger territory.

The very first post on Aldawsari's blog, from 2008, features a photograph of a woman in a low-cut top. The text is addressed to "Anna." (Florian Flade of the Jih@d blog identifies her as Italian actress and model named Anna Valle). Aldawsari wrote:
Anna if there is just one great moon you will be my stars and rare moons. Anna, you are my universe which is the perfection with out human beings. Sometimes we choose an impossible love to share pains. Anna all of my pains I share them alone in silence dawns.

Aldawsari wrote repeatedly of women and apparently a series of unrequited attractions. One entry from 2009 read:
First of all, I want to convey to myself and to the whole world that I will get you. I have experienced so many hard situations and I won in all of them because I believe there is no impossible in love.

Another entry in May 2009 recounted meeting a language partner at school with whom he discussed religion.
I am falling in love of her .....
She is goregeous that I cann't forget her just right away ...

I am asking Allah the great to covert her to Islam and marry me.

Several more references to the language tutor follow, after which she disappears from the blog without explanation.

Over time, Aldawsari began posting in Arabic. In these posts, he discussed his religious inclinations and the situation of the Palestinians, arguing in June 2009 for the legitimacy of jihad in Palestine and the unacceptability of a peace process with Israel. This post represents a sharp turn toward militancy compared to the previous content, which was largely oriented toward love and longing, albeit tinged with strong religious overtones. The posting was prompted by something Aldawsari saw, although he did not specify what.

After Aldawsari arrived in Lubbock, Texas, to continue his studies in August 2009, his posts became shorter. In October, he wrote in Arabic that he intended to author a book called "Certainty in the Teachings of Religion."

In November, Aldawsari's content turned stranger and less comprehensible. In English he wrote:
The life is being strange and more stranger because there is no more strange things in this life; it is the knowledge of reality where everything tangible, but when it is about love, nothing of these can explain it in brief or in paraphrase; it is something behind the known; it is something that our feelings struggle from just describe it; it is the hardest when we talk about the hard, and it is the easiest when we talk about joy, but it is known for everybody, love isn't impossible. However, sometimes with all of the work, with the senses, with ambition, emotions, imagination, and everything; you will just be a prisoner of dreams. There was a wise man who said his wisdom in these words, "Your word could be audible if you have spoken to alive, but your listeners are dead .... And if you have puffed into a fire it will lit, .. but you are puffing into the ash. "

Aldawsari stopped posting until March 2011, coming back with a militant post in Arabic touching on several key jihadist talking points, including the violation of Muslim lands and lives, the rape of Muslim women, taboos about discussing terrorism and finally asking God to make him a martyr:
"You who created mankind and who is knowledgeable of what is in the womb, grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make Jihad easy for me only in Your path, for You have no partner, and make me reside in the high heaven eternally forever, and shield me in Your shadow on the day when there is no shadow, but Yours. My God, You are the one who responds to supplication.

The remaining posts are a mix of religiously informed poetry and an increasing number of comments on the seizure of Muslim lands and homes, the rape of Muslim women and the killing of civilians. Posts stop again in August 2010, and one final post in February 2011 read:
"I met April in the dawn, and it was a great memory to remember and celebrate the 24th anniversary"


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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