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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oops, My Facebook Friend Just Joined AQ

Some Facebook friends of Al Qaeda member Cabdulaahi Faarax (click for larger image)

Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax has a lot of friends on Facebook. More than 400 in fact. So what will those friends -- many of whom live in the United States -- do now that Al Shabab, the Somali militant organization to which Faarax belongs -- has officially merged with Al Qaeda?

It's not like they shouldn't have known already. Al Shabab is, after all, a designated terrorist entity and dozens of Americans have been indicted for various activities on Shabab's behalf. And the organization's leaders already publicly swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden and after him, Ayman Al Zawahiri.

But for all that the brand name has suffered, there is still something special about being a member of "Al Qaeda." And thus, something special about being Facebook friends with an official, no-bones-about-it Al Qaeda member.

Especially if you are, say, one of Faarax's 47 friends living in Minneapolis who list their schools or employers on their Facebook pages, names like Wells Fargo Insurance, IBI Carrier LLC,, Hennepin County Library, HTI Co., Sheridan College, Country Financial, Manchester Unlimited, Normandale Community College, St. Mary's University, Minnesota State, Edison Senior High School, or Roosevelt Senior High School.

And those are just in Minneapolis.

If employers are scouring Facebook pages for pictures of employees doing beer bongs during long-ago college days, it makes you wonder what they would think of an employee who is friends with an Al Qaeda member.

Not to mention companies -- like Facebook and Twitter -- that are currently providing a platform for these newly minted Al Qaeda members. Time to do some weeding, folks.

For more about American jihadists, check out J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, on sale everywhere.

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ISIS: The State of Terror, by Jessica Stern and J.M. BergerJessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, "ISIS: The State of Terror," from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, its potential fall, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents. Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of

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Jihad Joe by J.M. BergerJihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam, the new book by INTELWIRE's J.M. Berger, is now available in both Kindle and hardcover editions. Order today!

Jihad Joe is the first comprehensive history of the American jihadist movement, from 1979 through the present. Click here to read more about the critical acclaim Jihad Joe has earned so far, including from the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and many more.


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