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Friday, August 03, 2007

A typical case is that of Saad Houssaini, a.k.a. Moustapha, one of Al Qaeda’s most prominent cadres in Spain and North Africa. Born in Meknes, Morocco, from a middle-class family (his father was a professor)—an almost universal pattern among Al Qaeda cadres, Houssaini obtained a government scholarship to study chemistry and physics at the University of Valencia in Spain. It was there that he was attracted, or recruited, to Islamism under the influence of Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the London-based ideologue and leader of Al-Nahda (the Revival), Tunisia’s major Islamist organization. Already under Spanish surveillance, in 1997 he fled to Taliban’s Afghanistan where he underwent further training in explosives in Al Qaeda camps, met other Moroccans, Bin Laden, Al Zarkawi and Al Zawahiri—the latter was a witness at his marriage. Following the U.S. attack in the fall of 2001, he returned to Morocco in April 2002, became a founder of GICM (Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, now part of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—AQIM) and trainer of its bomb makers. By September 2006 he was running a network of Moroccan volunteers to Iraq, until his arrest in March 2007.[1] It was under the influence of one of the many “nonviolent” Islamist ideologues in Spain harbored by “Londonistan” that he was radicalized, shifted to jihadism, established personal ties to the Al Qaeda core, and later served as a force multiplier for the organization thousands of miles away.

The Rest @ Spero News

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