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November 21, 2006

Our Man in Al Queda

Sunday's UK Times featured an excerpt from a book written by a former Al Queda trainee, "Omar Nasiri" (a psuedonym). If the excerpt is representative of the rest of the book, Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda: A Spy's Story, looks to be an interesting read. Here is a taste:

Abu Hamza looked at me with his one good eye as we were introduced. “Masha’Allah, brother,” he said. “Can you meet me in the office after prayers?” “Of course,” I told him.

When prayers were finished I stood outside the office on the first floor of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London. Hamza approached with a young boy by his side. He gestured with his hook and the boy opened the door for him. We sat on the floor and Hamza asked the boy to bring us tea.

Hamza asked me which of the camps in Afghanistan I had been in, and I told him. Then I leant forward slightly. “I met someone you know,” I said in a conspiratorial voice. Hamza raised his brow just slightly.

“I trained with Assad Allah,” I told him. “He told me about the nitroglycerine, and how you lost your hands.” Hamza looked away. “Brother,” he whispered, not meeting my gaze, “please don’t share that story with anyone.”

As I was to learn later, Hamza claimed he had lost his hands defusing a landmine on the front lines in Afghanistan. I knew the real story.

November 21, 2006 at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack