Al Qaeda Attack in US Oct. 7?

This just in from the people at HomelandSecurityUS.com:

A posting uncovered in an Arabic language Internet forum is currently raising a few eyebrows in the intelligence community.

The post was initially published… under the title “Commandments [Directives] Before the Strike,” and appears to be… instructions on what Muslims should do prior to the attack, actions that should be undertaken concurrent with the attack, and well as additional instructions following the attack.

The text addressing the nature, location and timing of the planned attack, although specific to the U.S., appears otherwise ambiguous. For instance, the timing appears to focus on the Tuesday following the end of Ramadan, which would be October 7, 2008. The nature of the attack is less clear. Although the author appears to talk about a strike greater in magnitude than the 9/11 attacks and makes reference to the possibility of it being nuclear in nature, the text references to the nuclear aspect of the attack appear somewhat muddled.

In terms of the location of the attack, it is clear that the author identifies both New York, as the financial capital of the U.S., and Washington, DC, as the nation’s capital, as being both desirable and affected. It is interesting that under analysis, the details of “the attack” referenced by the author are nestled within the text of instructions, rather than being prominently placed to serve as an overt warning as seen in the past. The relative subtlety in which the targets and type of attack was referenced is most interesting from an historical and analytical perspective.

The author who wrote the posting appears to be well established and respected by the community of terrorists and their supporters who frequent such forums. To be clear, research indicates the author has a level of credibility within the forum community. Accordingly, it would be completely consistent for the author to be able to issue a set of instructions that could be expected to be followed by the readers of the forum.

An investigation of the post, in terms of placement, links and replies, also provides significant insight with regard to its weight and credibility. Looking at a specific patterns of posting on Arabic language forums over the last seven years, investigation and research takes into account the number, type and authorship of follow-up postings or replies, for example to the original communication.

What makes this post particularly interesting is the limited number of replies to date – a total of three- despite the length of time it has been posted. Further, the replies in this case are general blessings, such as “May Allah Bless You” and general wishes of support for the operation. Based on extensive research of historical posting patterns over the last seven years suggest that this posting could be classified, recognized and acted upon as an order, as opposed to being a point for further discussion.

The commandments or directives are written as a set of instructions to an audience the author has divided into six groups, most if not all having some presence in the United States. Various directives are issued to each of the groups, providing direction to each group on activities that need to be conducted before and after “the” attack. For example, members of “sleeper cells” should immediately seek out those who are already activated – known by some Islamic scholars and religious leaders – for further tactical advancement.

Specific instructions were also given to the Muslim people to move Muslim children to the safety of training camps at a time that would correspond to the Tuesday after Ramadan – a date that was established as the potential attack date within this posting.

Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of this posting might not be the message itself, but the message when viewed through the prism of historical patterns exhibited subsequent to the 2001 terrorist attacks. While the contents of the message are revealing, they become even more relevant when analyzed in tandem with the threat of worldwide jihad in advance of the bombings in Yemen and Pakistan.

We are seeing a resurgence of Islamic jihad previously before unseen, with few notable exceptions. Those exceptions, however, are indeed notable: the time periods before the London & Madrid bombings, both described as each country’s own 9/11.

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