Home > AQ General, Arrests and detainee isues, Attacks and Plots > Najibullah Zazi & AQ recruitment

Najibullah Zazi & AQ recruitment

This stood out like a sore thumb for me. I wrote about al Qaeda’s skill in ‘turning’ recruits for my piece in Jane’s (I am *still* waiting on a pdf copy to post on the blog). But anyway, this just serves as yet another reminder that most people do not go to these places to join al Qaeda. They go to join jihad, and then get recruited, and that’s an entirely new radicalization trajectory. I’m also interested in who the others were, when he mentions “we”.

THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, during the spring and summer of 2008, I conspired with others to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and fight against the U.S. military and its allies. We made this agreement in Queens, New York, to carry out this agreement. At the end of August 2008, we flew from New York airport to Peshawar, Pakistan.

THE COURT: Your purpose in going to Pakistan?

THE DEFENDANT: Was to join Taliban.

THE COURT: For the purpose of?

THE DEFENDANT: To fight alongside with the Taliban against the U.S. … Also, our plan was to go to Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban. While we were in Peshawar, we were recruited by Al Qaeda, instead. We were taken by Al Qaeda to training camp in Waziristan, where we received weapons training.

via Najibullah Zazi reveals chilling details on Al Qaeda training and terrorist plot to blow up subways.

  1. Ryan
    02/23/2010 at 10:02 pm

    I’m not sure this is “entirely new.” This has been happening with Islamist groups – violent and not – since the 70s, probably earlier. This is, in fact, common to “joining patterns” for all modern activism and social movements. People often end up in a different group than they originally set out to join.

    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      02/23/2010 at 10:28 pm


  2. John
    02/25/2010 at 10:18 am

    An interesting “the rest of the story” on how they got the confession:


  3. 02/25/2010 at 8:51 pm

    WIthin the context of extremist groups in Pakistan and AQ and the Taliban specifically it does not seem that new. It would I suppose be quite interesting to hear more about Zazi’s decision path before he went to the training camps. Any interesting articles of this about?

    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      02/25/2010 at 8:56 pm

      No, it’s not new at all. I haven’t seen much at all about his decision to actually go over there.

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