Suspect May Have Received Online Education in Jihad

al Qaeda eyes smaller terror plots and attacks

Targeting Terrorism

The 30-year-old Pakistani-American accused of trying to blow up an SUV in the heart of Times Square may have been poring through the Internet for years to gather information on jihad. has uncovered several dozens of postings by a man named Faisal Shahzad on radical Islamist Salafist websites devoted to a variety of different jihadist sects.

Experts suspect this is the same Faisal Shahzad whom authorities have charged with plotting to explode a massive car bomb in New York on Saturday. If so, then he has been educating himself on the Internet for years on the legitimacy of holy war.

Shahzad visited numerous websites devoted to ideological discussion of Islamism and Shariah law. His apparent online posts date back to at least 2006 — three years before the Times Square suspect became a naturalized American citizen.

“If the person on these websites is indeed the suspected bomber, the postings show that he was intellectually thinking about engaging in jihadism for a few years,” said Dr. Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Knowing that, the ideology of jihadism often has inspired violence and terrorism….

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