Tuesday, July 24, 2007


"A former Navy sailor charged with supporting terrorism by disclosing secret information about the location of Navy ships and the best ways to attack them also discussed attacking military personnel and recruiting stations, federal prosecutors said yesterday," reported Associated Press today.

"The sailor, Hassan Abujihaad, discussed sniper attacks on military personnel and attacks on recruitment sites, prosecutors said in Federal District Court, although they said it was unclear if he would face additional charges. Mr. Abujihaad’s lawyer, Dan LaBelle, has said there is no proof that his client disclosed the naval information."

Also known as US vs. Paul R. Hall, your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow wrote about the case a few months ago, at el Reg.

Abujihaad has regularly been described as someone who was an al Qaeda collaborator while serving on the US destroyer, Benfold. The usual tale is that he described ways to attack his surface action group as it was moving into the Persian Gulf.

The original federal indictments contained quite a bit of information on Abujihaad's activities, mostly derived from e-mails from him to a British website known as Azzam. Azzam sold videos of jihadis fighting in Chechnya and the Balkans and is accused by the US government of materially aiding terrorist organizations.

Abujihaad's story is complicated and not particularly heartening, which is probably why the US newsmedia -- when covering him -- usually just resorts to the usual tall tales. It is not a victory in the war on terror although it may eventually go into the justice department's record books as one.

"Material support of terrorism and disclosing previously classified information" are the beefs in the indictment against Abujihaad, according to a government press release from March of last year. This sounded serious and the newsmedia did its usual listless job in reporting on it.

"Hassan Abujihaad, 31, is accused of supporting terrorism by disclosing secret information about the location of Navy ships and the best ways to attack them," wrote Associated Press. "Investigators say he provided those secrets, in classified documents, to a suspected terrorism financier."

However, the actual material in the indictment is of much thinner cloth. And the nature of it is why DD now posits government prosecutors are attempting to burnish their case against him, possibly by introducing additional gossip concerning his alleged transgressions.

Abujihaad's material support of a terror organization, consisted of the accused's buying of a couple jihadi videos from Azzam in the United Kingdom and overspending by five dollars in their purchase.

In addition, he communicated sensitive information on the position of his surface action group. While examination of the mails shows they were in no way a serious threat to the US Navy, Abujihaad also included injudicious grumbling in them, inflammatory insults -- calling his superiors "scary pussies" running "around like headless chickens," criticisms which likely ensured the US government would spare no expense in bringing him to trial on terror charges.

Abujihaad's tale, a bit of a sad one, is one in which the book against, so far, does not show any serious involvement in terrorism. It is the story of a man who ordered videos and had loose lips when he should have kept his virtual mouth shut, a case of extraordinarily bad timing and even poorer judgment.

You can read the original and the pertinent government documents here at el Reg.


Blogger Winter Patriot said...

Good stuff, Mr. D.

I've been following this case (and that of Abujihaad's alleged ex-roommate, Derrick Shareef) and posting a bit about both of them at my humble blog.

In my most recent post about Abujihaad, I quoted the prosecution admitting there was "no forensic footprint" linking Abujihaad to the documents retrieved from Azzam, and one of my readers -- a semi-retired lawyer -- said "no forensic footprint --> no case!" ...

... but that was then and this is the GWOT, so normal rules may not apply here ... I find this state of affairs quite sad, especially the number of bloggers and others who are ready to hang the guy based on allegations alone, without even waiting for a trial.

Clearly they're not reading you! Clearly they're not reading either of us!! But in any case I thank you once again ... and please keep up the good work.

best wishes

PS in case you're interested, here's my series on Shareef:

Derrick And The Detonators

My posts on Hassan Abujihaad are here, and guess what? The most recent of them quotes you quite extensively!

Fancy that!!

1:12 PM  

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