RealNews

Fugitive said to be al-Qaeda pilot

U.S. authorities believe that a former South Florida resident who is the subject of a worldwide manhunt is a licensed pilot with training in explosives and ties to top al-Qaeda leaders. Authorities also believe that Adnan El Shukrijumah, known within al-Qaeda as ”Ja’far the Pilot,” was an overseas acquaintance overseas of Jose Padilla, a former Chicago-area gang member who was arrested last year while allegedly plotting to acquire materials for possible use in a ”dirty bomb” attack. A dirty bomb uses conventional explosives to spread radioactive material. Although Padilla once lived in the Miami suburbs and attended the same mosque where El Shukrijumah worshiped, authorities have no evidence so far that they crossed paths in the USA. ”We think the connection was overseas,” a top U.S. counterterrorism official said. ”We know there is a connection, but (we) don’t know how deep.” The link between El Shukrijumah, 27, and Padilla, 31, has led federal agents to question whether El Shukrijumah might have shared Padilla’s interest in attacking lightly guarded ”soft targets” such as apartment buildings, the counterterrorism official said. Full Story

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