RealNews

Unclear Danger: Inside the Lackawanna Terror Case

The journey into the heart of Al Qaeda began here, in the frayed Yemeni-American neighborhood of this former steel town just south of Buffalo. For Sahim Alwan, a 28-year-old youth counselor, husband and father of young children, it led to a house in the Afghan city of Kandahar, where he came face to face with Osama bin Laden. It was the spring of 2001. Mr. Alwan and a group of American men had traveled to Afghanistan convinced of their obligation as Muslims to prepare for holy war. At guesthouses and at a military training camp, men talked menacingly of martyrdom, and Mr. bin Laden assured his recruits that, in the fight with America, he had men “willing to carry their souls in their hands.” “I said, `Damn, this is real,’ ” Mr. Alwan recalled. He demanded to leave the camp, he said. But first, Mr. bin Laden requested a final meeting. Ushered into a private room, Mr. Alwan sat alone with the Qaeda leader on a carpet and pillows. Mr. bin Laden asked how American Muslims viewed suicide operations. “We don’t even think about it,” Mr. Alwan said he answered nervously. Full Story

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