When Bryant Neal Vinas spoke at length with Belgian prosecutors last March, he provided a fascinating and sometimes frightening insight into al Qaeda's training -- and its agenda.
Vinas is a young American who was arrested in Pakistan late in 2008 after allegedly training with al Qaeda in the Afghan/Pakistan border area.
He was repatriated to the United States and in January pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization.
In notes made by FBI agents of interviews with Vinas, he admits he went to Pakistan to join al Qaeda and kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But the terror group appeared to have other ideas for him. He volunteered to become a suicide bomber but was dissuaded at every turn. On Thanksgiving weekend last year, shortly after his arrest, much of the New York mass transit system was put on high alert, including Penn Station. According to the Belgian prosecutor's document, Vinas had told al Qaeda's command everything he knew about the system.
Vinas's account of his time in al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan is a playbook of how the terror group survived after 9/11 and continues to operate in the remote hills of Pakistan. Read full article »