This is a guest post for The Washington Note by al Qaeda and Islamist terrorism expert Paul Cruickshank. Cruickshank is a Fellow at the NYU Center on Law and Security.
I have a story out this week in the new issue of Marie Claire on Malika el Aroud, a Belgian woman who wore short skirts and hung out in Brussels’ nightclubs before becoming an icon of the Global Jihadist Movement.
It’s quite a tale… You can also see the story on CNN. A half hour documentary on Malika, which I produced, is airing all this week on CNN International. The first segment is posted above. (Parts two and three are watchable on line and can be accessed here just below the box of the first segment.)
Malika, now behind bars, and described by Belgian authorities as an “Al Qaeda Living Legend” told me when I interviewed her for CNN that she loved Osama bin Laden even though he sent her soul mate to his death. Her former husband Abdessattar Dahmane had helped assassinate Ahmed Shah Massoud the head of the Northern Alliance two days before 9/11. Malika appeared to be keeping his flame alive when we met her. She showed us how she administered a website supporting Bin Laden’s Jihad.
In an extraordinary twist to her story, CNN reveals that Malika once again has a man in her life connected to the very top echelons of Al Qaeda. Malika’s new husband, whom I met three years ago, has now forged ties in the Pakistani tribal areas with one of the terrorist masterminds behind the 2006 “Airline Plot,” widely recognized as Al Qaeda’s biggest plot since 9/11.
You can watch the full CNN Documentary “One Woman’s War”, presented by CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson, here
— Paul Cruickshank