How An American Began to Plot with Al Qaeda


american al qaeda.jpgMy friend and former New America Foundation colleague Paul Cruickshank has been at the forefront of CNN’s investigative journalism on the nuts and bolts of Islamic terrorism. In one of Cruickshank’s recent shows that he did with CNN’s Nic Robertson, they showed how devastating a small bomb on a plane could be. This time, they are exploring the context of how an American citizen became a tool of Pakistan-based terrorists.
Cruickshank’s and his colleague’s CNN hour long documentary titled American Al Qaeda: The Path to Terror, An Anderson Cooper 360 Documentary will air on Saturday May 15th and Sunday May 16th at 8pm Eastern, and will bring viewers the story of how a young American from Long Island, New York, became an al-Qaeda terrorist.
The hour is filled with exclusives details about the life of Bryant Neal Vinas, including interviews with his family, best friend, neighbors, and confidants. Before he was caught, Bryant Neal Vinas traveled to Pakistan, connected with Al-Qaeda leaders, participated in three Al-Qaeda training sessions, fired at U.S. troops and helped plot a terrorist plan aimed at the Long Island Rail Road system with the intention of killing American civilians.
CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, along with CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank and CNN senior producer Ken Shiffman, spent almost a year uncovering how and why Bryant Neal Vinas went from a quiet teenager who grew up in suburbia to a jihadist.
Our team has tracked Vinas’ story across three continents and will provide a definitive account of his transformation with the help of family, close friends, and top counter-terrorism officials.
American Al Qaeda will provide an exclusive interview with the man in Pakistan who counter terrorism officials suspect helped Vinas connect with jihadists. The hour will also include exclusive access to a letter Bryant wrote in prison and sent to his best friend.
CNN has a dedicated webpage on Vinas which includes an in-depth report on the never before told story of how Vinas was radicalized by Islamist extremists in New York and how he managed to join Al Qaeda’s ranks in the mountains of Pakistan.
The webpage also includes interviews with top U.S. counter-terrorrism officials and experts, a timeline of Vinas’s road to Al Qaeda, interviews with close associates of Vinas, interviews with individuals who allegedly helped radicalize Vinas, analysis of the current threat from homegrown terrorism, additional exclusive video content, and exclusive pictures.
I realize that this show will be controversial with some — but I think serious, level-headed reporting on how Americans have been swept up into terrorist networks abroad is important to understand.
— Steve Clemons


4 comments on “How An American Began to Plot with Al Qaeda

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    What a lovely sandwich style slice of Panarab support around this terror story. How exactly does someone make it from America to Pakistan to engage in terror without the support of our own Intelligence Community?
    Let’s not get close without creating more boogeymen to be scared of….
    You know I have greater chance of dying from tainted peanut butter than I do a terrorist attack. When will ready sacntions against Peter Pan’s jihad?
    Today Iran, tommorrow the sandwich world?
    A war of choice is more than being about tuna or baloney, mustard or mayo.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And where are the parrallel “in depth reports” on how American youths are increasingly being drawn into dangerous street gangs that pose a FAR FAR FAR GREATER threat to the lives and security of ordinary citizens going about their daily lives?
    I’m sick to death of this fuckin’ fearmongering horseshit we have been force fed in order to justify the evil machinations of these pieces of shit globalists in Washington DC. This con-job sold to us as the “Global War on Terror” is bankrupting us, slowly whittling away at our freedoms and rights, and destroying our crediblity world wide.
    Meanwhile, domestically, we are watching our society, our mores, and our quality of life rot from within.


  3. ... says:



  4. ... says:

    the usa likes to bring war to a number of places round the globe and is intent on continuing it’s militaristic attitude towards the rest of the globe…. the repercussion is there will always be those who oppose this and some of the repercussions are not going to be pretty… if the usa could get it’s ass out of others countries it might stand a chance in resolving terrorism on its own shores.. at present it is viewed as a terrorist by others for very legitimate reason…
    as many have predicted in the past – except this issue to intensify, not decrease… the usa has not changed in it’s approach either…


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