NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Chilling details were released Friday about the new world-wide boss of al Qaeda’s terror attacks.
Sources tell CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer he lived in Brooklyn and other parts of the country for 15 years and has an intimate understanding of America’s vulnerabilities.
Adnan el Shukrijumah is the new face of terror.
There’s a $5 million reward for the capture of Shukrijumah — but some say that’s not enough.
“This is a real nightmare. This is what we’ve been worried about for years, that somebody would be in a key position in al Qaeda, who not just understands American geography, they can learn that from a map or a GPS, but understands the American psyche,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Long Island), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.
Congressman King and FBI sources tell CBS 2 that Shukrijumah has become the successor to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as Osama bin Laden’s chief of global terror operations. And having spent 15 years living in Brooklyn and Florida — even going to college there — it marks the first time someone so in intimately familiar with American society is planning the terror groups’ attacks.
“He would know when he could really terrorize Americans, the type of attack that would really hit the heart and soul of the United States,” Rep. King said.
The FBI said Shukrijumah would also know how to get things critical to an attack, like passports and driver’s licenses for his accomplices.
“He’d be very instrumental in being able to get sleepers into our country,” Rep. King said.
Just last month prosecutors identified Shukrijumah as the man involved in recruiting Najibullah Zazi and two fellow Flushing high school friends for a failed attempt last year to blow up the New York City subways.
“He also probably has a lot of contacts with Americans, also with people who were like him, who had green cards, who then maybe he is able to radicalize,” terror expert Anne Marie McAvoy said. “So you also have issues that he may have some contacts here with people to help him in any plots he may put forward in the future.”
The FBI wants the terror chief dead or alive, pointing out that the 35-year-old occasionally wears a beard, is asthmatic and carries a Guyanese passport.
If he’s captured he’ll be brought to Brooklyn for trial.