My Jihad: The True Story of an American Mujahid's Amazing Journey from Usama Bin Laden's Training Camps to Counterterrorism with the FBI and CIA

My Jihad: The True Story of an American Mujahid's Amazing Journey from Usama Bin Laden's Training Camps to Counterterrorism with the FBI and CIA

by Aukai Collins


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He has been described as a "beefy-linebacker, All-American, blue-eyed, Irish- American mujahid holy warrior" who has led a life of faith, danger, and espionage in some of the most perilous war zones on the face of the Earth.It all started when a fellow worshiper in his San Diego mosque suggested that he go to Bosnia to stop the Serb-sponsored genocide that was taking place there. This eventually led him to Osama bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan, where he trained with the most aggressive and terrifying mujahadeen in the world. But when a commander asked him to raid a town in Kashmir that would include hostage taking and the killing of civilians, his life took another turn. As he was fighting jihad in Chechnya, terrorist attacks across the world shocked him and he became disillusioned by the way some were using Islam to further their own ends or to attack innocents. He was recruited by the U.S. government as an undercover operative in the fight against terrorism.His callous treatment by inept members of the law enforcement and intelligence community provides insight into why the U.S. government can't fight against something it doesn't understand. The FBI and CIA have now spent millions of dollars to understand the events that led up to September 11, even as the information was theirs for the taking. Aukai not only became familiar with one of the leaders of the attack on America, he also became acquainted with one of the hijackers and was invited to return to Osama bin Laden's training camps. My Jihad is the personal story about the biggest threat to world peace and stability in our generation, as told by an insider. (5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 192 pages)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585745654
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2002
Edition description: First
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

He has been described as a "beefy-linebacker, All-American, blue-eyed, Irish- American mujahid holy warrior" who has led a life of faith, danger, and espionage in some of the most perilous war zones on the face of the Earth.

Table of Contents

Part 1
From San Diego to Afghanistan Through Frankfurt, Vienna, Pakistan, and Kashmir 19933
Afghanistan winter 1993-9423
First Trip to Chechnya 1995-9641
Part 2
Part 3
How the CIA Betrayed Me 1996-99147
Chechnya Revisited 1999-2000217
September 11, 2001247


This is the story of how I converted to Islam, entered the world of the mujahideen, and fought jihad in faraway lands. It's also the story of how I became an undercover operative in a counterterrorism unit on behalf of the U.S. government. I had many successes and many failures, and I have more than my share of regrets. But this has been my life, and what I offer here is my first-hand experience with the world of the mujahideen and what was the U.S. government's war on terror.

Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, and the mujahideen are nothing new to the world. Nor are terrorism, kidnappings, and murder. But since September 11, 2001, these have loomed in the public imagination as new phenomena. Worse yet, they have been presented to the public as though they were intertwined, and that the war on terror-and those we'd wage it against-is very simple, very clear cut. Unfortunately, the world just isn't that simple. Being an Islamic fundamentalist does not mean that you support or engage in terrorism. Fighting jihad as a mujahid doesn't mean that you kidnap people or murder civilians. Yet many Americans fear Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, and the mujahideen as a national security threat, and that fear stems from the fact that few actually know about Islam, or who the mujahideen are, or why they fight jihad.

The Arabic word jihad means to strive or struggle against something. In the West, it has been translated as "holy war" because it is used in the Holy Qur'an almost exclusively in the context of war. Although the word is used frequently, perhaps now more than ever, jihad is not something to be taken lightly. Muslims cannot just fight or kill anyone or anything and call it a jihad. For a jihad to be declared, any given situation must meet several criteria as stipulated in the Holy Qur'an. To put it simply, when a Muslim land is being attacked and Muslims are being killed there is the need for jihad. In this case it becomes a duty for all able-bodied Muslims to come to the aid of the people being attacked. But even then jihad has many rules. It is forbidden to kill non-combatants. Crops and trees cannot be destroyed, and livestock cannot be killed. It is even forbidden to destroy the houses of worship of other faiths, and Muslims cannot force a person to convert to Islam.

As an example, consider the war in Bosnia. The Serbs murdered over two hundred thousand Muslims there. On one day in the city of Sebrenicia, over six thousand Muslims were slaughtered as U.N. peacekeepers looked on. During the war in Afghanistan more than a million Muslims lost their lives to the Soviet Union. In the tiny republic of Chechnya, in a war that still rages at this writing, the Russian army brutally killed at least another two hundred thousand Muslims. These are hundreds of thousands of lives, not thousands.

So who are the mujahideen? They are the Muslims of the world who answer the call of jihad and fight to defend the people of Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere as required. There are more than one and a half billion Muslims in the world, so it would stand to reason that of this number a million, or perhaps five hundred thousand, answer the call of jihad. No one knows for sure, but the mujahideen generally agree that there are actually fewer than ten thousand of us spread out throughout the world. Most of them are currently in Chechnya fighting the Russian army, but even there, their number is less than five thousand. Fifteen years ago many in the West considered these mujahideen to be heroes, valiant "freedom fighters" who dared to take on the Soviet Union despite being outnumbered and outgunned. More recently they were the heroes of Chechnya, defending the tiny republic against the same army that tried to annihilate Afghanistan. So when the stakes are this high and the odds against them are this long, does it really make sense to impugn them with one broad brushstroke and say that they hate freedom?

The events of September 11 and everything that came after it were truly regrettable, and I would have done anything to have stopped it, not only because so many lives were lost, but also because it set back the jihad movement at least two decades. Regardless of whether they had anything to do with September 11, or any terrorism, the mujahideen have been tried in the court of public opinion and have been found guilty by association. This will have dire consequences for Muslims in war-ravaged lands, and will undoubtedly make it even more difficult to save the thousands of innocent lives that will inevitably be lost to state-sponsored terrorism, as in Chechnya. A life is a life, and the loss of thousands diminishes us all, whether they are lost in a spectacular attack on downtown New York City, or cumulatively in mop-up operations in a little village in Chechnya.

As an American citizen and a Muslim I feel our government cannot solve the problem of terrorist threats until they understand that Christian, Jewish, and non-religious groups all pose threats. I have front-line combat experience with jihad in several countries overseas, and I also have front-line counterintelligence experience here at home as an asset of the CIA and FBI. But for years the U.S. government's ignorance of Islam, its people, and its history has fostered a culture of paranoia and xenophobia. These racist philosophies have led to a tunnel-vision campaign of oppression similar to the fear of communism in America during the 1950s. My experience with the CIA and the FBI has convinced me that they have not only a misguided "witchhunt" mentality, but an agenda that turns them away from the real problem of transnational terrorist threats and toward degrading individuals within the American Muslim community. As you will see, I tried to show both the FBI and the CIA how to infiltrate the terrorist cells in the United States and abroad, but as bureaucracies they do not have the capacity or motivation to actually confront and contain Islamic terrorist elements anywhere.

They don't want you to know that there is no real fight against terrorism. They don't want you to know that some of the highjackers of September 11 were known to the FBI as early as 1999. Now more than ever people need to know the facts because misunderstanding and fear will do nothing but destroy us all.
-Aukai Collins

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