Jihadist (illustration)
Jihadist (illustration)Thinkstock

Facebook allows people to connect from all corners of the globe, but that convenience also enabled an Indian jihadist who was arrested late last year to recruit a willing US-based jihadist and help him plan terrorist attacks on American soil.

Anis Ansari was arrested last October for planning to conduct an attack on the American School located in the Bandra-Kurla section of Mumbai, reports the Hindi-language Dainik Bhaskar as cited by MEMRI.

Before Ansari was arrested his Facebook usage was being monitored, revealing that he was recruiting Umar Ilhaji who lives in the US to conduct attacks in America.

In excerpts from their Facebook contact, Ilhaji tells Ansari that he's from Lebanon but lives in "Darul Harb," meaning the "Land of War," a Muslim term for all lands not currently ruled by Islamic conquest. He adds that he didn't come to the US "out of willingness."

Ansari tells him he is lucky, explaining "the mujahideen (jihadists) across the world dream of launching an attack in America on their own. ...They want that the enemy be killed in their home. ...Whereas we are very far and cannot do much."

After this recruiting line, Ilhaji responds saying "include me in your team. I too want to become part of this action (jihadist attack) because you think that for this action I am in the right place; that is, America."

In another section of the excerpts, Ansari tells his US-based recruit that "by spending 100 dollars you can have the earth under (US President Barack) Obama’s feet sink. For this, only courage is needed. You would have heard of a vehicle bomb, IED (improvised explosive device), or pressure-cooker bomb."

"For targets, you have lots of options near you. I’d bet on this," urges Ansari, asking "why is the delay?"

An obviously enthralled Ilhaji responds, saying "I like your advice. You are a born leader and motivator. I will continue to take advice (from you) in my action, as I will need someone to help me." Ansari replies "you can ask me for advice any time."

"Target children"

The two also discussed Ansari's plans to attack the American School in Mumbai on Facebook before the arrest.

Ilhaji is seen in excerpts showing discomfort with the idea and asking Ansari to "reconsider the target. ...Why do you want to attack the American School only? There are innocent children there, what is their fault?"

He is told by Ansari that he intends to attack the school "because there in addition to France and Italy, children from ten allies of America study there. We should hit that part of the enemy which causes the most pain. I mean: the citizen. The deaths of soldiers do not cause pain because this is their line of work."

"I agree with you," replies Ilhaji, adding "your plan and advice are really fabulous."

Ansari responds "it will be fabulous only when one puts them into practice. Our one small effort can help the Islamic State (ISIS) a lot. The day America realizes this - that the war in the Middle East has now reached its soil - then the same day will be decisive victory for the Islamic State and mujahideen of the world."

Even after having agreed with and praising the plan, Ilhaji again is seen showing reservations and suggesting that Ansari "reconsider about attacking the American School."

The American school is the only school on Ansari's hit list, he explains, because it "is indeed a special school. Here all the children are VIPs who are connected to the governments and administrations of America and Europe. Here the teachers and staff are high-profile. However, this work is very difficult because for 24/7 Indian security forces maintain vigilance."

That vigilance was tight enough to know what Ansari was saying about it, and eventually to see him behind bars for his ruthless and bloody plans to murder children.