Last week, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty for trying to murder 289 innocent civilians on Christmas Day 2009: he claimed he is guilty under U.S. law, but innocent under Islamic law. Earlier this month, North Carolina resident and al-Qaeda English-language propagandist Samir Khan met his end in a drone strike targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Anwar al-Awlaki, former imam at the Dar al-Hijrah terrorist factory in Falls Church, Virginia.
Both Abdulmutallab and Khan had connections to Awlaki, but they also had one additional tie: they were both former members of the extremist AlMaghrib Institute. (I first wrote about AlMaghrib's extremist teaching back in February 2007.) With Khan's death and Abdulmutallab's guilty plea, the pair join a long line of terrorist operatives who have graduated from "Jihad U."
Samir Khan's connection to AlMaghrib goes back to at least October 2004, when his profile on AlMaghrib's online forums was established (his profile is still online).