Sunday, May 16, 2010

AC360 airs "American Al Qaeda", biography about New Yorker Bryan Neal Vidas

Anderson Cooper and British correspondent Nic Robertson ran the one hour documentary “American Al Qaeda” on Saturday, May 15. CNN does not seem to have a stable link for the program, but Mediabistro has a synopsis here.

The film traces the biography of Bryan Neal Vinas, on Long Island New York, after his parents broke up. As a result of emotional turmoil, he migrated from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity eventually to radical Islam and journey for training in Pakistan.

Brian withdrew into a closed circle of friends and became persuaded by radical ideology on the Internet. He finally wanted to go to a madrassah.

At one point he cross-dresses with a burqa while looking for a training camp that will accept him after going to Pakistan. He has shown “perseverance.”

But in time he would be arrested and brought back to the US for trial. He would give authorities information about Al Qaeda plots against the Brussels, Belgium subway and then against the Long Island Rail Road. Security on the LIRR would be stepped up in late 2008.

Authorities see his arrest as a real break, effectively giving them information like that gathered by a mole in an Alfred Hitchcock spy movie.

There was no video from the AC360 show yet covering this episiode, but I found an unrelated one (lined from the AC360 site) about the dangers of flesh-eating bacteria during pregnancy that is so startling it’s worth pointing out somewhere, maybe as a “public health” advisory.

Picture: from Office of Emergency Management, Arlington, billboard in a Metro station

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