Like millions of other Facebook users his age, the man accused of trying to blow up a Detroit Metro Airport-bound plane on Christmas Day often shared thoughts about life.
Investigators are examining more than 300 posts by Umar Abdulmutallab to Facebook and Islamic Web sites to get more information about what motivated the 23-year-old to try and commit what could have been the most devastating act of terrorism in America since Sept. 11, 2001.
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Abdulmutallab’s musings ranged from longing and introspective to chilling in ways that may have forecast his actions on Dec. 25 when he set himself on fire after failing to properly detonate explosive powder hidden in his underwear.
“I won’t go into too much details about my fantasy, but, basically, they are jihad fantasies,” he wrote in one post. Jihad is the Arabic term referring to struggle associated with what Muslims regard as “holy war.”
“I imagine how the great jihad will take place, how the Muslims will win (Allah willing) and rule the whole world and establish the greatest empire once again,” Abdulmutallab wrote.
But other postings by the ex-college student reflected a lonely outlook and contradictory view of the world where he hoped Islam would reign, such as when he revealed: “I have no friend. Not because I do not socialize etc but because, either people do not want to get too close to me as they go partying and stuff while I don’t.
Or they are bad people who befriend me and influence me to do bad things.”
Abdulmutallab wrote that during his loneliness, “the natural sexual drive awakens and I struggle to control it, sometimes leading to minor sinful activities.” The “problem,” he added, made him consider marriage as a possible solution.
Other posts, such as those reflecting his enjoyment of soccer, left little clue about his personal torment or any desire to see death inflicted on others.
Recent studies of those who operate in terror cells suggest that Abdulmutallab fits the profile of isolated young men from privileged backgrounds, who join extreme, often violent religious campaigns.