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Posted at 9:53 PM ET, 05/17/2010

'White' teen spotted in Taliban video

By Jeff Stein

What appears to be a young European or North American male was spotted in a Taliban video Sunday.

The video contains very brief glimpses of a clean-shaven young man in his late teens or early 20s, dressed in Western-style clothing, in a gathering of Taliban fighters. The scenes were recorded after an attack on a U.S. outpost in Nurestan, Afghanistan, according to a terrorism analyst who posted the video in a members-only intelligence site on the Linked in social network.

“When watching a video on a radical forum (Ansar-al-Jihad network) about a Pakistan Taliban group who just attacked a base in Nuristan, I noticed a strange figure,” wrote the Netherlands-based analyst, who posts under the name "G.B."

“It's a younger person, white European/US look, no beard, a Western coat and clearly looking around like he's looking for someone or something. He doesn't fit in between all those Talibs... “

The analyst said the video, which followed an Oct. 3, 2009 attack on Combat Outpost Keating, graphically recounted yesterday by The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe, was released on April 15.

But the SITE Intelligence Group, a private organization that analyzes terrorist tapes, said "the video in question was released on the website of the Afghan Taliban and jihadist forums on May 12, 2010."

"It is a production by the group’s media arm, al-Emarah, covering attacks on enemy sites in Kamdesh district in Nuristan province, eastern Afghanistan. Indeed, at the points designated by 'G.B.,' a man with light complexion walks around an area populated by Afghans and Afghan Taliban members, including an Afghan Taliban official, Dost Muhammad," SITE said.

The analyst provided tips to spot the fleeting views of the young man.

“(At) 42:22, he comes in picture, the white guy, neat blouse, Western coat and no beard (he's the only one around without traditional clothing or a beard). (At)

 42:25 he's in the center of the picture, pulling his hand through his hair.” 

The analyst mused that "those of you within Western Intelligence" might recognize the young man.

Western intelligence agencies have become increasingly worried about the prospect of non-Asian or -Arab Westerners joining terrorist groups.

UPDATE: In September 2009 a group calling itself the "German Taliban Mujahideen" released a video showing foreign fighters in training. According to the Telegraph of London, investigators had discovered a "Jihadi village" of white German al-Qaeda insurgents, including Muslim converts, in Pakistan's tribal areas close to the Afghan border.

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By Jeff Stein  | May 17, 2010; 9:53 PM ET
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With him wearing Western clothes it is hard to imagine he had joined any terrorist group. The analyst was surely insinuating the young man was Western intelligence, no?
Either way, he certainly stood out from the crowd.

Am I the only one who notes the resemblance to Jeff Redfern from Doonesbury. :)

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | May 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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