CAIRO, Egypt – The al-Qaida cell that kidnapped and killed American Paul M. Johnson Jr. said in an online periodical Sunday that sympathizers in the kingdom’s security forces supplied it with police uniforms and vehicles and set up fake checkpoints to facilitate last week’s abduction.
The details of the kidnapping appeared in Sawt al-Jihad, or Voice of Holy War, a semimonthly online periodical published by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. A separate article, the final one written by cell leader Abdulaziz al-Moqrin, killed in a shootout Friday night, justified Johnson’s slaying.
The first article said militants wearing police uniforms and using police cars set up a fake checkpoint on al-Khadma Road, leading the airport, near Imam Mohammed bin Saud University.
When Johnson’s car approached the checkpoint June 12, the militants in police uniforms stopped his car — a Camry — detained him, anesthetized him and carried him to another car, the article said.
It said they then blew up Johnson’s car.
“This car is the one the Saudi media claimed was laden with explosives and that (the security) seized and defused it,” the article said.
Security officials said last week that Johnson’s car was found near Imam University. Saudi press reports said the car was booby-trapped and later caught fire.
“A number of the cooperators who are sincere to their religion in the security apparatus donated those clothes and the police cars. We ask God to reward them and that they use their energy to serve Islam and the mujahedeen,” the article read.
It said the militants decided to behead Johnson when Adel al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah in Washington, declared that Saudi Arabia would not negotiate with the kidnappers, who had demanded the release of jailed al-Qaida militants by Friday in exchange for Johnson’s life.
“The stupid Saudi government took the initiative and announced by the Americanized tongue Adel Al-Jubeir that it will not submit to the conditions of the mujahedeen, claiming that it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists,” the statement read.
The group said it beheaded Johnson when its deadline expired Friday.
Al-Moqrin’s final article, written after Johnson’s kidnapping, described the American as “an infidel, a warrior of the military. … He works for military aviation and he belongs to the American army which kills, torture and harm Muslims everywhere, which supports enemies (of Islam) in Palestine, Philippines, Kashmir (news – web sites).”
Johnson, 49, had worked on Apache helicopters for Lockheed Martin.
He replied to critics urging the release Johnson, saying: “Do those people want to see this infidel carry on the killing of the children and the raping of the women in Baghdad and Kabul in order to bless his killing?”
He said it is no excuse that Johnson was not a member of the U.S. military.
“According to this twisted logic, U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and others are innocent and peaceful because they are like the hostage, all of them do not wear the military uniform and … stay away from the battlefield,” al-Moqrin wrote.
“We can’t preserve the dignity of Muslims but through these means,” he wrote.