Aukai Collins, born on February 13, 1974, also known as Aqil Collins, was an American of Irish descent who converted to Islam and fought with Islamic Chechen irregulars of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He was wounded in combat with elements of a Russian Spetsnaz unit from which he subsequently lost his leg.
His exploits, which included contacts with Al Qaeda leading operatives, are described in the autobiographical book My Jihad: One American's Journey Through the World of Usama Bin Laden—as a Covert Operative for the American Government (ISBN 0-7434-7059-1).
In this book he distinguishes between the Chechen armed terror against the Russian army, which he regards as justified according to Islam, and terrorism in Al Qaeda style, which he regards as contrary to Islam.
He also claimed that he warned the FBI long before 9/11 that Hani Hanjour, one of the September 11th hijackers, was using a Phoenix flight school as his training ground for terrorism. The FBI emphatically denied that Collins provided any information to the FBI about Hani Hanjour prior to 9/11 but admitted that Collins did have some dealings with FBI operatives.
He also appears in Canadian-born adventurer Robert Young Pelton's book, The Hunter, The Hammer, and Heaven: Journeys to Three Worlds Gone Mad and director Lech Kowalski's short film documentary Camera Gun.
After authoring My Jihad, Collins became a bounty hunter, which ultimately led to his arrest in Mexico on weapons charges. He was released in May 2006 after serving a 4-year prison sentence in Durango, Mexico.
He died on July 19th, 2016 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
- Laura Miller (July 17, 2002). "My Jihad". Salon magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- James S. Robbins (June 21, 2002). "Accidental Jihadist: One "crazy American" and his very strange book.". National Review. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- Matt Bivens (July 21, 2003). "An American Fighter's War in Chechnya". Moscow Times.
- Ed Finn (August 26, 2002). "Hawaiian Jihadi". Time magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- Claire Rosser (July 2003). "My jihad - Biography & Personal Narratives - Book Review". Findarticles.
- Aukai Collins (August 2002). "The War Junkie". Maxim magazine.
- Linda Vester, Brigitte Quinn (May 24, 2002). "The Big Story With John Gibson: Interview With Aukai Collins". Fox News. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
Aukai Collins Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/aukai-collins-obituary?pid=1000000180759484
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