Al Qaeda's Rising Star: Who Is Adnan Shukrijumah?

He was born in Saudi Arabia and spent much of his youth in New York and south Florida. Then he vanished. Investigators now allege that Adnan Shukrijumah has risen to a key position in al Qaeda's leadership. The FBI says that after he left America, Shukrijumah started off as an al Qaeda dishwasher, doing menial tasks at training camps. But he's much more than a dishwasher now, according to investigators."It's like any other business. He would be equated with being the chief of operations," says Brian LeBlanc, a special agent for the FBI. As the alleged director of al Qaeda's overseas operations, investigators believe he is "extremely dangerous," LeBlanc says. "He may not be someone who's going to come into the United States to conduct the attack, but what makes him more dangerous is he's out there plotting the attacks and recruiting people to actively do that," LeBlanc says. The breakthrough came when LeBlanc, an FBI counter-terrorism agent, linked Shukrijumah to the thwarted New York subway suicide mission last fall -- the biggest post-9/11 terror investigation. Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay admitted they planned to blow themselves up using homemade bombs. Prosecutors say it was Shukrijumah who called the shots -- probably from somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistan border. "[Shukrijumah] was the one that convinced ... them to come back to the United States and conduct the attack here," LeBlanc says. But Shukrijumah's mother -- who did not wish to be named in order to protect her privacy -- says authorities are using her son as a scapegoat. "That is not my son. My son is not a violent person. He is very kind, generous," she says. Shukrijumah -- the eldest son of a Saudi Imam -- came to America as a young child. They settled in Brooklyn, New York, where his father preached at a mosque. They lived at a nearby house before moving to Florida in the mid-'90s.