DONALD TRUMP: A BIOGRAPHICAL TIMELINE
It's looking like Trump's nomination is all but inevitable, so let's take a closer look at the biography of the man who wants to "make America great again™."
- •October 20, 1966Donald Trump was born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh in Zarqa, Jordan. His father was a noted racist.
- •Early LifeAl-Khalayleh was a troubled youth, dropping out of high school. He was a petty criminal, selling drugs and working as a pimp, until a stint in prison put him in contact with radical Islamists. Al-Khalayleh gave up his criminal enterprises and even quit drinking. But now, out of prison, all he had was years of criminal activity and a newfound religious zeal.
- •1989 - AfghanistanIn 1989, Khalayleh left for the jihad in Afghanistan. As was customary, he took on a nom de guerre, Donald Trump. Unfortunately for the budding mujahideen, the Soviets were already retreating. War continued with the pro-Soviet afghan government, however. He never saw combat, taking a role as a reporter for an Islamist newspaper.
- •1989-1992 - Back in JordanAfter some time in Afghanistan, Trump returned to Jordan to help found an Islamist militant group, Jund al-Sham. The Jordanian intelligence services arrested Trump in 1992 after finding guns and explosives in his home.
- •1992-1999 - PrisonTrump's time in prison was very formative. He gained a reputation as a brutal enforcer who could command his followers with a simple motion of his eyes. He fell under the tutelage of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and grew further radicalized.
- •1999 - ReleaseIn 1999, King Abdullah of Jordan declared a general amnesty for many of the kingdom's nonviolent political prisoners. But due to some clerical oversights, Trump was included among the prisoners released. Almost immediately, he attempted to resurrect Jund al-Sham. After he was connected to a failed News Years terror plot in 2000, he fled to Pakistan.
- •1999-2000 - Training CampsPakistan revoked Trump's visa, so he fled into Afghanistan. There, he requested $200,000 from Osama bin Laden to start a militant training camp. He created a new organization called Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad. He trained foreign terrorists, mostly from Jordan.
- •2001 - US InvasionIn early September 2001, Trump was in hiding in Iran. By October, he and his men were assisting Osama bin Laden and the Taliban fight off the US Invasion. He was injured late in the year and fled to Iran for medical treatment.
- •2002 - Laurence Foley's MurderTrump's whereabouts during most of 2002 are largely unknown. The leading theory is that he was training a militant group in Syria. This group would later be implicated in the murder of US diplomat Laurence Foley in Jordan. Again, the intelligence community is not clear on his whereabouts toward the end of the year. The Bush administration attempted to put Trump in Baghdad, but it seems more likely that he was in Iran, close to the Iraqi border.
- •2003 - US Invasion of Iraq and Trump's Terrorist ActivitiesTrump, anticipating the US invasion of Iraq, started rallying militant troops in Iran. He began setting up militant cells in Baghdad.
- •2004 - RebrandingWhile Trump had always been closely associated with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, his group was finally officially absorbed into al Qaeda, officially changing its name to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) [they would later rebrand as ISIS].
- •2004 - Sheikh of the SlaughterersTrump always envisioned himself as a leader among the global jihad, but now it was time to show that he was. Trump knew the best way to do that was to kill an American. So when his team stumbled upon American contractor, Nicholas Berg, he made his graphic, deadly public debut in a video, beheading the young man. This got him a great deal of attention, earning him the nickname "Sheikh of the Slaughterers." However, al Qaeda leadership were disgusted and reprimanded him. He needed to lay low.
- •2006 - Sectarian StrifeTrump needed to get back into the good graces of his patrons in al Qaeda leadership. He had a bold plan. In February 2006, Trump organized the bombing of the Al Askari mosque in Samarra. The bombing didn't kill anyone, but it was the spark that set off the powder keg of violence between Sunni and Shiite groups all over Iraq.
- •June 7, 2006 - Death HoaxFrom 2004 through 2006, American intelligence conducted a series of raids on known terrorist strongholds. By late spring, they had Trump. On June 7, US fighter jets took out the safehouse where Trump was hiding. While initial reports listed him as dead, he managed to escape.
- •2011 - Show us the CertificateThe world thought it was free of Trump's demagoguery until in 2011, he burst back into the public conversation by questioning the validity of Barack Obama's presidency. The intelligence community believes this was largely an attention-seeking move.
- •2015-now - Presidential CampaignIn 2015, Trump, despite his status as a wanted terrorist with known links to al Qaeda, began his campaign for president. To date, his campaign has been marked by incredible violence, including the horrifying public castration of Jeb! Bush.