Thursday, March 27, 2008

The "Liberty City Seven" - American Nitwits and Al Qaeda

Here we go again. People are on trial because it looks like they killed someone, or planned to. And, because of their ethnicity, there's a charge of "profiling."
Trials for crimes which may be related to terrorism are going on now, or will be soon. Many or all of the defendants are Muslims.

This is an Outrage, and an Insult to the Muslim Community

At least, that's what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) seems to think.

Speaking about the idea that there may be Americans who have decided to kill innocent people, CAIR had this to say:

" 'The solution is not to treat the whole Muslim community as a suspect community,' says Hussam Ayloush, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 'This is not about ignoring a threat, but this ... should not be about exaggerating any threat in a way that promotes certain political agendas.' "

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Get a Grip! "The Whole Muslim Community" isn't Suspect

Just the wannabe mass murderers.

Not many people thought that the Feds were suspecting the white community, when Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were tried. Even though both were white, were influenced by "The Turner Diaries," and "embarked on a flirtation with" the American (right-wing) militia movement. That would have been silly.

Of course, that was different.

That CAIR quote is from an article titled "Jihad USA: Confronting the Threat of Homegrown Terror" FOXNews (March 27, 2008). It leads with: " Law enforcement officials and security experts are warning against the threat of homegrown terrorism as several cases involving alleged American jihadists enter the courts."

Major terror-related cases in the courts, or coming soon include:
  • Liberty City Seven - a retrial in Florida for six of the defendants, who got a mistrial the first time around
  • Pakistani-American Naveed Haq - Washington state is trying him because he allegedly shot up Seattle's Jewish Federation Building, killing one woman and wounding five others
    • Haq allegedly said he did it because he was mad about the Jews and how they were running the country
      (I believe him - that sort of self-expression is fairly routine in Israel)
  • Houssein Zorkot, a Lebanese-born medical student at Wayne State University in Detroit - arrested just because he
    • Posted on his Web site that he was launching a personal jihad
    • Showed up in a nearby park
      • Wearing camouflage paint
      • Holding a loaded AK-47
  • Youssef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed, two University of South Florida students - South Carolina is trying them, just because police "say" they were
    • Screaming down U.S. Highway 176
    • Near the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig and a naval weapons station
    • With explosive devices
      • Bomb Squad technicians identified the devices as pipe bombs
That South Carolina case was an obvious case of racial profiling, according to the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa: More at "SC Navy Base, Explosives, and Staying Calm" (August 6, 2007).

Of those cases, the one that seems to have gotten the most attention, and the one which seems to be the most 'obvious' case of racial profiling and/or Islamophobia is that of the Liberty City Seven.

The legend seems to be that these innocent Muslims were framed by cruel, calculating, racist, Islamophobic FBI agents, just because they were Muslims.

If that were true, accusing them would be wrong: and stupid.

The Council for Islamic-American Relations seems to see government racial profiling whether or not there are facts available,

I try to find out what's actually happening, before putting a foot in my mouth.

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The "Liberty City Seven" - Victims!

The Liberty City Seven case sounded, at first, like a massive FBI foul-up. Here were seven young men, with no apparent connection to Al Qaeda, and no explosives, accused of planning to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Here's what Reuters - hardly a rabid pro-American news service - had to say about the Liberty City Seven.

"The Liberty City Seven, named for the depressed part of Miami where they gathered in a rundown warehouse, were arrested in 2006 on charges of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government and blow up the 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago, along with several FBI offices and the Miami federal court complex where they were tried." [emphasis mine]

Notice the phrases, "depressed part" and "rundown warehouse:" Class warfare implied? Maybe not. Moving on -
American government officials and agents, about the arrests
  • An important victory - unnamed "government officials"
  • The attacks were hoped to be "just as good or greater than 9/11" - the indictment
  • The plans were "aspirational rather than operational" - Deputy FBI Director John Pistole
  • Those arrested were not a real threat "because they had no actual Al Qaeda contacts or means of carrying out attacks" - Reuters' paraphrase of "other government agents"
Who are the Liberty City Seven?
  • Narseal Batiste - Accused ringleader
    • Patrick Abraham
    • Stanley Grant Phanor
    • Naudimar Herrera
    • Burson Augustin
    • Lyglenson Lemorin
    • Rotschild Augustine
Were the Liberty City Seven affiliated with Al Qaeda?
  • Narseal Batiste's testimony, paraphrased
    • 'I never asked Al Qaeda for money'
    • 'I made up stories about plotting to destroy the Sears Tower, to con government informants - who were posing as Middle Eastern contacts - out of $50,000'
    • 'I wanted the money to build a nonprofit religious organization and community outreach program in Liberty City'
  • Government's evidence
    • 15,000 audio and videotaped conversations made by paid FBI informants
Were the Liberty City Seven Islamic extremists?
  • The defendants had names for the warehouse where they met
    • "The temple"
    • "The embassy"
  • The defendants' lawyers "scoffed" at the idea that the Liberty City Seven were Islamic extremists
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Victims! Of World-Class Poor Judgment

I think that, given the available public information on the Liberty City Seven, that they are victims: of monumental, mind-numbingly profound, lack of judgment.

Either they were trying to out-do 9/11, or they thought they were conning Al Qaeda.

If they wanted to blow up the Sears Tower, they should have made sure that the men they were talking to really were Al Qaeda agents. Before laying out their plan.

If they really had no intention of blowing up anything, and were trying to con a terrorist organization out of $50,000 to build a - get this - nonprofit religious organization and community outreach program - they should be locked up for their own protection.

The next people they try to rip off might be real terrorists: and I doubt that Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or any other similar outfit, would take kindly to losing that much money to a half-dozen American nitwits.

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

1 comment:

Brian H. Gill said...


I see you've got a template. For efficiency's sake, I'll follow suit.

Agreed. If you take the very best of one group, and the very worst from another, the first group will look nice, and the second won't.

I try not to do that.

Links to posts about religion, culture, and the war on terror: "Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.