Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘al qaeda’

Was our consulate attacked with our own weapons?

Posted by Richard on October 2, 2012

In 2011, President Obama ordered the Libyan rebels to be supplied with arms, including anti-tank rockets and mortars. The Saudis were apparently persuaded to act as go-betweens, actually delivering the US-supplied weapons. This was done even though the Obama administration must have known that many of those rebels, including their commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj, were radical Islamist jihadis with ties to al Qaeda (emphasis added):

… Through the 1990s, as leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Belhadj fought Qadhafi’s forces, plotting twice to assassinate him. When it got too hot in Libya, he moved to Sudan, working with al-Qaeda as a guest of Osama bin Laden and then returned to Afghanistan in 1998. He spent the next few years in Jalalabad, directing funds and arms for al-Qaeda training camps before he was arrested by the CIA and MI-6 in 2002. Belhadj was then, according to a lawsuit he filed against the British government, tortured brutally before being bundled on to a plane along with his pregnant wife and handed over to Qadhafi. Eventually, as part of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s “de-radicalisation” programme, Belhadj and other associates were freed in 2010. Within a year, he had become the commander of the Transitional National Council (TNC) rebel force.

That the U.S. cooperated with Belhadj and others like him to oust Qadhafi speaks volumes either of its broad-mindedness or its naiveté. Even as the British, French and U.S. intelligence services armed the rebels, they turned a blind eye to the troubling ideological differences they had with the forces fighting Qadhafi — from links with al-Qaeda in the Maghrib, to avowals of the harsh Sharia law they planned to implement in Libya, to the human rights violations by TNC units. Of equal concern should have been the domination of different parts of post-Qadhafi Libya by lawless militias answerable to none.

Instead, NATO leaders proclaimed themselves satisfied that the ends in Libya had been met, a brutal dictator was finished, and that was that. Until a year later, when heavily armed men launched a deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Shades of “Fast and Furious.” Was  the US consulate attacked, and Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans killed, by al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadis using US-supplied rockets, mortars, and small arms?

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First lady is clueless about national security, too

Posted by Richard on September 13, 2012

New York banned large soft drinks today as part of what the AP calls the “war on obesity.” First Lady Michelle Obama is totally on board. On today’s Dr. Oz show, she reiterated her contention that obesity is our nation’s biggest national security threat.

You know, that statement was just plain stupid when she first said it in 2010. Two days after al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks on our consulate in Benghazi and our embassy in Cairo, the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, and while al Qaeda-inspired mobs are threatening US embassies and citizens throughout the Muslim world, such a statement is not just stupid, it’s offensive. And insane.

Ms. Obama, why don’t you ask the families of J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods if they think obesity is our nation’s biggest national security threat?

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Obama administration ignored warning about attacks

Posted by Richard on September 12, 2012

The Obama administration and their media lapdogs are more interested in condemning Mitt Romney than in condemning the 7th-century barbarian jihadists who attacked a US embassy and consulate, killing a US ambassador and three of his staff. They’re no doubt also making sure that their media lapdogs divert attention away from their shameful disinterest in national security leading up to these attacks, including their failure to heed a clear warning that such attacks could be expected (emphasis added):

Islamic mobs that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. consulate in Libya on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, murdering the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, said they were doing so because they were enraged by an obscure, Internet movie that mocked Muhammed.

But a closer examination of the evidence indicates al-Qaeda orchestrated these attacks, and the movie was just a bogus excuse used to trigger the widespread violence. Even worse, it seems al-Qaeda telegraphed these attacks, and the Obama administration still got caught flat-footed, unaware of the terror group’s strength in the region, missing key signals and clues that were out in the open.

One day before September 11, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri posted a 42-minute video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command, whom U.S. drones killed in June of 2012 in Pakistan.

In the video, al-Zawahri said al-Libi’s “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” leading up to a date heralded and celebrated by radical Islamists.

Another version of the video was actually posted on YouTube on September 9 and yet, President Barack Obama, who has not attended an intelligence briefing since September 5, and his administration did not beef up security at the embassy and consulate on September 11. There were no Marines present to protect Americans abroad, as the Islamic mobs overwhelmed what little security presence there was.

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Never forget

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2011

Ten years ago this morning, we watched in horror as people jumped a thousand feet to their deaths because it was better than the alternative. Later that day, we learned that the heroic passengers of United Flight 93, knowing the fate that awaited them, had fought and died to prevent their plane from crashing into the White House or Capitol. In the ensuing days, we learned the details of that brave struggle, and "Let's roll!" became a phrase that brought goosebumps to me whenever I heard it. 

We must not  forget the events of September 11, 2001. We must keep the images fresh in our memories. It's necessary, I believe, if we're to retain the resolve we need to understand, oppose, and defeat the ongoing Islamofascist effort to destroy our way of life, of which the attacks of 9/11 were a part. 

We must not forget that there is a large, powerful, well-financed international movement dedicated to destroying Western Civilization.

On September 11, 2001, barbarians with box cutters — primitive 7th-century savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people and changed Lower Manhattan from this: 

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

to this:

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Falling to his death

 

Some people have forgotten now
It was many years ago
And peaceful here at home since then
So just let the memory go
But I close my eyes and see it still
Like it was yesterday — Oh no!
People jumping from a hundred-story building!
I can still see those Americans
Jumping from a hundred-story building …

© 2009 Richard G. Combs. All rights reserved.


 

Never forget.

Flag still stands

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bin Laden dead

Posted by Richard on May 2, 2011

Something happened tonight that hasn't happened in a long time: the President spoke, and I cheered.

Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, President Obama announced tonight.

The president called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant achievement to date" in the effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Bin Laden was located at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which was monitored and when the time was determined to be right, the president said, he authorized a "targeted operation."

"A small team of Americans carried out the operation," Obama said. "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

DNA testing confirmed that it was bin Laden, sources told ABC News.

Hurrah, hurrah! Now where's that SOB Zawahiri?

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Never forget

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2010

Nine years ago this morning, we watched in horror as people jumped a thousand feet to their deaths because it was better than the alternative. Later that day, we learned that the heroic passengers of United Flight 93, knowing the fate that awaited them, had fought and died to prevent their plane from crashing into the White House or Capitol. In the ensuing days, we learned the details of that brave struggle, and "Let's roll!" became a phrase that brought goosebumps to me whenever I heard it. 

Last night, I watched a compelling one-hour retrospective by Fox News that refreshed my memories of that day. It will be shown again later today (see my previous post), and I'll watch it again, and this time record it. It refreshed my memory in disturbing, but valuable, ways. No, those weren't bodies falling from the towers — they were living human beings with their arms and legs flailing as they fell. It's important, I think, that these details remain clear.

We must not let ourselves forget the events of September 11, 2001. We must keep the images fresh in our memories. It's necessary, I believe, if we're to retain the resolve we need to understand, oppose, and defeat the ongoing Islamofascist effort to destroy our way of life, of which the attacks of 9/11 were a part. 

I have nothing more to add to last year's 9/11 post, so with one minor edit, it appears again below.

Never forget that there is a large, powerful, well-financed international movement dedicated to destroying Western Civilization.

On September 11, 2001, barbarians with box cutters — primitive 7th-century savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people and changed Lower Manhattan from this: 

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

to this:

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Falling to his death

 

Some people have forgotten now
It was many years ago
And peaceful here at home since then
So just let the memory go
But I close my eyes and see it still
Like it was yesterday — Oh no!
People jumping from a hundred-story building!
I can still see those Americans
Jumping from a hundred-story building …

© 2009 Richard G. Combs. All rights reserved.


 

As I have on previous September 11ths, I offer you passage from Gerard Van der Leun's Of a Fire in a Field — a passage that moves me beyond words every time I read it — in which he recalled 9/11 and its aftermath, when he lived in New York:

Inside the wire under the hole in the sky was, in time, a growing hole in the ground as the rubble was cleared away and, after many months, the last fire was put out. Often at first, but with slowly diminishing frequency, all the work to clear out the rubble and the wreckage would come to a halt.

The machinery would be shut down and it would become quiet. Across the site, tools would be laid down and the workers would straighten up and stand still. Then, from somewhere in the pile or the pit, a group of men would emerge carrying a stretcher covered with an American flag and holding, if they were fortunate, a body. If they were not so fortunate the flag covering over the stretcher would be lumpy, holding only portions of a body from which, across the river on the Jersey shore, a forensic lab would try to make an identification and then pass on to the victim's survivors something that they could bury.

I'm not sure anymore about the final count, but I am pretty sure that most families, in the end, got nothing. Their loved ones had all gone into the smoke and the dust that covered the end of the island and blew, mostly, across the river into Brooklyn where I lived. What happened to most of the three thousand killed by the animals on that day? It is simple and ghastly. We breathed them until the rains came and washed clean what would never be clean again.

. . .

Read the whole thing — and think about the question he asks you at the end. 

And never forget.

Flag still stands

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9/11: Timeline of Terror

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2010

I just finished watching "9/11: Timeline of Terror" on Fox News, an uninterrupted hour-long recap of the events of September 11, 2001. I'm emotionally drained. But I'm so very glad I watched it. It will be shown again on Saturday at 3 PM and 9 PM Eastern (1 PM and 7 PM Mountain). I strongly encourage you to watch this powerful, moving program.

Nine years have passed. Memories have started to fade. Some of you reading this today may have been too young then to fully understand. Some of you may have never seen much of what is chronicled in this hour. The horrific scenes, the reactions of the people as they happened, the recollections of the survivors — this is compelling viewing. We owe it to ourselves to see this, whether it's again or for the first time. We owe it to ourselves to keep this fresh in our memories.  

Saturday at 3 PM and 9 PM Eastern (1 PM and 7 PM Mountain), the Fox News Channel. Watch it. Record it. Remember. 

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Naming the enemy

Posted by Richard on May 5, 2010

David Harsanyi noticed that lots of people on the left were ready and willing to point a finger at “right-wingers” when the identity of the Times Square bomber was unknown. But now that the real perpetrator has been caught, they’re remarkably reluctant to talk about the global army to which he belongs (emphasis added):

Even as investigators were hunting for the perpetrator of the botched “man-caused disaster” in Times Square, our cool Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was reassuring a frazzled nation that the failed bombing appeared to be an isolated incident — a “one-off” — and avoided the notion of (much less the word) “terrorism.”

“If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that,” explained Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who has plenty of quarters to spare — during the investigation’s early stages. “Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”

It could be anything, said the mayor of New York City. A mentally deranged person, perhaps? Maybe some crazy from the fundamentalist faction of around 56 percent of us who opposed health-care reform. After all, in the deep recesses of some imaginations, conservatives are not above murdering hundreds of tourists to make a point about Obamacare.

Of course, it turned out to be a Pakistani-American who’d moved his family to that country, returned there 13 times, and recently came back to the US after several months in an Islamic jihadist terrorist training camp learning how to make bombs. But the left (including the current administration) refuses to use words like “Islamist,” “jihadist,” or even “terrorist.”

In fact, upon learning that the bomber wasn’t a Tea Party member, Mayor Bloomberg’s first concern was that Pakistanis and Muslims not be treated unfairly because one of them was the perpetrator. The good mayor has certainly never expressed such concern regarding Tea Party members or opponents of government-controlled health care.

Here’s the nasty truth: the far left — including the current administration, most of the leadership of the Socialist Democrat Party, and the majority of the mainstream media — considers conservatives and libertarians to be the real, dangerous enemy. They view Islamofascism either as nothing but a minor nuisance or as an understandable effort to diminish America’s illegitimate power in the world.

In the last two major terrorist attacks — Times Square and the Christmas airline bombing attempt — we were incredibly lucky. Regarding the Shazad attempt, the Homeland Security folks are all congratulating each other, but they have no reason whatsoever to do so. If Shazad had remembered his lessons better, there would have been carnage in Times Square. If just a few more minutes had passed, he’d have gotten clean away. They got lucky on all counts.

Their luck is going to run out.

The Socialist Democrats and their shills in the media are more concerned about those who oppose their domestic political agenda than they are about the global movement they refuse to even name — an Islamist movement that has declared war on this country and is committed to its destruction. This is insane. And in the case of those who took an oath of office, it’s a serious dereliction of duty.

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Mohammed Al-Madadi: incredibly stupid or gathering intelligence

Posted by Richard on April 9, 2010

Qatari diplomat Mohammed Al-Madadi caused a bomb scare on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Denver Wednesday night. Reportedly, Al-Madadi sneaked a smoke in the john. When confronted, he joked (supposedly) that he'd been trying to light his shoe. 

Ha, ha. 

The flight ended up being accompanied to DIA by F-16s, and the passengers spent many hours being debriefed at a location quite distant from the terminal. 

Now, it turns out that Al-Madadi was on his way to see an imprisoned al Qaeda agent, Ali Al-Marri.

So here's the obvious question: was Al-Madadi simply behaving stupidly or was he obtaining intelligence about U.S. air security measures? 

I'm inclined to invoke Hanlon's Law (which may actually owe its genesis to Heinlein): Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

More than likely, Al-Madadi is just the typical arrogant Arab male, for whom saving face is paramount and who has no conception of how much concern and fear he's caused. 

But, but … it could be a scouting mission. Another probing of our defenses. There have been a number of incidents, harking back at least to the Minneapolis "flying imams" incident, that could be interpreted as attempts to test our air defenses and gather intelligence about our reactions to various potential threats. 

Who knows? That's one of the terrible problems with this new form of war in which we're involved (and please remember that it's a war that was declared by our enemies, so we have no choice in the matter). The enemy is waging that war in the most unconventional ways of which it can conceive. It's hard to determine who the enemy is, where the theater of war is, and what exactly is an act of war. And they like it that way.

Is Mohammed Al-Madadi an undercover enemy combatant, a secret al Qaeda agent, or just an obtuse, clueless, arrogant, privileged-class Arab? I don't know. I'm not sure anyone does.

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Tawfik Hamid appearing in Denver

Posted by Richard on March 2, 2010

The Act! for America 5280 Coalition is sponsoring multiple appearances in the Denver area this week by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a physician, former terrorist, and author of The Roots of Jihad and Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam. Public appearances include lectures Tuesday evening at Regis University, Thursday evening at the University of Colorado, and Friday evening at University Park United Methodist Church. On Tuesday, Dr. Hamid will be a guest on KHOW radio's Peter Boyles show from 7-8 AM and the Caplis/Silverman show from 4-4:30 PM.

Check the 5280 Coalition's calendar for the complete schedule and more about the events, including maps to the locations.

More about Dr. Hamid:

Born in Egypt to a secular Muslim family, Tawfik Hamid joined the extremist Islamic group Jamma’a Islameia in Cairo when he was a student in medical school. In his studies he was learning to heal, but in his thoughts, as he says, “I dreamed to die for Allah and to share in terrorist acts.”   One of Dr. Hamid's colleague in these formative days of the terror movement was Dr. Al Zawaherri, then an acquaintance with whom Tawfik used to pray, and now the number two person of Al Qaeda.

Just before heading for further training in Afghanistan, Dr. Hamid began to question the hatred and impulses to violence that participation in extremist Islam was fomenting within him.  He decided to leave the terror movement, became a physician, and also became a scholar of Islamic texts.  As he began to preach in Mosques to promote a message of peace instead of violence and hatred however, he himself became a target of the Islamic extremists who had been his friends. They threatened his life, forcing him and his family to flee Egypt, and then Saudi Arabia.  As Dr. Hamid says "The powers of darkness were overwhelming and I was forced to emigrate with my family to the West seeking freedom."

Because of his insider understanding of terrorist mentality, Dr. Hamid predicted the Twin Towers (9-11) attacks several years before they occurred. Now his mission has become to educate the West against Islamic Fundamentalism, which he regards as a cancer that is spreading with frightening rapidity across the globe today. 

Dr. Hamid also seeks within Islam to build new thinking to overcome the hatred and violent extremism that have metastasized within his religious tradition.

UPDATE: Fox 31 KDVR aired a short interview with Dr. Hamid tonight. Reporter Leland Vitter was quite impressed, telling the anchors he spoke with Dr. Hamid for 15 minutes and wished it could have been an hour. No video on the website yet, but there's a brief story

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Targeted killings

Posted by Richard on February 24, 2010

They told me that if I voted Republican, the U.S. government would escalate its use of CIA hit teams and Predator UAVs to conduct assassinations without regard for collateral damage or international humanitarian law, and they were right:

The Obama administration has stepped up these kinds of remote-control bombardments, launching at least 64 drone strikes within Pakistan in its first 13 months; in its last three years, the Bush administration unleashed 41, according to an analysis by the New America Foundation.

The U.S. doesn’t like to think of itself as being in the assassination business, which is why the preferred term is “targeted killings.” Either way, this growing practice involves large legal and moral questions that should loom large, but don’t — not compared with the outcry over coercive interrogation or extraordinary renditions.

In fact, the Obama administration has gone well beyond the Bush administration not just in the number of targeted killings, but in their scope. Today, many such hits take place deep inside Pakistan, far from the theater of war. Richard Fernandez, quoting extensively from a paper by Professor Kenneth Anderson and a post at Anderson's Law of War blog, discussed the thorny problems the Obama administration is creating for itself by trying to have it both ways (emphasis added): 

Professor Kenneth Anderson says that President Obama has failed to lay the legal groundwork for acts of targeted killing of “non-state enemies of the United States” and thereby risks impaling itself on the horns of a dilemma of his own making. By relying on “international humanitarian law” instead of asserting its own legal doctrine, the Obama administration will eventually find that it cannot defend the United States without condemning itself by the legal standard it has embraced.


The really interesting thing about the administration’s increase in the use of targeted hits, its unwillingness to take custody of prisoners and indeed to hand them over to people like the Pakistani military; and indeed its declining ability to take any enemy combatant alive at all is that it is rooted not in what Anderson called Dick Cheney’s “brutish, simplistic” determination to defend America, but in President Obama’s desire to live up to the highest standards of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). And although Anderson has no fondness for Cheney’s approach he correctly appreciates that sooner or later the public is going to discover the rank hypocrisy of Obama’s approach. “But journalistic sentiment will swing back again, particularly as the NGO community seeks to peel the CIA from the uniformed military in its use of drones and targeted killing.” An Obama deprived of his Teflon may find himself unable to simultaneously justify the actions needed to suppress the enemy (which he must do to avoid an electoral backlash) and maintain his purity in the eyes of his ideological supporters. He has to square the circle. Faced with the prospect of following the urgings of the Left which don’t work, and following the urgings of his political enemies which do work, his plan is apparently to graft the two halves together. But sooner or later, as Anderson notes, someone will notice.

Some elements of the left have already noticed. See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.

I have no problem with targeting al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. They're monstrous barbarians — "enemies of humanity" under the principle of international law applied to pirates, and fair game for anyone. I worry a bit about the "collateral damage," especially when the enterprise is shrouded in secrecy and the targeting information allegedly often comes from the Pakistanis — perhaps not the most reliable or fastidious source. But it's likely that many of the "civilian casualties" reported by Pakistani villagers are in fact the friends, family, and comrades of the terrorist targets — as are the villagers doing the reporting. 

Frankly, I confess to finding it all somewhat amusing, in a dark-humor sort of way. The Obama administration still hasn't closed Gitmo, has established a "High Value Interrogation Group," has decided military tribunals might be a good idea after all, and has dramatically escalated the CIA's campaign of targeted killings, things that 98.3% of the members of that administration once denounced as contrary to U.S. and/or international law.

Yet the mainstream media and liberal establishment (but I repeat myself), when they do criticize these things, do so mildly and cautiously. Everyone knows that this administration has good intentions, so when it does these things, it's a mistake or unfortunate lapse in judgment. Whereas the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Halliburton cabal was evil, and they did these things because they wanted to make people suffer and die.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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Surprised by al Qaeda’s determination

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2010

A couple of days after Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab almost managed to blow up Northwest Flight 253, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN that "one thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked." Which, if true, means the system is utterly dependent on courageous passengers with impeccable timing to thwart such attacks. 

Yesterday afternoon at a press briefing, Napolitano revealed the depth of her knowledge and understanding of the enemy that declared war on us, seeks to destroy us, and is responsible for the terrorist acts that it's her job to protect us from. Gateway Pundit has the video and transcript excerpt (emphasis added): 

Q What was the most shocking, stunning thing that you found out of the review? And, Secretary, to you, as well.

MR. BRENNAN: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an extension of al Qaeda core coming out of Pakistan. … The fact that they had moved forward to try to execute this attack against the homeland I think demonstrated to us — and this is what the review sort of uncovered — that we had a strategic sense of sort of where they were going, but we didn't know they had progressed to the point of actually launching individuals here. And we have taken that lesson, and so now we're full on top of it.

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO: I think, following up on that, not just the determination of al Qaeda and al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, but the tactic of using an individual to foment an attack, as opposed to a large conspiracy or a multi-person conspiracy such as we saw in 9/11, that is something that affects intelligence.

Yeah, who know that al Qaeda was really determined? Or that they might use an individual suicide bomber? Who could have possibly known these things?

Heckuva job, Nappy! 

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Sensible profiling

Posted by Richard on December 29, 2009

ABC's Nightline actually asked the question Monday night, "Should part of enhanced airport security include profiling passengers of certain countries, races and religions?" I dashed off the following comment: 

Today's terrorists don't all have a common ethnicity or national origin (consider the Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh, an American of European ancestry). But they all share the same religio-political ideology: Islamism.

Islamists embrace a barbaric 7th-century form of Islam and a commitment to the subjugation of the entire world to those beliefs. Not all Muslims are Islamists. But without question, all Islamists are Muslims. And virtually every terrorist is a radicalized young male Muslim.

It's insane and suicidal to ignore this fact and treat Lutheran grandmothers, Catholic schoolboys, atheist professors, and Buddhist businessmen as being just as big a risk.

The trick, of course, is to distinguish moderate, tolerant, peaceful Muslims from the radicalized Islamists, and it's not easy.

But moderate, tolerant, peaceful Muslims more than anyone have a stake in helping the authorities do so, and should welcome increased scrutiny and questioning. Their cooperation will help authorities develop psychological profiles that aid in distinguishing the crazies from those who are no threat.

To continue treating everyone as possessing the same threat potential is just willful blindness. When indulged in by public officials, it's malfeasance and dereliction of duty.

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His daddy tried to warn us

Posted by Richard on December 27, 2009

The initial reports of the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 apparently got the perp's name wrong. It's not Abdul Mudallad, it's Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, and there's some interesting information about him at Gateway Pundit. It seems that Abdulmutallab is the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab. Reportedly, he was a student at University College London and lived in a $2.5 million apartment there belonging to his family. 

Just another disadvantaged third-worlder driven to radical Islam by hopelessness and despair, right? 

But here's the real kicker — daddy tried to warn us that his son was dangerous: 

… According to the family members, Mutallab has been uncomfortable with the boy’s extreme religious views and had six months ago reported his activities to United States’ Embassy, Abuja and Nigerian security agencies.

The older Mutallab was said to be devastated on hearing the news of Abdul Farouk’s attempted bombing arrest. A source close to him said he was surprised that after his reports to the US authorities, the young man was allowed to travel to the United States.

Ah, but in this era of hopenchange, Mr. Mutallab, US authorities have no doubt been cautioned not to profile Muslims with "extreme religious views."

Airport security is being tightened, though. So I'm sure TSA will redouble its efforts to prevent the boarding of six-year-old kids with the same name as someone on the "no fly" list. 

 

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Ordinary people acting courageously

Posted by Richard on December 26, 2009

As I write this, reports are still sketchy about the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. Apparently, Nigerian Abdul Mudallad tried to detonate a bomb he said he got from al Qaeda in Yemen. Either the device was defective or he screwed up — instead of exploding, it just burst into flames.

But that doesn't detract from what struck me about the story. Without a moment's hesitation, the passengers around Mudallad sprang into action

An Ohio man who witnessed the attempted destruction of a Northwest Airlines flight to Metro Airport said he's proud of how passengers reacted.

Syed Jafry of Holland, Ohio, who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said after emerging from the airport that people ran out of their seats to tackle the man.

Jafry was sitting in the 16th row — three rows behind the passenger — when he heard "a pop and saw some smoke and fire." Then, he said, “a young man behind me jumped on him.”

Jafry said there was a little bit of commotion for about 10 to 15 minutes. The incident occurred during the plane's descent, he said.

He said the way passengers responded made him proud to be an American.

Actually, the passenger who jumped on Mudallad reportedly is Dutch. But I understand what Jafry meant. He's proud to be part (by his own choice, I'm guessing) of a culture that embraces individual responsibility and that rejects barbaric 7th-century anti-human, anti-freedom, anti-life beliefs. 

Scott Beamer and the other passengers and crew on United Flight 93 were heroes — no question. But they weren't extraordinary or unique. They were simply the first to learn that the conventional wisdom of the day regarding hijackers and terrorists — remain calm, don't take any action, do as you're told, let the authorities handle things — was no longer an option. Now everyone knows it. 

It's no longer easy to hijack or blow up an airliner. The world is full of people able and willing to take responsibility for their own safety and that of those around them — people who, when the need arises, act with courage, decisiveness, and no hesitation. In any given planeload of two to three hundred people, there will be many of them. Apparently, there were several in the immediate vicinity of Abdul Mudallad on Flight 253. Bravo to them!

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