Saturday, March 24, 2007

Aliville: Jamaat al-Fuqra in Odum, GA

When the wife and I decided to drive to Washington D.C. last weekend for the Gathering of Eagles, almost immediately the idea of making s small detour on our return trip to Florida came to mind. What could be so important as to get between me and my own bed after a thousand mile drive and a day of counter-protesting in 30 degree temperatures? Aliville. That heretofore mythical Muslims of America compound in northeastern Georgia. I had read blog entries and stories and seen photographs of other MoA encampments (Islamville in Hancock, NY and Madinah Village in Commerce, GA to name but a few), on Gates of Vienna, The Politics of CP, and Doug Hagmann's informative Northeast Intelligence Network website but very little was known about Aliville. So, armed with a camera and a good measure of righteous indignation, I did indeed detour my trip back to the Sunshine State and spent Saturday evening in Hinesville, GA, just a stone's throw from Ft. Stewart - Home of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mech).
At dawn, we hit the continental breakfast at the hotel then hit the road; State Rd. 84 towards Jesup, GA.

GA State Road 84 becomes N. 1st St as you enter Jesup from Hinesville. A right turn on W. Cherry, then a jog right onto 169 North, just as the sun was rising, put us on our way.

Unfortunately, the early hour (especially for a Sunday Morning) prevented me from questioning some of the store owners in Jesup about their reclusive neighbors to the northeast. Perhaps that can be the object of a later trip? 169 North, once you get sufficiently out of Jesup becomes a very rural, isolated 2 lane highway with turnoffs onto dirt roads of compacted red clay. Such was the case as my odometer approached 18 miles out of Jesup. After passing Anne Thompson Rd., I switched on my camera to record my 'drive-by' of Aliville. A few seconds later, I took the two photos (vid-caps actually) below. The first is of the entrance to Aliville (looking east) on Oriole Rd, identifiable by a yellow Dead-End sign. The second is of a white, wooden house on the western edge of the compound as seen from 169. Also below, is a map of 169 North and Oriole Rd.

The drive by video shoot having been accomplished, I made a U-turn on 169 and headed south back past Oriole Rd and eventually to I-95 South. It was at this very moment that I decided that I hadn't driven this far just to shoot a few seconds of a dirt road at 30 MPH, so I put down my video camera, grabbed my digital camera and made a hasty left onto Oriole Rd and the entrance to Aliville before I could talk myself out if it.
The 'road' was made of the aforementioned compacted red clay and covered by thick growths of trees that obscured the sky as I drove the rental car at idle on the public road so as not to arouse anyone's attention. The first thing I saw was innocuous enough; a black rolling trash bin - the kind you roll to the curb for the truck with the mechanized arm to seize. The picture below is of the western-most entrance to Mecca Circle. Yes it does exist. There are even 2 stop signs at the opposite ends of the circle. The road was not flanked by houses or trailers but there were cleared areas that appeared ready to accommodate some. Notice the red guard shack at the right of the photo and a heavy wooden post to the left. No doubt for a future gate.

No 'Muslims of America' signs or one announcing that you have arrived at 'Holy Aliville', just a guardhouse and a road. Below, however, you can catch a teasing glimpse of what I saw when I peered down the eastern entrance to Mecca Circle. There were a few trailers and several houses, some of them under construction, and a number of cars. This picture was taken after I passed the easternmost entrance to the circle, negotiated a hasty U-Turn on a narrow muddy, clay road and stopped long enough to snap a photo of the road sign and part of a rather nice house. I was sure my maneuvers on the dirt road had gotten the attention of some of the inhabitants as I saw some movement at the far end of the circle. Even though I was on a public street with every right in the world to be there, I decided that I had pressed my luck far enough, stopped to get a clear shot of the road sign, then exited Oriole Rd.

As I suggested earlier, perhaps others, especially those who live closer to Odum, GA than I do, can shed further light on this MoA outpost in the shadow of Ft. Stewart and a Nuclear Power Plant? While I would have liked to have taken more pictures, at least the curtains that have hidden Aliville have now been slightly parted. It's up to others to draw them back completely.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Strange Case of Joel Henry Hinrichs

There are 30,000 suicides in the US each year. Know how many are committed by blowing one’s self to bits? Zero. Yet, the FBI would have us believe that with the myriad of mundane ways to dispatch one’s self to the great beyond, someone went through the trouble of painstakingly researching the explosive TATP (TriAcetone-TriPeroxide), mixing 3 pounds of the extremely unstable compound, stuffing it into a backpack, only to sit down alone on a bench 100 yards from a filled college football stadium to set it off. That someone was Joel Henry Hinrichs III, a former engineering student at the University of Oklahoma. And that story, proffered by the FBI to explain JHH’s act, doesn’t add up.

In a nutshell, the FBI has determined that the bombing at OU on October 1, 2005 was nothing more than an elaborate suicide by a disturbed young man. Certainly not a failed terrorist act. Yet, facts uncovered in the months after the event, at the very least, raise questions that beg for answers. Chief among the questions is Why is the federal search warrant still sealed? If JHH’s suicide was merely that - a simple suicide, what could have been found in his dorm room that would necessitate keeping the warrant sealed? We know the police and FBI found additional quantities of TATP (coincidentally, the same explosive used by jihadists in the London Subway bombings) and bomb making instructions along with detailed notes on the results of experiments he conducted at Red Rock Canyon involving shrapnel-laden anti personnel explosive devices. But what could they have uncovered there or elsewhere that causes them to keep the warrant sealed?

There are many more questions about this event than answers - even now, a year and a half later. Among the more interesting ones are:

What happened to his Pakistani roommate who disappeared shortly after the blast?
Whose airline ticket to Algeria was found in Hinrich's apartment?
What was he planning to do with the large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer he was prevented from buying only days before his suicide?
Were the reports of Hinrichs being seen several times in the parking lot of the Norman Mosque (The same one frequented by Zacharias Moussaoui when he lived in Norman), which was only one block away from the OU campus, accurate?
Why does Norman, OK figure so prominently in the activities of known jihadists? For example:
Fact: The 'Twentieth Hijacker', Zacharias Moussaoui, attended the Airman Flight School in Norman.
Fact: 911 hijackers Muhammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi also attended that school.
Fact: Another 911 hijacker, Ziad Jarrah, purchased his ticket on United Flight 93 from a computer terminal at OU in Norman.

For now, these and other questions must remain unanswered. Maybe one day someone involved in the investigatioin will break their silence or, better yet, the federal search warrant will be unsealed. Until that day, there is only speculation and questions. Lots and lots of questions.


"Nope, No Terrorism Here..."

Even before the gun smoke had dissipated at scenes of shootings from a Jewish Federation in Washington state to the Empire State Building in NYC. Even before the wails of ambulances carrying innocent victims that had been intentionally run over by like minded drivers had faded into the distance. Even before the echoes of an explosion near a packed football stadium on the campus of the University of Oklahoma that was heard over 4 miles away and blew out windows over 100 yards from its detonation point had stopped reverberating in the cool, fall air, authorities, both local and Federal pronounced with reassuring certainty that none of those incidents, thank goodness, had anything whatever to do with terrorism.

Phew! For a moment, I was worried.

You can all go home and watch American Idol or more breathless reporting on the latest episode of the soap opera that Brittany Spears’ life has become. No, don’t worry your pretty little heads about these isolated, unrelated incidents.

Sure the perpetrators were all of the Muslim faith.
Sure they had all killed or planned to kill American Jews and other infidels.
Sure they had all either left jihadist suicide notes, had associations with known terrorist groups, or, as in one case, even yelled ‘I Hate Israel’ while gunning down Jews in Seattle.

Related? No way.

If you take comfort in the hypersonic denials of terrorism issued after each episode then this site is most decidedly NOT for you. If, however, you have been curious about he intentions or comonality or purpose and motivation of these reportedly isolated, Lone-Wolf terrorism events right here in our backyards, then you’ve come to the right place. Go pour a cup of coffee and read what the mainstream media don’t want you to know.