Wednesday, October 10, 2007

University of South Florida : Jihad U?

JIHAD U UPDATE at end of post...

Poor Ahmed Bedier. He's gotta have the most difficult job in the world. What does he do, you ask? He's the director of the Central Florida office of CAIR - the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the sophisticated and media savvy propaganda wing of the Islamist ummah, and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial currently going on in Texas. Rather than appearing on television lamenting America's 'religious profiling' and/or 'Islamophobia', he has had to spend an inordinate amount of time defending the suspicious activities of some fine fellow practitioners of the Religion of Peace from the nearby University of South Florida.

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First, there was Sami al-Arian, the Computer Science Professor cum jihad fund raiser who was arrested in February of 2003 and charged with supporting, through fund-raising front groups, a terrorist organization. Namely - the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Despite some charges being dismissed during his trial in June of 2005, Mr. Arian eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to raise money for the PIJ and conceal the identities of its members. Mr Bedier was in fine form on the day Judge James Moody Jr., who called the defendant a 'liar and master manipulator' and accused al-Arian of [allowing his children to] attend the finest universities in this country while you raise money to blow up the children of others.', imposed the maximum possible sentence. Bedier, in as sincere a bout of indignation as he could muster for the TV cameras, said the Judge's behavior was 'shocking'. He also claimed that "he looked angry as he was delivering that, even his face was turning somewhat red."

Imagine that? The nerve of an American judge to express indignation about a man who uses the liberty and freedom afforded him by his presence in these United States of America to raise money for suicide bombers of the PIJ. Didn't this Moody guy get the latest CAIR press release? Killing innocent children, even Zionist children, is counter to the teachings of Islam. No Muslim could ever do such a thing!

Then, there was the case, in May of 2006, of the two Saudi men, Mana Saleh Almanajam, 23, and Shaker Mohsen Alsidran, 20, also students of USF (the English Language Institute), who decided to board a yellow school bus headed for Wharton High School at one of its regular stops. they were arrested by police upon their arrival at the school.

Never mind that they gave police conflicting stories about why they did this.
Never mind that they first told police they were from Morocco.
Never mind that they seemed 'cagey and evasive' to police who questioned them after their arrest.
Never mind that one of them was wearing an overcoat in Florida in May!

Even though the bus-boarding had all the earmarks of a 'dry run' for a bus hijacking, Mr. Bedier was once again dispatched by CAIR to ease all our fears. "Obviously, if they had recently arrived here and they were from Saudi Arabia, they may not be familiar with American rules and laws," he offered sincerely. "They might have thought it was some kind of public transportation."

Sure. Makes sense. And the guy with the long, black overcoat had obviously just watched The Matrix and believed himself to be Neo.

No, nothing to see here. Move along. Young Muslim men would never harm young children. It goes agains the teachings of the Qu'ran. Except, that is, for that episode in Beslan, Russia in 2004, when Muslim gunmen took over a school of 1200, killing over 300 people, including 184 children.

Finally, there is the story of yet 2 more USF students, Ahmed Abdel Latif Mohamed, 26, and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21. The former, a graduate engineering student and teaching assistant and the latter, a civil engineering student. Both young, Muslim men were arrested in early August as they sped down an isolated road in Goose Creek, S.C. which, just coincidentally, led to the naval station that housed a brig containing several 'enemy combatants' from Iraq and Afghanistan.

When pulled over by police, several suspicious items were found in their car. Among them:
A box of bullets under the front seat.
A full 5-gallon can of gasoline.
An electric drill.
23 ft. of safety fuse for explosives
An undisclosed amount of pre-mixed, low-grade explosive.
A video showing how convert a remote control toy car into a bomb detonator.
3 Pipe bombs filled with an explosive mixture.
A laptop containing files on how to make and use TNT and other high explosives.

Mohamed had been arrested previously in Egypt on terrorism charges related to his production of that same video found in the trunk. He later told police that the tape was intended to be instructional for someone 'who wants to be a martyr for another battle', and to 'assist those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries.' In the video, he mentions the use of small, remote controlled boats as means of delivering and detonating a bomb. In the oddest of coincidences, the FBI later seized the identical toy boat in Megahed's apartment.

Once again, CAIR dutifully marches out Ahmed Bedier to 'clarify' the situation. This time, however and to his credit, he actually comes close to chastising Mohamed when he said that 'Muslims don't get a second chance when they dabble with things like this.' Of course the obvious, unanswered questions here is - Why should they? He added, ". Not only will this have consequences on him, but it will have consequences on most of the Muslims in this country." To which I add: As well it should.

My hope was, as I researched these cases, that the Feds were keeping a close eye on goings on at USF. I can only assume that they are. As for Mr. Bedier, he deserves a vacation or a raise. Or both. As he continues to have to remind us just how paranoid and Islamophobic we Americans are at a few innocent Imams who just wanted to fly to Phoenix or the 13 Syrians on Northwest Airlines Flight 327 who just happened to all have to go to the bathroom at the same time, et al.

I hope we've seen and heard the last of his and CAIR's obfuscations and rationalizations for criminal, or at the very least, highly questionable behavior by Muslims at USF and elsewhere. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

10/29/07 UPDATE:
Judge Steven D. Merryday denied bail for Youssef Megahed - declairing him a 'flight risk'. Of Mr. Megahed, the judge added, ""The evidence fails to establish or even suggest any innocent or wholesome explanation for the events that led to Megahed's arrest," Merryday wrote.

"Guns, explosives, fuses, canisters of gasoline, ammunition, welding equipment, GPS devices, all-night interstate drives to an unstated and indeterminate destination, stops to check gun prices and availability, and computers with a recent history of visits to sites that feature the advocates and the means of violence are not attributes that a disinterested but cautious observer associates with a safe and tranquil citizen of the community," the judge said.

"Rather, a person about whom these attributes are discovered is a person whose means, motive and degree of determination are unknown and unpredictable and who is highly suspicious and threatening."

Can we clone this judge?