Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jihad suicide hotline

For a little humor, try this: an Iraqi suicide hotline for jihadis.

Fort Dix terrorists

Although the story wasn't as riveting as Governor Blagojevich's maneuvers, just before Christmas a federal jury convicted five men of conspiring to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix. They face a maximum term of life imprisonment. This appears to be another victory for the Department of Justice, coming as it does shortly after the convictions in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas.

So how are American Muslims reacting to this decision? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask Zuhdi Jasser, his American Islamic Forum for Democracy gave a clear response: it 'hailed the verdicts which brought the criminals to justice and will hopefully deter others like them from ever contemplating similar plots in the future.'

On the other hand, the New Jersey representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as reported in the New York Times, said that the defendants had been egged on by a government informant; while not innocent, they were not so very guilty.

So who speaks for American Muslims? I suspect that American Muslims have a range of views; some feel represented by one organization, some by the other. The problem is that CAIR gets the lion's share of media attention; it's not easy to hear Jasser's voice.

See for yourself

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) posted some videos on YouTube showing their side of the story. Those videos were blocked, but the most-watched one is still available here, thanks to LittleGreenFootballs. It shows Hamas fighters loading missiles into the back of a truck shortly before being obliterated.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Who to blame: Israel or Hamas?

EU foreign ministers will meet tomorrow to try to reach a common position on the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. So far France, which currently holds the EU presidency, has blamed Israel for the outbreak. Along with Spain, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission, France wants an immediate halt to Israeli bombing of Gaza. The French government has also condemned Israel's 'disproportionate use of force' against Hamas.

The EU's common position will likely be more nuanced, as the Germans have said that Israel has a right to protect itself. But it's highly unlikely that the Europeans will agree with Geert Wilders, who argues that Israel is only taking the brunt of the jihad assault that will sooner or later reach Europe.

Europeans may defend Hamas, but the Egyptian foreign minister does not. Here he is, in a Dec. 27 press conference, laying the blame for the latest hostilities clearly at the feet of Hamas. Most likely other Arab League governments agree, even if they don't want to say so out loud. Incidentally, as for 'disproportionate use of force,' Egyptian border guards have fired on Palestinians seeking to leave Gaza. The Egyptians don't want an increased Palestinian presence that Hamas could exploit to destabilize Egypt.

Obama's outreach to the Muslim world

Several friends and loyal readers have asked for my views on an op-ed by Olivier Roy and Justin Vaisse in the Dec. 21 New York Times. (I apologize, but I don't know how to link to it.)

Roy and Vaisse argue that the Muslim world is not monolithic, and should not be treated as such. Nor do they see Islam as a primary source of conflict in the world. Instead, "There are as many bloody conflicts outside of regions where Islam has a role as inside them." They question who the Islamic 'leaders' are to whom Obama would speak, and argue that linking by Islam and terrorism, Obama would reinforce the potential for alienation among Western Muslims. Rather than convene a meeting, Obama should close down the prison on Guantanamo, withdraw from Iraq, ban torture, and push for peace in the Middle East.

The points Roy and Vaisse raise are mostly true - but irrelevant. Radical Islam has declared war on the United States, Europe, Israel, and many Muslim countries and is doing its very best to destroy them. President Bush has spent 7 years telling anyone who would listen (admittedly a small group) that he does not/not accept the 'clash of civilizations' concept; that the United States is not waging war on Muslims; and that Islam is a religion of peace.

Roy and Vaisse completely ignore Bush's effort, thereby dodging the need to explain why it hasn't worked. Instead, they recommend that Obama satisfy the standard laundry list of European demands, although they fail to say why doing so will reconcile the United States with the Muslim world. (Will the Saudis really be happier if we withdraw completely and immediately from Iraq, to the benefit of Iran? Why will leaning on the Israelis to go easy on Hamas impress Egypt, which is busy shooting Palestinian civilians trying to escape from Gaza into Egypt?)

So, as Nancy asked me, where should Obama give his speech to the Muslim world? I think that's a difficult question, but less important than the question of what it is he wants to say. The governments in most Muslim countries have encouraged hatred and resentment of the United States and Israel as a way of deflecting popular anger from their own regimes. That anger has also benefited radical Islam, which in many places is the most obvious alternative to corrupt local rulers.

In this situation, Obama might as well stand up for American values. He cannot win by denigrating the United States - especially by apologizing to a part of the world that views apologies as weakness. Nor will Obama benefit from whitewashing the threat we face. If it were to become clear that his speech would follow those lines, the question of venue would probably resolve itself into a very short list.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Swedish banks and Bolsheviks

If you want a new look at a critical period in 20th century history, here's a review of what sounds like a fascinating book: Sean McKeekin's History's Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks. McKeekin charts the fate of all the artistic masterpieces and other articles of value sold by the Bolsheviks to the West from 1917-1922. Since the Bolsheviks had destroyed the Russian economy, these sales were a vital source of income for them.

My title to the contrary, it wasn't just Swedish banks that helped fence these treasures. Most Western governments took part. According to reviewer Adam Kirsch, "...the real value of this book is that it shows just how well the West lived up to Lenin's cynical prophecy: 'The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.'"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Poor Bosnia

The Islamist influence in Bosnia has been growing slowly but steadily since the war there in the 1990s. The latest evidence: 'Grandfather Frost' (a close cousin of Santa Claus) has been banned in the largely Muslim state-run kindergartens in Sarajevo. This step may seem relatively minor, but when former Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic first tried to eliminate Grandfather Frost, the public outcry forced him to back off. This time, reflecting growing polarization in Bosnia, the outcome is different. (Thanks to Dhimmi Watch.)

Jihadi view of US elections

The NEFA Foundation has translated a rather unusual analysis of the US elections contained in a communique issued by the media spokesman of the Islamic Army in Iraq. He contrasted the ability of candidates of the same party to overcome their differences to work for a common victory, and of the losing candidate to concede defeat without demonizing his opponent. Those actions, he argued, contrast sharply with what happens in many Muslim countries.

USG Sharia-compliant insurance instruments

Kevin Murray, a private citizen, has filed a lawsuit in Michigan demanding that the U.S. Treasury Department withhold bailout funds from the American International Group insurance company (AIG) unless it divests itself completely of any branch that deals with Islamic finance. The lawsuit alleges that U.S. government ownership of a sharia-compliant subsidiary represents an unconstitutional government infringement on religion. You can read the text of the complaint here.

An AIG subsidiary, AIG Takaful Enaya headquartered in Bahrain, provides a range of sharia-compliant insurance products for the Islamic world. However, these products are not exotic and remote. On December 1, another AIG subsidiary announced that it was introducing a 'Takaful Homeowners Policy', aimed at the U.S. market, in conjunction with AIG Takaful Enaya.

It's not clear whether this lawsuit will succeed, or whether it will be rejected due to the principle of sovereign immunity, which protects the U.S. government from U.S. taxpayer challenges over how it uses its funds.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Europe and global warming

The Heritage Foundation has a web memo that summarizes recent EU attempts to curb global warming. It describes a meeting in Poznan, Poland, to agree on the next steps after the 2012 goals set under the Kyoto Protocol which President Bush refused to sign (and which the Senate at one point rejected by 95-0).

Let's hope the Obama Administration takes note of Europe's failure to meet its targets under Kyoto. This failure occurred in large part because of the economic pain meeting those targets would cause; if the United States embarks on a similar path, it is likely to face the same prospect. Indeed, the United States has reduced its emissions more in recent years than have a number of EU member states - without Kyoto. Add to that the growing uncertainty over whether the earth is in fact warming or cooling, and it's definitely time to proceed with caution.

Clinton money

As a requirement of Hillary's candidacy for Secretary of State, Bill Clinton has released a list of the major donors to his foundation. Unsurprisingly (at least to me), the list includes a number of unsavory types. Before the mainstream media bury this story, here are a few details, from an article by Jacob Laksin at FrontPage Magazine:

-- Issam Fares, a former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, is an outspoken advocate of Hizbollah. He has denied that Hizbollah was responsible for the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beurut; his pro-Syrian tilt has won him a decoration from the Syrian government.

-- The Saudis have been the biggest donors, contributing between $10 and $25 million. In addition, a pro-Saudi advocacy group, Friends of Saudi Arabia, contributed between $1 and $5 million. Note that the Saudis typically give only to charities for Muslims - not to those that also help non-Muslims.

-- The Dubai Foundation gave between $1 and $5 million; other grants of theirs have gone to pay off the families of Palestinian and Hezbollah suicide bombers.

Laksin concludes: "...given [Clinton's] foundation's declared mission to promote 'racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation,' how can he justify his willing association with governments that routinely abuse himan rights and fuel sectarian violence? Further, in light of the Clinton foundation's dependency on such donors, what assurances will Hillary Clinton provide that her husband's philanthropic interests will not stand in the way of the nation's diplomatic priorities?"

At least we now know details about the funding - details Bill Clinton had refused to divulge.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dutch on Durban II

The Netherlands have announced that they will join Canada and Israel in boycotting the UN's Durban II conference on racism in 2009 unless draft documents disproportionately critical of Israel are amended. The EU (of which the Netherlands is a member state) is considering its position; its own watchdog agency on racism has lobbied against pulling out, arguing that 'much remains to be done to fight racism globally and regionally'. Why attending this conference will fight racism is beyond me.

Meanwhile, 24 prominent Americans signed a statement published as a full-page ad in the Washington Times urging the United States to boycott the meeting as well. In 2001, the Durban I conference in South Africa was such a hate fest that Secretary of State Colin Powell walked out. Let's hope the Obama administration will decide to stay away.

British officials criticize libel tourism

The Free Speech Protection Act of 2008, intended to protect American authors' First Amendment rights from libel suits brought in other countries, appears to have bogged down in Washington. However, there's good news from across the pond.

The UK minister of justice and Members of Parliament have attacked the British libel law which allows people like Khalid Bin Mafouz, who lives in Saudi Arabia, to sue American authors like Rachel Ehrenfeld, to suppress allegations that he finances Islamist terrorism. The current law, according to Labour MP Denis MacShane, 'shames Britain and makes a mockery of the idea that Britain is a protector of core democratic freedoms'. Let's hope he and others can fix the problem.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jewel of Medina panned

After all the hoop-la over Sherry Jones' novel, The Jewel of Medina, it was finally published...and turns out, it's not a very good novel. Robert Spencer notes that it presents a saccharine interpretation of Mohammed and is poorly written. Lorraine Adams was equally offended by its poor prose.

Adams appears to suggest - although I'm not clear on this - that it's a shame to risk offending others with such a low-brow production. She applauds the international writers association PEN for remaining silent on the issue. So if your prose or storytelling abilities fall short you should, to paraphrase French President Jacques Chirac, not lose an opportunity to remain silent? I would argue that such a position is cowardly. Such books should be published; let readers chose what they wish to read.

Enough of radical Islam

That's the title of a recent opinion piece by Ben Shapiro (brought to my attention by Jeff, who doesn't necessarily endorse it). Shapiro argues that we need to 'get real':

-- we're not in a war against terrorism, but in a war against militant Islam.

-- Muslim extremists aren't just a tiny minority of all Muslims: "It's a dominant strain of evil that runs rampant in a population of well over 1 billion."

-- They hate us not because of what we do but because of who we are, and because we don't want to surrender to them.

-- The terrorists will only quit when they are dead: "It is our job to make them so."

I'm curious to know what you think - just for the record, I agree with him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just what is the threat?

UK prime minister Gordon Brown, on a trip to India and Pakistan, says that 75% of the UK's most serious terrorist cases are linked to Al Qaeda in Pakistan (hardly surprising, considering how many Muslims in the UK are of Pakistani origin), and proposes a new pact with Pakistan to combat the terrorists. (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard employs as senior advisor on Muslim extremism a Tunisian wanted by Interpol for his links to an alleged terrorist organization. The individual was convicted in absentia in Tunisia and sentenced to 56 years in prison. What's more, looks like Scotland Yard knew all about this when they hired him. Read this article by Melanie Phillips and weep.

The UK authorities will never solve their problem unless and until they figure out who the enemy is.

Islamic divorce and polygamy

A privately-organized Saudi women's conference, the Saudi Divorce Initiative Forum, publicly discussed divorce in the hope of inspiring reform. Here are some of the problems women face:

-- women can be divorced without being either informed or present in the court.

-- judges often won't listen to a woman's pleading in a divorce case unless she is accompanied by a male relative.

-- the Saudi divorce rate is officially quoted as being 30%, but could be as high as 60%. Some women argue that the rate has increased because young men are now raised to believe that they should totally control their wives.

Meanwhile, an article in the Jerusalem Post paints a grim picture of polygamy as practiced by Israel's Bedouins. Even the husbands apparently suffer, according to an expert: 'With all the trouble, the feuds, the envy, the financial responsibilities - a man with more than one wife typically regrets it.' Which begs the question...but I'm clearly projecting my Western views onto another society, so I'll stop there. (Thanks to Dhimmi Watch.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How to combat radical Islam

Andrew Bostom offers an excellent suggestion: why doesn't the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents over 50 Muslim governments, take the lead in opposing radical Islam? OIC states have declared their opposition to terrorism. They have money, arms and armies; why are they not sending forces to help Pakistan defeat the Islamists? It is an excellent question.

Geert Wilders in Jerusalem

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders gave an excellent speech at a conference in Jerusalem in which he argued that the war against Israel is not territorial but ideological. It is in fact jihad; Israel, like Kosovo, Chechnya, South Thailand, and many other hot spots lies on the fault line between Islam and the non-Islamic world.

Wilders is scathing about the failure of the European governments and political elite to understand the threat posed by the Islamicization of Europe, let alone to defend the rights of people like him to exercise rights such as freedom of speech. Read the whole speech here, thanks to Andrew Bostom.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jihadists arrested in Belgium

Belgian authorities have finally arrested Malika El-Aroud, the famous on-line recruiter for jihad living on the public dole in Belgium. Some 13 others were also arrested in 16 raids in Brussels and Liege. The group may have been planning an attack in conjunction with a meeting in Brussels this week of EU leaders. (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

The season of peace and love

Christmas, usually seen as a season of peace and love, sometimes brings out other emotions, as Smooth Stone points out. The Anglican church of St. James in Picadilly arranged an anti-Israel hate fest which apparently has caused subsequent embarrassment. The rector of St. James Picadilly, responding to numerous complaints, said he would 'think twice' before allowing a repeat of the service. Nothing like taking a firm stand against bigotry and hate!

Elsewhere, prominent Islamist Anjem Choudhary warns Muslims that Christmas is the 'pathway to hell' and urges his followers to boycott it. This sounds a bit odd, if one assumes that Muslims by definition don't celebrate Christmas, but perhaps Choudhary is feeling pressure from the competition. I propose a campaign against 'Christianophobia' - after all, anyone making similar accusations against Islam would have been denounced for 'Islamophobia.'

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New and improved website

Just so you know - I haven't forgotten my blog, but I've been working to update my website. The new and improved version is now available at www.leslielebl.com; comments welcome!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

So is it true, as many people argue, that the Muslims today are the 'new Jews' - that they are underdog and outsiders who face potentially genocidal discrimination (dubbed Islamophobia), particularly in Europe? German scholar Clemens Hani begs to differ, pointing out that modern anti-Semitism assumes that the Jews are responsible for all evil in the world, as well as being out to take over the world:

"No other group has ever been blamed for such a welter of 'evils' - capitalism, communism, liberalism and humanism. None of these anti-Semitic accusations are used against Muslims today. In fact, Islamic terrorists use these very canards in an attempt to justify their anti-Jewish actions...Furthermore, there are some Islamicists who openly advocate the takeover of Europe, the West and the world...[T]he Jews have never had or claimed such a goal."

So what constitutes torture?

Writer John Rosenthal compares two cases in 2002 involving allegations of torture, one in Germany and the other in Guantanamo. If you think the European authorities adhere to a higher standard of protection...well, you need to read this article. It compares the treatment accorded to a young German law student accused of kidnapping a young boy with that given to a key Al Qaeda operative.

Marriage under sharia law

Here's a discussion on Abu Dhabi TV between a Saudi cleric, a Saudi woman activist, and the show's hostess about the types of marriage permitted under sharia law, and women's rights more generally. The discussion demonstrates the result of shoehorning today's existence into categories deduced from the life of Mohammed 1,400 years ago. It should be required viewing for the Archbishop of Canterbury and any other advocates of the partial adoption of sharia law - which part, I wonder? (Thanks to MEMRI.)

Mumbai and Pakistan

For anyone who missed it, here's an excellent op-ed piece by Patrick French, from yesterday's New York Times. It describes, among other things, the mindset of the terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, that appears to have carried out the Mumbai attacks: their hatred, especially hatred for democracy, Jews, and women in bikinis; and the will to power, expressed as the desire for a caliphate, this time in Central Asia.

French also demolishes all the media apologists for the terrorists, the commentators who by blaming the massacres on American foreign policy, India or whatever other excuse was handy are seeking to relieve the terrorists of any personal responsibility for their actions.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The UN, blasphemy and free speech

Late last month, the UN's Third Committee, which handles human rights issues, passed a resolution criminalizing expressions deemed to be 'defamation of religion,' with special concern for Islam. Unsurprisingly, the resolution was submitted by a caucus of Islamic nations, supported by human rights defenders Venezuela and Belarus. The resolution will come to the main body of the UN General Assembly for a vote later this month, where it is expected to pass. Then, in principle, UN member states are supposed to amend their criminal codes accordingly.

It turns out that the resolution is actually watered down from the text that was submitted last year. However, this time it would then be sent to the second World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance - Durban II, the anticipated antisemitic hate fest. (If you want more information on Durban II, go here.)

A growing number of legal scholars argue that the decisions of international conferences like Durban II can be incorporated into international law, which then can be enforced by the International Criminal Court (where the United States is not/not a member). 'Stand-up comics and philosophers might find they're unable to cross international borders for fear of being arrested and remanded for trial in Jordan or Malaysia.' (Dutch parlementarian Geert Wilders is already facing this problem for his film Fitna.)

Will it actually come to this? Optimists argue that the vote in favor of the resolution is weaker than it was last year. It would also be nice if the United States (which has refused to participate in the planning meetings) and other Western countries would follow Canada's example and refuse to attend Durban II, thus for once sending a clear message about support for free speech and freedom of religion, and against incitement to hatred and mayhem.

For a witty, incisive blast in favor of free speech and exposing politically-correct and mind-numbing speech codes from one of the 'stand up comics and philosophers' who has already been put in front of Human Rights Commissions in Canada, see columnist Mark Steyn's latest piece here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Maternal love

The blog Smooth Stone reports about the fate of a young Moroccan man who converted from Islam to Christianity in Canada. His mother arranged for two young men to throw him off the fourth floor balcony of a mall; he survived but will probably be in a wheelchair the rest of his life.

Who wrote the Koran?

Abdulkarim Soroush, a prominent Iranian religious dissident, argues that the Koran is a 'prophetic experience,' that Mohammed 'was at the same time the receiver and the producer of the Koran.' This is very different from the traditional view that the Koran is literally the word of God.

Mohammed Ayatollahi Tabaar, an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University, argues that '[i]n a deeply religious society, whose leaders have justified their hold on power as a divine duty, it may take a religious counterargument to push the society toward pluralism and democracy. Soroush challenges those who claim to speak for Islam, and does so on their own terms.' Just think: this was actually published in the New York Times Magazine!

More self-promotion

This time, it's a review essay about two books dealing with radical Islam in Bosnia and the Balkans more generally: Chris Deliso's The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, and John Schindler's Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida and the Rise of Global Jihad. They both argue that the war in Bosnia was an important way-station in Al Qaeda's development of global jihad, and that radical Islam is becoming ever more influential throughout the Balkans.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Somali pirates 101

Michael Radu, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, has written an excellent essay on the problem of Somali pirates. It analyzes the pirate industry (based plenty of fat ransoms) whose assets give the pirates status in the Somali clan structure; lists the naval assets that could be used against them; identifies the growing links to radical Islam; and explains why Western political correctness makes this problem so much worse than it has to be.

Radu suggests that those countries who want to fight pirates should take the offense, instead of trying to defend ships in the huge Indian Ocean. He recommends a blockade of certain waters, and the destruction of pirates' ships, villas and other ill-gotten gains.

As usual, the French are at least willing to do something to fight the pirates, while the British Navy avoids them because it doesn't want to grant any prisoners all kinds of human rights protections rather than prosecute them. The entire international community, as represented by the United Nations, has as usual fallen down on the job.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Krauthammer on Iraq

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer writes that the recent military and security agreement with Iraq represents a huge victory not just for the United States, but for Iraq and for democracy in the Middle East.

I don't disagree, but I would note that we made a costly error by allowing both Iraq and Afghanistan to base their constitutions on Islamic law. Iraq's Christian community will probably cease to exist; potentially fatal attacks on it have been launched since the U.S. occupation in 2003.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Terrorists and the media

Bret Stephens argues here that Western media are doing an outstanding job of supplying terrorists with excuses for their actions. All too often, what they're 'reporting' are actual lies, such as Newsweek's false allegations about Koran's being flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo, or the alleged death of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura.

To quote Stephens: "...it's worth wondering why a media that treats nearly every word uttered by the U.S., British or Israeli governments as inherently suspect has proved so consistently credulous when it comes to every dubious or defamatory claim made against these governments." Good question, to which I'd like to add one of my own: Will the media treat Obama with the same suspicion and contempt, once's he's sworn in?

My unvarnished views

Nancy asked me what I thought of Hillary Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State, and of the impact of the Mumbai massacres on President-elect Obama's future policies towards terrorism.

Hillary: oddly enough, this may be a good appointment (especially if the alternative might have been Dick Holbrooke or Wes Clark - heaven knows they've wanted the job for years). She demonstrated toughness during the campaign, and that's a very good quality in a Secretary of State. The irony, of course, is that her two biggest campaign lies were about Bosnia and Northern Ireland. I would hope that her record of veracity will improve once she's dealing full time with faraway places. She will have 'Bill eruptions' from time to time, just as she did on the campaign trail, leaving the rest of us respond with either embarrassment or sick humor. However, on the bright side, Bill's ability to lobby and accept money from unsavory sources may be hampered by the increased limelight.

Obama and terrorism: oddly enough, there may be a little sliver of silver on the bottom of the very dark cloud in Mumbai. I remember a tape of Obama, early in the campaign, saying that the root cause of terrorism was poverty. The Mumbai attacks certainly do not support that assessment. Also, friends and acquaintances like Rashid Khalili, former PLO spokesman and now Middle East expert at Columbia, have presumably told Obama that the root cause of terrorism is Israel; again, the events in Mumbai should poke a large hole in that theory. Finally, Obama has been forced to take sides; not between Pakistan and India, but between terrorists and everyone else. Hopefully, he understands that U.S. interests lie with helping democrats in India, not excusing terrorist thugs and killers.

Tainted milk in China

If you want a succinct, informative update on why there's a problem with tainted milk in China, here it is. Note the importance of having a free press, with investigative reports, to enforce quality control. And yes, I must make a disclaimer; Joe is a relative.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mumbai-type threat in UK

In 2006, a young Muslim man was convicted of seeking to purchase firearms for what may have been a Mumbai-style terrorist attack, in this case planned for the UK. He belonged to the same group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is being linked to the Mumbai attack. (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

The FBI in action

Here are two very different stories, posted the same day on Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch, about how the FBI deals with Muslim extremists. The FBI chief in Sacramento believes it's important to reach out to the local community to establish trust; he keeps a prayer rug in his office for the convenience of one of the Muslim community leaders.

Meanwhile, the FBI in Minneapolis kept a local imam and his youth coordinator from boarding a plane to Saudi Arabia. Observers speculate that their inclusion on the 'no-fly' list may be linked to the disappearance of some 20 Somali youths, reportedly to pursue jihad in Somalia. (See here.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

The lone terrorist talks

The UK's Daily Mail has provided details about the lone remaining terrorist captured in Mumbai, 21-year-old Azam Amir Kasav. Born in the disputed region of Kashmir, he apparently received five months of training there, followed by training in 'marine assault.' The tale of how the terrorists arrived in Mumbai, and the string of corpses they left behind them, reads like a bad thriller. The only good news is that they failed to achieve their goal of killing 5,000 people.