Arkansas jihadist: “Step by step I became a religiously devout Muslim, Mujahid — meaning one who participates in jihad”

November 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This lengthy piece contains numerous revealing extracts from writings by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who murdered one soldier and wounded another in a jihad attack outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. He makes his Islamic motivations fully clear. I didn’t reproduce here the material from various learned analysts explaining how Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad has gotten jihad and Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong, because ultimately the article offers no evidence of anything that the Muslims who supposedly reject Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad’s understanding of jihad are doing to make sure that other Muslims don’t misunderstand Islam the way he did. And that’s because they aren’t doing anything to ensure that more Muslims will not misunderstand Islam in this way.

Note also that Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad attempted to firebomb the home of a rabbi — acting out the Islamic antisemitism that he learned in the Qur’an that told him that the Jews are the Muslims’ worst enemies (5:82).

“Memphian drifted to dark side of Islamic extremism, plotted one-man jihad vs. homeland,” by Kristina Goetz in the Commercial Appeal, November 14 (thanks to Axel):

What I had in mind didn’t go as planned but Allah willing He will reward me for my intentions.

He planned for weeks, buying guns secondhand to avoid the FBI.

Then, to test whether the feds were watching, he bought a .22-caliber rifle over the counter at Walmart. He stockpiled ammo and practiced target shooting at empty construction sites.

By his own account, he was preparing for jihad.

From a black Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Memphis native, watched two soldiers in fatigues smoking outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock. He aimed an assault rifle out the window and fired.

Muhammad sped away, hoping to flee 150 miles to Memphis where he would switch cars. But a wrong turn in a construction zone led him to police.

He stepped out of the SUV wearing a green ammo belt around his waist.

“It’s a war going on against Muslims, and that is why I did it,” an officer heard him say. “You see how I gave up with no problem.”

Much of this account emerges from police reports and an 18-page mental-health evaluation contained in court files. But Muhammad tells a far broader, detailed story in seven handwritten letters to The Commercial Appeal. Taken together, those letters are not just an admission of guilt but a profession of failure for having not caused more death and destruction.

The letters, written in pencil between May and October, provide a rare glimpse into the thoughts of a self-described jihadist, according to one national security expert. Muhammad describes in his own words how he took his declaration of faith in a Memphis mosque; his motives for moving to Yemen and his attempt to travel to Somalia for weapons training; how and why he planned multiple attacks in the U.S, including ones in Nashville and Florence, Ky., that didn’t go as intended; and how he allegedly executed the Little Rock assault.

In his own words:

It’s a war out against Islam and Muslims and I’m on the side of the Muslims point blank … The U.S. has to pay for the rape, murder, bloodshed, blasphemy it has done and still doing to the Muslims and Islam. So consider this a small retaliation the best is to come Allah willing. This is not the first attack and won’t be the last.

Muhammad is yet to convince U.S. authorities he’s anything other than the murderer of Pvt. William A. Long of Conway, Ark. He’s being held on state charges, awaiting a February trial.

But one senior consultant to the U.S. government on global terrorism believes Muhammad’s self-described attack in June 2009 and others like it — lone gunmen with no formal al-Qaida training or direction — illustrate the new nature of an old enemy.

Al-Qaida has shifted from a far away, tough-to-join group to a social network that almost anyone, anywhere can join. Even a middle-class, Baptist kid from Memphis, born Carlos Bledsoe, who played youth basketball and worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s. [...]

“Regarding my pre-Islamic past … I don’t like to talk about it,” he wrote to the newspaper. “… I was known as Bledsoe in the neighborhood and did things most teenagers do.” [...]

During a visit to a Nashville mosque, he watched the synchronized movements of 50 to 75 people as they bowed and prostrated themselves in prayer. He was amazed.

“So I attempted to join and after realizing I didn’t know what I was doing, somebody (asked) when did you become Muslim? I said I’m not just interested in it? And when I said that the whole place lit up. I mean brothers shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’!! (Allah is the greatest) and embraced me like I was a long (lost) brother.”

A man from the mosque explained the religion’s fundamentals — belief in one God, angels, the revealed scriptures, the prophets, predestination and the day of judgment. He also gave Muhammad a copy of the Quran.

Later, at Masjid As-Salam in Memphis, Muhammad recited the Shahada in Arabic: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

“They are not Mujahideen or militants or preach jihad,” Muhammad wrote about the Memphis mosque. “But that’s where I became Muslim.”

So to make a long story short I believed in it wholeheartedly and decided to become a Muslim in a local Memphis masjid. I took my declaration or testimony of faith and bore witness to the truth. The year was 2004 and I was 19 years old.

* * *

A senior member of Masjid As-Salam and the Muslim Society of Memphis board, Mohammed Moinuddin, facilitated a meeting between mosque members and the FBI after the shooting at the agency’s request. Muhammad spent very little time at the mosque, he said, but the few who remembered him described him as calm, not belligerent or hostile.

Moinuddin said he encourages people to speak up if they know about potential threats so law enforcement officials can be informed.

“Islam, our religion of faith, does not believe in killing people and stuff like that,” he said. “It’s a very peaceful religion. The very meaning of the word Islam means peace. And therefore it’s kind of ironic that people are sometimes distorting the image of Islam.”…

You can tell Moinuddin is lying right off, when he claims that the word Islam means “peace,” when actually it means “submission.” And he must know that. So it is hard to credit anything else he says.

By 2007, Carlos Bledsoe had become deeply observant and legally changed his name.

“So step by step I became a religiously devout Muslim, Mujahid — meaning one who participates in jihad,” Muhammad wrote. “I was a jihadist before I traveled to Yemen. I’ve loved jihad every since I became Muslim.” [...]

And he ultimately went to Yemen, where he got involved in jihad activity:

He declined to answer certain questions about other Muslims for “security reasons.” He also said in one letter that he was “asked many times to carry out a martyrdom operation in America” but “didn’t have proper training in regards to explosives.”

He did not elaborate.

Muhammad spent his days studying and then taught English after the Asr, or third prayer of the five daily prayers. He felt uncomfortable teaching “the language of the enemy” and considered it only a source of income. He learned Arabic by interacting with native speakers.

Muhammad met an elementary school teacher to whom he taught English and eventually married. He told the state psychiatrist he sold his car in America to help pay for the dowry.

When Muhammad had been married about two months, he was arrested at a roadside checkpoint. He carried a fake Somali passport and lacked the proper government permissions to travel.

He also had videos and literature about the daily operations “by our Muslim soldiers in different parts of the world,” literature from people such as Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American Islamic cleric who uses the Internet to spread al-Qaida’s message, and explosive manuals that included tips such as how to make gun silencers, he said.

Muhammad’s plan had been to travel to Somalia for training in how to make bombs, particularly car bombs.

Instead, he was imprisoned in Yemen’s Political Security Organization.

(H)ad I got this training my story would of ended a lot differently than it’s going to end now. My drive-by would of been a drive-in with no one escaping the aftermath!! [...]

In regards to the CIA & FBI yea they followed me, yea they tapped my phone, read my emails, interrogated me not once, not twice but three times before my jihadi attack on the crusader recruiting center but what good did it do? I outsmarted them and they know it. That’s why they don’t want to pick these charges up and are leaving me in state court to be hung. …

I know the real reason why they’re so (quiet). And it’s because they dropped the ball with me and not just me. Nidal (Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army major charged in the Fort Hood shootings), Umar Farouk (the Nigerian charged for trying to detonate plastic explosives on a Northwest Airlines flight), Faisal (Shahzad, the Pakistani-American sentenced to life in prison for his failed attempt to bomb Times Square) and others who evaded their agents and devices and paid-informants posing as Muslims.

They can’t catch us all.

Muhammad bought several guns and stockpiled ammunition over a period of weeks because he was “on a budget.” He didn’t use a credit card to buy supplies because “Muslims don’t believe in interest.”

When he bought the rifle at Walmart and wasn’t questioned, he recalled walking to the parking lot with the new gun, thinking: “It’s on,” meaning he was not under surveillance. “The FBI had not put a hold or checked.”

Plan A, as he called it in one letter, was to assassinate “3 Zionist rabbis in Memphis, Little Rock and Nashville. Then target recruitment centers from the South to the nation’s capital. And other Zionist organizations in the northeast. That was the plan, which mostly failed.”…

Next he drove through Memphis to Nashville. He had prepared a carton of Molotov cocktails, lit one and threw it at what he believed to be the home of an orthodox rabbi. But it bounced off the glass. [...]

We believe in an eye for eye not turn the other cheek. …We are all brothers under the same banner fighting for the same cause. … (T)he war has no boundaries as you can see. … Unless the U.S. government pulls fully out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop(s) helping Israel in (its) massacre of Muslims, blood will flow in the U.S.A. like tap water.

* * *

On the morning of June 1, 2009, Muhammad drove down Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. His Plan B, he said, was a “random and unplanned attack” for which he chose the recruiting center.

“I went around the corner so they (couldn’t) see me,” he said of the soldiers standing outside smoking. “I did not want them to see me coming. I had the SKS with me and put it out the window. I rolled by and started shooting.”

He made his intent clear: “I was trying to kill them.” [...]

He also explained that when he returned to America, he had hatred for the U.S. and was angry at what he saw as news outlets such as CNN filtering its reporting. He accused military personnel of target shooting the Quran and urinating on it.

Muhammad said he’d have killed more soldiers had more been in the parking lot.

Muhammad also told police there were at least six Molotov cocktails in a milk crate in the bed of his truck — green and clear bottles filled with gasoline and oil and duct taped.

“And compared to what I had planned originally it was like a grain of sand,” Muhammad wrote about the attack. “One crusader dead, one wounded, 15 terrorized, big deal. Nidal Malik (Hasan, the accused Fort Hood shooter) is the real Islamic warrior, and my plan A was on that scale.”

Days after his arrest, Muhammad called The Associated Press to say he wasn’t guilty of murder because “murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason.”

I’m just one Muhammad There are millions of Muhammads out there. And I hope and pray the next one be more deadlier than Muhammad Atta!! (peace be upon him) commander of the blessed raids in NY and D.C. on 9/11.

In one letter, Muhammad explained what jihad means to him:

“In Islam there’s a call to duty — jihad — and it’s of different types but the one I’m mentioning is a defensive struggle or fight with weapons against those who attack, kill, maim the Muslims. And this is a part of Islam.” [...]

Far as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula I won’t say much but yes, I’m affiliated with them. And it’s more of a Islamic Revivalist Revolutionary Movement than an organization. Same with other Al-Qaeda fronts. Our goal is to rid the Islamic world of idols and idolaters, paganism and pagans, infidelity and infidels, hypocrisy and hypocrites, apostasy and apostates, democracy and democrats and relaunch the Islamic caliphate … and to establish Islamic law (Shari’ah) — Allah’s law on earth and anyone who strives for this is affiliated with the movement.

So yes I’m Al Qaeda and proud to be. [...]

Muhammad now spends 23 hours a day alone in a cell in the Pulaski County Detention Center. He speaks to no one and can’t see out the windows. His only book, he said, is the Interpretation of the Noble Quran. [...]

Good thing he is reading that, eh? Twenty-three hours a day with nothing but the Book of Peace and fairly soon he will be as “moderate” as the day is long!

I knew this would end with the enemies of Allah killing me. But the good thing is — Martyrs don’t die! Allah says, “Don’t think of those who are killed for the sake of Allah as dead. Rather they are alive with their Lord and they have their provision!” (Qur’an 3:169) And that’s what I believe. The jihad lives on. May Allah accept my jihadi operations and grant me what he promises all of the … (martyrs) Ameen. [...]

Jihad Watch

Zombies take New Jersey: Governor Christie questions climate science - “One of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out.”

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In theory we elect political leaders who then consult with or even hire leading experts to help them make informed judgments on complex subjects affecting the health and well-being of their constituents.

In practice, the GOP has been taken over by the climate zombies, a condition spread by drinking tea.  Even previously smart and/or blunt people abandon any reason or clarity when it comes to climate science (see McCain drinks the Kool-Aid [iced tea?] and becomes a climate conspiracy theorist and The dumbing down of Carly Fiorina).

And so it is with the former ’straight shooter’ Chris Christie, Governor of the Garden State, which would be devastated by the impact of unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases, especially sea level rise, as Princeton scientists have explained.

HuffPost was provided with his full remarks on climate science from a Tuesday town meeting.  To sum up in one word — Fuggedaboutit:

Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I’ll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I’m skeptical — I’m skeptical. And you know, I think at the at the end of this, I think we’re going to need more science to prove something one way or the other.

But you know - cause I’ve seen arguments on both sides of it that at times - like I’ll watch something about man made global warming, and I go wow, that’s fairly convincing. And then I’ll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too.

So, I go to be honest with you, I don’t know. And that’s probably one of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it. Thank you.

Cigarettes cause health problems?  Well I’ll tell you something.  I have seen evidence on both sides of it.

Like I’ll watch something about the dangers of cigarette smoking and I go, wow, you have to be suicidal to keep smoking when every doctor you’ve seen has diagnosed you with early-stage emphysema.  And then I’ll go out and listen to some scientists funded by the tobacco industry, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too.  So, to be honest with you, I’m simply incapable of actually figuring out what the overwhelming majority of scientists and leading scientific institutions say on this subject.

And that’s why I became a governor, who has to make crucial decisions that affect millions of people and most importantly our children, because I can’t figure this stuff out.  I would say this point, that has to be proven, so I’m just going to keep smoking — and take “the state’s entire allocation for its global warming fund ($ 65 million) to help close” the budget deficit.  Thank you.

Climate Progress

The TRR interview: how Rick Scott became Gollum

November 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

With Florida voters doubling down on the forces of doom, and with the most right wing government since the 19th century headed to Tallahassee in January, TRR sat down with blogger Joy-Ann Reid (who would probably be in her basement posting conspiracy theories, if you could have a basement in Florida…) about her constant haranguing [...]
The Reid Report

Public Sector Pension Funding Just Became Three Times More Fun

October 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Californians have become increasingly concerned that public employee pension costs may be a future burden on taxpayers.  However, due to the complex world of actuarial mathematics and lack of accounting standards, most financial geniuses could not give you a straight answer about the costs.  The Government Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”), a group of “uber” accountants, is about to make pension costs a frightening surprise.

sinkhole

California’s irresponsible politicians just approved an $ 86 billion State Budget of smoke and mirrors that pushes approximately $ 10 billion of their $ 20 billion deficit to next the next administration in January.  The budget fancifully estimates the current $ 3.8 billion cost of funding state pensions will decline.  GASB’s adoption of new accounting rules next year will actually more than triple the annual cost of funding California state pensions to $ 12.5 billion!

Private Sector pension plans eliminated creative accounting rules still practiced by Public Sector pension plans 15 years ago.  Accounting rules mandate Corporations providing employee pensions fund the expected lifetime cost of the pension over the number of years the employee will continue to work.  The Private Sector concept is that the money will be “in the bank” when the employee retires, so that the pension benefits are paid in full.  Public Sector pension plans have “assumed” the government is perpetual and there is no need to put enough money “in the bank” each year the Public Sector employee actually continues working before he or she retires and collects a lifetime pension benefit.  Instead, actuaries have allowed the Public Sector pension plans to operate as if every person working in government will continue working for the next 30 years.

GASB calculated that the average public employee has already worked in government for 16 years.  Consequently, GASB is mandating new accounting standards that will require government to put money, “in the bank” to fund lifetime pension benefit over the 14 years the average public employee will continue to work in government.

The table below reveals the startling impact this new GASB accounting rule change will have on the Public Sector pension costs.  The top row demonstrates that most government pension plans assume that every dollar they contribute to a Public Sector pension plan will earn a compounded annual return of 7 ¾% for each of the next 30 years; to generate $ 9.39 “in the bank” to pay pension benefits.

The middle row adjusts for the new GASB accounting rule that allows Public Sector pension plans to compound the same dollar contributed for 14 years.  The GASB accounting rule change reduces the expected return from $ 9.39 to $ 2.84, a 70% reduction!

The bottom row on the table demonstrates that Public Sector pension plans will need to increase funding from $ 1 to $ 3.30 to achieve the same investment return of $ 9.39!

Amount Invested

Number of Years

Compound Rate of Return

Total Return

$ 1

30

7 ¾

$ 9.39

$ 1

14

7 ¾

$ 2.84

$ 3.30

14

7 ¾

$ 9.39

Most pension analysts have been suspicious of the Public Sector’s estimate that they will always achieve a compounded 7 ¾ % investment for 30 years.  Warren Buffet, the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a legendary successful stock market investor, has estimated his company’s long-term pension return will be 6%.  The table below demonstrates Public Sector pension plan contributions would need to rise by 64% to achieve the same $ 9.39 return over 30 years at a 6% compounded earnings rate.

Amount Invested

Number of Years

Compound Rate of Return

Total Return

$ 1

30

7 ¾%

$ 9.39

$ 1

14

6%

$ 5.74

$ 1.64

14

6%

$ 9.39

As you can see from the tables above, a reduction in the number of years a Public Sector pension plan compounds earnings compared to a reduction in the amount of interest earned annually; is 360% more expensive.

To put this new annual pension funding cost in human terms, the State of California will need to layoff some combination of approximately 87,000 of the state’s 310,000 teachers or 50% of the state’s 211,000 non-school employees.  California taxpayers will not be alone in facing this looming nightmare, every state and local government across the United States is about to suffer the same hair raising fate.


Big Government

Public Sector Pension Funding Just Became Three Times More Fun

October 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Californians have become increasingly concerned that public employee pension costs may be a future burden on taxpayers.  However, due to the complex world of actuarial mathematics and lack of accounting standards, most financial geniuses could not give you a straight answer about the costs.  The Government Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”), a group of “uber” accountants, is about to make pension costs a frightening surprise.

sinkhole

California’s irresponsible politicians just approved an $ 86 billion State Budget of smoke and mirrors that pushes approximately $ 10 billion of their $ 20 billion deficit to next the next administration in January.  The budget fancifully estimates the current $ 3.8 billion cost of funding state pensions will decline.  GASB’s adoption of new accounting rules next year will actually more than triple the annual cost of funding California state pensions to $ 12.5 billion!

Private Sector pension plans eliminated creative accounting rules still practiced by Public Sector pension plans 15 years ago.  Accounting rules mandate Corporations providing employee pensions fund the expected lifetime cost of the pension over the number of years the employee will continue to work.  The Private Sector concept is that the money will be “in the bank” when the employee retires, so that the pension benefits are paid in full.  Public Sector pension plans have “assumed” the government is perpetual and there is no need to put enough money “in the bank” each year the Public Sector employee actually continues working before he or she retires and collects a lifetime pension benefit.  Instead, actuaries have allowed the Public Sector pension plans to operate as if every person working in government will continue working for the next 30 years.

GASB calculated that the average public employee has already worked in government for 16 years.  Consequently, GASB is mandating new accounting standards that will require government to put money, “in the bank” to fund lifetime pension benefit over the 14 years the average public employee will continue to work in government.

The table below reveals the startling impact this new GASB accounting rule change will have on the Public Sector pension costs.  The top row demonstrates that most government pension plans assume that every dollar they contribute to a Public Sector pension plan will earn a compounded annual return of 7 ¾% for each of the next 30 years; to generate $ 9.39 “in the bank” to pay pension benefits.

The middle row adjusts for the new GASB accounting rule that allows Public Sector pension plans to compound the same dollar contributed for 14 years.  The GASB accounting rule change reduces the expected return from $ 9.39 to $ 2.84, a 70% reduction!

The bottom row on the table demonstrates that Public Sector pension plans will need to increase funding from $ 1 to $ 3.30 to achieve the same investment return of $ 9.39!

Amount Invested

Number of Years

Compound Rate of Return

Total Return

$ 1

30

7 ¾

$ 9.39

$ 1

14

7 ¾

$ 2.84

$ 3.30

14

7 ¾

$ 9.39

Most pension analysts have been suspicious of the Public Sector’s estimate that they will always achieve a compounded 7 ¾ % investment for 30 years.  Warren Buffet, the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a legendary successful stock market investor, has estimated his company’s long-term pension return will be 6%.  The table below demonstrates Public Sector pension plan contributions would need to rise by 64% to achieve the same $ 9.39 return over 30 years at a 6% compounded earnings rate.

Amount Invested

Number of Years

Compound Rate of Return

Total Return

$ 1

30

7 ¾%

$ 9.39

$ 1

14

6%

$ 5.74

$ 1.64

14

6%

$ 9.39

As you can see from the tables above, a reduction in the number of years a Public Sector pension plan compounds earnings compared to a reduction in the amount of interest earned annually; is 360% more expensive.

To put this new annual pension funding cost in human terms, the State of California will need to layoff some combination of approximately 87,000 of the state’s 310,000 teachers or 50% of the state’s 211,000 non-school employees.  California taxpayers will not be alone in facing this looming nightmare, every state and local government across the United States is about to suffer the same hair raising fate.


Big Government

Report: How ‘Recovery Summer’ Became ‘Recovery Bummer’

September 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

September 22, 2010 marks the end of summer and beginning of fall.  So it’s an appropriate time to review the results of Democrats’ “Recovery Summer” for American workers.


Recovery_Summer_Report_2010_

In announcing the start of the “Recovery Summer” on June 17, 2010, the White House described Recovery Summer as a “surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects that will be underway across the country in the coming months – and the jobs they’ll create well into the fall and through the end of the year.” Vice President Biden pledged that “this bold investment in the future will stimulate short-term and long-term American jobs….The upcoming summer of projects is the next step on the road to recovery.”

But did “Recovery Summer” show that Democrats’ trillion-dollar stimulus plan is really working as the White House continues to insist?  Unfortunately for American workers, the answer remains a disappointing “no.”

The data in this report shows that as “Recovery Summer” ends today:

(1) The unemployment rate is far higher than Administration officials predicted it would be if their stimulus plan passed;

(2) Unemployment rates in 14 States where the President or Vice President touted “Recovery Summer” in speeches have increased by an average of 1.4 percentage points since stimulus passed;

(3) A total of 49 out of 50 States have lost jobs since Democrats’ February 2009 stimulus;

(4) Instead of the current official unemployment rate of 9.6%, the unemployment rate would be 11% if it included all the “uncounted unemployed” — American workers who have simply given up looking for work or didn’t even bother to try to enter the labor market;

(5) Instead of creating 3.7 million jobs as promised, through August 2010 2.5 million more jobs have been lost since Democrats’ stimulus.  The private sector has shed nearly 2.4 million jobs, including over 1.5 million jobs lost in construction and manufacturing alone;

(6) The economy is now over 7 million jobs short of what Democrats promised in January 2009 if their stimulus bill passed; and

(7) The staggering 66% combined rise in debt and unemployment during President Obama’s term has created an enormous “Obama Misery Index.”


Big Government

How Obama Became Unpopular

September 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Time: “The public is rightly frustrated and angry with the economy. There is no small tactical shift we could have made at any point that would have solved that problem. A sense of disappointment, bordering on betrayal, has been rising across the country, especially in moderate states like Indiana where people now openly say that they didn’t quite understand the President they voted for in 2008. The fear most often heard is that Obama is taking the country somewhere they don’t want to go.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Jihad plotter came to Norway in UN refugee program and became Norwegian citizen

August 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Gratitude. “Norway ‘bomb plot’ underscores al-Qaida pitfalls,” by Ian Macdougall for Associated Press, August 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):

OSLO, Norway - When police arrested a suspected al-Qaida cell in Norway last month they turned up the makings of a bomb lab tucked away in a nondescript Oslo apartment building.

An Associated Press investigation shows that authorities learned early on about the alleged cell by intercepting e-mails from an al-Qaida operative in Pakistan and — thanks to those early warnings — were able to secretly replace a key bomb-making ingredient with a harmless liquid when one of the suspects ordered it at an Oslo pharmacy.

Officials say the suspected plot against this quiet Nordic country was one of three planned attacks on the West hatched in the rugged mountains of northwest Pakistan by some of al-Qaida’s most senior leaders. The other plots targeted the bustling New York subway and a shopping mall in Manchester, England.

The Norwegian plot’s undoing, and that of its sibling plots in the U.S. and Britain, casts light on the potential pitfalls of al-Qaida’s changing tactics in the decade since the massive, highly organized Sept. 11 attacks. In recent years, al-Qaida has grown increasingly decentralized and nimble, relying on amateurs to recruit local cells and carry out smaller-level attacks without extensive planning and hands-on training.

While such plots are harder to detect, they are also harder to manage — and the slack remote control they often require leaves greater room for operational error and sloppy tradecraft.

All three plots were thwarted after suspected operatives exchanged e-mails — sometimes poorly coded ones — in and out of Pakistan.

Authorities say the ringleader of the Norwegian plot is 39-year-old Mikael Davud, an Uighur who came to Norway in 1999 as part of a U.N. refugee program and then became a Norwegian citizen eight years later. Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group in China, claim oppression at the hands of authorities there.

Davud was arrested July 8 along with suspected accomplices Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak Bujak, a 37-year-old Iraqi Kurd, and a 31-year-old Uzbek national, David Jakobsen. Both are permanent residents of Norway.

The trio denies any connection to terrorist groups….

Jihad Watch

How a Previously Qualified Elizabeth Warren became Unqualified, According to a Previously Progressive Chris Dodd

August 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

July 27: Chris Dodd says of Elizabeth Warren, “She’s qualified, no question about that”

August 9: Katrina VandenHeuvel tweets that several sources have told her Elizabeth Warren would be nominated “next week”

August 12: Warren meets with Financial Services Roundtable President Steve Bartlett and then meets with David Axelrod at the White House to discuss the CFPB position

August 13: Robert Gibbs acknowledges that Warren had been meeting about the CFPB position, but says no announcement would be made in the next week

August 17: Chris Dodd raises questions about whether Warren can manage anything to suggest she may not be confirmable even while he admits she has “a great campaign”

“My simple question about Elizabeth is: Is she confirmable?” Dodd said during a visit Tuesday with The Courant’s Editorial Board. “It isn’t just a question of being a consumer advocate. I want to see that she can manage something, too.”

But when pressed about where he stands, Dodd said: “If the president wants to name her and it goes through the hearing process, then fine, he’ll have my support. But she has to tell me more than just she’s a good consumer advocate or that’s she’s got a great campaign.”

I guess the only question this chronology leaves is whether or not Dodd is acting at the behest of his future employers, the banks, the White House, or both.

Related posts:

  1. Mistaking a Nomination for an Appointment
  2. Obama’s Relentless Abandonment of Progressive Nominees
  3. Leaving Las Vegas

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