December 24, 2008

Concern rarely rolls the other way?

“Muslim leaders reacted with frustration after the verdict” is a line from the AP report yesterday (via the Wilmington News Journal) regarding the “Fort Dix 5” who were convicted of conspiring to attack the Fort Dix (New Jersey) military base:

The five men were convicted Monday in federal court of conspiring to kill military personnel but acquitted of attempted murder. Prosecutors acknowledged the defendants were probably months away from an attack at Fort Dix and did not necessarily have a specific plan.

The arrests in 2007 and subsequent trial tested the FBI's post-Sept. 11 strategy of infiltrating and breaking up terrorist plots in their earliest stages. Muslim leaders reacted with frustration after the verdict.

"Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment,"said Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who attended five days of trial testimony. "From what I saw, there was a significant role played by the government informant."

With a last name like “Sues,” maybe Jim oughta become a lawyer, eh? At any rate, not surprisingly, the AP merely covers Sues’s and other “bigwigs’” beefs with the verdict, calling the conspiracy charge “far broader” than what was expected and “flimsy.” James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, said, "All of this doesn't help build trust with the American Muslim community, and that is vital if our law enforcement is going to fight terrorism." It (amazingly) takes going to the New York Times to see that Sues doesn’t feel that the quintet are totally guiltless:

Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who spent several days in court listening to testimony, said that the men, though not innocent of any wrongdoing, were unjustifiably egged on by government informants into making conspiratorial statements about a terrorist attack on the base.

“The informant was much more than the informant,” Mr. Sues said in a telephone interview on Monday. There was [sic] definitely some laws broken, but conspiracy to attack Fort Dix is a whole different story.”

Well that’s a relief! I suppose. Just curious, though: I wonder if Jim Sues and James Yee are at all concerned with the perception that many non-Muslim Americans have about Muslim Americans (or residents) who regularly listen/watch al Qaeda-inspired videotapes, and who purchase illegal firearms -- which then are fired at a shooting range while their bearers shout “God is great!” Think there’s something to be concerned about there?

At least the AP story delves into what some [Muslim] regular folk think, aside from Muslim “leaders” and other bigwigs:

Fuat "Mike" Mamo of Cresskill, a member of the Albanian community in New Jersey, said he feels ashamed of the three Albanian brothers who were convicted.

"I don't know what they were thinking," Mamo said of the Duka brothers. "They were just out of their mind and they should be put away for life. The Albanian community is nothing like this.

"We come from a country that has a reputation for religious diversity and tolerance. To go against the American government - that's unacceptable to our community."

I’m thinkin’ that if we had a lot more people like Mr. Mamo, that “trust” that Mr. Sues and Mr. Yee claim they’re so concerned about would be much more prevalent. It’s a two-way street, after all.

Oh, here’s a little reminder about the immigration status of the Duka brothers, three of the five involved.

Posted by Hube at December 24, 2008 09:33 AM | TrackBack

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