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Being suspicious of someone who had legally changed his name to "Hassan, the Father of Jihaad" would be profiling, and that's just wrong.
A good question from The Counterterrorism Blog:
Abujihaad allegedly communicated with Ahmad while he was an enlisted Navy man with a "Secret" security clearance after the September 11 attacks. This raises questions in my mind whether the U.S. armed forces have sufficiently reviewed and revised their procedures for granting and renewing security clearances for active duty personnel.
Political correctness is the enemy here.
via Reuters and Human Rights Watch (Yes mom...I washed after linking to Human Rights Watch)
(New York, March 9, 2007) The Vietnamese government, emboldened by international recognition after joining the World Trade Organization and hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, is flouting its international commitments on human rights by launching one of the worst crackdowns on peaceful dissidents in 20 years, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch sharply condemned the recent arrests of two outspoken human rights lawyers and a dissident Catholic priest.
So much for the theory that things worked out for the Vietnamese in the end.
Here's a one-question, history quiz (or perhaps 'reminder' is a better term): Many have criticized the government of Iraq for failing to secure Baghdad. How long has that government been in power?
Answer: About 9 months. The government formed in May, 2006.
World leaders have been paying broad tribute to the formation of the first full-term government since the 2003 invasion.A few months before, in the wake of the Samarra Shrine bombing, the New York Times predicted it wouldn't happen.
The unity government comprises members of the main Shia, Kurd and Sunni parties who have ended months of wrangling since elections in December.
On February 24, as U.S. media hysteria reached it's peak in the wake of the shrine bombing in Iraq, the New York Times declared in a banner headline that More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are in Ruins. Not jeopardized, not threatened, but ruined. All hopes dashed, over, fini, kaput. Stick a fork in it. The Iraqi Consensus Front, a key Sunni Arab political bloc, had pulled out of talks to form a government with the Shiite and Kurdish parties. According to the Times, civil war was looming - perhaps had even begun.Forty-eight hours later:
Leaders of the main Sunni Arab political bloc have decided to return to suspended talks over the formation of a new government, the top Sunni negotiator said Sunday.Nine months.
But f$%# 'em, let's quit.All done!
The Navy says thanks, but no thanks:
Navy rejects pair who had offer of reduced sentences to enlist
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has turned down two 19-year-old men who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after a Pennsylvania judge offered to drop probation from their sentence to help them enlist.
Chris Jabco and Eric Smith faced probation, community service and restitution in connection with the shooting of a cow considered a family pet by its owners.
Two 19-year-olds facing probation and community service or even jail time in the shooting of a steer considered a family pet took advantage of another option offered by the judge - joining the Navy.
Chris Jabco and Eric Smith, both from Bellefonte, had pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals and two summary violations in the shooting of the $3,500 Scottish Highland steer.
The two were drinking Sept. 17 and drove through Spring Township with another man in search of deer to poach, culminating in the shooting of the steer, authorities said. The pair reached a deal with prosecutors, who recommended two years' probation and at least five hours of community service.
But Centre County Court Judge Bradley P. Lunsford said the case warranted more than probation. He noted the pain caused to the animal's owner and said Jabco and Smith had been drinking and driving around looking for something to kill. Their actions, he said, "were premeditated, senseless, and your motivations were evil."
The judge said they could spend 48 hours in jail, two years on probation, and 100 hours caring for animals on a farm; avoid jail time but spend 200 hours on the farm and remain on probation for two years; or enlist in the military.
But when Jabco and Smith tried to enlist, they were told they were ineligible, said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hudson, a spokesman for the Navy Recruiting District Pittsburgh.No word yet from the American Dairy Association. All done!
“According to Commander Navy Recruiting Command Instruction 1130.8G Chapter 2 Section 02-02-08, no individual may enlist in the military service as a deferment of civil punishment,” Hudson said in a Tuesday e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
[Jabco and Smith's attorney Jim] Bryant said the military would be a “Godsend” for his clients, who will now have to work on a dairy farm as part of their sentence.
I don't want to get too far ahead - but when I doubt my instincts (wrong now and then.....) on Iraq, I often turn to Mohammed and Omar at Iraq the Model. Mohammed has a bit on OpinionJournal that needs to be read.
We need a couple of months, at least, until we start talking trendlines - and there are the known unknowns and unknown unknowns out there - but if you are looking for something to urge you on - those things are starting to be seen in Baghdad.
Checkpoints are not seen as scary threats to the innocent. They look more professional and impartial as they include members of the police, army, multinational forces and even traffic cops with laptops verifying registration papers. We've lost the fear that checkpoints might be traps set by death squads; they search everyone, even official convoys and ambulances.
We feel safer about moving in the city now, and politicians who used to hide behind the walls of the Green Zone are venturing out. Watching Mr. Maliki walking on Palestine Street in central Baghdad gave a positive impression that the state, and not the gangs, owns the streets.
It is true that not all of Baghdad has seen the same amount of progress, but we realize that patience is necessary. People do not complain about delays at checkpoints but instead say they'd like to see stricter inspection.
Military-wise, the results are not humble either; hundreds of militants have been killed, more hundreds arrested, and dozens of weapons caches discovered and destroyed. The frequency of attacks has declined drastically, and the terrifying scene of bullet-riddled bodies has become a rarer incident.
Our people want to see this effort succeed. We know it's not going to be an easy fight. Rescuing all of Baghdad's districts from the grip of militants and terrorists will require sacrifice and hard work. We hope the troops and the governments in Baghdad and America do not lose their resolve.
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday proposed legislation that would bring American combat troops out of Iraq by August 2008 at the latest.
Shouldn't we be focusing on getting out of another quagmire first?
BELGRADE (Reuters) - "We've got to get you out of here," President George W. Bush told the U.S. Army commander in Kosovo in 2001.
Six years on, U.S. peacekeepers are still in place and a summit of Serb and Kosovo Albanian leaders in Vienna on Saturday will lead to no instant exit from the southern Serbian province.
We still have forces in Western Europe after 60 years. Many will say the purpose of those forces was to oppose the Soviet menace...but another purpose was to keep the endlessly warring tribes of Europe from starting yet another major conflict that the US would get sucked into.
Once the horrific violence in Iraq is finally brought under control...some sort of stabilization force is going to be needed for a long time. Talk of zeroing out the forces in 18 months is well beyond unrealistic.
22 years ago today, I enlisted into the ILARNG as an infantryman in the CSC 2/130th. It's been an experience ever since...
...on Ramadi (and other things) from a milblogger who was recently there. Lots of good stuff in his archives, too - an Iraq tour blogged in full. And unless I'm mistaken, he's half of a husband/wife team too. Here's the other half.
(Thanks to my own better half, who's long overdue return to blogging has re-opened my door to such fine folks.)
Federal agents seized four F-14 Tomcat fighters in San Bernardino County on Tuesday — three from airplane museums — after investigators determined that the jets were not demilitarized and were improperly sold or transferred to private companies, including the producer of the TV show "JAG," authorities said.
On Tuesday, customs agents and officials with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service seized two of the fighters from the Yanks Air Museum and one from the Planes of Fame air museum, both at the Chino Airport. Investigators learned about the F-14s during an undercover sting operation when they were investigating the potential sale of jet fighter parts to Iran, according to the affidavit.All done!
A fourth jet, originally acquired by the producers of "JAG," was seized from an airport in Victorville, where it was housed. The plane is owned by an El Mirage aviation company.
"The investigation has not uncovered any evidence that these planes have been plundered for parts by people with nefarious motives," said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for ICE, "but the fact that they were not properly demilitarized certainly presents a potential vulnerability."
Federal officials fear that parts from any decommissioned F-14 could find their way onto the worldwide black market, Barnett stated in his affidavit, adding that "Iran is the only nation to still have the F-14 in its active fleet."
I also noticed the other day that Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins SAIS was asked to be Sec'y Rice's counselor over at State. Cohen's got a son in the Marines, a book (Supreme Command) that was very good, and was a vocal critic in 2005-2006 of administration actions.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but "abu" denotes "father of", making Hassan the "father of jihaad".
Since he's "also known as Paul R. Hall" I'm going to guess he changed his name for some reason. I'm sure it won't hurt his defense (especially if he can actually have young Jihaad in the court room), but he may have chosen poorly.
He may have chosen his friends poorly, too:
Abujihaad, who is also known as Paul R. Hall, is charged in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist arrested in 2004 and accused of running Web sites to raise money for terrorism. Ahmad is scheduled to be extradited to the U.S. to face trial.Lot's more here, including the fact that Abujihaad was Abujihaad before he left the Navy:
During a search of Ahmad's computers, investigators discovered files containing classified information about the positions of U.S. Navy ships and discussing their susceptibility to attack.
Abujihaad, a former enlisted man, exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2000 and 2001, according to an affidavit released Wednesday. He allegedly purchased videos promoting violent jihad, or holy war.
In those e-mails, Abujihaad discussed naval military briefings and praised those who attacked the USS Cole in 2000, according to the affidavit by FBI Agent David Dillon.
Ahmad was arrested in 2004 but the case against Abujihaad apparently received a boost in December following the arrest of Derrick Shareef, 22, of Genoa, Ill., near Chicago, who was accused of planning to use hand grenades to attack holiday shoppers at a mall.
According to documents filed with the court and statements made in court, the criminal complaint against Abujihaad alleges that, in 2001, Abujihaad provided the battle group information to Azzam Publications. The complaint alleges that search warrants executed upon the various email accounts associated with the Azzam websites recovered several email exchanges from late 2000 to late 2001 between members of Azzam Publications and Abujihaad while Abujihaad was an enlistee in the United States Navy on active duty in the Middle East and stationed aboard the U.S.S. Benfold, one of the ships in the battle group whose movements were disclosed.No bearing on the case, but all this went on before the invasion of Iraq - pre-9/11, even.
Recovered emails between Abujihaad and Azzam Publications included discussions regarding videos Abujihaad ordered from Azzam Publications that promoted violent jihad, a small donation of money Abujihaad made to Azzam Publications; and whether it was "safe" to send materials to Abujihaad at his military address onboard the U.S.S. Benfold.
The complaint further alleges that, during another email exchange with Azzam Publications, Abujihaad described a recent force protection briefing given aboard his ship, voiced enmity toward America, praised Usama bin Laden and the mujahideen, praised the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole - which Abujihaad described as a "martyrdom operation," - and advised the members of Azzam Publications that such tactics were working and taking their toll. The email response from Azzam Publications encouraged Abujihaad to "keep up... the psychological warefare [sic]."
The complaint further alleges that, during the searches executed on the email accounts that were associated with administering the Azzam websites, Abujihaad's contact information - specifically, his email@example.com email account - was found in the possession of the members of Azzam Publications.
In approximately January 2002, before the alleged conduct was discovered, Abujihaad was discharged from active duty from the United States Navy.All done!
If convicted of both charges, Abujihaad faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq. President Bush nominated Crocker to succeed the current ambassador in Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, in a shuffle of advisers announced in January ahead of his latest Iraq strategy.Today:
Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have tentatively settled on a timetable and conditions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, which they hope to attach to a $100 billion Iraq war spending bill, senior lawmakers said on Wednesday. The lawmakers said they hoped to win approval of the plan by the House Appropriations Committee next week.
The full job title is pretty damned impressive. From the Congressional Record:
Executive nomination confirmed by
the Senate Tuesday, March 6, 2007:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
RYAN C. CROCKER, OF WASHINGTON, A CAREER MEMBER
OF THE SENIOR FOREIGN SERVICE WITH THE RANK
PERSONAL RANK OF CAREER AMBASSADOR, TO BE AMBASSADOR
EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY OF
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO THE REPUBLIC OF
THE ABOVE NOMINATION WAS APPROVED SUBJECT TO
THE NOMINEE’S COMMITMENT TO RESPOND TO REQUESTS
TO APPEAR AND TESTIFY BEFORE ANY DULY
CONSTITUTED COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE.
An on-going terrorism investigation has apparently netted a former surface Sailor:
A former Navy sailor was arrested on terrorism charges Wednesday for alleging mishandling classified information that ended up in the hands of a suspected terrorism financier.Another case of the stupid being punished...
Hassan Abujihaad, 31, of Phoenix, was arrested in a case that began in Connecticut and has stretched across the country and into Europe and the Middle East...
...Abujihaad, a former enlisted man, exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2000 and 2001, according to an affidavit released Wednesday. He allegedly purchased videos promoting violent jihad.
The documents retrieved from Ahmad show drawings of Navy battle groups and discuss upcoming missions. They also say the battle group could be attacked using small weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades. The ships were never attacked.