This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Miraculous Cure for Violent Jihad

"Violence -- especially when it is inspired by religion -- is foreign to everything I believe in."
"I do understand how Muslims could be drawn into jihad and violence."
"Hearing daily reports of innocent casualties and invading armies, and urged on by respected figure[s] in our community, it is possible to understand how a young Muslim might be led onto a path that he or she, if lucky enough to have survived, regrets deeply."
"It is my view that following such a path is risky, foolhardy, and most fundamentally wrong."
Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, convicted conspirator in jihad
Muhanad Al Farekh is seen at a computer in his Winnipeg apartment in 2007, in video entered as evidence in a New York court during his trial on terrorism charges.
Muhanad Al Farekh is seen at a computer in his Winnipeg apartment in 2007, in video entered as evidence in a New York court during his trial on terrorism charges. (U.S. Federal Court Exhibit )

"[Al-Farekh had] turned his back on America by joining al-Qaeda and trying to kill American soldiers in a bomb attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan."
"This case demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who seek to harm our country and our armed forces will be brought to justice."
Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney, eastern district New York
The cure, it seems for violent jihad lies in arresting, detaining, incarcerating, placing on trial those Islamists who have forged tight ties with violent jihadi groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Qaeda. Sitting in jail cells appears to persuade those who formerly set out to destroy human lives in a cycle of vengeance against slights to Islam, to regret their rash choices, to repent, and to see the personal utility in appearing to relinquish any thought of future attacks against the 'enemy', while in the process of being tried in a court of justice, persuading the presiding judge that one is really a peace-loving, law-abiding citizen at heart.
Al Farekh
Muhanad Al Farekh is an American citizen but lived in Winnipeg, where he has family, while enrolled at the University of Manitoba. (Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)

And Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh was a citizen of the United States, and remains one despite being charged and found guilty of offences including conspiracy to murder American military personnel, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to bomb a government facility and providing material support to al-Qaeda. The 32-year-old American citizen was born in Houston, Texas. Yet, according to evidence given against him he was "unshakably committed" to violent jihad.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan concluded that a sentence of 45 years would be just compensation for this man's efforts on behalf of the Islamic code of jihad which the sacred scriptures enjoin all faithful to engage in as a primary focus in demonstration of their fealty to Islam. Judge Cogan pointed out when handing down that sentence that it appeared that al Farekh had failed to accept his personal responsibility in the attack that took place in Afghanistan against American troops.

This was a man who attended a Canadian university, enrolling as a student at the University of Manitoba where he met and made common cause with two others also studying at the Winnipeg-based university. All three departed Canada for Pakistan in 2007, purposing to fight American forces. They were prompted by online lectures by Anwar al-Awlaqi the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, who was killed by a U.S. targeted drone strike years ago, (his influence lived on long after his death).

The three men were convinced their destiny held them to martyrdom to jihad. Ferid Ahmed Imam, a former biochemistry student, served as a weapons instructor at a Pakistani terrorist training camp for al-Qaeda, while Maiwand Yar, a Canadian citizen like Imam and a former mechanical engineering student, set out to join the Taliban and to kill NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. In northern Pakistan the three received their training from al-Qaeda, and in 2009 set out to become martyrs.

Driving two vehicles, they approached the fence at the U.S. Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, where the driver of the first vehicle detonated an improvised explosive device which injured one U.S. serviceman and a number of Afghan nationals. The following second vehicle with 7,500 pounds of explosives became mired in a blast crater created by the first explosion. The driver was shot and killed as he attempted to escape.

Later, forensic investigators unearthed 18 latent fingerprints matching al Farekh on tape used to bind the undetonated explosives together.
The jury heard evidence that 18 fingerprints matching Al Farekh were recovered from the unexploded bomb used in the attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan. (U.S. Federal Court Exhibit)

Al Farekh will now be sent away, possibly for the rest of his natural life -- where he can continue his campaign to convince himself that he is a man of peace who cannot understand why anyone would cause death to another human being on behalf of a religion of peace and brotherly love. As for his two co-conspirators, their whereabouts is unknown; they were never apprehended, and as far as anyone knows, they are at large to continue their campaign of death.

The judge said Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh could be released by the time he is 67.

The judge said Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh could be released by the time he is 67. (Court Document)

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