Memphis And Islamic Terrorism

A previous series of posts on this subject were lost when I ran into problems with our old hosting service, forcing a move to WordPress. However, the subject matter is very important and I don’t think there is another source for people in Memphis and Shelby County. Some of the individuals cited here were invited to respond to the original posts and one was invited to do a series of posts here at BCR to give the ‘other side of the story’, but declined.

This story actually begins on September 11, 2001 when Khaled Odtllah drove back to Memphis from New York City. Odtllah, along with four others were later arrested in connection with an attempt to obtain fraudulent drivers licenses. One of the subjects, Sakher “Rocky” Hammad had been in NYC on September 5 and 6 just days before the tragic events of 9/11.

When arrested, one of the men, Sakher “Rocky” Hammad, as already said, was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating.

In a Memphis court on 3/28, Rocky’s father, a NY City engineer, Mr. Peter Hansen (immigrated 15 years ago from Jordan), presented the court with a letter from Denko Mechanical, Ltd, signed by a Mr. Sergei Denko, stating that Rocky and Rocky’s cousin had been doing work for his company in the basement and garage of the WTC on Sept 5 and 6. Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified.

The story takes a bizarre turn when the drivers license examiner involved in the case mysteriously dies in a car crash.

A Memphis woman allegedly at the center of a scheme to sell fraudulent Tennessee driver’s licenses was identified Tuesday as the person whose burned body was found early Sunday in the wreckage of a car in Fayette County. L icense examiner Katherine Smith was probably alive when her car hit a utility pole on U.S. 72 near the Mississippi state line, said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Mark Fagan.

Smith, 49, died the day before she was due to appear before a federal magistrate judge for a detention hearing on a charge of conspiracy to obtain fraudulent identification documents.

It was later determined that Ms. Smith died as the result of arson.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An arson car fire, not a crash, killed a woman charged in a fake IDs-for-aliens scheme with possible ties to terrorism, according to an FBI agent’s testimony.

However this is only the beginning of the story involving Islamist activity in the Memphis area. In 2005, FBI agents arrested another suspect near the University of Memphis.

When FBI agents walked into Mahmoud Maawad’s spartan apartment at 3557 Mynders # 5 on Sept. 9, they found a desk, chair, computer and a Koran.

They also found an airline pilot’s uniform, a chart of Memphis International Airport, and instructional DVDs, including one called “How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act.”

A federal magistrate Thursday ordered Maawad, a 29-year-old University of Memphis student from Egypt, jailed until his trial on charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

Remember that address because it will come up again. Athough early reports had him listed as an Arkansas resident, Carlos Bledsoe was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. A convert to Islam, in June 2009 Bledsoe went on a shooting rampage at the Army Recruiting Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

An Arkansas man was arrested Monday in connection with a shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting center that killed one soldier and wounded another, authorities said.

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe — faces a first-degree murder charge and 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. The terrorist counts stem from the shots fired at an occupied building.

I became concerned when I learned that Bledsoe worshiped (or at least visited) a mosque here in Memphis. As I researched the mosque (Masjid As-Salam) located at the Muslim Society of Memphis facility in NE Memphis, in the vicinity of Bledsoe’s family home, I found another convert who had formed a Yahoo group which featured a jihad video by Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda recruiter linked to the 9/11 hijackers. Also on the site were anti-American and anti-Israel photographs. When challenged by me as to why he was linking such materials, the convert removed the materials from the Yahoo group. My original post was archived at Creeping Sharia.

As I looked closer into the ties of local mosques with extremists, I learned that Mahmoud Maawad’s apartment was located on the same street within a few hundred feet of the Al-Noor Mosque located at 3529 Mynders Ave. Both of these mosques are located on property owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

NAIT is a Saudi-funded operation with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently it has been disclosed that NAIT has been under investigation by the Justice Department for such links.

The North American Islamic Trust, or NAIT, which holds title to most of the major mosques in America, including one in the Washington suburbs attended by both the Fort Hood terrorist and some of the 9/11 hijackers.

NAIT has been listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator involving the financing of Hamas and other terror groups.

This of course should not send locals into some kind of panic or unhealthy fear of Islamic terrorists running amok in Memphis. However, a healthy awareness that Islamic extremism is not isolated to some far-away city or country. There are links right here in Memphis and each of us should be concerned about the recruitment of individuals in our local jails and criminal institutions.

Even more disconcerting is the recent addition of Cordova’s The Memphis Islamic Center. People in the South, contrary to popular belief, tend to be fairly accepting of people from other faiths and cultures. Down here we call it Southern hospitality. So as the mosque began operations, residents welcomed them.

“What would Jesus do if He were us? He would welcome the neighbor,” Stone said.

However, that venture seems to be revealing a dark side as well.

The Memphis Islamic Center is gearing up to create “a multipurpose Islamic Center to serve the needs of Muslims in the Memphis area and beyond,” according to its website.

But critics wonder exactly what that means, especially given the center’s newest hire: Sheikh Yasir Qadhi.

Qadhi, the dean of academic affairs at the AlMaghrib Institute, a weekend seminary where instructors travel to teach advanced Islamic studies, made headlines in 2001 with a speech in which he referred to the Holocaust as “false propaganda” and pointed to Jewish people’s “crooked nose and blond hair” as evidence that they “are not a Semitic people.”

In 2006, Qadhi admitted to being on a terror watch list, saying he had no idea why. His name has since been removed.

Three years later, Qadhi was again thrust into the spotlight when it was discovered that his institute’s list of alumni included accused “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and reportedly includes convicted terrorist Daniel Maldonado, also known as Daniel Aljughaifi.

Again, it is not the intent of this post to promote Islamophobia or rally people against the local Muslim community. Quite the contrary, I have friends who are Muslim and are wonderful people. Those who have come here from abroad have for the most part done so to escape the craziness of the Islamists. However, there are a few who have a different agenda and we should be aware that we are not immune to the Islamist influence. The best defense is being aware of one’s surroundings and prepared. Most people I speak to simply don’t believe there is a threat in Memphis. To them all I can say is … I hope you are right, but I fear you are wrong.