There Are Heroes, And Then There Are Times When We Need Heroes

I heard about the comments made by Chris Hayes on MSNBC in regards to being “uncomfortable” calling our solider’s who have given their lives defending our freedom, heroes. I think that is sad, and it brought to mind the actions of “less than heroic” individuals on 9/11.

Click on image for animated gif

As United Airlines Flight 93 was headed over Pittsburgh, the air traffic controllers panicked and evacuated the tower. After evacuation, a commercial aircraft on descent and another aircraft had a rather close encounter, but managed to evade a collision with one another.

Of course we are laughing about this now, but at the time (1355) there was a commercial aircraft, CHQ4334 (Chautauqua Airlines) on approach and descending. Crossing it’s flight path was another plane, N8222N holding at 9,000 feet. Looks like they had to take some serious evasive action (although they were still a few thousand feet apart in altitude).

By contrast that day, our military aircraft were scrambling to respond. Some without weapons and unsure how they would stop United 93 as it approached our Nation’s capital.

A F-16 pilot scrambled on 9/11 to prevent another attack on the US capital says she was prepared to ram her plane into a hijacked aircraft — as there was no time to arm her plane with missiles.

 So Chris Hayes may be uncomfortable calling them heroes, but I am not. When others flee for cover, they put themselves in harm’s way even if they know the cost of doing so is their own lives.

Listen for yourself. No heroes in Pittsburgh that day, but thank God there were a few in the skies over our Nation’s capitol.

Terror in NYC Comparable to 9/11?

No doubt that they do. But we have H-bombs capable of leveling Tehran in just seconds. So what is the point?

In March, House Homeland Security Committee chief Peter King voiced the belief that there may be hundreds, if not thousands, of Hizbullah operatives inside the United States, capable of launching a major attack on US soil.

Now, warnings from lawmakers on Capitol Hill suggest that Iran and its terror proxy, Hizbullah, may have the ability of staging an attack on New York City comparable to the terror that was unleashed on the World Trade Centers on 9/11.

via Terror in NYC Comparable to 9/11? – Global Agenda – News – Israel National News.

The Crusade Against The First Amendment

If any of these woefully inadequate candidates gets the Republican nomination and defeats Barack Obama, the only certainty for the subsequent four years will be more jihad, aided and abetted by shortsighted U.S. policies. – Spencer

Okay, lets examine that for a moment. Although President George Bush responded vigorously against radical Islam, he maintained a good relationship with the Muslim Community here in America. President Obama has continued the policies of President Bush and is alleged by many to be more pro-Islam than other Presidents. Yet there has been no great jihad slaughter here in the US, no loss of liberty except by the government itself in its “war on terror”.

The exact number of American casualties is difficult to calculate because of incomplete news reports regarding numbers and nationalities of those injured. The toll from the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center is also uncertain, but current figures place the number of dead above 3,000. The number of dead at the Pentagon and on the hijacked airliners numbered approximately 385. Since Yasser Arafat “renounced” violence in the Oslo Peace Accords on September 13, 1993, at least 53 Americans have been murdered and at least another 83 Americans have been injured by Palestinian terrorism. Excluding the September 11 attacks, approximately 700 Americans have been killed and 1,600 wounded in terrorist attacks since 1970. – Source

So around 4,000 Americans have been killed (not including war casualties) in Middle East terror-related incidents over the past 40 years. Compare that with ~325 homicide deaths in the US per DAY and any reasoned judgment would conclude that the odds of someone being killed by Islamic terrorism is very slight. When you do the math, the rate comes out to be 0.001 deaths per 100,000 per year. That compares to a rate of 6.1 deaths per 100,000 per year for homicide in the US (source CDC). The rate for car accidents, 14.6.  Darn, an American has a greater chance of dying from malnutrition (0.9) than at the hands of an Islamic terrorist!

Islam is the second largest religion in the world representing 22% of the worlds population. Christianity is the largest, representing 33%. In the US, the numbers are significantly different, with Christians accounting for 76% of the population and Muslims only 0.6%. Muslims are outnumbered 100 to 1! So why all the fear?

It most likely has to do with the fact that radical Islamic types tend to hide in the shadows and attempt to blend in. There is also an effort by many to blur the distinction between Islam and its radical cousin’s, Salafism and Wahhabism. The Al Qaeda terrorists are Muslims, but not all Muslims are Al Qaeda terrorists.

The fact is, every group and religion have had individuals who seek to exploit their subscribers beliefs in the pursuit of political power. Our founders understood that quite well and established a constitution which included a provision to protect future generations from such abuse. We call it the First Amendment. With it, there is no need for vilification of Shariah law or Islam. Our founding documents already protect us from the introduction of religious-based legal systems. One law applied equally among all citizens as adopted by representation of those same citizens.

So GOP candidates have no need to declare “opposition to Sharia”. They need to declare their loyalty to the Constitution of the United States, in particular the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On this count, all of the candidates appear to be solid with perhaps one exception.

Herman Cain said he sides with those opposing the construction of a mosque in Tennessee because he fears the Muslims building the mosque have bad intentions and want to implement Sharia law.

Our constitution guarantees separation of church and state,” said Cain, a contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “Islam combines church and state. They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in the community and people in the community don’t like it. They disagree with it. Sharia law is what they are trying to infuse.”

Herman Cain is dead wrong. The Catholic Church “combines church and state”, so should we ban Catholic Churches in America? Judaism “combines church and state”, so should we ban synagogues in America? Our constitution DOES NOT guarantee separation of church and state. It does however restrict government in “prohibiting the free exercise thereof“.

People like Herman Cain and Robert Spencer scare me more than any Al Qaeda terrorist. Why? Because my liberty as a Christian is only as secure as my neighbors liberty as a Muslim. Be careful what you wish for.

Osama Bin Laden: mission was to shoot to kill from the start – Telegraph

As we had already deduced from the “double-tap” ….

An unnamed US special operations officer, said to be “deeply familiar with the bin Laden raid”, told the magazine that the 23 Navy Seals were clear that this was not the case.

“There was never any question of detaining or capturing him,” the officer said. “It wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees.”

The plan, according to the article’s author, Nicholas Schmidle, was for the Seals to “overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan”.

via Osama Bin Laden: mission was to shoot to kill from the start – Telegraph.

Gun Store Clerk Saved Lives – Guns Galore Is Your Place To Shop In Killeen, TX

Gun owners and dealers get a bad rap. Obama is trying to force new ATF requirements on dealers in the border states, but for the most part they are not the “enemy”. An alert clerk at Guns Galore stopped a plan for mass murder by simply being alert and dropping a dime on a “strange” customer. Kudo’s to Greg Ebert!

Police in Killeen said their break in the case came from Guns Galore LLC — the same gun store where Maj. Nidal Hasan bought a pistol used in the 2009 attack. Store clerk Greg Ebert said the man arrived by taxi Tuesday and bought 6 pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol.

Ebert said he called authorities because he and his co-workers “felt uncomfortable with his overall demeanor and the fact he didn’t know what the hell he was buying.”

via AWOL Soldier Arrested in What Police Say Was New Fort Hood Terror Plot –

Yusuf Sneed – Salafist?

Well, my old Muslim pal Yusuf Sneed does not know how to leave well enough alone. In response to my last blog post regarding Memphis and Islamic Terrorism, Mr. Sneed has chosen to respond on his blog.

This call to Islamaphobia reminds me of the extremist call to jihad, full of unfounded evidences, rants based on personal emotion and feelings, and a lot of hype.

Well, I thought I did a pretty good job of putting things in perspective, but I guess it is all about my paranoia (Islamaphobia).

When Mr. Farmer began attacking the Memphis Muslim Leadership and the community through me, his Islamaphobia became apparent.

To be honest, I don’t recall ‘attacking’ anyone. I merely have noted that Carlos Bledsoe frequented a local mosque for prayer and then went off to Little Rock to have a turkey shoot at an Army Recruitment Center in his own personal jihad. While researching that mosque, I found another American Muslim who had links to questionable materials on his Yahoo Group page, to include a video done by Anwar al-Awlaki, the infamous Al Qaeda recruiter. Everything I have posted is fact, not ‘unfounded evidences’.

Mr. Sneed has his Facebook page linked on his blog, so I thought I would just hop on over and perhaps add him as a friend. Unfortunately, upon researching his Facebook information, I thought better of it. He has this big ole disclaimer posted on it which really serves no purpose but to raise suspicion anew.

*******PRIVACY NOTICE*******

Warning–any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/ or the comments made about my photo’s or any other “picture” art posted on my profile. You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee(s), agent(s), student(s) or any personnel under your direction or control. The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law.

I hate to break it to ya Mr. Sneed, but if you have it posted on the internet (public), then it ain’t a violation of your privacy. Kinda like standing naked in your front window and screaming it is not public nudity.

The first thing I noted is that Mr. Sneed has three people listed as “People Who Inspire Joseph”. The first is Mohammed, which makes sense since he is a Muslim. But the other two really do leave a person scratching their head as to why they would “inspire” a peace-loving harmless American Muslim.

One is Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, an Indian cleric of dubious allegiances. In 2009, another American jihadist, Najibullah Zazi seems to have been “inspired” by Naik as well.

A friend from that period tells TIME that Zazi became enchanted with the controversial Indian Muslim televangelist Dr. Zakir Naik, who preaches a wild mix of harsh Islamic rhetoric and unorthodox Muslim theology. His videos reach a global audience online. On the topic of jihad and terrorism, Naik was far from the most incendiary voice, but he managed in his own way to make clear the choice between bin Laden and Uncle Sam. “If [bin Laden] is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him,” the former medical doctor says in one YouTube clip. “If he is terrorizing America — the terrorist, biggest terrorist — I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist.”

Oh my, I sure hope Naik does not “inspire” Mr. Sneed too much. But the other on his list of three is Waleed Basyouni of the AlMaghrib Institute.

“When I look at what is happening in the world and you see that people are scared of Islam and Islamists, it makes me ask the question; was Mubarak ruling Egypt with Islam? They were ruling Egypt with secularism that came from the West,” said Vice President and Professor Waleed Basyouni in a recent interview.

“Isn’t it the right of people that they live with Islam, their religion, and allow it to guide them? The failure of these systems is an excellent example that these secular systems don’t work. It created corrupt dictatorships in these regions.”

For those who are not aware, Egypt is home to the Salafist movement which gave us the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Zawahiri (Al Qaeda’s #2). Remember Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the infamous groin bomber?

Abdulmutallab attended a two-week seminar in Houston in August 2008 that was conducted by the AlMaghrib Institute, a Web-based Islamic education center, said Waleed Basyouni, vice president of the institute. The institute is cooperating with authorities, he said.

You know Mr. Sneed, the thing is, around you every time I turn over a stone I find a terrorist. Wonder why that is? Maybe the FBI is asking the same question for the same reasons. Sorry I missed the big September 11th raid, but I was busy burning my Koran.

And by the way, I noticed one of your likes on your Facebook page was Salafi. News flash my friend, that is brand of Islam practiced by the Islamists. So why is such a peace and love sort of guy like you doing hanging with Salafists?

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.