Islam

Scrubbing words is nothing new for Team Obama

Featured image In a post called “On the Iran deal, lies upon lies,” I discussed the deletion by the State Department from an archived video of an exchange in which spokeswoman Jen Psaki effectively admitted that the administration lied about its nuclear negotiations with Iran. Summarizing the situation better than I did in my post, Jake Tapper explains: There was a first lie told to us about the secret talks between Iran »

“Minnesota men” go to trial: The jury returns

Featured image At 1:30 this afternoon the jury delivered its verdict in the case of the three “Minnesota men” charged with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The jury found the three men guilty on all counts with the exception of one perjury charge against Abdirahman Daud. (Daud gave a Clintonian response to an inartfully asked question before the grand jury. The Clintonian approach earned »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (20)

Featured image The prosecution and defense made their closing arguments to the jury on Tuesday and Wednesday. Judge Davis instructed the jury and submitted the case to them with separate verdict forms for each of the three defendants. The charges include a total of ten counts. I would guess the jury will until the middle of next week. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor gives relatively straightforward accounts of the closings here (May »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (19)

Featured image Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases yesterday following the testimony of defendant Guled Omar. Omar was the only one of the three defendants who elected to testify on his own behalf. I infer that defendants were advised by their capable lawyers to exercise their right to remain silent and put the government to meeting its burden of proof against them, but that Omar chose to reject that advice. »

I’m Muslim, Don’t Panic

Featured image You can’t make this stuff up. From the Daily Mail: An asylum seeker who jokingly wore a T-shirt saying “I’m Muslim, don’t panic” was so savagely beaten by his fellow refugees that he had to be rushed to hospital. The 23-year-old Iraqi had thought that his fellow Islamic asylum seekers would see the funny side, but instead they accused him of offending their religion and decided to teach him a »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (18)

Featured image The end approacheth. The prosecution called its final witnesses and rested yesterday. The last two government witnesses testified to the undercover sting operation leading to the arrest of two of the three defendants (Abdirahman Daud and Mohamed Farah) in San Diego, where they thought they were procuring fake passports facilitating their travel to join ISIS in Syria. The FBI used an undercover officer detailed from the San Diego police department »

With peaceniks for jihad

Featured image Minnesota’s Anti-War Committee — “Organizing Against US Wars Since 1998” — has opened up a front at the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. They stage weekly protests in support of the defendants in the ongoing trial of the “Minnesota men” charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and other related offenses. Six of the defendants among the current group have pleaded guilty; one is believed »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (17)

Featured image Well, I went to the trial yesterday and a fight broke out. Waiting in the hallway to enter the courtroom at the appointed hour, the hallway was thick with those of us wanting to take a seat inside. I stood directly behind a young Somali lady wearing a hijab. As she started pushing and shoving, she repeatedly dropped the F-bomb at maximum volume within shouting distance of the jury. One »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (16) [updated]

Featured image Judge Davis’s concerns about maintaining order in the courthouse were well founded, to say the least. He knows what he is doing, or trying to do. While we were waiting to be admitted to Judge Davis’s courtroom this morning a few mintues ago, a rumble broke out between Somali factions in the hallway. A young Somali woman started yelling that she would not be instructed where to sit by another »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (15)

Featured image Conspirator turned government informant Abdirahman Bashir completed his testimony during his fifth day on the stand yesterday. Defense counsel Bruce Nestor represents Abdhirahman Daud and is the best lawyer at the trial. He aggressively cross examined Bashir about his role promoting the trip to San Diego that culminated in the arrest of Daud and Mohamed Farah. (Ruled Omar was arrested in Minneapolis.) Bashir worked with the FBI to promise fake »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (14)

Featured image Conspirator turned government informant Abdirahman Bashir returned to the stand for a fourth day yesterday. He completed direct examination in the morning before the lunch break. Defense counsel have commenced their cross examination of Bashir and should complete it today. So far my estimate is that Bashir is an effective witness for the government. He recorded hours of conversations with defendants beginning in February 2015, culminating in the arrest of »

Through the media looking-glass

Featured image The terrorism trial in progress before Judge Davis is important and interesting, but is difficult to understand through a media filter. The national media have mostly shied away from the trial. A couple of recent articles, however, offer exhibits A and B in the imposition of a gauzy filter over the case. The Los Angeles Times’s Matt Pearce took a detour from his trip to Minneapolis on the Prince beat »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (13)

Featured image The recordings made by conspirator turned informant Abdirahman Bashir took center stage for three hours at the trial of the three “Minnesota men” on Friday. They came in “fast and furious,” including so many items of interest that I found it hard to keep up as they were played in court. I therefore overlooked several in my post yesterday. Here is one with a little help from the Star Tribune’s »

Patrick Hogan would prefer not to

Featured image Conspirator turned informant Abdirahman Bashir testified to his former employment at the airport in the terrorism trial in progress before Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis this past Thursday. I immediately wrote Metropolitan Airports Commission public affairs officer Patrick Hogan to ask for basic information regarding Bashir’s employment at the airport. It was information of the kind that Hogan had previously provided me on co-conspirator Abdirizak Warsame, who also worked at »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (12)

Featured image Conspirator turned FBI informant Abdirahman Bashir remained on the stand as the prosecution played three more hours of conversations with the defendants that he secretly recorded in February, March and April 2015. Judge Davis excused the jury for the weekend at 12:30. During their opening statements, defense counsel portrayed the three defendants as innocents ensnared by the government. Defense counsel sought to create the impression that their clients’ interest in »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (11)

Featured image Conspirator turned FBI informant Abdirahman Bashir testified all day Thursday. Bashir is one of three key witnesses, but if the prosecution has a star witness among them, it is probably Bashir. He is likely to remain on the stand through the half-day of the trial this morning. The highlight of Bashir’s testimony derives from his work undercover for the FBI once he turned informant in early 2014. He recorded conversations »

Minnesota men go to trial (10)

Featured image Conspirator turned FBI informant Abdirahman Bashir continued his testimony this morning. Bashir sought to join ISIS in Syria during 2013 along with the defendants. Just before lunch he testified that the FBI told him they would help him get his job back at the airport if he cooperated. What??? Bashir would therefore have been employed at the airport while he was seeking to join ISIS. Assistant Untied States Attorney just »