Minnesota

What I saw at the trial

Featured image I abbreviated my observations and comments on the terrorism case against the Somali Minnesotans that was tried before Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis to column-length for the Star Tribune. The column appears in today’s paper under the headline “What I saw at the trial.” The Opinion pieces featured on the Star Tribune home page today omit any mention of my column. You have to go looking for it to find »

A tale of five Muhammads

Featured image Attending the Somali terrorism trial before Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis was an incredibly rich experience. I am still trying to process what I saw at the trial. Like the Orlando massacre, the case lies at the intersection of Islam, immigration and terrorism. The group of Somali Minnesotans charged in the case or gone to ISIS in Syria without being charged numbers 12 or 13 or 14. It’s not a »

Taya Kyle pins Jesse Ventura on appeal

Featured image I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the estate of Chris Kyle in “American Sniper on trial” and in “American Sniper on trial: The verdict” and in American Sniper on trial: The appeal.” The case arises from a couple of pages now excised from the book about Kyle’s close encounter with Ventura at a bar in southern California. Ventura alleged that the story Kyle recounted was false and »

What I saw at the trial

Featured image This past Friday afternoon the jury returned with guilty verdicts in the trial of the three “Minnesota men” charged with seeking to join ISIS in Syria. Having attended the trial and filed daily reports on Power Line, I spent the weekend working on a short article summarizing what I saw at the trial. The article is published as “‘Minnesota men’ on trial” in the new issue of the Weekly Standard »

The tiger, beyond a reasonable doubt

Featured image The New York Times pioneered the form of the story portraying the suffering of favored groups (i.e., groups they favor). Comedian Mort Sahl has been credited with the satirical headline that captures the form with his version of the New York Times’s take on the apocalypse: “World ends, women & minorities hardest hit.” In “Terrorist wannabes guilty, Somalis hardest hit,” I linked to stories published by the Star Tribune and »

Terrorist wannabes guilty, Somalis hardest hit

Featured image We are all painfully familiar with the journalistic genre portraying the suffering of favored groups. That would be groups favored by the journalists. The satirical headline that captures the genre gives us the New York Times’s take on the apocalypse: “World ends, women & minorities hardest hit.” Credit is due to someone for the shaft of light cast by that parody headline. NewsBusters credits comedian Mort Sahl, still going strong »

“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. »

“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 »

Annual Dinner, New Web Site

Featured image The think tank that I run, Center of the American Experiment, has an annual dinner with a distinguished history. We have hosted speakers like Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush, George Will, Robert Bork, and many more. Our 2016 dinner was last Saturday night. It was a wonderful event, attended by 870 conservatives. Dana Perino was our speaker. She did a great job, taking every opportunity to mingle »

Not dark yet, cont’d

Featured image Bob Dylan is first and foremost an astounding songwriter. He somehow absorbed the folk, rock, country and blues traditions as a precocious young man and then recapitulated them in his own voice many times over while adding a twist of modernist poetry to the mix. On his seventy fifth-birthday, I want to take the liberty of posting some notable cover versions of great songs you may not have heard before, »

“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 »