Abdulhakim Muhammad, the Muslim convert who murdered a soldier outside an Arkansas military recruiting center, placed a collect phone call to the Associated Press today to tell his story. Prison, apparently, isn’t what it used to be.
What Muhammad had to say was mostly predictable–he thinks the killing was justified because it was done “for the sake of Allah.” Evidently he didn’t get the memo about how Islam is only interested in peace and inventing things like printing and compasses.
What I want to point out, however, comes at the very end of the story. You may recall that Muhammad’s lawyer claimed he had become “radicalized” when he was imprisoned in Yemen and tortured by the authorities there. According to Muhammad, his lawyer just made that up:
Last week, Hensley said his client, born Carlos Bledsoe, had been tortured and “radicalized” in a Yemeni prison after entering the country to teach English. He was held there for immigration violations, and Yemeni officials have denied mistreatment.
“Those claims … are all lies,” Muhammad said Tuesday. “That never happened in Yemen. The officials dealt with me in a gentle way.”
We’ve known for a while that al Qaeda members are taught to allege (falsely) that they were tortured in captivity–claims that are usually lapped up by liberals. Perhaps defense lawyers have now concluded that “torture” is an all-purpose defense, to be asserted automatically like a plea of not guilty.