Friday, April 27, 2007

Columbus Al-Qaeda Man Charged, CAIR Not Pleased

Catching up on some comments from the arrest earlier this month of Christopher Paul, who was indicted for his involvement in the Columbus Al-Qaeda cell, Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News (one of the best TV journalists covering the terrorism issue, IMHO; you might recall his run-in recently at the CAIR National headquarters) offers his insight on the response from CAIR on Paul’s arrest:

Ohio Man Arrested on Terrorism Charges, CAIR Not Pleased
Erick Stakelbeck
CBN News
April 13, 2007

Due mainly to yesterday’s pair of suicide bombings in Iraq, an important and troubling terrorism-related story was able to slip largely under the media’s radar screen. A federal grand jury has indicted a U.S. citizen on charges of joining al-Qaeda and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. government facilities, including military bases overseas. The accused, Christopher Paul, is an American-born convert to Islam. Unfortunately, he also shares the same name as one of the hottest young point guards in the NBA. But the jihadi Christopher Paul is apparently more interested in making bombs than baskets.

Here’s more, from CBN News:

Christopher Paul, 43, of Columbus, Ohio was under investigation for four years. Agents investigating Paul’s background said the case spanned three continents and at least eight countries.

According to Wednesday’s indictment, Paul trained with al-Qaeda in the early 1990s. It says he told the terrorist groups’ members in Pakistan and Afghanistan that he was dedicated to committing violent jihad.

“The indictment of Christopher Paul paints a disturbing picture of an American who traveled overseas to train as a violet jihadist, joined the ranks of al-Qaeda and provided military instruction and support to radial cohorts both here and abroad,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein said in a statement.
Paul was also linked to convicted al-Qaeda member Iyman Faris, who plotted to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Here’s more on his background:

Paul was born Paul Kenyatta Laws. He legally changed his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta in 1989, then to Christopher Paul in 1994, according to the indictment.

After finishing his al-Qaeda training in the early 1990s, he returned to Columbus to teach martial arts at a mosque, the indictment said.
Look out! Another al-Qaeda karate master. Anyway, our friends from the Council on American Islamic-Relations were predictably shocked (shocked!) at news of Paul’s arrest. Here’s more, from AP:

Ahmad Al-Akhras, vice chair of the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he knows Paul and the charges are out of character.

“From the things I know, he is a loving husband and he has a wife and parents in town,” Al-Akhras said. “They are a good family together.” Al-Akhras said his group will work to make sure Paul’s constitutional rights are granted.

Yes, I’m sure they’re the Islamic version of the Waltons.


Since we’re on the topic of our good friend “free speech” Ahmad Al-Akhras, we might remember contributor Ciaospirit’s literal run-in with Al-Akhras at a CAIR-sponsored pro-Hezbollah rally last summer.