Friday, December 28, 2007

Mahmoud El-Yousseph makes sense — and gets rebuked by CAIR for applauding Al-Qaeda conviction

I’m not one to begrudge someone when they’re right, or kick someone when they admit that they were wrong. That’s why I was pleased to here from David at The Conservatarian earlier this week about Mahmoud El-Yousseph’s recent letter to the editor published on the Columbus Dispatch website’s web-only LTE section.

Whatever disagreements I might have with Mahmoud’s open support of Hezbollah terrorists or his approval of suicide bombings as “reasonable” (published a week before the 9/11 suicide attacks), he thus far is the only figure from the tiny minority of Islamic extremists in Central Ohio to applaud the conviction of Columbus al-Qaeda terror cell member Nuradin Abdi and publicly withdraw his previous statements in support of Abdi.

But as you will see below, as soon as he did, the other members of the extremist CAIR crew quickly piled on to criticize him in full McCarthyite fury, challenging whether Abdi was actually guilty by appealing to all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories about supposed torture and mind-altering drugs (even though Abdi openly pled guilty in court to material support for terrorism in the presence of some of those same conspiracy theorists).

Here is what Mahmoud wrote (which I’m told also appeared as a column in the Marion Star):

Proper punishment for convicted terrorist

Central Ohio sleep tight tonight. A second Columbus man was busted for terror ties and was sentenced for 10 years in jail. What a relief!

Nuradin Abdi, a Somali immigrant, was convicted last week and will spend the next 6 years behind bars and then be expelled to Mogadishu. Take it from this Muslim, Abdi is getting what he deserves.

Abdi was convicted of providing material to terror activities and plan to carry out attack at an area shopping mall, targeting innocent citizens. He claimed that was in response to U.S. agression against Muslims abroad.

That is not how you should show gratitude to the country that took you in as a refugee, provided you with a chance at work, safety, and security. If he was dissatisfied with our government foreign policy (as am I), there are many legal avenues available, even to non-citizens. By advocating the use of violence, he was part of the problem and not the solution. Fortunately, he did not have a chance to carry out his plan.

I must admit I’ve never met the man. However, when I read about his case four years ago, I was suspicious about the government’s claim, since Abdi was arrested based on secret evidence. This was, afterall, at the height of anti-Muslim feeling in the U.S.

Still fresh on the minds of Muslims across America were the two high profile cases of two other U.S.-born Muslim converts: Brandon Mayfield, an attorney from Oregon and James [Yusuf] Yee of Washington state. Mr. Mayfield was falsely accused by the government and was implicated with the Madrid bombing, while Captain James Yee, who served in the U.S. Army at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, was charged with espionage and many other serious offenses. Later the government dropped all charges against both of them. The government agreed to settle with Mayfield for $2 million, and offered him a formal apology: The federal government “regrets that it mistakenly linked Mr. Mayfield to this attack.” The U.S. Army lost a valuable human resource. Captain Yee received an honorable discharge, no apology, and he wrote a book about his ordeal to pay off his $200,000 legal expenses.

During that hysteria, I spoke publicly in defense of Abdi and about his right to free and fair trial based on evidence. I even contributed to his legal defense fund. Now after his case is over and he has admitted guilt to terror ties, I accept that this misguided man has betrayed his family, local Somalis, Central Ohio’s Muslim community, and the country that welcomed him.

Of special concern to me is the lack of response to this issue by local Muslim and Arab leaders, especially by The Council of American Islamic Relations [CAIR]. CAIR has defended Abdi vigorously throughout his case when it perceived he was a victim. One would think that CAIR leadership would have the moral courage to denounce Abdi’s act, once he was found guilty on credible evidence. I made four attempts by phone seeking a reaction from two CAIR members, my messages were not returned. Sadly, that was the same group that I once admired and took heat for defending in the press.

Lets hope and pray that the New Year does not bring us anymore unpleasant surprises, the likes of Nuradin Abdi. As far as this Muslim is concerned, I will continue to speak out my opinion — a freedom which is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution — even when it is not popular. But I will keep in mind my late mother’s (bless her soul) advice to me as I embarked for America: Don’t spit into the plate that feeds you!

Mahmoud El-Yousseph, Westerville
I certainly don’t agree with all of the various interpretations that Mahmoud offers, but the crux of his argument is dead on: Abdi pled guilty to his crimes and the Muslim community as law-abiding Americans should be grateful that this terrorist is behind bars. He also complains (rightly so) that CAIR refused to retract their support for Abdi after his guilty plea, let alone respond to his calls to CAIR on the matter. That is very telling in itself.

Is this a sign of a new, improved peace-loving moderate Mahmoud El-Yousseph? We’ll wait and see. Honestly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that he has changed his terror supporting ways. I would certainly like to be proved wrong. That said, however, I will grant him this: he’s shown here that he has the courage to buck the party line handed down by the CAIR politburo and think independently about the issue. I have always argued that CAIR doesn’t actually represent the Central Ohio Muslim community, the vast majority of whom reject the jihadist ideology promoted by CAIR, ISGC, etc. Most Central Ohio Muslims do not belong to CAIR (in fact, recent tax documents show they don’t have any members AT ALL, and the leadership is entirely self-appointed) and don’t attend services at ISGC facilities. One law enforcement official told me that out of the tens of thousands of Muslims in the Columbus area, probably less than a thousand, probably closer to five hundred, would associate with CAIR and its extremist ideology.

But no sooner had Mahmoud posted his comments than the knives came out to attack him wielded by the self-appointed CAIR caliphs to enforce their ideological conformity.

First up was the grand pasha of Islamic extremism himself, CAIR national vice chairman Ahmad Al-Akhras, who had this to say in criticism of Mahmoud’s public statement:

Re: Proper punishment for convicted terrorist
Posted by: “Ahmad Al-Akhras” alakhras10
Sat Dec 8, 2007 10:54 am (PST)

salam Br. Mahmoud and all — i am not aware that you tried to call CAIR and no one responded. Would you kindly let us know who did you try and did not bother to respond to you?

On a more substantial note akhi, Abdi was not convicted as a “terrorist” rather, he was convicted of providing “material support.” The idea of “material support,” as David Cole put it in his piece in the Wash Post --see below — is that the government can charge a person and the person can be found guility because the burden is so low on this standard. I encourage you to read the whole OpEd of Professor Cole.

I also encourage you to read the testimony of the ACLU on Material Support for Terrorism Laws: Section 805 of the Patriot Act and Section 6603 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Ahilan T., an ACLU staff attorney, testified about this issue and how helping Tsunami devastated people in Sri Lanka could lead them to be directly charged with “Material Support” if they provided help in certain areas — read below.

Thank you akhi Mahmoud for all the good work you do, it is only Allah swt will be able to reward you for it as I am sure you are not waiting for anyone else. As to your attacking CAIR this way, I did not feel it was appropriate, even if you “once admired and took heat for defending in the press”. I am sure you did this because you beleived int he cause and not for anything else, right?

Thank you again, and may Allah swt guide us all. . .

That was follwed up by Fauzi Tayim:

Posted by: “Fauzi Tayim”
Sun Dec 9, 2007 9:40 am (PST)


One of the mistakes I have done in the past but try my best to avoid now is not to jump into conclusions based on what someone tells me or what I read or see in the media. I have not been following Abdi’s case very closely but I just wonder how did you conclude that he was “found guilty on credible evidence”. Did you see the evidence? You also say he confessed to acts of terrorism. Do you under what circumstances he made such a confession? Al-Arian, the UF professor was found innocent and he is still in jail. After his jail term is over (for about 2 years I believe), he will be deported. Al-Arian’s case was labeled an Israeli trial conducted on US soil. Sometimes our legal system works and sometimes it does not. I do not know if it worked in Abdi’s case. However, I sincerely doubt that a confessed terrorist would spent only 6 years in Jail. Ayman Faris (?) got 20 years.

Before you reach any conclusions about Abdi and CAIR, take some time to examine the evidence and circumstances more closely. By the way, have you attended any of the court proceedings? Do you know if he was tortured while in prison? Do you know if he was given “mind altering medication” while he was in prison? Do you know if his confession was not retrieved under torture or duress? I will not be surprised that the evidence against Abdi was kept “secret” for “national security” purposes. If in fact the evidence was kept secret, as is the case against all “terrorists”, how in the world can anyone conclude that the evidence was credible?



Denials, conspiracy theories, half-truths and outright evasion. Al-Akhras says that because Abdi was caught before engaging in acts of terror, he really wasn’t a terrorist, but only admitted to material support for terrorism, which he apparently thinks is entirely different. Tayim blathers on about the various conspiracy theories (torture, mental illness, etc. — all of which the Appeals Courts rejected). In fact, these were some of the same conspiracy theories floated by CAIR during Abdi’s incarceration, including CAIR-OH president and Al-Akhras lackey Asma Mobin-Uddin.

Expect more of these same conspiracy theories when Christopher “Kenyatta” Paul’s trial comes up next year. Some just can’t admit that the Central Ohio Islamic institutions they support and are a part of (again, which only represent a fraction of Muslims in the area) were home to the largest known al-Qaeda terrorist cell since 9/11. Mahmoud El-Yousseph has apparently come to terms with that fact; Ahmad Al-Akhras, Fauzi Tayim, and their extremist ilk cannot handle that truth.

Now my having addressed El-Yousseph’s comments here publicy will probably bring one of two responses (perhaps both). First, in true McCarthyite fashion, Mahmoud will be subject to even more criticism and outright shunning for airing the dirty laundry of the extremists in our community complaining that he’s given me a stick to beat them with, refusing to realize that all I’ve had to do is present the facts here unvarnished. Their comments have been unedited. I’ve allowed them to speak for themselves. Second, they will retreat into further silence on the Abdi conviction. Saying something now will only look like he has shamed them into saying something, which of course will be obviously true if they do in fact say anything at all at this point. With the support they continue to give Abdi, I doubt they will.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph has certainly put them in a serious pickle, but in reality it is only their extremism catching up with them. Unable to deal with that reality, they must keep spinning further into unreality and fantasy. They can’t handle the truth.

No one will ever confuse me for a Mahmoud El-Yousseph enthusiast, and I suspect he will continue venting his spleen against me shortly (I’m still waiting for that lawsuit) with his trademark fabrications, ad hominem attacks and childish personal insults; but in this case on the Abdi conviction, Mahmoud El-Yousseph is right and he should be acknowledged for saying he was wrong for his past support of Abdi. It’s damning that the rest of the CAIR crew of Islamic extremists in Central Ohio can’t bring themselves to do the same.