Great Balls of Fire: Â
Abdulmutallab’s Roasted Nuts & Bill Clinton’s Projection
InÂ FrontPageÂ today I discuss the underwear jihad bomber and the prevailing fantasies about jihad and Islam:
On Monday, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton ascribed the recent jihad violence in Nigeria to poverty. Referring obliquely to the attacks that the jihadist group Boko Haram (Western education is Sin) has carried out, Clinton ascribed them to the large disparity between the rich and the poor in Nigeria: “You can’t just have this level of inequality persist. That’s what’s fueling all this stuff.” Then on Thursday, the son of one of Nigeria’s richest men was sentenced to life in prison for an attempt to commit jihad mass murder in a jetliner.Bravo for life’s little ironies.
The idea that poverty causes terrorism is a familiar assumption on both the Left and the Right; it is, ultimately, the guiding assumption behind the U.S. military’s making itself busy in Afghanistan building roads, schools and hospitals. The fond belief is that a sufficient amount of money will transform Kabul into Kansas City, and then all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Ten years of American blood and treasure squandered in Afghanistan should have put paid to this fantasy long ago, but of course it hasn’t.
Besides integrity, the scarcest commodity in Washington is accountability, and so none of the learned analysts who so confidently predicted that all this infrastructure would raise the Afghan standard of living and win Afghan hearts and minds, thereby destroying the impetus for terrorism, are ever called to account for the obvious howling failure of everything they attempted, and the falsehood of all they predicted. Nor are the reputations rehabilitated of those whose predictions proved true that none of this would work, and that the Afghans would continue waging jihad against all outsiders and against each other, as they have done from time immemorial. They are, as ever, “Islamophobes,” “extremists,” not to be trusted. Washington doesn’t operate according to the canons of reasoned discourse. It operates by the rule of clubs and clans; if you’re in with the group in power, your ideas will be accepted and implemented. Failure is not an impediment to continuing to exercise power.
And so it is that Bill Clinton, laden with honors, lauded, respected and adulated everywhere he goes, in with the most powerful and influential clubs and clans of all, almost certainly didn’t think that he was saying anything remotely controversial when he said that “inequality” was “fueling” the Nigerian jihad. He probably has no idea that the Nigerian jihadist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for trying to light a bomb hidden in his underwear and blow up a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, was one of the nation’s wealthiest young men. Abdulmutallab’s father is Dr. Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, former head of Nigeria’s largest bank, the First Bank of Nigeria PLC, as well as a former government minister.
Some reports say that Dr. Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab actually warned Western officials about his son, and abhors what he did â€“ despite the fact that he has been one of the most energetic promoters of Sharia in Nigeria,(he is the “father of sharia banking) and has reported ties to Wahhabi jihadists in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Dubai, Yemen, and Egypt. But whether or not he approves of what his son did, the fact is that he raised him in a well-to-do environment. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did not know the gnaw of hunger and poverty or harbor resentment for the wealthy and comfortable around him. He did not turn to jihad out of a hopeless desperation of finding any other recourse, and a determination to redress social inequalities. No, like other fantastically rich men such as Osama bin Laden and Aymen al-Zawahiri, as well as the jihadist physicians in Glasgow, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab turned to jihad because he believed that it was his responsibility before Allah to wage war against Infidels, and that Allah would reward his killing large numbers of them. When he pled guilty in October, Abdulmutallab said to the court: “In late 2009, in fulfillment of a religious obligation, I decided to participate in jihad against the United States. The Koran obliges every able Muslim to participate in jihad and fight in the way of Allah, those who fight you, and kill them wherever you find them, some parts of the Koran say, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Where are the moderate Muslim spokesmen explaining that Umar Farouk has gotten Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong? Why do the Misunderstanders of Islam all misunderstand it in the same way? Why does no one in the mainstream media ever, ever ask such questions? How many more times will I have to ask them here before the DHS shuts down Jihad Watch as the real threat?
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down Northwest flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with an underwear bomb, said he was was “proud to kill in the name of God” before he was sentenced to multiple life sentences today in a Detroit courtroom.“Today is a day of victory and God is great,” said Abdulmutallab, 25. He also said that al Qaeda would one day be victorious, and that acts like his will continue until “the righteous servants of Allah inherit the world.”
“The defendant has never expressed doubt or remorse about his mission,” said Judge Nancy Edmunds in imposing four life sentences plus 50 years. “To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission.”…
Earlier, five passengers who had been on flight 253 each got a chance to speak. Shama Chopra of Montreal told Abdulmutallab, “You had no right to take my life,” but then handed Abdulmutallab’s lawyer a rosary to give to the 25-year-old Nigerian,Â who is a devout Muslim….
He called the failed explosives he had hidden in his underwear a “blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims” and said he had attempted to bomb Northwest flight 253 “because of the tyranny of the United States.” “The Koran obliges every able Muslim to participate in jihad and fight in the way of Allah,” Abdulmutallab told the court. “I carried the device to avenge the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters… Unfortunately, my actions make me guilty of a crime.”
“The United States should be warned that if they continue to persist and promote the blasphemy of Mohammad and the prophets,” said Abdulmutallab, “the United States should await a great calamity that will befall them through the hands of the mujahedeen soon.”
“If you laugh with us now, we will laugh with you later on the day of judgment,” he said. Abdulmutallab also said he had been “greatly inspired” by Anwar al-Awlaki and insisted that Awlaki, who had been killed in a U.S. drone strike just weeks earlier, was still alive….
On Christmas Day, 2009, Abdulmutallab flew from Ghana to Amsterdam and boarded Northwest flight 253, bound for Detroit.
As the plane prepared to land in Detroit, Abdulmutallab spent an extended period in the bathroom, and then returned to his seat, where he covered himself with a blanket. When he tried to detonate the bomb in his underwear, passengers heard a popping, and saw flames spreading from his crotch. A Dutch passenger leapt on top of Abdulmutallab and flight attendants stopped the fire with fire extinguishers.
Abdulmutallab was found to have white powder packed into his underwear, as well as a plastic syringe to administer a liquid that was supposed to activate the explosives.
Taken into custody, he was treated for burns to his hands, leg and genitalia.
After the incident, Abdulmutallab told Customs and Border Protection officer Marvin Steigerwald that he obtained the device in Yemen and that he hid it in his underwear. When he was questioned later by two FBI agents, Abdulmutallab said he went to Yemen to become involved in jihad and that he was influenced by a man named Abu Tarak to undertake a suicide operation, investigators said.
Intelligence officials said that while in Yemen, Abdulmutallab also met with Anwar al-Awlaki. In March 2010, Awlaki released a tape praising Abdulmutallab. He addressed the “American people and said that nine years after the 9/11 attacks, “you are still unsafe even in the holiest and most sacred of days to you, Christmas Day.”
“Our brother Umar Farouk has succeeded in breaking through the security systems that have cost the U.S. government alone over $40 billion,” said Awlaki.
U.S. officials say that Awlaki was in electronic communication with Abdulmutallab repeatedly prior to the bombing of Northwest flight 253.
After Abdulmutallab’s arrest, his family in Nigeria released a statement saying they had been so concerned about his political extremism that they had reported him to Nigerian authorities and to “foreign security agencies” months before the bombing.
The statement said that Abdulmutallab’s recent behavior was “completely out of character and a very recent development, as before then, from very early childhood, Farouk, to the best of parental monitoring, had never shown any attitude, conduct or association that would give concern.”
A senior U.S. official told ABC News that Abdulmutallab’s father told the U.S. embassy in Nigeria his son had become radicalized and could pose a threat to the U.S….
He wrote of being lonely and sought friends on-line. “Can you be my friend?” he wrote. “I get lonely sometimes because I have never found a true Muslim friend.”
Later, he wrote of joining protests against the war in Iraq, asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?” Still later he wrote of heading to Yemen….
Videos released by al Qaeda in 2010 showedÂ Abdulmutallab and others in his training class in Yemen firing weapons at a desert camp whose targets included the Jewish star, the British Union Jack and the letters “UN.”The tape also included an apparent martyrdom statement in Arabic from the then 23-year old justifying his actions against “the Jews and the Christians and their agents.” He says, “the enemy is in your lands with their armies, the Jews and the Christians and their agents.”Â He reads several passages from the Koran and adds, “God said if you do not fight back, He will punish you and replace you.”