Is an anti-anti-terror campaign underway?

James H. Fetzer and J.R. Dunn
One of the great benefits of the Net is the ability it conveys to discover connections difficult or impossible to make previously. The filters erected by the Big Three networks and the national papers no longer apply. Today more information is available from more sources than was conceivable by even the most experienced news editor of the pre-infowave era. It's now a relatively simple matter to tunnel into stories from any of number of angles, to discover where the information comes from, how pure it is, and how it ties in with other events.

Of course, considerable care is required. Wrong connections can be made as easily as the right ones, as we see on advocacy sites, blogs, and comment threads every day of the week. If you don't watch your step, you become merely another conspiracy freak of the type seen all too often. Analysis must be rigorous, commentary must be informed, conclusions drawn with care.

That noted, this week's news revealed an interesting juxtaposition of events involving similar elements that may or may not be related. Analysis is understandably incomplete, and conclusions as yet tentative.

The first incident involves the six imams. By now anyone who has been paying attention is aware that the confrontation at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport unfolded quite differently from what the legacy media and Keith Ellison would have us believe. The imams were not simply "praying", they were chanting "Allahu akhbar" (exactly what you want to hear in an airport departure area) obnoxiously loudly before boarding the aircraft. The complaint that got them ejected was made by another Muslim, an Arabic speaker who was appalled at what he was hearing. The six deliberately sat in the same pattern as the 9/11 hijackers, something that required previous coordination. (One imam actually pretended to be blind in order to carry this out.) They were never in handcuffs, and the FBI never cleared them. The latest development is that three separate investigations have found that the aircrew and airport staff acted well within guidelines.

What the imams thought they were up to is the key remaining question. It has been suggested that it was a dry-run for a terrorist attack, and it's true that the ringleader, Omar Shahin, has connections that make it difficult to understand why he's walking around loose in a country at war. A chart with Shahin at the center would be crowded at the margins with names like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a least two terrorist groups too many. But at the same time, Shahin was the first to appear in the media claiming discrimination. Would an acting terrorist do this? It doesn't seem likely.

What has been overlooked is the behavior of Keith Ellison, who is about to enter Congress as the first elected Muslim. An interesting timeline printed in Investor's Business Daily reveals that Ellison was not only present at the NAIF convention attended by the imams, but actually met with Shahin. Then, the Wednesday after the incident, Ellison intervened with a letter implying discrimination by US Airways and suggesting that his upcoming Congressional status would be put into play. Not enough to prove collusion, perhaps, but certainly suggestive. In fact, the entire sequence of events, ranging from the initial provocation to media comparisons to Rosa Parks, makes it difficult to doubt contentions that this was an organized attempt to undermine the government's anti-terror efforts.

Which brings us to yet another incident. On Tuesday, December 5, a lawsuit was filed by a former NYC counterterrorism officer of Egyptian descent claiming that he had suffered extreme emotional anguish due to the hostile work environment within a crucial police antiterrorism unit. (Newsday calls it a "cyber-unit", which could mean a number of things.)

A consultant to the city had spammed the unit with e-mails attacking and insulting Arabs and Muslims in general. The unit's commanders acted to put a stop to them, but not soon enough, it seems. The e-mails apparently infected the unit's personnel, giving rise to further insults and derogatory remarks. Some were spoken within the hearing of the plaintiff, who as a result suffered "mental anguish, depression, physical injuries, illness, loss of pay and benefits and loss of advancement opportunities".

How likely this story is true remains to be seen. (It would be a strange police force that required an outside consultant to teach it obnoxious behavior.) What it resembles is the classic disgruntled ex-employee suit in which trivial events are magnified to lend weight to an otherwise unconvincing case. But that will be worked out in court. What's interesting here is the timing - the filing occurring just after the imams' ordeal had peaked - and the fact that it is aimed at a successful anti-terror outfit defending the primary target of Islamic terrorists worldwide.

So the question arises: is a concerted, nationwide campaign being carried out by certain American Muslims to cripple the country's internal security efforts?  It's impossible to say for certain at this point. That the imams' exploits amounted to a provocation is now beyond doubt. That the pending lawsuit is peculiar, to say the least, is also indisputable. Both utilize the now ancient, tried-and-true "discrimination" tactic, in which everything from cross-eyed glances to "inappropriate laughter" can act as evidence. The timing is also suspicious.

None of this information acts as absolute proof. The most that can be said is that if such an effort were to occur, it would look a lot like what's going on right now. But the immortal Auric Goldfinger left us a rule that applies here: "Once is bad luck, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action." We're two up at this point. If a third such incident materializes in the near future, we'll know. Until then, we need to remain alert, and to keep our powder dry.
One of the great benefits of the Net is the ability it conveys to discover connections difficult or impossible to make previously. The filters erected by the Big Three networks and the national papers no longer apply. Today more information is available from more sources than was conceivable by even the most experienced news editor of the pre-infowave era. It's now a relatively simple matter to tunnel into stories from any of number of angles, to discover where the information comes from, how pure it is, and how it ties in with other events.

Of course, considerable care is required. Wrong connections can be made as easily as the right ones, as we see on advocacy sites, blogs, and comment threads every day of the week. If you don't watch your step, you become merely another conspiracy freak of the type seen all too often. Analysis must be rigorous, commentary must be informed, conclusions drawn with care.

That noted, this week's news revealed an interesting juxtaposition of events involving similar elements that may or may not be related. Analysis is understandably incomplete, and conclusions as yet tentative.

The first incident involves the six imams. By now anyone who has been paying attention is aware that the confrontation at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport unfolded quite differently from what the legacy media and Keith Ellison would have us believe. The imams were not simply "praying", they were chanting "Allahu akhbar" (exactly what you want to hear in an airport departure area) obnoxiously loudly before boarding the aircraft. The complaint that got them ejected was made by another Muslim, an Arabic speaker who was appalled at what he was hearing. The six deliberately sat in the same pattern as the 9/11 hijackers, something that required previous coordination. (One imam actually pretended to be blind in order to carry this out.) They were never in handcuffs, and the FBI never cleared them. The latest development is that three separate investigations have found that the aircrew and airport staff acted well within guidelines.

What the imams thought they were up to is the key remaining question. It has been suggested that it was a dry-run for a terrorist attack, and it's true that the ringleader, Omar Shahin, has connections that make it difficult to understand why he's walking around loose in a country at war. A chart with Shahin at the center would be crowded at the margins with names like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a least two terrorist groups too many. But at the same time, Shahin was the first to appear in the media claiming discrimination. Would an acting terrorist do this? It doesn't seem likely.

What has been overlooked is the behavior of Keith Ellison, who is about to enter Congress as the first elected Muslim. An interesting timeline printed in Investor's Business Daily reveals that Ellison was not only present at the NAIF convention attended by the imams, but actually met with Shahin. Then, the Wednesday after the incident, Ellison intervened with a letter implying discrimination by US Airways and suggesting that his upcoming Congressional status would be put into play. Not enough to prove collusion, perhaps, but certainly suggestive. In fact, the entire sequence of events, ranging from the initial provocation to media comparisons to Rosa Parks, makes it difficult to doubt contentions that this was an organized attempt to undermine the government's anti-terror efforts.

Which brings us to yet another incident. On Tuesday, December 5, a lawsuit was filed by a former NYC counterterrorism officer of Egyptian descent claiming that he had suffered extreme emotional anguish due to the hostile work environment within a crucial police antiterrorism unit. (Newsday calls it a "cyber-unit", which could mean a number of things.)

A consultant to the city had spammed the unit with e-mails attacking and insulting Arabs and Muslims in general. The unit's commanders acted to put a stop to them, but not soon enough, it seems. The e-mails apparently infected the unit's personnel, giving rise to further insults and derogatory remarks. Some were spoken within the hearing of the plaintiff, who as a result suffered "mental anguish, depression, physical injuries, illness, loss of pay and benefits and loss of advancement opportunities".

How likely this story is true remains to be seen. (It would be a strange police force that required an outside consultant to teach it obnoxious behavior.) What it resembles is the classic disgruntled ex-employee suit in which trivial events are magnified to lend weight to an otherwise unconvincing case. But that will be worked out in court. What's interesting here is the timing - the filing occurring just after the imams' ordeal had peaked - and the fact that it is aimed at a successful anti-terror outfit defending the primary target of Islamic terrorists worldwide.

So the question arises: is a concerted, nationwide campaign being carried out by certain American Muslims to cripple the country's internal security efforts?  It's impossible to say for certain at this point. That the imams' exploits amounted to a provocation is now beyond doubt. That the pending lawsuit is peculiar, to say the least, is also indisputable. Both utilize the now ancient, tried-and-true "discrimination" tactic, in which everything from cross-eyed glances to "inappropriate laughter" can act as evidence. The timing is also suspicious.

None of this information acts as absolute proof. The most that can be said is that if such an effort were to occur, it would look a lot like what's going on right now. But the immortal Auric Goldfinger left us a rule that applies here: "Once is bad luck, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action." We're two up at this point. If a third such incident materializes in the near future, we'll know. Until then, we need to remain alert, and to keep our powder dry.