Here's the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten the little hand of Muslim prevaricators, murderers, and terrorists, and their fabricated and changing narratives of events and history. Irrespective of the odor, those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice and need to account for their deceptions.
First, there is absurdity. On a broadcast on October 3, 2018, the official Palestinian Authority TV informed all gourmets that Israel has stolen falafel and hummus. This larceny is said to be part of the "brutal attack" against the entire Palestinian heritage by Israel, which fabricated falafel, as it has other matters. Fortuitously or not, this latest addition to the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood was proclaimed at a moment when a particularly brutal attack in Istanbul by citizens of Saudi Arabia and reminders of many terrorist attacks in London by Muslims occurred. Not surprisingly, P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in the fourteenth year of his four-year term, on October 14, 2018 expressed full, "absolute" confidence in Saudi Arabia, praising its leaders for their support of the Palestinians.
Chairman Abbas expressed no similar praise for the surprising generosity by British authorities toward a convicted Islamist terrorist. In London, the 51-year-old Islamic hate-preacher Anjem Choudary was released on October19, 2018 from prison after having served half of his sentence. He had been sentenced in 2016 to five and a half years for inviting support for ISIS, to which he had taken an oath of allegiance. Considered the most dangerous extremist in the U.K. and the center of a web of Islamist extremists operating in London, the security costs for guiding him were $2 million a year.
Choudary is allowed to spend the first part of his release in a probation hostel in north London, where he will reside in a separate room with a single bed, a refrigerator, and a mobile phone, though no computer. There are a communal TV room and kitchen available. He can have meals either in a communal area or in his own room. The location of his wife and five children remains a tightly guarded secret.
What is not secret is that Israel, in addition to its other thefts, stole the comportment of "chutzpah." The jihadist Choudary reclaimed it to express his non-apologetic behavior and lack of appreciation for his freedom. Immediately on release, he declared he would launch a court action against the "strict" conditions of his release that he says breach his human rights.
Those conditions, 25 in number, include not speaking to the media, not preaching, an electric tag on his right ankle, a ban on travelling outside the London metropolitan area, no passport, a nighttime curfew, and the ability to attend only one particular mosque in the London area approved by the minister of justice. Other Islamic leaders have said Choudary would not be welcomed at other mosques.
Yet he remains a danger, as is the Islamic web of which he was at the center. He continues to support jihadism and ISIS. He declares that it is the duty of all Muslims to give allegiance to the caliph of the Islamic State. He took an oath agreeing to the legitimacy of the Islamic State. He wants to convert Buckingham Palace into a mosque.
Born in London to Pakistani immigrant parents, Choudary was a failed medical student, took up law and became a solicitor, and increasingly became an extreme Muslim and sharia believer. His record of hatred and support for terrorist activity is intimidating. Choudary called the 9/11 hijackers "magnificent martyrs" and headed the extreme groups al-Muhajiroun and Islam 5UK.
Choudary has been linked, directly or indirectly through al-Muhajiroun, to a considerable number of terrorist activities. Probably the best known is the murder of a young fusilier, Lee Rigby, in Woolwich Barracks in 2013. Among other links to him are the following:
- The shoe-bomber Richard Reid, December 22, 2001, prepared to detonate explosives in his shoes on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami.
- Siddhartha Dhar, executioner for ISIS of five shackled men in January 2016. - Support for dirty bomb plot, 2004, to blow up finance institutions in the U.S.
- Support on 7/7, July 7, 2005, for Mohammad Sidique Khan and suicide attacks on the underground and buses in London that killed 52 and injured 700.
- Support for Omar Khan Sharif, who attacked people in a bar in Tel Aviv, killing three and injuring 65.
- A truck attack on Oxford Street
- Mail bombings to the London Stock Exchange in December 2010.
- Khalid Masood, who plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing five, in March 2017.
Choudary is alive, but the 59-year-old Jamal Khashoggi, the well known journalist critical of policies of Saudi Arabia, is not, having disappeared and been killed or murdered on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, whose family was of Turkish origin, was born in and went to school in Saudi Arabia, then got an MBA at Indiana State University. He supported the fight of Saudi and CIA mujahedeen against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan in 1988; was a defender of the Saudi regime; and became a media adviser to Prince Turki al Faisal, head of Saudi general intelligence and ambassador to the U.K. and the U.S., 2005-6. He was a prominent journalist and a member of a respected family; his grandfather had been doctor to Ibn Saud, founder of Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi took positions unacceptable to many. He expressed sympathy for some Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government classified as a terrorist organization. He became critical of the rising star, 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS, and his ruling elite because of his authoritarian rule. Khashoggi regarded him as a brash young innovator, becoming increasingly despotic, calling him an old-fashioned tribal leader, though MBS had proposed himself as an exponent of a moderate Islam, a reformer, a man who could minimize the religious establishment. Khashoggi was also critical of the Saudi intervention in Yemen.
He fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017 and lived in Virginia, though not a U.S. citizen, and wrote articles for the Washington Post. In his last article, he wrote, "Arab governments have given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate."
That outspokenness cost him his life. Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for personal reasons and has not been seen since. Explanations have been contradictory and lacking in forthrightness. Possibly, a 15-man team of security agents sent by private jet tried to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia. He had the temerity to resist and fight the 15, and was killed or murdered or hacked to pieces with a bone saw that happened to be lying around. Some questions can be raised. Could this event have been masterminded by the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence? Did Khashoggi die in a brawl, or because of a botched interrogation, or was he beaten, drugged, and murdered? Was an actor brought in to exit the consulate wearing Khashoggi's clothes, a fake beard, and glasses?
The cover-up draws attention. Meanwhile, for the U.S. and Europeans, the dilemma remains. On the one hand, are there any guarantees that similar appalling Islamic behavior cannot and will not be repeated? On the other hand, what are the strategic interests of the U.S. and the West in the relationship with the Saudis? Is there a divorce between U.S. political and strategic policy and business interests? This remains uncertain.