ISIS Beheading Plotter's Conviction Overturned by Obama-Appointed Judge

Daoud Wright is a former Islamic State (ISIS) operative in Boston who was the ringleader of a plot to behead me. In December 2017, he was found guilty on five counts in this terrorist plot against me, which involved Wright maintaining close contact with and even financing a major American ISIS leader, Zulfi Hoxha. Yet late Wednesday afternoon, one of those convictions was overturned. Federal Appeals Court Justice David J. Barron said Wright “could have been simply been ‘role-playing’ with respect to following ISIS’s direction.”

Back when Wright was convicted, the jury didn’t think Wright was just “role-playing.” They brought the verdict in swiftly: according to WBUR, they “reached five verdicts in six hours.” Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said: “Mr. Wright is a terrorist, an ISIS supporter and recruiter who intended to wage war against the United States by beheading people and killing Americans.”

Barron, in contrast, clearly has embraced the claim of the defense during the trial, that Wright was just a fat fantasist sitting in his mother’s basement playing video games and dreaming of glory. But in an extraordinary article that appeared in the left-wing Atlantic in January 2018 entitled “A New American Leader Rises in ISIS,” Seamus Hughes, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, and Bennett Clifford revealed that a “shared interest in video games may have been one of the first things that brought Hoxha together with David Wright.” The video games were not an idle pastime:

Islamic State’s 2015 instructional manual for its Western supporters, “How to Survive in the West,” includes references to video games as a method of training to join the group. More importantly, it may have brought together Wright and Hoxha, who unlike Wright successfully followed through on his intentions to support the Islamic State using violence… During Wright’s trial, prosecutors argued that he used several video games, including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and other titles to “virtually prepare” for jihad. His defense attorneys, however, painted Wright, who weighed over 400 pounds at the time of the conspiracy, as a “fat, failed loser” who used video games as a substitute for real-life violent activity, according to the trial transcript. Unfortunately, one can be both a gamer who veers towards violence and weigh in at 400 pounds of loneliness and isolation.

The “fat, failed loser” Wright also financed Hoxha’s flight to Syria to train with ISIS: “The court records show that prior to Hoxha’s departure, David Wright put him in touch with another American Islamic State supporter, his uncle Usaamah Rahim, and together they began helping Hoxha as he prepared to travel in the spring of 2015. The two men raised money for Hoxha’s plane ticket to Istanbul by selling Rahim’s laptop on Craigslist.”

Barron should have known all this and taken it into account. His ignoring it and vacating Wright’s ISIS conviction is judicial malfeasance of the highest order. In the Victim Impact Statement I submitted in December 2017, I wrote: “It is impossible to overstate the devastation that Daoud Wright has brought to my life and that of members of my family. Not only did he target me for a brutal, cruel and violent death, but he targeted family members, and this will not even be over with his sentencing….There is no assurance that anyone can possibly give me that if he is released from prison at any time in the future, that he would not resume his quest to kill me and my relatives. Therefore Daoud Wright should be given the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

The court did not listen, and gave this savage 28 years, a sentence that will now almost certainly be cut in light of the overturned ISIS conviction. He will, of course, be out far sooner than whatever his sentence now turns out to be. Is the Obama-appointed David J. Barron completely off his rocker? There is no evidence whatsoever that Wright has discarded his murderous beliefs. Are those who are not leftists entitled to no protection anymore?

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of The Geller Report and author of the bestselling book, FATWA: Hunted in America, as well as The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Daoud Wright is a former Islamic State (ISIS) operative in Boston who was the ringleader of a plot to behead me. In December 2017, he was found guilty on five counts in this terrorist plot against me, which involved Wright maintaining close contact with and even financing a major American ISIS leader, Zulfi Hoxha. Yet late Wednesday afternoon, one of those convictions was overturned. Federal Appeals Court Justice David J. Barron said Wright “could have been simply been ‘role-playing’ with respect to following ISIS’s direction.”

Back when Wright was convicted, the jury didn’t think Wright was just “role-playing.” They brought the verdict in swiftly: according to WBUR, they “reached five verdicts in six hours.” Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said: “Mr. Wright is a terrorist, an ISIS supporter and recruiter who intended to wage war against the United States by beheading people and killing Americans.”

Barron, in contrast, clearly has embraced the claim of the defense during the trial, that Wright was just a fat fantasist sitting in his mother’s basement playing video games and dreaming of glory. But in an extraordinary article that appeared in the left-wing Atlantic in January 2018 entitled “A New American Leader Rises in ISIS,” Seamus Hughes, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, and Bennett Clifford revealed that a “shared interest in video games may have been one of the first things that brought Hoxha together with David Wright.” The video games were not an idle pastime:

Islamic State’s 2015 instructional manual for its Western supporters, “How to Survive in the West,” includes references to video games as a method of training to join the group. More importantly, it may have brought together Wright and Hoxha, who unlike Wright successfully followed through on his intentions to support the Islamic State using violence… During Wright’s trial, prosecutors argued that he used several video games, including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and other titles to “virtually prepare” for jihad. His defense attorneys, however, painted Wright, who weighed over 400 pounds at the time of the conspiracy, as a “fat, failed loser” who used video games as a substitute for real-life violent activity, according to the trial transcript. Unfortunately, one can be both a gamer who veers towards violence and weigh in at 400 pounds of loneliness and isolation.

The “fat, failed loser” Wright also financed Hoxha’s flight to Syria to train with ISIS: “The court records show that prior to Hoxha’s departure, David Wright put him in touch with another American Islamic State supporter, his uncle Usaamah Rahim, and together they began helping Hoxha as he prepared to travel in the spring of 2015. The two men raised money for Hoxha’s plane ticket to Istanbul by selling Rahim’s laptop on Craigslist.”

Barron should have known all this and taken it into account. His ignoring it and vacating Wright’s ISIS conviction is judicial malfeasance of the highest order. In the Victim Impact Statement I submitted in December 2017, I wrote: “It is impossible to overstate the devastation that Daoud Wright has brought to my life and that of members of my family. Not only did he target me for a brutal, cruel and violent death, but he targeted family members, and this will not even be over with his sentencing….There is no assurance that anyone can possibly give me that if he is released from prison at any time in the future, that he would not resume his quest to kill me and my relatives. Therefore Daoud Wright should be given the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

The court did not listen, and gave this savage 28 years, a sentence that will now almost certainly be cut in light of the overturned ISIS conviction. He will, of course, be out far sooner than whatever his sentence now turns out to be. Is the Obama-appointed David J. Barron completely off his rocker? There is no evidence whatsoever that Wright has discarded his murderous beliefs. Are those who are not leftists entitled to no protection anymore?

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of The Geller Report and author of the bestselling book, FATWA: Hunted in America, as well as The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.