Thursday, March 03, 2005

How could an Islamist assassin get close to President Bush?

How could a 23 year-old alleged al Qaeda operative from Falls Church, Virginia, have expected to get close enough to President Bush to assassinate him?

Pretty easily - if he was tied in to Grover Norquist's Islamist activist network.

A federal judge agreed that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a college student, is so dangerous that he cannot be allowed out on bail to await terrorism charges. Saudi authorities captured the man and made him available to the FBI.

According to the Washington Post, an FBI agent told the judge that "while Abu Ali was detained in Saudi Arabia for 20 months, he told the FBI several times that he wanted to carry out the assassination plot personally by getting close enough to Bush to shoot him or blow him up."

So how could Abu Ali have done it? Simply by getting plugged into the Islamist activist network Norquist shepherds in downtown Washington. The network has involved all kinds of Muslim activists, including Abdurahman Alamoudi, who provided Norquist with the seed money and the personnel to start the network in the late 1990s; and the son of Muslim "civil rights" activist Sami Al-Arian.

Alamoudi is currently in federal prison awaiting trial for charges relating to laundering Libyan money as part of a plot to assassiate the Saudi Crown Prince. Al-Arian is also in prison, facing a 50-count indictment that says he is the North American cell chief of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Norquist accepted an award from Al-Arian's organization, which specializes in legal defense, litigation and political action on behalf of terrorists, just weeks before the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

He has applied political pressure to get his coterie of Islamist activists credentialed by the White House and close to President George W. Bush for meetings and photo opportunities. Avowed supporters of Middle Eastern terrorists have been invited to more "meet and greet" meetings with the president than have the president's own supporters in the national security and defense sector.

Many supporters of President Bush have not wanted to face the facts about the Islamist network that Norquist has infiltrated into the Republican Party. When people bring it up, Norquist denounces them as "racists and bigots."

The political activity has tied federal security and investigative agencies up in knots. When the Secret Service tried to prevent young Al-Arian from meeting with the president, Bush publicly chided his bodyguards and wrote an apology to Al-Arian's parents. Norquist and his Islamist network, meanwhile, have been courting the FBI's Washington field office and headquarters, while simultaneously blasting the FBI for its antiterrorist work.

This has confused the FBI leadership, and caused bitter divisions in the organization.

According to the Post, the federal magistrate said the government had provided him with "'way beyond clear and convincing evidence' that 'this defendant . . . is a grave danger to the community and to this nation.'"

Nevertheless, the magistrate said he "was disturbed that a high-ranking FBI official apparently disagreed" with his own investigators and the prosecutors. The official, field office deputy chief Michael Mason, "has tried to reach out to Muslims in Northern Virginia offended by the government's pursuit of Abu Ali and other terrorism suspects," the Post reports.


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