Ahmed Ali Roundup

There is a lot more to the story of alleged would-be presidential assassin Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was described yesterday as “a former Virginia high school valedictorian.” Rusty Shackleford e-mails to point out that the “high school” from which Ali graduated was the Islamic Saudi Academy, a Wahhabi school backed by the Saudi government. A rather significant omission by the AP, to say the least.

This news immediately sent me to Counterterrorism Blog, to see what Steve Emerson, who has been tracking these schools for more than a decade, had to say. Unfortunately, he has yet to post on the topic but his colleagues have. Andrew Cochran explores Ali’s relationship with the “Virginia jihad network.” Michael Cutler uses the occasion to highlight the problems with the Visa Waiver program.

Athena of Terrorism Unveiled has a roundup of press reactions.

Meanwhile, Rep. Charlie Rangel explains to us why we shouldn’t call Islamic terrorism “Islamic terrorism.”

Top House Democrat Charlie Rangel said Tuesday that it was an act of discrimination to label groups like Hezbollah “Islamic terrorists.” Asked about the refusal by some European governments to declare Hezbollah an Islamic terror group, Rangel told WWRL’s Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter, “To call it Islamic terror is discriminating, it’s bigoted, it is not the right thing to say.”

Rangel even questioned whether, in fact, a worldwide Islamic terrorist movement even existed, saying, “We just take for granted that there is an Islamic terror movement because we do have some fanatic people who come from Islamic countries.” The Harlem Democrat complained: “When we had the Ku Klux Klan we didn’t call them Baptist terrorists. When Hitler was killing Jews, we didn’t call it Christian terrorists.”

Riiight.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Presidential assassin wanna-be
    James Joyner has a great post on the “valedictorian”? that planned to assassinate President Bush. The AP neglected to mention that he graduated from a Saudi-backed Islamist school. I think I’ve heard of those before….

  2. LJD says:

    Thanks to like likes of Rangel, political correctness may soon replace common sense in this country, which will assure our demise.

    Brought to you by the real sponsor of the draft bill.

  3. Just some guy says:

    Check out the lame spin this guy came up with:
    http://seetheforest.blogspot.com/2005_02_01_seetheforest_archive.html#110912017134933567

    Why would someone bust out with the lame “Republican media smear job” line on behalf of a guy from a 95% Democrat district?

  4. Dougrc says:

    Rangel; what a wanker! What does he want them called? Does he know what they call themselves? Do any of these names sound familiar? al-Qa’ida (The Base); Qa‘idat al-Jihad; Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places; World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders; Islamic Salvation Foundation. These are just some of the names that these terrorists have chosen to call themselves. The West has not chosen to identify them as Islamists, they have already done it for us. The fact that they use terror activities to fight their battles causes them to be labeled terrorists. You cannot separate their activies from their religious beliefs, because their radical religious beliefs energize and direct their terrorism.

  5. Fiona says:

    I’m sorry, but wasn’t it the Christians who started the Crusades and killed all those who didn’t convert? I won’t get stereotypical and say that all white Christians are like the members of the K.K.K, nor will I say that all Muslims are terrorists.. Learn, understand, think, open your mind, and then make a comment.