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Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube/Diller distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in newspapers around the globe. His website, DanielPipes.org, is one of the most accessed internet sources of specialized information on the Middle East and Islam.


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PostThu Jul 01, 2010 5:09 am     Faisal Shahzad, Jihadi, Explains Terrorism at trial    


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by Daniel Pipes

National Review Online

June 25, 2010

Jaw-dropping court testimony by Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber, singlehandedly undermines Obama administration efforts to ignore the dangers of Islamism and jihad.

Shahzad's forthright statement of purpose stands out because jihadis, when facing legal charges, typically save their skin by pleading not guilty or plea bargaining. Consider a few examples:



•Naveed Haq, who assaulted the Jewish Federation building in Seattle, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
•Lee Malvo, one of the Beltway Snipers, explained that "one reason for the shootings was that white people had tried to harm Louis Farrakhan." His partner John Allen Muhammad claimed his innocence to the death chamber.
•Hasan Akbar killed two fellow American soldiers as they slept in a military compound, then told the court ""I want to apologize for the attack that occurred. I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options. I also want to ask you for forgiveness."
•Mohammed Taheri-azar, who tried to kill students on the University of North Carolina by running over them in a car and issued a series of jihadi rants against the United States, later experienced a change of heart, announced himself "very sorry" for the crimes he committed, and asked for release so that he can "re-establish myself as a good, caring and productive member of society" in California.


These efforts fit a broader pattern of Islamist mendacity; rarely does a jihadi stand on principle. Zacarias Moussaoui, 9/11's would-be twentieth hijacker, came close: his court proceedings began with his refusing to enter a plea (which the presiding judge translated into "not guilty") and then, one fine day, pleading guilty to all charges.

Shahzad, 30, acted in an exceptional manner during his appearance in a New York City federal court on June 21. His answers to Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum's many inquisitive questions ("And where was the bomb?" "What did you do with the gun?") offered a dizzying mix of deference and contempt. On the one hand, he politely, calmly, patiently, fully, and informatively answered about his actions. On the other, he in the same voice justified his attempt at cold-blooded mass murder.

The judge asked Shahzad after he announced an intent to plead guilty to all ten counts of his indictment, "Why do you want to plead guilty?" a reasonable question given the near certainty that guilty pleas will keep him in for long years in jail. He replied:

I want to plead guilty and I'm going to plead guilty a hundred times forward because – until the hour the U.S. pulls it forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government – we will be attacking [the] U.S., and I plead guilty to that.



Shahzad insisted on portraying himself as replying to American actions: "I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing [of] the Muslim nations and the Muslim people, and on behalf of that, I'm avenging the attacks," adding that "We Muslims are one community." Nor was that all; he flatly asserted that his goal had been to damage buildings and "injure people or kill people" because "one has to understand where I'm coming from, because … I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier."

When Cedarbaum pointed out that pedestrians in Times Square during the early evening of May first were not attacking Muslims, Shahzad replied: "Well, the [American] people select the government. We consider them all the same." His comment reflects not just that American citizens are responsible for their democratically elected government but also the Islamist view that, by definition, infidels cannot be innocents.

However abhorrent, this tirade does have the virtue of truthfulness. Shahzad's willingness to name his Islamic purposes and spend long years in jail for them flies in the face of Obama administration efforts not to name Islamism as the enemy, preferring such lame formulations as "overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters."

Americans – as well as Westerners generally, all non-Muslims, and anti-Islamist Muslims – should listen to the bald declaration by Faisal Shahzad and accept the painful fact that Islamist anger and aspirations truly do motivate their terrorist enemies. Ignoring this fact will not make it disappear.

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.


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Comment by reader-

Finally a jihadi who tells the truth
Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 2010-06-30 09:10
Given that Islam endorses taqiyya and kitman, which are lying and deceit for the purpose of advancing Islam, it is amazing that Shahzad would be so open and honest about his intentions. We cannot call him insane because he has declared his actions to be a poltical response to American involvement in the Middle East, and all we need to do to link his attempted murder plot to Islam is to crack open the Quran to verses 9:5, 9:29, 8:60, 47:4, and the lie and we find clear calls for Muslims to do what Shahzad was trying to do.

Will our government start acknowledging this truth as Mr. Shahzad admitted? I for one am no holding my breath waiting for that to happen, but I am very encouraged that this confession is on the record for all to see.

Islam is a bad idea and must be stopped.


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