My column today spotlights Yemen’s dangerous catch-and-release program for terrorists — and ours. But before you read it, please inform yourselves of this sad passing: American sailor/U.S.S. Cole bombing survivor Johan Gokool died in Florida yesterday. He lost a leg in the attack and suffered severe PTSD. Gokool was 31. R.I.P. and never forget.
In the latest Undy-Bomber-related news, we now learn that the CIA knew of “The Nigerian” in August and had the name of a Nigerian Muslim fanatic meeting with terrorists in Yemen in November, but somehow Abdulmutallab was allowed to fly and retain his active, U.S.-issued visa because the CIA didn’t share its vital file on Abdulmutallab outside its agency. Barry-come-lately acknowledged systemic failures yesterday afternoon — and the White House is finally running away from Janet The Clown-itano’s flirtation with the lone-nut theory.
Now, if they’ll only stop releasing terrorists.
Bleeding hearts and jihadi revolving doors
by Michelle Malkin
Sen. Joe Lieberman was right to sound the alarm about Yemen in the wake of the Undy-Bomber’s Christmas Day terror attack over American skies. But he was wrong to call it “tomorrow’s war.” The Yemen-based jihadist network has been at war with us for years – since before the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, since before 9/11, and well before our current commander-in-chief had begun his vaunted work as a community organizer.
The bleeding-heart ostriches of the Left are blaming (who else?) cowboy George W. Bush for radicalizing poor, oppressed Yemenis. But the killer fruits of botched bomber Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab’s loom have nothing to do with poverty, social injustice, Western imperialism, or Bush Derangement Syndrome. The fundamentalist Muslim is the privileged son of a Nigerian public official. He lived a “gilded life,” as the Independent of London described it, studying engineering at one of Britain’s most prestigious universities before training for terror in Yemen.
Media sympathizers have spotlighted Abdulmutallab’s web postings bemoaning his “loneliness.” But more compassion and empathy – the remedy Barack Obama prescribed in an infamously clueless Chicago community newspaper op-ed after the 9/11 attacks – are useless salves to the terrorist’s damned soul. Like so many of his wealthy, educated jihad brothers and sisters before him from Osama bin Laden to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, M.D., Abdulmutallab targeted us for who we are – dirty, unbelieving infidels – not anything we’ve denied him.
And for his failed act of self-eunuch-ery and mass murder, the all-too-enlightened leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen and beyond hailed Abdulmutallab as a “hero.”
Another of these “heroes” in Yemen is Jamal Mohammad Ahmad Al Badawi, the convicted mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing that took the lives of 17 American sailors in October 2000. Despite being sentenced to the death penalty, escaping twice from jail, and being indicted in the U.S. on terrorism charges, the Yemeni government freed him in 2007 in exchange for a promise that he renounce his old infidel-murdering ways. More than two dozen of Badawi’s jailbreak buddies, including bin Laden’s former secretary, Nasir Wahayshi, reunited to form the jihadi training team that now claims it supplied Abdulmutallab with his incendiary device.
Yemen human rights activist and blogger Jane Novak has reported for years on how Yemeni intelligence and military officials have facilitated al Qaeda training camps – often providing “safe houses, training and passports to the jihadists that travel to Iraq to attempt to kill US troops.” The Yemeni government, Novak also points out, has also used al Qaeda mercenaries to fight northern rebels and to train tribal militias. Jihad spiritual advisor Anwar Awlaki, linked to the 9/11 hijackers and Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, also calls Yemen home – and reportedly blessed the Crotch Bomber attack, according to the Washington Times. (See also Bill Roggio: “Yemen permits wanted al Qaeda leaders to operate in the open.”)
Now, the Yemen government has the gall to blame the West for not providing enough assistance to stop the breeding of hundreds of future, flying Crotch Bombers.
America, unfortunately, is hardly in a position to criticize Yemen’s jihadi revolving door. ABC News reported this week that two of the four jihadi leaders behind the Christmas Day terror plot were released from Gitmo during the Bush administration in November 2007. (What a quandary for Bush-bashers who have stubbornly denied that Gitmo recidivism threatens our national security.) The freed detainees were shipped off to terror-friendly Saudi Arabia, where they underwent “art therapy rehabilitation” – the ultimate bloody brainchild of the jihadi-as-victim mindset.
In January 2009, the two “rehabilitated” recidivists released a video vowing to wage jihad to “aid the religion,” “establish the rightly-guided caliphate,” and “to fight against our enemies.” One of the duo, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September 2008.
Another Yemeni at Gitmo, Ali Hamza al Bahlul, was convicted by a U.S. military tribunal in the last days of the Bush administration for conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder and providing material support for terrorism. He had scripted the videotaped wills of two September 11 hijackers and boasted of making a two-hour al Qaeda commercial designed to recruit suicide bombers, according to FBI testimony. The recruitment ad celebrated the U.S.S. Cole bombers in Yemen.
Hundreds of Yemeni detainees at Gitmo abandoned the benefit of the doubt years ago. Yet, Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm, Covington and Burling, has provided dozens of them pro bono legal representation and sob-story media relations campaigns. True to form, former Covington and Burling lawyer Mark Falkoff dedicated a book of Gitmo detainee poetry to his Yemeni suspected terrorist “friends inside the wire.” And the White House is rolling out the red carpet to bring them to U.S. soil for civilian trials.
At a time when we should be disabling the jihadi revolving door, its rotating shaft is spinning out of control.