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Was Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty a radical Islamic terrorist? This time, let’s not assume.

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Was Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty a radical Islamic terrorist This time lets not assume

Friday in Harrisburg, PA, 51-year-old Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty took to the streets and tried to shoot police officers. On his second of three attempts at various locations around the city, he was able to wound one officer.

Some “news” outlets instantly profiled him as a “radical Islamic terrorist.” While I’ve been critical in the past of the media waiting as long as possible before jumping to this conclusion (it took days for some to admit the San Bernardino terrorist attack of 2015 wasn’t just “workplace violence”), this particular case is very different. It’s definitely a “terror attack” by the very definition of the phrase and DHS has called it such:

DHS calls Pennsylvania capitol shooting a ‘terror attack’

http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/dhs-calls-pennsylvania-capital-shooting-a-terror-attackThe Department of Homeland Security has called a Friday evening shooting at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building a terror attack.

A gunman, identified as 51-year-old Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, intentionally fired at police officers at multiple locations around the capitol building in Harrisburg, according to local authorities. The suspect injured one officer before he was fatally shot.

DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton declared the shooting “a terror attack” in a Saturday press release.

There must be a distinction made whether it is an attack that was prompted by Islamic radicalization. We need to get a clear idea about his motives because in this day and age, it’s important to classify such attacks appropriately. Was this an attack against police for the sake of a grudge? He didn’t shoot at any ordinary citizens as radical Islamic terrorists almost always do. He specifically targeted police officers.

Some may say that the motives don’t matter or that radicalization is not necessary to understand in these attacks. That’s not true. Because El-Mofty was a naturalized citizen who benefited from chain migration, knowing whether he was indoctrinated into a radical religious belief is important. If this was a grudge against police, then he is just a statistic in the case against chain migration. If this was a terrorist attack prompted by religious zealotry, it becomes a case that needs more attention for the sake of halting or slowing chain migration into this country.

El-Mofty traveled to the Middle East in October, but his ex-brother-in-law claims he was not a terrorist:

Pennsylvania cop shooting suspect’s ‘a chicken, not a terrorist’: Ex-brother-in-law

http://abcnews.go.com/US/pennsylvania-man-targets-police-officers-string-shootings-injured/story?id=51965187The man who authorities say was killed after attempting to gun down several police officers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, “is not a terrorist,” a family member told ABC News on Saturday.

A day after Ahmed El-Mofty allegedly opened fire in what officials said was a deliberate attack on multiple police officers Friday, his Ahmed Soweilam told ABC News that El-Mofty was a timid family man.

“He is a chicken,” Soweilam, who described himself as El-Mofty’s ex-brother-in-law said. “He is not a terrorist.”

The words of a former relative may not hold enough weight to convince us, but his actions seemed more aligned with criminal intent than terrorist motivations. Currently, there’s not enough information to know for sure. As more is learned during the investigation, we may find that he was a radical Islamic terrorist, but for now this is the rare case where we shouldn’t jump to that conclusion.

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Democrats

DOJ to retry Menendez

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DOJ to retry Menendez

Senator Bob Menendez had hopes his day in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons was over after a jury failed to reach a verdict in his federal corruption case late last year. Those days away from the spotlight may soon be over for the Democrat as the Department of Justice announced their intentions to retry him and his co-defendant Salomon Melgen.

Feds intend to retry Menendez and Melgen ‘at the earliest possible date’

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/bob-menendez-retrial-justice-department-350904“The United States files this notice of intent to retry the defendants and requests that the Court set the case for retrial at the earliest possible date,” reads the one-paragraph notice signed by AnnaLou Tirol, acting chief of the department’s public integrity section. “Defendants Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen have been indicted for bribery and corruption by two separate grand juries properly impaneled in the District of New Jersey. The first trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public, and the United States is available to schedule a retrial at the Court’s earliest convenience.”

My Take

I’m no lawyer, but the evidence against Menendez is pretty clear cut. An unfavorable jury and bungling by prosecutors made it hard for the jury to reach a verdict while mainstream media essentially ignored the story until the verdict. I hope to see justice served.

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Guns and Crime

Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

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Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

As noted on the January 12th article We still want answers Las Vegas Shooting investigation, a hearing was set to take place on January 16th to possibly unseal the exercised search warrants in connection to the Stephen Paddock, the only identified Las Vegas Shooting participant. This followup is being conducted as part of getting the Las Vegas Shooting back into the front page as the public awaits answers. People  want answers and it’s good that some members of the media are fighting for them. The hearing was part of a legal action brought fourth by members of the media, most notably the Las Vegas Review Journal. Also covering the hearing was Craig Fiegener, a reporter who has closely followed this story.

To briefly summarize the hearing, the media attorney said that we have a right see the unsealed search warrants. The LVMPD ended up resorting to revealing that because additional charges are being considered, the hearing should be done behind closed doors. So no decision was rendered as Judge Cadish will give the police time to file a brief. For now we wait another week and then some for answers. But until then we can speculate. At the mention of charges being investigated, all eyes are on the shooter’s girlfriend.

Perspectives

Criminal charges possible in Las Vegas shooting, lawyers say

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/criminal-charges-possible-in-las-vegas-shooting-lawyers-say/The hearing, before Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish, related to local police search warrant records.

Metro’s initial argument was that Cadish did not have the authority to unseal the records because that authority should remain with the individual judges who initially ordered the records sealed. Cadish rejected that argument.

The only other evidence Metro submitted in support of keeping the records sealed was an FBI affidavit. Review-Journal attorney Maggie McLetchie argued that Metro could not make assertions on behalf of the FBI, then noted that federal authorities did not oppose the release of federal search warrants last week.

“The press has an important role in being able to get access to this warrant information and help the public understand what occurred in regard to what warrants law enforcement got, what came back and what the actual facts are,” McLetchie said in court. “The horrific incidents of 1 October were over three months ago. The public still has many, many questions.”

That’s when Metro attorneys suddenly asserted that the sealed documents were pertinent to possible charges.

Cadish said she wanted to read through the sealed documents and compare them with information that already has been made public. She indicated she would make a decision by Jan. 26.

Court claim puts attention on Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/court-claim-puts-attention-on-las-vegas-shooters-girlfriend/“It’s a very bold statement to say that criminal charges are going to be filed in this case when the only person whose name or inference has been put in the news is his girlfriend,” Las Vegas attorney Craig Drummond said. “I would hope they’re going to back it up. If they don’t, it will incite all of these conspiracy theorists even more.”

Drummond said it is possible authorities are looking at other people who may have not followed proper procedures when selling firearms to Stephen Paddock or others who may have helped him modify some of the weapons.

Defense lawyer Robert Langford speculated that if Danley knew of Paddock’s plans and somehow aided or abetted his actions, she would already have been charged.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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