March 19, 2007

'The Age of Individual Jihad' in Suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia? (Updated, Bumped)

*Scroll down for important updates and newer posts if viewing from homepage.*

A returned soldier in the Atlanta suburbs claims to have been attacked by Muslims. He shot one of them.

We are now in the age of individual jihad. How do we know? Al Qaeda sympathizers have recently declared it so. Further, these al Qaeda fellow-travellers have produced a series of 'how-to' videos for the individual jihadist. A kind of step-by-step do-it-yourself guide for would-be jihadists who do not, or cannot, belong to an organized terror cell. The terrorist of the future--and of now--may not belong to a terror group at all, but rather, will carry out acts of terrorism with little or no outside direction or support.

Was this alleged attack on a returned soldier in Georgia an act of individual jihad? It's unclear (UPDATE: Scroll down, but there seems to be some evidence that this was individual jihad). It's very possible that this is nothing more than a case of overblown egos clashing. But it's also not wise, in this 'age of individual jihad', to simply write the incident off simply because the two Muslims do not have any known connection to extremist groups.

If it is true that the Arabs were taunting the U.S. veteran, this is not necessarily 'individual jihad', but might be a related problem with even more troubling implications because it is much more widespread--the problem of Muslim nationalism. Muslim nationalists, as I define them, are those who see their primary national identity as 'Muslim'. A problem because they see themselves as 'foreigners' living amongst us. A double problem because these 'foreigners' sympathize with the very enemies we fight. An intrastate 'clash of civilizations'.

My patriotism generally translates into an inclination to believe a returned soldier's word. But I have been known to be wrong in the past. Still, all things being equal, my money is on the soldier. The charges against the soldier were dropped--even though he is the one who shot one of the Muslim attackers. But one of the Muslim who accosted him was arrested for criminal tresspass. So I guess that puts the DeKalb County D.A. on my side of the bet. And when CAIR gets involved, I double down.

Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Spc. Craig Perkins' uniform made him a target in Baghdad and, he believes, again in an apartment complex near Clarkston.

Perkins, who returned last summer after almost a year's duty in Iraq, shot a man outside his apartment March 9 in what he says was the culmination of months of insults by some of his neighbors from the Middle East.

Perkins, 34, said some residents in the ethnically diverse Kristopher Woods Apartments taunted him and made spitting sounds when they saw him in uniform heading to or from National Guard duty.

Perkins said he shot 26-year-old Tareq Ali Bualsafared in self-defense after Bualsafared and another man threatened him. He said the two men rushed toward his front door even after he fired a warning shot.

Bualsafared, a college student from the United Arab Emirates, said Perkins was the aggressor. He said Perkins cursed them.

Bualsafared, who was shot in the leg, said neither he nor his friend, Saleh Ali, a 17-year-old refugee from Iraq, knew anything about Perkins before he confronted them as they walked by his apartment....

But he said he could feel the animosity when he walked by his Middle Eastern neighbors in his Guard uniform....

On many occasions, he said, he received signs of disrespect he knew from Iraq. Men made exaggerated spitting noises, and "they would raise their shoe at me to show me the bottom of their feet, or they would take off their shoe and wave it at me."...

Yusof Burke, spokesman for the North Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he had been asked to look into the incident on behalf of the Arab men. He said they felt "unjustly accused."(emphasis mine)

Thanks to Laura Mansfield for the tip. As she said in her e-mail, "this deserves a whole lot more coverage." She's right, although since I was on vacation the only thing I know is that the story has exactly 1 Google News entry. Hopefully, some blogs picked up on this.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin with a prediction I'd also lay money on:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations will be hounding this American soldier and milking this incident for every last "Islamophobia"-mongering dime they can raise

BTW--Clarkston is a suburb of Atlanta, and so is Sandy Springs. All the more worrisome given the recent death threats made by Muslims in the Atlanta area against Georgia drivers with bumper stickers deemed blasphemous.

UPDATE: Dan Riehl did a bit of Googling and came up with this ironical piece of information. One of the aggressors (or victims?) of the attack was a multicultural poster-boy for DeKalb Tech:

I am from the United Arab Emirates and I chose DeKalb Tech to earn my Associate Degree in Automotive Technology. The automotive program at DeKalb Tech provides classroom and hands-on experience. I am glad to be here!
Thanks to Charles and Michelle for the links.

UPDATE II: Dan found a thread with Tareq Bualsafared's signature on it at this Islamist website. The translation of his message roughly reads "Or Aljahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaad .... Aljahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Aaaaaad .... God bless you and accept you, God". Innocous, until I did some more searching and found the original thread that it was attached to. If you open that website you should immediately hear a sermon being preached, the first words of which are a call to jihad. And the content of the sermon? Not 100% sure, but the first response to it by a commenter is:

The name of God the Merciful ... ..Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings .. Cheickna argues no peace between us and the Jews is war or victory that God Almighty and ask God to make us his innocent witnesses of the May peace and God's mercy and blessings
The other comments also seem to indicate that the speaker was also a 'martyr'. Here we have a man with the same name as the man who allegedly assaulted a returned U.S. soldier who is echoing words equivalent to "Amen" at an Islamist website calling for violent jihad against Christians and Jews.

If this is the same Tareq Bualsafared, then the evidence seems to suggest that this is, indeed, an act of individual jihad. However, Dan's Google search found another man named Tareq Bualsafared. They are the same guy, I overlooked that in the original article, and Dan just pointed that out to me:

former DeKalb Technical College student who said he was visiting friends in Clarkston on spring break from his current studies at Penn State University.
Here you see his e-mail: student at Penn State. Since the names seem so uncommon, there's a fairly good chance he is the one trolling Islamists websites for sermons on jihad and nashids that inspire martyrdom.

Which is worrisome, and sort of changes the entire story, doesn't it?

And yes, I'm back. Thanks to every one for covering while I was gone. But I got to tell you, this place sucks a whole lot less when I'm on vacation. Embrace the suck.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:45 PM | Comments |