Chelsea Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami: an Introduction to the Conflict between Law Enforcement and Civil Liberty Organizations

On September 17 and 18, 2016, New Jersey resident Ahmad Khan Rahami planted nearly a dozen improvised, homemade pipe and pressure cooker bombs at three locations throughout New Jersey and New York City.  Amazingly, only the bomb he planted on West 23rd Street in Manhattan resulted in injuries when it exploded, and even more astounding was the fact that none of the nearly thirty victims were killed.

The criminal complaint against Rahami suggests that investigators discovered a social media account belonging to him, one in which the user listed jihad related videos as some of his “favorites.”  When Rahami was arrested in Linden, NJ on September 19 (after a shoot-out with police), investigators recovered his handwritten journal.  Some of the entries in the journal expressed a clear solidarity with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine.  Rahami also expressed a desire to conduct jihad and to become a martyr, but feared that he would be thwarted by the FBI and Homeland Security.  “Gun shots to your police,” he writes as he concludes his journal, along with passages lauding Anwar al-Awlaki and “Brother” Osama bin Laden.

So Rahami quite clearly is an Islamic terrorist, and his fears of getting caught were not unfounded since his own father told the Elizabeth, NJ Police Department in August 2014 that he was exactly that: a terrorist.  Rahami had stabbed his brother in a domestic violence incident at the time, Elizabeth PD responded, at which point Rahami’s father told them of his suspicions.  Elizabeth PD in turn notified the FBI, who looked into Rahami by utilizing only the first, most basic, and least intrusive level of all of their investigative measures: an “assessment”.  As part of their assessment, they reviewed a report stemming from a customs screening and a National Targeting Center notification, which had flagged Rahami because he spent nearly a year in Pakistan.  They interviewed Rahami’s father.  They declined to interview Rahami himself, since at the time he was in jail for the stabbing and they would have had to go through his lawyer.  In the end, their barebones assessment apparently could not turn up the three weeks he spent in Afghanistan, the time he spent in locations linked to al Qaeda while in Pakistan, and it could not determine whether he had tried to enter into Syria and make contact with ISIS when he went to Turkey – in short, it could not turn up any evidence that Rahami was a terrorist.   They closed their assessment in September 2014, and Rahami was not added to any terrorist watch list or no-fly list.  Two years later, he blew up the bombs.

So how could this naturalized American citizen who was clearly becoming radicalized over the span of the past decade go down this path and elude the FBI?  Some might argue that it is because the FBI – and the country’s security apparatus in general – is bloated, ineffective, and borderline incompetent, missing real threats as a result of their intelligence collection being too broad.  This argument is championed by civil liberty organizations.  However, there is another argument that suggests it is those very civil liberty organizations who protect and enhance civil liberty laws that hinder law enforcement in their terror investigations.  The reason why Rahami was subject to a mere assessment rather than to a more intrusive predicated investigation is the result of decades’ worth of civil liberty organizations successfully legally binding the hands of the FBI, all under the pretense of protecting our privacy and liberties.  Basically, civil liberty organizations would likely have claimed that the FBI would have violated Rahami’s civil rights if they were to investigate him further.  So while it is clear that the assessment was totally incapable of digging deep enough to find out that Rahami truly was a terrorist and a more intrusive investigation was required, the FBI could have been successfully sued and punished if they had proceeded with one.  Any terrorist who has good luck or has half a brain can successfully exploit this civil liberties “loophole”.

Lawyers working for civil liberty organizations spend their careers trying to make sure that civil rights and liberties are never compromised in any way.  It is not their job to stop terrorists from being able to exploit civil liberty laws.  It is not their job to stop terrorism.  In fact, they take it upon themselves to always make Muslims look good and to seldom acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorism – this is evident in how after every Muslim terrorist attack that occurs, they never focus on condemning the attack and they never focus on the victims of the attack; they instead focus on immediately changing the narrative back to protecting Muslims from “Islamophobia.”  (Islamophobia is a real issue, but hardly ever in the way civil liberty organizations suggest.)  One very big reason for this is because almost all of these groups are headed by old leftists who were radicalized in the 1960s and 1970s and they still harbor political grudges against the “imperialist” United States government, the COINTELPRO FBI, and the “racist” NYPD.

This is part of the reason why the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its New York chapter, the NYCLU, took up a law suit against the City of New York in 2013, seeking to challenge the legality of purported surveillance tactics utilized against Muslims during NYPD investigations.  They found an ally in NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio – a Democrat progressive and a quasi-communist who travelled to Nicaragua in the 1980s to support the Sandinistas, who honeymooned in Cuba in the 1990s, and became NYC mayor in 2014 after running a campaign that demonized the NYPD for their alleged infractions against Muslims.  Instead of battling the law suit – which probably would have resulted in a significant refutation of the allegations made against the NYPD – he decided to settle it upon taking office in order to further ingratiate himself with his political base.  (de Blasio also decided to drop the appeal against the law suit that found the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices unconstitutional for its alleged discrimination against people of color.  The Bloomberg administration filed the appeal, and the appeals court panel went so far as to remove from the case the judge who made the original ruling, Shira Scheindlin, because she was deemed to be biased against the NYPD – and de Blasio just dropped it as soon as he took office.)

The scary part of the settlement lies in how the NYPD was hit with more restrictions on what it can do with regards to investigating Muslims they feel may potentially be terrorists – which mirrors the difficulties that the FBI faced in investigating Rahami.  The part of the settlement that could be seen as speaking to the ACLU’s deep-rooted hatred of law enforcement, however, is how the NYPD was forced to remove from its web site a report it had researched and published in 2007 called “Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat.”

The report was written in part by senior NYPD intelligence analyst Mitchell Silber, who attained a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University, specializing in Middle East studies.  His report was intended to be used as a teaching tool to inform law enforcement professionals about some of the ways in which people living in the West could become terrorists.  In the case of Rahami and in the age of the ISIS lone wolf, this is more relevant today than it was back in 2007.  The contents of the report could at best help law enforcement prevent terrorism, at worst it could just provide the public with valuable information.  Of course, the ACLU argued that the report was completely factually wrong and was totally Islamophobic.  Especially considering that the report can still be found on the Internet, forcing the NYPD to remove their own report from their own website was nothing more than a political act.  This part of the settlement did nothing to preserve civil liberties, it did nothing to make this city safer.  While they argue that they wanted it gone because it apparently promoted Islamophobia, the possibility that they wanted it gone because of their hatred for law enforcement clearly cannot be dismissed.

Maybe it is time that we as a nation stopped supporting the ACLU, the NYCLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and all of the other radical left remnants entrenched in a legal battle against our government; a battle waged not truly in the name of justice, not truly in our name, but rather in the name of their political agenda.  Maybe it is time that we as a nation stopped supporting Lynne Stewart, Martin Stolar, Ramsey Clark, Jethro Eisenstein, Dennis Cunningham, Michael J. Kennedy, Donna Lieberman, Lamis Deek, Shira Scheindlin, Bill de Blasio, and all of the other leftist lawyers and politicians complicit in this.  Maybe it is time that we as a nation instead sought to establish civil liberty organizations that don’t have political agendas and grudges, and that can sanely balance our rights and our security.

Seeing how the ACLU has decided that they are going to represent Rahami when he goes to trial – seeing that they want to protect him and not us, the victims of his terror – it should be as clear as day that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

4 thoughts on “Chelsea Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami: an Introduction to the Conflict between Law Enforcement and Civil Liberty Organizations”

  1. Here is a pretty topical article: http://nypost.com/2016/09/05/disgraced-civil-rights-lawyer-calls-cop-killers-avengers/

    September 05, 2016

    New York Post

    “Disgraced civil rights lawyer calls cop-killers ‘avengers’” by Emily Saul

    Fire-breathing, disgraced civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart isn’t letting terminal cancer slow down her hate — saying in a recent interview that the thugs who gunned down cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge are actually “avengers.”

    “They are avengers,” Stewart bizarrely ranted during an interview from her Brooklyn home, where she continues to battle the late-stage breast cancer that sprung her from prison. “They spoke for some of us when they did that.”

    “They are not brazen, crazed, you know, insane killers,” the loon babbled. “They are avenging deaths that are never and have never been avenged since the ’60s and ’70s.”

    The misguided diatribe continued with the 76-year-old saying she believed the slayings had, for now, acted as “a deterrent” in the killings of unarmed civilians by police.

    The terrorist sympathizer was serving 10 years in federal lockup for helping client Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman — while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up five New York landmarks — exchange messages from behind bars with fellow terrorists in Egypt.

    Stewart was granted “compassionate release” in January 2014 after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, prompting prosecutors and prison officials to advocate on her behalf. She was supposed to remain behind bars until 2018.

    The disbarred attorney went on to condone violence as a means to a peaceful end, saying the killing of cops allowed “the more peaceable shepherds among us to approach the wolf.”

    If given the chance to speak to the families of murdered officers, Stewart said, she would say “they enlisted in an army that maybe they never realized was put out there to ‘keep the peace’ for those who are very interested in maintaining things the way they are.”

    Formal federal prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy, appalled at Stewart’s remarks, called the rant “really unbelievable.”

    “It’s sad,” said McAvoy, who now teaches students about terrorist financing and money laundering at Columbia University.

    “She had such a lapse of judgment in helping known terrorists communicate with each other, which is why she was sent to jail,” McAvoy continued. “Obviously jail did not rehabilitate her thought process.”

    With Post wires

    1. Here is yet another topical article: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/muslim-woman-reported-trump-supporter-attack-made-story-article-1.2910944

      Yasmin Seweid, a Muslim teen, lied to police, saying that she was harassed and attacked by three Donald Trump supporters on the subway. She was then arrested after admitting she made the whole thing up.

      What is troubling is how the Council on American-Islamic Relations responded to her crime: “Albert Kahn, an attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the twist in Seweid’s case shouldn’t take away from the legitimate claims of bias and harassment against Muslims. ‘We’re very disturbed by these distressing developments, but we hope that they do not detract from the numerous reports coming from the Muslim community…Clearly this has been a trying time for her and her family. We hope that they receive all possible support in this moving forward. We still believe that anti-Muslim attacks are underreported.'”

      Once more we see that a Muslim civil rights group deflects the crime of a Muslim and instead focuses on Islamophobia, even though this incident has no valid claim to Islamophobia whatsoever. If anything, Seweid’s crime only detracts from the notion of Islamophobia.

      Again, it’s time to stop supporting these fake civil rights groups and to replace them with real ones, and it’s time to gain control of the Islamophobia narrative, making sure it is never abused.

What do you think?