Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The mystery deepens

This is not a parody.

From The Washington Post:
Motive of shooter who targeted military sites is unclear
Yonathan Melaku was sneaking through Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery, his backpack filled with plastic bags of ammonium nitrate, a notebook containing jihadist messages, and a can of black spray paint. The 23-year-old former Marine was heading to the graves of the nation’s most recent heroes, aiming to desecrate the stones with Arabic statements and leave handfuls of explosive material nearby as a message.
Before police foiled the plan in June, the vandalism was to be Melaku’s sixth attack, months after he went on a mysterious shooting spree that targeted the Pentagon, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and two other military buildings in Northern Virginia. A video found after Melaku’s arrest showed him wearing a black mask and shooting a 9mm handgun out of his Acura’s passenger window as he drove along Interstate 95, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
It was all part of a solitary campaign of “fear and terror,” federal prosecutors said. But authorities and Melaku’s defense attorney said no one knows for sure what led Melaku — a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethi o pia, local high school graduate and former Marine Corps Reservist — down that path or what message he was trying to send...
Quite the mystery. What could possibly have motivated a guy caught yelling "Allau Akbar" and spray-painting American soldiers' graves with Arabic messages and shooting at the Pentagon?

The Washington Post needs a crack investigative team-- maybe Woodward and Bernstein-- on this stumper. And a Deep Throat.

I'll betcha Yonathan is a... a... Tea Partier... and Sarah Palin surely had something to do with this...

George Orwell, call your office.

(HT- the Daily Caller)


  1. Michael,

    Did you actually read the full article?

    It appears that he's a Coptic Christian, or at least his family is. I suppose it's possible he could have converted and decided off his own bat to engage in a one man jihad, albeit one that wasn't very successful. He caused $110,000 damages, with no injuries to anyone.

    He pleaded guilty and agreed to a 25 year sentence. If he didn't plead guilty, he was facing a mandatory 85 year sentence, which seems to be a little harsh. It certainly would deter others from doing the same thing, but doesn't appear to have any rehabilitation value.

    I suspect, as the article suggests, that he has serious psychological problems, if not crazy. I think that America has enormous problems if someone like this is legally able to obtain a hand gun.

    1. Yea. Religious belief is genetic, so the fact that his family was Coptic Christian means that all of his references to Islamic jihad are meaningless.

      And of course this had nothing to do with Islamic theology. He's just crazy, or gun control laws are too lenient, or something. The cause of 9-11 was that America didn't have sufficient laws regulating the ownership of box-cutters.

      Keep up the penetrating analysis, bach.

    2. Michael,

      It's generally true that people almost always adopt the religion of their parents and their family.

      I was raised a Methodist, before I became an atheist. The Methodist Church in Australia subsequently combined with two other churches (its numbers we're declining too much) to form the Uniting Church.

      I still consider myself to be ex-Methodist rather than ex-Uniting Church. Several of my siblings, not the godless ones, went to other denominations.

      I don't think the article gives the full story. The possibilities include:

      The family could be lying, and they're actually Muslims.

      He could have converted to Islam (as I suggested) and decided to engage in a one man jihad.

      He might still be a Coptic Christian and have another motive for his campaign (perhaps he's upset with America's military campaigns overseas or perhaps he has an irrational reason) and pretended to be a jihadist to divert attention from himself.

      Or perhaps he's just crazy.

      I don't think everything has been revealed. Why did the prosecution agree to a plea bargain? The case against him seems rock solid. Did they use the plea bargain to get some useful information? Or did they decide that a mandatory sentence of 85 years was excessive and 25 years (probably 15 years after parole) was enough..

      The one thing I didn't think was your penetrating analysis that he was a member of the Tea Party or was associated with Sarah Palin.

  2. Reading comprehension isn't Mike's greatest suit. Further down in the article we find this:

    FBI officials and prosecutors said Melaku was on a personal terror mission. They said he researched jihadism on the Internet and had references to terrorism in a notebook and on his computer. It also seemed like he was gathering materials to make an improvised explosive device, though there was no indication how he would have used it.

    Mike, you ought to take a break from playing a blowhard on the internet. Before your colleagues notice your silly rants and start avoiding you in the cafeteria.

    1. "Dana Boente, first assistant U.S. Attorney, said Melaku wanted “to create fear and terror, which is what terrorists do” and at his capture he was trying to “desecrate the grave markers of veterans who had made the supreme sacrifice in Afghanistan and Iraq.”"

      "Authorities later found instructions for making improvised explosive devices in Melaku’s home in the Alexandria section of Fairfax, and they found a notebook with references to Osama bin Laden and “The Path to Jihad.”"


  3. From reading the article it seems to be full of the typical 'lone wolf' spin. The idea, I think, is to keep the public sedate.
    Charge him with terror, but tell the public he is nuts.
    Reminds me of the whole WMD farce.
    It is bound for blowback.