Friday, June 08, 2007

LA Times Finally Calls LAX Incident Terrorist Act

Written from Carlsbad, Calif.--

It took until yesterday, nearly five years after the murders occurred, for the Los Angeles Times to acknowledge that the July 4, 2002 assault at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian immigrant who didn't like Israeli treatment of Palestinians was a terrorist act.

The Page 1 story by Jennifer Oldham, headlined "Terrorist bullet still digs deep," while very good, came a long time after the FBI took months to conclude that the assault by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, which killed two persons and only ended when an El Al security guard shot and killed Hadayet, was terrorist in nature. When the FBI did so conclude, the L.A. Times did not immediately report the finding.

Greg Krikorian, the reporter who covered this story originally, has sometimes been a little slow to recognize terrorism for what it is. Yet, it was appropriate for Krikorian to hold off on this one, until the FBI had reached its conclusions about the case.

Actually, it had seemed on the face of things from the beginning, that it very likely was a terrorist acting, although alone. As Oldham noted in her story yesterday, Hadayet had come to the airport in his Mercedes-Benz, (as I recall from his home in Orange County) carrying two handguns and a six-inch knife. As soon as he reached the El Al counter, he opened fire.

As is often the case with Muslim familities of terrorists, the family at first claimed that it knew nothing of Hadayet's intentions.

Oldham's story yesterday was largely about a woman, a Canadian named Sarah Phillips, who was wounded in the attack, and has never fully recovered from it. Terrorist acts often have long consequences. One reason terrorism is so terrible is that it frequently catches up the innocents, such as Ms. Phillips, and ruins their lives. Even years later, therefore, this is still news.

So it's good to see Oldham and the Times making the effort to catch up with the nature of this incident.

This is not the only times though that the Times, or the FBI, have been quite reluctant at first to call something that happens terrorist in nature, even though it is fairly clear from the beginning that it was. (After all, in this case, it was an Egyptian man walking up to an El Al counter and opening fire on people he didn't know. Were there any other likely possibilities?

Not long ago, there was another likely terrorist act that the L.A. Times dropped out of the news, before investigators had really released many facts. That was the case of the Bosnian Muslim immigrant who showed up at a Salt Lake City mall and shot and killed five people before an off-duty police officer shot and killed him.

Times reporter Nick Riccardi covered this story, but only for a day or two. When the assailant was identified as a Muslim, and the Bosnian Ambassador to the United States flew to Salt Lake City to apologize for his act, the Times never reported that. The New York Times was more comprehensive in its reporting.

Given the centrality of terrorism to all our lives since 9-11, I think the Times should do better, and, specifically, not take nearly five years before getting down to reporting the facts.

One group, incidentally, that keeps a very careful tab on what is going on in the entire conflict with the terrorists is The Investigative Project On Terrorism operated out of Washington, D.C. by Steven Emerson, a noted U.S. private authority on the subject.

The Islamic Society of Boston has just been forced to abandon a lawsuit in which it had claimed that Emerson and 17 others had falsely accused some of its officials as associating themselves with such terrorist organizations as Hamas and Hezbollah. Depositions in the litigation had clearly shown the accusations were correct.

It is highly important, I think, that what is happening in the world be clearly understood and reported. We gain little from putting our heads in the sand like a flock of ostriches and ignoring what's going on.


A Times editorial this morning is right on the money in noting that Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, made a critical error yesterday in forcing an early cloture vote on the proposed new immigration law. When the Senate fell 15 votes short of the 60 required to cut off debate, Reid promptly took the measure off the floor, and its prospects are now regarded as poor.

This was not the first time that Reid has shown his ineptitude for such a high position. His recent statement that the Iraq war was lost had only the effect of angering many of the U.S. troops in Iraq and impeding a Democratic motion to withhold funding for the war.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, has been a little more careful with her pronouncements than Reid. If Reid is going to persistently hurt his own causes, he might consider turning the job over to someone who can do a better job.


I must apologize to associate Los Angeles Times editor John Montorio for earlier comments on this blog saying he had been involved in calling columnist Al Martinez to tell him his column was being terminated. This was a mistake and I changed one blog to report it was Rich Nordwind who made the call, but neglected to remove another reference to Montorio in a blog two days before. I have now recified that mistake as well, but, as I say, apologize to Montorio. I am anxious to be as accurate as possible in all my blogs.



Blogger Muslims Against Sharia said...

Emerson, a Jew who gets it
A perspective of a moderate Muslim

At the risk of sounding anti-Semitic, I want to say this: either American Jews are completely clueless about the internal struggle inside Islam or they are so cowardly, that they are even afraid to voice their opinion. Or maybe it's a combination of both.

Every time there is a development that involves radical Islam, be it a Mayor of New York attending an Islamist parade, DOJ's officials attending an Islamist conference, or a protester being sued for having the balls to expose an Islamist-sponsored event at an amusement park, the American Jewish community is as quiet as a church mouse. It's like it is not even there.

The effect of this silence is devastating. Not for the Jewish community, not yet. That time is still to come. The silence affects the American Muslim community. Every time moderate Muslims are ignored and Islamists are legitimized (by either direct support from government representatives or silent support of the ADL), radicals gain ground. In the current PC climate, moderate Muslims have pretty much no choice but to keep their mouths shut.

Luckily for us, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that. There are some Jews that are speaking out. One of them is Steven Emerson, who has been warning the West about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism since before PanAm 103. Most of his current work is focused on exposing the radicals masquerading as the moderates – those radicals who are embraced by the DOJ and the Pentagon, by the mayor of New York Bloomberg (Rudy would never get into bed with terrorist supporters) and the Treasury Department, by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, by the Congress and the White House.

There is a war of ideas within Islam, and moderate Muslims are losing. Most of Muslim clergy and Muslim establishment are paid for by the Wahhabis. Moderate Muslims are being run out of Mosques and community centers, and in many cases are physically threatened. Moderate Muslims have no place in the media or public debate, because the place reserved for Muslims is filled by Islamic radicals, who attempt to make criticizing anything Islamic a taboo. According to the Islamists, a Muslim can do no wrong.
1. When a non-Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslims, he/she is an Islamophobe.
2. When a Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslim, he/she is not a real Muslim, therefore see #1.

This is a tactic used by "moderate" Muslims, the darlings of the government and the media. But how can you call someone who praises bin Laden, or has ties to Hamas, or calls for the elimination of Israel, or wants to replace the Constitution with the Koran a moderate? They are anything but moderates, however nobody except for a few people like Steven Emerson seems to notice that. But even when the Emersons of America appeal to the public, they are often being dismissed as alarmists and racists. Well, they are anything, but. You don't have to be a clairvoyant to predict the future when it comes to expansion of radical Islam and extinction of moderate Muslims. All you need to do is get your heads out of the sand.

Why our government is so forgiving and forgetful when it comes to individuals or organizations with known terrorist ties and anti-American views is beyond me. Why the Jewish leaders are so timid when it comes to the subject of radical Islam is incomprehensible.

I thank God every day for people like Steven Emerson, because they are the last glimmer of hope for moderate Muslims.


Original post

11/09/2007 12:03 PM  

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