Bad boys and bureaucrats. A deadly duo?

I wrote a post yesterday about the arrest of the "No Guns" activist for selling guns, and I now see that LA Weekly has new story titled "Hector Marroquin's Revenge -- Feds arrest "No Guns" activist for selling guns, while L.A. politicians duck."

I also see that Patterico has been covering the Marrquin story for a long time, and in his latest post he links and discusses the "July 2005 puff piece naively portraying Marroquin as a good guy who had turned his life around," how the LA Times got "suckered," and the history of hos this criminal leader ingratiated himself with the high and mighty.

Not that there weren't warning signs -- including an especially gruesome incident involving his daughter, the treasurer of No Guns:

Police arrested Charleeda in 2001 after she and fellow gang members admitted dumping the badly mutilated body of a young man -- shot at close range in the head at No Guns' offices -- near her dad's property in San Bernardino. The victim was found with his hands and genitals badly burned.
The young man's brains had been "spattered on a wall" of the No Guns office, but the gang members present (and the mother of one of them) said the young man, who was called "Clumsy," had died playing Russian Roulette. They apparently didn't explain why the carpet was "missing a large cutout area" -- or why "Charleeda Marroquin drove Clumsy's body to a remote area, where she and other gang members burned his genitals and lower extremities -- reasons unknown."
In an earlier LA Weekly report, the failure to prosecute the daughter was attributed to politics:
....perhaps the most unsettling case, for a bunch calling themselves No Guns, involves Charleeda Marroquin, an admitted member of the Hawthorne Lil Watts gang who was appointed treasurer of No Guns by her father. Police arrested Charleeda in 2001 after she and fellow gang members admitted dumping the badly mutilated body of a young man -- shot at close range in the head at No Guns' offices -- near her dad's property in San Bernardino. The victim was found with his hands and genitals badly burned. Local authorities ruled the grisly incident an accidental suicide while the coroner ruled it a homicide. Charleeda was arrested for arson for the postdeath mutilation, but troubled Hawthorne police, pointing to Marroquin's City Hall connections, say the San Bernardino District Attorney refused to prosecute her because it was "too political."
Aside from being a darling of the bureaucracy, Marroquin has shown himself quick to sue people who dared to criticize him:
....some law enforcement officials believed that Marroquin was a front man for the Mexican Mafia prison gang and that NO GUNS was a facade for illegal activity and a channel for public funds.

One was Richard Valdemar, a retired sheriff's sergeant and expert on gangs who led an investigation that resulted in the first federal racketeering trial of Mexican Mafia members; it resulted in the conviction of 13. Valdemar said the Mexican Mafia has a long history of using anti-gang and drug rehabilitation groups as fronts to acquire public funds.

"This is a major part of their operation," said Valdemar, whom Marroquin unsuccessfully sued for defamation of character in 2002.

Valdemar said he and others voiced these concerns to the Sheriff's Department and the city of Los Angeles.

The man Marroquin sued, retired Sergeant Richard Valdemar, describes himself thusly:
I am a Hispanic, with 33+ years as a Deputy Sheriff and Gang Expert in Los Angeles. Of the three "Super Gangs" spawned in the streets of Los Angeles, "Florencia 13", "18th Street", and "Mara Salvatrucha 13", are composed primarily of illegal immigrants. These are not the poor working people of 20 years ago.

The same criminals that traffic in human beings are also trafficking in drugs and false documents. This is how the violent "Sureno" gangs fund the bloody destruction of our society. About 600 are murdered by gangs in L.A. each year. These gangs are growing and migrating into cities and towns across the U.S. and their aim is to first seduce and then destroy our children and our way of life.

The ugly backlash against this lawlessness will result in social repercussions against both legal and illegal immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. and more racism. We Hispanics should be the first to speak out against this perversion of our culture.

Sergeant Richard Valdemar, LASD (retired)

Yes, and it appears that those who dare to speak out run the risk of getting sued by the people they speak out against -- especially when the latter are coddled criminals, or outright enemies of the United States.

I'm wondering whether frivolous lawsuits against citizens who speak out aren't part of some awful pattern, and while it's easy enough to blame groups like the ACLU, I wonder whether they're being aided and abetted by government bureaucrats we normally think of as being there to protect the rights of concerned citizens.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Attorney Floyd Abrams wrote an Op Ed about his representation of neighbors who were sued for asking questions about the Islamic Society of Boston. The place has ties to terrorist groups -- and it receives help from the taxpayers:

On May 29 of this year, the potential vulnerability of a plaintiff that misuses the courts to sue for libel once again surfaced when the Islamic Society of Boston abandoned a libel action it had commenced against a number of Boston residents, a Boston newspaper and television station, and Steven Emerson, a recognized expert on terrorism and, in particular, extremist Islamic groups. In all, 17 defendants were named.

Those accused had publicly raised questions about a real estate transaction entered into between the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Islamic Society, which transferred to the latter a plot of land in Boston, at a price well below market value, for the construction of a mosque and other facilities. The critics urged the Boston authorities to reconsider their decision to provide the land on such favorable terms (which included promised contributions to the community by the Islamic Society, such as holding lectures and offering other teaching about Islam) to an organization whose present or former leaders had close connections with or who had otherwise supported terrorist organizations.

On the face of it, the Islamic Society was a surprising entry into the legal arena. Its founder, Abdurahman Alamoudi, had been indicted in 2003 for his role in a terrorism financing scheme, pled guilty and had been sentenced to a 23-year prison term. Another individual, Yusef Al-Qaradawi, who had been repeatedly identified by the Islamic Society as a member of its board of Trustees, had been described by a U.S. Treasury Department official as a senior Muslim Brotherhood member and had endorsed the killing of Americans in Iraq and Jews everywhere. One director of the Islamic Society, Walid Fitaihi, had written that the Jews would be "scourged" because of their "oppression, murder and rape of the worshipers of Allah," and that they had "perpetrated the worst of evils and brought the worst corruption to the earth."

The Islamic Society nonetheless sued, claiming both libel and civil-rights violations. Motions to dismiss the case were denied, and the litigants began to compel third parties to turn over documents bearing on the case. In short order, one after another of the allegations made by the Islamic Society collapsed.

Their complaint asserted that the defendants had falsely stated that monies had been sent to the Islamic Society from "Saudi/Middle Eastern sources," and that such statements and others had devastated its fund-raising efforts. But documents obtained in discovery demonstrated without ambiguity that fund-raising was (as one representative of the Islamic Society had put it) "robust," with at least $7.2 million having been wired to the Islamic Society from Middle Eastern sources, mostly from Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic Society claimed it had been libeled by a variety of expressions of concern by the defendants that it, the Society, had provided support for extremist organizations. But bank records obtained by the defendants showed that the Islamic Society had served as funder both of the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas-controlled organization that the U.S. Treasury Department had said "exists to raise money in the United States to promote terror," and of the Benevolence International Foundation, which was identified by the 9/11 Commission as an al Qaeda fund-raising arm.

The complaint maintained that any reference to recent connections between the Islamic Society and the now-imprisoned Abdurahman Alamoudi was false since it "had had no connection with him for years." But an Islamic Society check written in November 2000, two months after Alamoudi publicly proclaimed his support for Hamas and Hezbollah, was uncovered in discovery which directed money to pay for Alamoudi's travel expenses.

To top it all off, documents obtained from the Boston Redevelopment Authority itself revealed serious, almost incomprehensible, conflicts of interest in the real-estate deal. It turned out that the city agency employee in charge of negotiating the deal with the Islamic Society was at the same time a member of that group and secretly advising it about how to obtain the land at the cheapest possible price.

Solomonia (who has been covering this for a long time) has more.

Anyone see a common thread?

In another incident, a blogger was threatened by a bizarre paramilitary Islamist compound run mostly for ex-convicts by a radical Pakistani group called Muslims of the Americas. The compound was described in account linked by Clayton Cramer:

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania. (Emphasis added.)

The article appears in full at FrontPageMag.com, and the ADL has more on Muslims of the Americas, as does SATP. They have branches all over the place.

But (as I have to keep reminding myself) we're at war with terrorism. (I remind myself of that every time I see a taxpayer-funded school bus transporting American kids into my local Saudi Madrassa.)

Anyway, after posting "Springtime in Islamberg," in his blog, blogger Scott Grayban says he received death threats, and reading his account, he does appear to have documented the threat with phone records:

The first call I missed so I listened to my voice mail and a person with perfect English told me to answer the phone on the next ring and that it was very important. The phone rang and I heard chanting of some sort in the back ground and a middle eastern thick accent person started his hate rant to me.

The caller said "I had better stop making any further postings about Islamic compounds in the US and to remove the post I had made or I will be killed like the dogs in Iraq are."

What makes this so creditable is the fact that this person described the vehicle I was in on Saturday going to the mall and the Auto shop that is across from me including that I have solar reflection film on my apartment windows with 3 a/c's in all of them. That I wear glasses and was in blue knee high shorts.

They took great steps to conceal who they were and where they were calling from. And it seems they have been following me for some time.

So far as I know, he hasn't been sued. Maybe Gilani's group wants to keep a lower profile.

Anyway, the bureaucrats up there may have been forced to remove or at least adjust their blinders. According to a recent UPI piece, "authorities" now "have their eye" on Islamberg:

KINGSTON, N.Y., June 4 (UPI) -- Authorities have their eye on a Muslim commune in New York's Catskill Mountains where neighbors say residents are undergoing military-style training.

The New York Post Monday reported that Islamberg, a remote 70-acre commune in Tompkins, N.Y., is the headquarters for Muslims of the Americas but is also believed to be a cover for Jamaat al-Fuqra, a radical group founded by the Pakistani cleric Mubarak Ali Gilani.

The compound is under scrutiny because of reports of training and gunfire there, the newspaper said.

A resident who would not give his name denied that anything illegal was happening at Islamberg.

This is my country, the resident told the Post. I love this country. I did a year in the bush in Vietnam for this country.

Gilani used to preach at a Brooklyn mosque and has returned to Pakistan. The group he started still operates in rural areas, the Post said.

Gilani is the Muslim cleric that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was trying to meet when he was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in February 2002.

Tell you what. I'll stick my neck out here and advocate a hardline approach to dealing with these people.

I say, take away their tax exempt status!

I haven't been keeping track of the flying Imams lawsuit as I should, but the research I did originally revealed that they too are drinkers from the public trough. (One of them is a Muslim PAC leader and Democratic Party activist who teaches in a taxpayer-funded "parochial" school. Grrrrr.) Because of such solid "community ties," the bureaucracy can be counted on to protect their rights, not the rights of citizens who speak out.

I agree with this editorial from Investors Business Daily:

If the bureaucracy can't protect us from terrorists, citizens must step in with 24-7 vigilance. That's the price we pay in a post-9/11 world. We can't be afraid to see what we see -- or report it when we see it, even under threat of being sued by Islamist groups or being labeled bigots.
The overall picture is not new, as I'm old enough to remember the People's Temple.

For those who don't remember, this was a San Francisco "church" run by Jim Jones which ended in mass murder-suicide of 912 people in Guyana. Because I'm in a hurry, I would have liked to have cited the Wikipedia entry on Jones, but inexplicably, his solid community and bureaucratic ties are not described. It's probably a source of embarrassment to some that Jones was a powerful San Francisco Housing Commissioner, loved and honored by people at the top levels of government:

Jim Jones was once a popular community activist in San Francisco who contributed cash and coordinated volunteers to support both causes and political leaders.

He could turn out thousands for almost any event or effort. During the 70s he appeared with many prominent politicians including then State Assemblyman Willie Brown. In 1976 Mayor George Moscone gave Jones a seat on the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission. Governor Jerry Brown was even seen attending services at the Peoples Temple.

But after the tragic deaths at Jonestown Willie Brown said, "If we knew then he was mad, clearly we wouldn't have appeared with him. But it's not fair to say what you would have done if you knew the kind of madness that would take place years later.''

Anyone who knew Jones knew that he was a Communist with anti-American views, though. That's why he was so popular in the San Francisco Bay Area.

None of this is to suggest a moral equivalency between Jim Jones and Hector Marroquin, the flying Imams, the guy Daniel Pearl sought to interview before he was beheaded, or the various Saudi madrassas which spread hateful and anti-Semitic rhetoric all over the United States. They come from very different backgrounds, and each would have to be analyzed differently.

My concern is with the support they get from government and from the legal system, because that means my money is helping them.

That doesn't seem fair.

(Of course, my complaint that it doesn't seem fair would probably be seen as hateful, bigoted, and libelous. My unfair tax dollars at work!)

posted by Eric on 06.07.07 at 10:51 AM










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