As the remarkable becomes unremarkable...

I often read things that bother me. Sometimes they are opinions with which I disagree, and other times they involve inaccuracies. Usually, I forget all about them, but sometimes, an item will still be bothering me the next day, and this is one of them.

I did a bit of a doubletake when I read yesterday's front-page Wall Street Journal account about Faisal Shahzad's guilty plea:

A Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, calling himself "a Muslim soldier" avenging U.S. attacks in Muslim countries, admitted Monday that he tried to detonate a crudely made car bomb in New York's Times Square in May.

Faisal Shahzad, of Shelton, Conn., pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to a 10-count indictment that included charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting an act of terrorism and transportation of an explosive. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced.

Mr. Shahzad is one of a number of home-grown U.S. terrorists who have surfaced over the past two years, posing greater difficulties for antiterrorism officials to track than foreign-born suspects. Mr. Shahzad had no history of support for jihad and had not appeared on the government's radar, even though he received terror training in Pakistan late last year.

Excuse me, but "home-grown"? As opposed to "foreign-born"?

You'd think the Wall Street Journal would at least know how to use Google -- or at least read the guy's Wiki entry. The was born in Pakistan, and came here to attend college on a student visa.

Since when does attending college on a student visa constitute being "home-grown"? Considering the incredibly squalid, "near-subterranean" history of one of the colleges he attended (Southeastern, where he had a 2.78 GPA), a good argument can be made that his "higher education" was anything but "higher" and constituted the opposite of "growth," but still. Calling a foreign student "home-grown" is a misuse of the term.

There is, of course, the man's 2004 arranged marriage (which feel apart soon after he got his citizenship and insisted that she wear a hijab and move back to Pakistan):

On December 24, 2004, in an arranged marriage in Peshawar, Pakistan, he married Huma Asif Mian, a Pashtun Colorado-born U.S. citizen who had just graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Accounting.[3][36][37][38][5][39] She and her Pakistani-born parents had lived in Qatar and Colorado; her parents now live in Saudi Arabia.[38] A neighbor recalled Shahzad visited the family only once before she joined him in Connecticut.


He was granted U.S. citizenship on April 17, 2009, due to his marriage to his wife.[7][39] A few weeks later, he abruptly quit his job and stopped making payments on his house, defaulting on the $218,400 mortgage.[35] The New York Times observed: "while in recent years Mr. Shahzad struggled to pay his bills, it is unclear that his financial hardship played a significant role in his radicalization. He still owned his home and held a full-time job when he began signaling to friends that he wanted to leave the United States."[3]

His marriage became strained in 2009, as he pressured his wife to wear a hijab, and insisted that the family return to Pakistan while he searched for a job in the Middle East.[3] On June 2, he telephoned his wife from JFK Airport, saying he was leaving for Pakistan, and that it was up to her choice whether to follow him.[3] She refused, and instead she and their two children (a girl named Alisbheba, and a boy) moved to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where her parents were living.[3]

Sorry, but I am not seeing anything that looks "home-grown." Clearly, this man's allegiance was never to the United States.

A good question might be what the hell are we doing admitting people like that, much less allowing them to become citizens? But I'm sure others have asked similar rhetorical questions, which will never be addressed as long as we have a government that hands out visas and citizenship to people who are our sworn enemies.

Then there's this incredible, self-contradictory statement:

Mr. Shahzad had no history of support for jihad and had not appeared on the government's radar, even though he received terror training in Pakistan late last year.
According to a CBS report, the man first appeared on the government radar in 1999.

As to "no history of support for jihad" (as if terror training in Pakistan is art therapy), how about statements in support of the 9/11 attacks?

In 2000 he transferred to the University of Bridgeport, where more than a third of the students were foreign students.[3] Shahzad's former teachers at the University of Bridgeport said he appeared to be quiet and unremarkable. On weekends, he would go to Bengali-theme nightclubs in New York City. A classmate remembered him watching new footage of the planes hitting the Twin Towers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and saying: "They had it coming."[3] He received a B.A. in computer applications and information systems,[3][33] with his parents attending his graduation on May 13, 2002.[35] Just before graduation, in April 2002, he was granted an H1-B visa for skilled workers.[33] He remained in the U.S. for three years on that visa, earning an M.B.A at the University of Bridgeport in the summer of 2005.[33]
Considering his background, perhaps his statement that "They had it coming" is unremarkable.

What ought to be considered remarkable is that someone who thinks that way would be allowed to stay here after the attacks, be issued visa after visa, and finally become an American citizen. And then when he finally decides to strike out at the evil America he's never made any secret of hating, everyone acts surprised. And officials issue statements about how he might have been a mortgage foreclosure bomber.

Now that he's had his day of glory in court, he will be an ongoing liability, and I shudder to think about how much it will cost the taxpayers to keep maintain him. (No doubt we'll have to foot the bill for the whatever imams he deems spiritually psychotic enough to minister to his religious needs as well....)

Frankly, I'm so disgusted that I don't know what to say.

Might it be easier to stop pretending we're at war?

MORE: In other unremarkable news, police officers in the nearby city of Dearborn, Michigan arrested four Christian missionaries on "disorderly conduct" charges because they were handing out pamphlets on a public street near a Muslim event. Video here.

Apparently, the authorities in Dearborn think the First Amendment does not apply there.

Surely there's nothing remarkable about that!

MORE: Regarding pretending we're not at war, I agree with what Gerard van der Leun said:

Those who tell you, in government or in your personal life, that it is over are either lulling you into a deeper sleep, or fools more than half in love with easeful death.

posted by Eric on 06.23.10 at 11:20 AM


Might it be easier to stop pretending we're at war?

Much of our political class seem to find it so, why don't you give it a shot?

At least you'll sleep better.
You know, before you're murdered in your sleep.
Hey, it worked in the 90s.

Veeshir   ·  June 23, 2010 1:18 PM

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