Connecticut: Norwalk zoning commission approves mega mosque, bows to Muslims & Fed threats (updated)

As usual, against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of residents. Muslims don’t care about making friends or co-existing with neighbors. Despite what the city’s attorney claims, there is no compromise. This is a lose-lose for city residents and another zoning jihad litigation victory for Muslims backed by Obama. via Mosque settlement gets a thumbs up from Zoning | Nancy on Norwalk. h/t jms Follow jms’ updates in the comments section.

NORWALK, Conn. – Amidst waves of anger and resentment from local residents, the Norwalk Zoning Commission voted 4-3 Thursday night to approve the Al Madany Islamic Center mosque suit settlement and clear the way for the settlement to advance to the Common Council.

The vote came at the end of a public hearing that drew hundreds of people to a not-quite-full Concert Hall.

Zoning Chairman Joe Santo and Vice Chairwoman Emily Wilson, who helped hammer out the settlement, split on the vote, with Wilson voting against it. Also voting in favor were Nora King, Adam Blank and Nate Sumpter. Linda Kruk and Michael O’Reilly joined Wilson in voting no.

With the exception of Santo, a Republican, the vote broke along party lines, with three Democrats in favor and three Republicans against.

The settlement now goes to the Common Council for a vote on the financial aspects. The deal calls for $145,000 to be paid by the city and $162,500 by the city’s insurance company to the Al Madany legal team for expenses related to the suit. The city will also pay the Stonegate Condominium Association about $45,000 to install a gate across the parking lot entrance to keep non-residents from parking there.

The Council is expected to take up the item on Tuesday’s agenda (Sept. 9). Mayor Harry Rilling has called for an executive session at 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the settlement.

“We listened to all the comments and I think they all had valid points. I think we have a lot to digest and we’ll see where we go from here,” Rilling said.

Residents took turns bashing the idea of a mosque at 127 Fillow St. and claiming the city was being “bullied” into accepting it. Some said the issue had already caused property values to plunge as residents begin to move out.

At issue is Al Madany’s desire to build a 42,442-square-foot mosque and accessory building on 1.559 acres at 127 Fillow St. in West Norwalk. The Zoning Commission denied the application in 2012, citing the size of the project along with parking and traffic concerns. Al Madany then sued in June 2012, claiming that the project was within zoning parameters and that the city was causing an undue burden on the practice of its religion. After the judge in the case and the U.S. Attorney’s Office urged thee parties to find common ground, Al Madany and Norwalk entered settlement talks in January (see atttached settlement documents for changes in project).

Failing to settle and going to trial would be costly, the lawyers have said., reportedly anywhere from $ million if the city were to win and $10 million if it were to lose and be forced to pay Al Madany’s legal team. Thursday night, the ante went up: One lawyer said it cost Norwalk taxpayers $15 million to go to trial and lose.

Nationally recognized attorney Marci Hamilton, an expert on and ardent foe of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), told the crowd, “Your anger should be directed at the United States Congress” for passing the controversial RLUIPA law under which Al Madany filed suit.

“At issue is what is required under federal law. This attorney fee payout is the lowest I have ever seen.”

She said “You are dealing with a combination of land use and future tax burden,” and recommended settling the case.

Planning Commissioner Victor Cavallo made a point of order and said the Zoning Commission has no authority to vote on the issue because there is no application before it.

Former Corporation Council Peter Nolin said, “Shame, shame, shame on the lawyers,” calling their words bad advice and saying Norwalk should find the mosque a different location.”

Continue reading

Connecticut: Pakistani immigrant robs taxpayers in another food stamp bust

Robbing taxpayers seems to be an area Muslim immigrants excel and have no fear of being deported. via Food stamps used to buy Red Bull – Connecticut Post. h/t Diversity’s Dark Side

BRIDGEPORT — The owner of a Fairfield Avenue grocery store was charged with illegally using government food stamp money to buy 1,200 cases of Red Bull.

Aslam Khawaja, 48, of Iranistan Avenue, the owner of the SK Grocery at 856 Fairfield Ave., was charged Wednesday with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

From March through December 2013 Khawaja paid cash to 128 of his customers who are on the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for their SNAP benefits at 50 cents to a dollar of benefit, the arrest affidavit states.

He then used the benefits at the Fairfield and Stratford BJ’s Warehouse Stores to purchase $45,000 in bulk merchandise, including the cases of Red Bull, which he offered for sale at his store, the affidavit states.

“I was just trying to help poor people in the community,” Khawaja said. “The poor people come in here and they need money so I help them. Yes, I bought the Red Bull, but I sell it here, people really like it.”

Undercover officers were sent into the store on several occasions with SNAP benefit cards, and were offered cash for their benefits by Khawaja. In one instance, Khawaja gave the undercover officer $30 in cash in exchange for the officer’s benefit card and PIN number and offered him another $100 in cash if Khawaja could deduct $200 from the card.

Khawaja then drove to the BJ’s store where he used the officer’s card, according to the affidavit.

Khawaja is a Pakistani national. In December he was shot during a robbery at his store and at that time asked detectives to file federal documents allowing him to obtain a temporary visa to remain here as a crime victim, police said.

The arrest was a result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Office of the Attorney General, state Department of Social Services, United States Department of Agriculture — Office of Inspector General, and the United States Department of Agriculture FNS — Retailer Investigation Bureau.

Khawaja was released after posting $100,000 bond pending arraignment in Superior Court on April 22.

 

Connecticut: Muslim visa scofflaw plotted to bomb school, fed building with drone

via FBI: Drone-like toy planes in bomb plot – Connecticut Post.

BRIDGEPORT — A Moroccan national who allegedly plotted to turn a radio-controlled model airplane into a drone-like flying bomb and crash it into a school and a Connecticut federal building was arrested Monday by FBI agents.

Wires and tools were found in the High Ridge Drive apartment where El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, had been living since January with an individual he met while incarcerated in Virginia, according to the FBI. It was not known if any explosives were found.

Fahti told an undercover agent in five recorded conversations that he studied the bomb attack operation for months, and had made a chemical bomb while in high school in Morocco, court documents charge. The recordings additionally claim he could obtain whatever else he needed for his plans in “Southern California on the border.”

He said funding would come from “secret accounts” comprised of money-laundered cash and drug dealing profits, the FBI said.

An affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Anabela Sharp does not specifically identify either building that Fahti allegedly targeted, except to say one was an out-of-state school and the other a federal building in Connecticut.

Fahti does not face federal terrorism charges at this time; those could come later when Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel takes the evidence to a federal grand jury while seeking an indictment.

Fahti is accused of making a false statement, falsely swearing under oath and falsifying declarations to a federal Immigration judge. Those actions allowed him to stay in the U.S. for seven years after his student visa expired and he flunked out of Virginia International University.

Since then, Fahti has traveled across the U.S. He was briefly arrested on a trespassing charge in Virginia, which was later dropped and he was incarcerated in California on a theft charge. He only moved to Bridgeport recently.

On Monday, he appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel, who granted Patel’s request to detain Fahti without bond as a danger to the community and a risk to flee. He was taken to the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island.

Fahti, who is represented by Assistant U.S. Public Defender Paul Thomas, made the false statements seeking political asylum while facing deportation to his native Morocco.

He told the undercover agent he went to the library, researched issues in Morocco and learned about abuses allegedly committed by the Moroccan government on individuals involved with the Jamaat Ansar El-Mehdi and the Western Sahara freedom movement.

He falsely claimed in Immigration Court that he was the victim of arrests, imprisonment and beatings by Moroccan police.

“Everything he wrote in his refugee application coincided with the actual events,” Sharp wrote in her affidavit.

In one recording, Fahti says “the more he thinks about the case, he laughs because he cannot believe the judge believed him” in allowing him to seek refuge in the U.S. for political reasons.

Connecticut: New London School Calendar to Recognize Sharia Holidays

Creeping along in Connecticut. via New London School Calendar to Recognize Muslim Holidays | NBC Connecticut.

An advocacy group is welcoming New London’s recognition of Muslim school holidays in its calendar for the next school year.

The calendar lists certain Muslim and Jewish holidays as days when observing students can be excused for absences. It also asks teachers not to schedule tests on those dates.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday that including the Islamic holidays will serve to enhance the learning environment for Muslim students.

“We welcome the inclusion of Islamic holidays in the school calendar because it will serve to enhance the learning environment for Muslim students,” said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi, in a statement.

Council spokesman Ibrahim Cooper says there is a growing movement toward recognizing Muslim holidays in school districts nationwide. He says it reflects the growth and maturity of the Muslim community as more parents don’t want to see students marked absent when observing holidays.

CAIR is the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, according to a release.

CAIR is a lot of things and unfortunately NBC Connecticut simply reprints Associated Press scrubbed information.

CAIR is a U.S. government named Hamas front group and unindicuted co-conspirator to the largest terror financing conviction in U.S. history, among other Islamic terror-related things.

See the HAMAS-CAIR section on lower left side bar for links to relevant background.

School executives with phone & email addresses here.

Connecticut: Muslims used Internet to seek recruits, cash, equipment for Taliban

via Feds want man convicted in failed 2001 shoe bomb plot to testify in Conn. terrorism case. h/t Jihad Watch

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Federal prosecutors want a man convicted in a failed 2001 shoe bomb plot to bring down an airplane to testify at the sentencing of two British citizens who pleaded guilty in Connecticut to supporting terrorists through websites.

The testimony reflects an effort by prosecutors to show that Babar Ahmad, one of the two men facing sentencing in Connecticut, had an active role in sending recruits to terrorism training camps beyond appealing for support on the websites.

Prosecutors say the witness is expected to testify that Ahmad sent him to Afghanistan to train for violent jihad and that he ultimately moved on from Ahmad and came under the mentorship and training of al-Qaida members who prepared him for the shoe bomb plot. The man also is expected to testify that he saw nearly two dozen others that Ahmad sent from the United Kingdom to train in Afghanistan, and he would describe camping trips and training exercises that Ahmad organized in England to groom recruits for violent jihad abroad, prosecutors said.

“Ahmad’s conduct went beyond cyberspace and included real world effects and consequences flowing from the criminal activity, regardless of the media used to plan, coordinate and execute some of the conduct,” prosecutors wrote in court papers last week, citing his efforts to send people to Afghanistan to train for violent jihad and emails discussing night vision goggles and safe routes into Afghanistan.

Ahmad’s attorneys say they’ll respond in court objecting to the request to have the man testify by a videotaped deposition.

Prosecutors said the man they want to testify at Ahmad’s sentencing had testified by videotape at the trial for the foiled subway plot, was indicted in Massachusetts on charges related to the shoe bomb plot, refuses to testify in the U.S. and expects to be arrested upon arrival in the country.

Reid was caught aboard a plane with explosives; Badat backed out.

Badat was sentenced to 13 years in prison. But British authorities later said that in 2009, a judge secretly reduced his sentence to 11 years to reward him for his cooperation in terror investigations.

Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan pleaded guilty in December to terrorism charges. Ahmad admitted he sought recruits, cash and equipment such as gas masks for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan through the websites.

The two men, who were living in Britain at the time, faced charges in Connecticut because authorities said they used an Internet service provider in the state to run one of the websites.

A prosecutor said Ahsan traveled to Afghanistan with Ahmad’s assistance to fight and attend a training camp run by al-Qaida, but Ahsan didn’t admit that.

The cooperating witness, believed to be Badat, is expected to testify that Ahmad originally recruited and radicalized him before sending him to the camp in Afghanistan. He said he took an explosives training class with Ahsan and stayed at a safe house in Kandahar in January 2001 during which Osama bin Laden visited the location multiple times, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors acknowledge that Ahmad and Ashan will dispute his testimony.

“Accordingly, it is important for the court to hear from the witness to make its own assessment, to understand the full scope and nature of the defendants’ conduct supporting terrorists, and ultimately, to resolve significant anticipated factual disputes in connection with sentencing,” prosecutors wrote.

Ahmad faces up to 25 years in prison and Ahsan faces up to 15 when they are sentenced in July.

Connecticut: Muhammad arrested for stabbing man twice with box cutter in Norwalk

via Mustafa Muhammad arrested for allegedly stabbing man twice with box cutter in Norwalk – News 12 Connecticut.

NORWALK – Police have arrested a man for allegedly stabbing another man twice with a box cutter last night in Norwalk.

According to police, 42-year-old Mustafa Muhammad ran through the Sono Gardens Condominium on Monroe Street last night after stabbing the 41-year-old victim once in the torso and once in the arm.

Norwalk police say they were able to locate and arrest him hours later. Police say Muhammad admitted to having a box cutter and stabbing the victim, who’s now recovering in the hospital.

A motive has not been released and police are expecting to make more arrests. Today in court, a judge denied the defense attorney’s request to lower Muhammad’s bond.

We now know Muhammad’s motive:

Yarrell showed up at Norwalk Hospital at 9:32 p.m., and hospital staff informed police of the incident. Yarrell told police that he had sold the suspect crack cocaine earlier in the day, and Muhammad confronted him on Monroe Street, claiming that he was sold fake crack, police said.

The argument became physical, and Muhammad pulled out a knife and stabbed Yarrell multiple times, police said.

Yarrell broke a beer bottle over the back of the suspect’s head, according to police. At the crime scene, police followed a trail of blood that led from Townhouse Gardens to the apartment building at 18 Monroe St., up the stairs inside of the building and directly to Muhammad’s front door, police said.

Is crack halal?

Connecticut: Muslim pours hot oil on sleeping wife (video)

And a judge tells him to “keep his distance.” WTF? Islamic honor violence straight out of Pakistan, but a judge too? via PD: Man pours hot oil on wife – WFSB 3 Connecticut. h/t (the new) Atlas Shrugs

WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A 41-year-old woman suffered “severe burns to her upper torso” after police said her estranged husband poured hot cooking oil onto her while she was sleeping.

According to police, the woman and her husband, 51-year-old Mohammad Chaudhry, had been separated for the past year.

However, she decided to sleep over at his apartment on Canton Street in West Haven Tuesday night to visit with her children.

She was sleeping in bed with one of her children when, around 4:30 a.m., Chaudhry, who is from Pakistan, entered the woman’s room.

Police said Chaudhry removed the child from the bed after putting the oil on the stove to boil. He then poured three to four cups of hot oil on the mother.

Her children told police they heard her “screaming in pain and rushed to her aid.”

The woman was taken to the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit where she is believed to be in good condition.

Chaudhry fled the apartment after the incident, but was detained by police a short time later. Police said charges are pending against Chaudhry, who is currently unemployed.

Eyewitness News did see a request for divorce from Chaudhry that was filed back in 2006. He told police that he poured the oil on his wife because of the divorce. Chaudhry said he believes she was cheating on him with another man.

Sources told Eyewitness News that the oil burned through the comforter.

Chaudhry appeared in Milford Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon and will continue his arraignment on Thursday.

Chaudhry is being held on a $750,000 bond.

Neighbors can’t believe someone would do something like this.

“It’s pretty quiet around here,” said one neighbor. “Every once in a while someone steals a car.”

More: West Haven man charged in hot oil attack told to keep distance

The defendant, a native of Pakistan, stood 10 minutes in manacles before Markle with an interpreter of Urdu at his side.

[Judge] Markle issued several orders to defendant Mohammad A. Chaudhry, which include:

• He must not possess firearms.

• He must stay away from her home and must keep 100 feet from her. He can have no written or oral contact with her.

• He may not annoy or alarm her.

• He may return to the apartment once, accompanied by a West Haven police officer, to retrieve his personal belongings.

Violations of Markle’s orders could bring him additional felony charges and five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine, she told Chaudhry.

Markle’s order extends to the woman’s minor children.

In addition, Markle said the court is considering telling Chaudhry to relinquish his passport.

Why isn’t this an attempted murder charge? The son reported to police he thought his mother had been killed. And why is he being set free?

PS: Domestic violence assistance is available 24 hours a day at 203-789-8104 in Greater New Haven; at 203-736-9944 in the Valley; and at 888-774-2900 statewide.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36,939 other followers

%d bloggers like this: