Muslim who deserted Marine Corps back in U.S. custody

via Cpl. Wassef Hassoun, Marine Cpl. accused of desertion, back in US custody – CSMonitor.com.

In this July 19, 2004, file photo, Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun prepares himself as he waits to make a statement to a large crowd of media outside the gates to USMC Base Quantico, Va. (Dylan Moore / AP)

In this July 19, 2004, file photo, Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun prepares himself as he waits to make a statement to a large crowd of media outside the gates to USMC Base Quantico, Va. (Dylan Moore / AP)

 A US Marine corporal who was declared a deserter nearly 10 years ago after disappearing in Iraq under mysterious circumstances is back in military custody and will face charges.

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, 34, turned himself in and was flown Sunday from an undisclosed location in the Middle East to Virginia. He is to be moved Monday to his original home base of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, according to a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters at the Pentagon, Capt. Eric Flanagan.

Maj. Gen. Raymond Fox, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Lejeune, will decide within days how to adjudicate the case, which could mean a court martial, Flanagan said.

A written statement Sunday by Marine Corps headquarters said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service “worked with” Hassounto turn himself in, return to the United States and face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It provided no details about where Hassoun was when he made these arrangements.

Hassoun disappeared from his unit in Iraq’s western desert in June 2004. The following month he turned up unharmed in Beirut, Lebanon, and blamed his disappearance on Islamic extremist kidnappers. He was returned to Lejeune and was about to face the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing when he disappeared again.

Flanagan said the Hassoun case is unrelated to the matter of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his post in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009 under unexplained circumstances. Members of Bergdahl’s unit have said he walked away on his own and should face desertion charges.

It is unclear where Hassoun, 34, has spent the past nine years after disappearing during a visit with relatives in Utah in December 2004. Nor is it known why he chose to turn himself in now. He was born in Lebanon and is a naturalized American citizen.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2002 and was trained as a motor vehicle operator. At the time of his disappearance from a Marine camp in Fallujah in western Iraq in June 2004 he was serving as an Arabic translator. That was a particularly difficult year for the Marines in Iraq. In April they launched an offensive to retake Fallujah from Islamic extremists but were ordered to pull back, only to launch a second offensive in November that succeeded in regaining control of the city but at the expense of dozens of Marine lives.

Seven days after his June 2004 disappearance, a photo of a blindfolded Hassoun with a sword poised above his head turned up on Al-Jazeera television. A group called the National Islamic Resistance/1920 Revolution Brigade claimed to be holding him captive.

On July 8, 2004, Hassoun contacted American officials in Beirut, Lebanon, claiming to have been kidnapped. He was returned to the US and eventually to Camp Lejeune. After a Navy investigation, the military charged Hassoun with desertion, loss of government property, theft of a military firearm for allegedly leaving the Fallujah camp with a 9 mm service pistol, and theft of a Humvee.

Shortly after his return to the US, Hassoun said in a public statement that he had been captured by insurgents in Iraq and was still a loyal Marine.

In the initial months following his return to Lejeune, Hassoun was not held in confinement because charges had not yet been brought against him. He was considered non-deployable until the case was resolved, but he was allowed to make personal trips. Prior to his disappearance in December 2004 he had taken leave twice without incident after he returned from Lebanon.

A January 2005 hearing on the matter was canceled when Hassoun failed to return to Camp Lejeune from his Utah visit. His commanders then officially classified him as a deserter, authorizing civilian police to apprehend him.

A short time later Hassoun was been placed on a Navy list of “most wanted” fugitives. A mug shot of him appeared on a Navy criminal justice website, which claimed the missing corporal used the alias “Jafar.”

In a February 2005 interview with The Associated Press in Salt Lake City, Hassoun’s brother, Mohamad, said Wassef AliHassoun was a victim of anti-Muslim bias in the US military. The Marine Corps denied this.

The brother also said the pressure of facing desertion charges was partly to blame for Hassoun’s decision to flee while in Utah.

“Instead of them giving him medals and making him feel good about his service and what he was doing for his country, they gave him an Article 32,” Hassoun said of the military court proceedings that his brother was to have faced in January 2005.

Family members have said they last saw him on Dec. 29, 2004.

 

Utah: Muslim on student visa arrested on three counts of lewdness involving a child

Utah – Police have arrested a man in connection with several reports of lewd behavior in the East Bench area of Ogden.

Ogden police arrested 23-year-old Hassan Habib A. Alrashed on February 24.

According to a press release from the Ogden Police Department, police increased patrols in the area of 28th street to 36th street. A detective noticed a vehicle that matched the description given by an alleged victim, and Alrashed was found inside. He was arrested after police established probable cause.

The man was booked on three counts of lewdness involving a child and one count of lewdness. According to the press release, Alrashed is in the United States on a student visa. ICE officials have put a hold on his immigration status, which means bail has been revoked pending the results of his immigration hearing.

via Man arrested in connection with lewdness case in U.S. on student visa

Could the Kenya mall attack happen here? It already did

But law enforcement, the government and media coordinated a media blackout.

via Could the Kenya attack happen here? It did | New York Post.

After Islamic gunmen attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the collective reaction from the US media was to speculate whether such terror could happen here, as if a jihadist assault on a mall inside America had never before been tried.

CNN was typical: “Can it happen here? Yes, say security experts, but it hasn’t.”

News flash: it did.

On the evening of Feb. 12, 2007, a young Muslim man walked into the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City with a pistol-grip, 12-gauge shotgun and a 38-caliber revolver and opened fire on shoppers, killing five and wounding four others, including a pregnant woman.

Police say he “sought to kill as many people as possible.” He had a backpack full of ammunition, enough firepower to massacre dozens of innocent people. But fortunately, an off-duty cop returned fire and eventually, with the help of other police, put an end to the terrorist’s life and grand plans.

Twice as many people were killed at the Utah mall than the Boston Marathon. Yet the attack garnered few national headlines.

Local media wrote it off as the act of a madman, parroting the quick conclusion of law enforcement.

Officially, the FBI declared the mass shooting was not an act of terrorism.

“We were unable to pin down any particular motive,” said Tim Fuhrman, then-special agent in charge of the bureau’s field office in Salt Lake City. “Unfortunately, his motivations went to the grave with him.”

But the FBI ignored much of the shooter’s background. Continue reading

Utah: Self-described “Islamist jihadist” who terrorized Mormons & Catholics arrested

via Police arrest self-described “Islamist jihadist”.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Police have arrested a former Utah junior college basketball coach who law enforcement officials say has described himself as an “Islamist jihadist.”

Police in Price, Utah arrested Christopher Craig on Thursday morning on an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor drug possession.

Capt. Bill Barnes says Craig is facing additional misdemeanor charges after officers found marijuana and a pipe in his car.

Police in Colorado issued a warning to church leaders last week about Craig, a former head coach at Utah State University Eastern in Price, Utah.

The alert said he had been going around saying Mormons and Catholics “would be destroyed’ in the coming weeks.”

Barnes said Craig was still being held in Carbon County Jail on Friday morning and did not yet have an attorney.

Previously:  The man apparently told police that these religious individuals “would be destroyed” in the next two weeks.

More Christopher Craig, Utah Jihadist: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Multi-million dollar Muslim food stamp fraud busts in Illinois, Nevada and Utah

Three separate cases mind you, all courtesy of the invaluable Refugee Resettlement Watch website.

First up Utah, 12 food stamp fraud arrests linked to 2 Ogden stores

OGDEN — A pair of federal indictments unsealed Tuesday allege a dozen people linked to two Ogden convenience stores participated in an elaborate food stamp scam that netted about $8.6 million in USDA benefits.

The stores named in the indictment handed down by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City are Westside Valley Market, 873 W. 24th St., and 9th Street Corner Market, 1390 9th St.

Individuals arrested in connection with Westside Valley Market include:

• Zia Atta, 38, of Ogden.

• Aweas Akbar Al-Quadri, 21, of Ogden.

• Naseer Hamad Durani, 39, of Rocklin, Calif.

• Farad Said Farani, 36, of Ogden.

• Mariana Navarro Farani, 29, of Ogden.

• Seraj Ghasem Pour Babakandi, 23, of West Haven.

•  Shershah Lodin, 39, of Pittsburg, Calif.

Those arrested in connection with 9th Street Corner Market include Atta and:

• Masood Aziz, 36, of Elk Grove, Calif.

• Diana Funez, 19, of Ogden.

• Fidel Funez-Limon, 18, of Ogden.

• Sharara Haidari, 30, of Elk Grove, Calif.

• Siavosh Sabri, 41, of Salt Lake City.

The stores are also named as defendants in the indictment.

The defendants face multiple counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; wire fraud; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits Program fraud; access device fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and money laundering.

The defendants from Utah will make their first appearance in federal court today. If convicted, they face prison sentences ranging from five to 20 years on most of the charges and fines of $250,000.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the seizure of homes in Elk Grove, Thornton and Marysville, Calif.; a home and commercial property in Ogden; several bank accounts; and judgments totaling $7.7 million.

Next up Nevada, Bath salts sales and food stamp fraud earn Reno business owner a trip to prison

A local college student has surrendered to federal authorities to begin serving a six-month prison term related to selling illegal bath salts out of his family’s Reno liquor store and engaging in food stamp fraud at the business.

Nevada U.S. Chief District Court Judge Robert C. Jones sentenced Asowadur Khan, 30, in October. Jones ordered Khan to pay $120,000 in restitution for the money he scammed from the government in the food stamp fraud between 2009 and 2011.

Khan was arrested in February during an undercover investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration investigators at Nahar Food and Discount Liquor, 600 South Virginia St. Khan owned the store with family members.

Khan was booked into the Washoe County jail on Friday and is awaiting transport to federal prison.

Third, in Illinois, Waukegan Grocery Owners Admit Food Stamp Fraud

CHICAGO (CBS) – The owners of a Waukegan grocery store have admitted to stealing nearly $850,000 from the federal food stamp program.

Next up, sentencing for Khaled Saleh and his wife, Fatima, who ran the Sunset Food Market, 1501 Sunset Ave.

 Federal prosecutors are pushing for 2.5 years in prison.

On thousands of occasions, the couple illegally provided cash to customers who made fake purchases on their LINK food stamp cards.

The store owners typically split every dollar 50-50 with the customers — and kept the rest as profit, prosecutors said.

The pair ran the scheme between August 2009 and April 2011, prosecutors said.

More details on all these arrests and many more at RRW.

Utah Christians buy, donate Korans

O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends… ~Holy Koran 5:052

Dhimmitude is bliss. via Quran giveaway fortifies Utah Christian, Muslim bond | The Salt Lake Tribune.

At a time when Muslim and Christian relations are again in the world’s spotlight, Utah women in the two faith traditions are beginning a friendship they hope will lead to greater understanding.

Over platters of falafel, biryani rice, hummus and baklava, the women of Salt Lake City’s Wasatch Presbyterian Church and eight women from the Muslim community on Thursday traded hugs, personal stories, recipes and email addresses.

The luncheon — prepared in Muslim homes and shared at the church — was a thank-you from the Muslim women, who were delighted by Wasatch’s giveaway earlier this week of free copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

“You,” said Angela Young, a convert to Islam, “extended the first hand.”

What are the chances any of the Muslim women risk death by apostasy and convert out of Islam?

The giveaway of nearly 70 books resulted from a suggestion two weeks ago by Wasatch’s new pastor, the Rev. Scott Dalgarno, that church leaders put money behind their belief that education informs faith. It also was a response to a Florida preacher’s burning of the Quran in March, an act that triggered riots and dozens of deaths in Afghanistan.

Church leaders chipped in $600 and ordered copies of the Quran through The King’s English Bookshop on Salt Lake City’s east side. They asked the store to give them away.

The books were gone within 90 minutes of being placed on the shelf Monday morning, just hours after the world learned of the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden, whose legacy has led to suspicion, isolation and even bigotry against Muslims.

The timing was serendipitous, said Anne Holman, manager of the bookstore, who had decided last Friday to begin the giveaway Monday morning.

The Muslim women will be buying Bibles and Torah’s and distributing in Dearborn shortly. /sarc off

Utah: Taxpayer funded Islamist school loses money, stays open (updated)

Bowing to Islamists again, at taxpayer expense. (Note: title is not to suggest public charter schools are in business to make money, rather that a similar school that was draining tax payer funds would not have been re-opened after being shut, and suddenly had loans forgiven), via Charter board reverses decision to close Beehive Academy | Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — The State Charter School Board reversed its decision Thursday to shut down a Holladay school that some believe is hiding ties to a controversial Islamic political movement.

The board originally voted to terminate Beehive Science & Technology Academy’s operating contract on April 29, for chronic financial mismanagement. Following a two-day hearing with Beehive, the board voted to keep the tax-funded school open. The board will determine the condition of Beehive’s probation on July 15.

Beehive, which serves students in seventh through 12th grades, first came under scrutiny in July 2009, when a group of teachers and parents approached the State Office of Education with concerns that the school was operating as part of a nationwide network of charters controlled by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Muslim preacher who resides in Pennsylvania. While Gulen is known to many as the nonviolent face of Islam, others believe he is practicing “silent jihad” by quietly infiltrating foreign education systems. Though the State Charter School Board eventually determined Beehive was not preaching Islam in the classroom, the complaints spurred a six-month investigation that turned up a tangle of money problems. Beehive started the school year $33,000 in debt, stuck in a building lease that administrators couldn’t afford to pay. Board members criticized the school for relying on high-interest personal loans to support day-to-day operations, as well as paying out more than $53,000 to bring teachers from Turkey to Utah.

Marlies Burns, State Charter School director, said the board decided not to close the school because “the law is extremely vague.” Though Utah Code gives the charter board power to shut down a school for “failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management,” the statute does not specifically define what constitutes “accepted.”

“There is reason to believe the law could be interpreted differently by different people,” Burns said.

David Jordan, Beehive’s attorney, said the school has “significantly improved” its financial situation. Cost-cutting measures and fundraising have “more than taken care of” Beehive’s problems, he said. Administrators have renegotiated the school’s lease. All of the school’s personal loans — which total about $90,000 — have been forgiven.

Non-violent face of stealth jihad? The school had personal loans? From whom? For what? Who forgave them? More on Gulen in
Fethullah Gülen’s Grand Ambition

Update: A few links from a reader in the Comments section – read her comments and check the links below for more insight.

Previous Creeping Sharia posts on the Gulen movement infiltrating U.S. schools:

Tucson: Parents concerned about charter school run by Turkish Islamist movement

Infiltrating the U.S. Through Charter Schools?

Saylorsburg, PA: Another militant Islamic training compound in U.S.

Former Utah resident & terror suspect in Iraq may be free to return to US soon

Even though the U.S. wants Iraqi and Jordanian law to handle this matter, wouldn’t it be prudent to revoke this guys U.S. citizenship, visa, and passport? Two brothers in the U.S. were convicted on financial charges, suspected of funding terrorism, and other family members are under surveillance. Surprise too, he came to the U.S. on a student visa!

The military and its attorneys at the Department of Justice contend, however, that Omar gave refuge to terrorists and regularly visited Baghdad hotels to entice foreigners to return to his home, where they would be kidnapped for ransom.

American military officials suggested that one wild card in the case is Jordan, where Omar maintains joint citizenship and where his four wives, including South Dakota native Sandra Omar, currently live. Omar reportedly has been indicted there alongside al-Zarqawi — a relative by marriage, according to court documents — in a failed plot to conduct a chemical attack in Amman.

It’s possible, however unlikely, that if Omar managed to leave Iraq without being arrested in Jordan he could return to the United States. The Kuwaiti-born Omar immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 and temporarily served in the Minnesota National Guard before moving to Salt Lake City in the 1980s. While in Utah he became the father of two daughters and gained U.S. citizenship in 1986.

While a number of family members remain in Utah, several appear to have been under close surveillance by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Two of Omar’s brothers were arrested in 2006 on felony charges of fraud and money laundering. Investigators and prosecutors initially suggested that more explosive charges might be forthcoming — saying they suspected Continue reading

Sharia Alerts: Utah

Continuing in the “Creeping Sharia” series of ‘Sharia Alerts’, this episodes focus shifts to Utah. Primarily Caucasian (95%) and Mormon (60%+), could it be parts of the original Mormon ideology that attract Muslims to Utah (alcohol limits and polygamy to name two)? Consisting of less than 1% of the population (15,000 according to a Utah Muslim group), Muslims are having a significant impact in the area.

The Mosques of Utah – 9 and counting

Unindicted co conspirator linked to WTC bombing Siraj Wahaj to speak at Muslim Student’s Association Conference 2008 at The University of Utah!

Islamic Center of Utah promoting litigation jihad law school

Saudis Visit Utah, Extol ‘True’ Islam; ‘All Americans would become Muslims’

Muslim cab drivers turn break room into mosque at SLC airport

KSL stories with photos here, here, and here and while one reporter states she wouldn’t call the man who exposed the Muslim prayer room a hero (BUT he was right), those who have been intimidated by Muslims in Salt Lake City surely will

Utah Muslims Protect Violent Imam And Wife Abuser – same imam working with mayor on airport mosque prayer room; local Islamic Center may have flown him out of U.S.

Sudden Jihad Syndrome in Salt Lake City and more here -Utah killings was Jihad, report

Salt Lake cops refuse jihad concept – killer given Islamic burial in Bosnia

Breaking down barriers – i.e., converting Ute’s to Islam – videos

Utah State ignores jihad and Islamic doctrinepreach Islam to middle schoolers

Utah PhD leads Islamic Sharia training – who also reports that under sharia borrowing is permissible if it “needs to prepare an army able to carry on the responsibility of Jihad…in the lands of the unbelievers” (Instruments of Public Debt, p. 32)

Weber State hosts Utah Islamic Community web site

Utah links

Continue reading

Arab-America’s Store: Wal-Mart submits to Sharia

Wal-mart has submitted to sharia law in Dearbornistan. Can we officially refer to them as Wally Worldistan now? Here are some highlights from the Newsweek story: (notice how Newsweek sanitizes the story with Arab in the title not Muslim)

  • The Dearborn store, though, is the most extreme example of the concept [Everything involving Islam is always the most extreme, no?]
  • [Walmart] hired about 35 Arabic speakers…providing ethnic-sensitivity training to the 650 employees Continue reading

Small bomb hits Times Square military recruiting station

Did they rule out terrorism in the first hour yet? It’s the growing trend lately. Wait, DHS says there is no “imminent threat” to the U.S. Huh?

If you can find the original news stories for the Florida power outage, the Texas oil refinery explosion, the Illinois campus shooter, the Salt Lake City Trolley Square shooter – they all have one thing in common. Within hours, officials declared they were not related to terrorism. How can they determine that so quickly is my first question? The second question is when, upon more investigation, they find that the incident was terror-related, why doesn’t it make the news?

More on these thoughts later – I’ll try and find the original links to the items above.

Continue reading

Sharia Creeping in Salt Lake City, Utah

Fallout over Utah airport prayer space exposes deep tensions

Dispute over Muslim prayer room at Utah airport leads to lawsuit

- Islam is relentless…as noted in a previous post on intifada, “intifada it is, and in every community in this country, it will be”.

Mosques in Utah – some look like ordinary houses

Update: Refugees arrested importing several hundred pounds of khat in Salt Lake – older story but there must be a sizable Muslim population if there is airport sharia and khat smuggling going on

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