Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sadism and blowback

Khalilah Sabra, a spokeswoman for the Raleigh Muslim American Society, read a statement from Sabrina Boyd to a press conference.

Cambridge Massachusetts isn't the only jurisdiction whose cops have been acting stupidly lately. In fact, if this story is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, federal agents in North Carolina are not only being stupid, they are behaving viciously.

According the Raleigh News & Observer, here's how the feds treated the wife of the guy they arrested on terrorism charges this week.

[Sabrina] Boyd, whose family lives in the Johnston County community of Willow Spring, described a harrowing experience Monday afternoon when she answered the door to find a man she thought was a family friend wearing a shirt that appeared to be bloodied. He told her that Daniel and their three sons, Dylan, Noah and Zakariya, were in a serious car crash. He asked her to get into a Highway Patrol cruiser that would take her to Duke Hospital, where they were being treated.

Boyd summoned her daughter and pregnant daughter-in-law. They wrapped their heads in scarves, grabbed their Qurans and flew out the door. For Boyd, it was a particularly painful experience. Her 16-year-old son, Luqman, died in a car crash near their home in 2007.

When they arrived at Duke Hospital, the cruiser took them to a construction site at the rear of the facility. A man dressed as a doctor came out and asked whether she was the wife. When she said yes, he extended his hand. She told him she does not shake men's hands. He then grabbed her wrist and handcuffed her.

"I'm not a doctor. I'm an agent and your family is not in the hospital," he told her. "You're being detained, and you need to cooperate with us."

Boyd estimates she was then surrounded by 30 agents who frisked her and asked whether she had weapons or weapons of mass destruction.

While this ruse was going on, federal agents ransacked the Boyd home looking for evidence of Daniel Boyd's alleged involvement in terrorism. Guys, did you ever hear of just serving a search warrant? Presumably you had one.

The Washington Post has some interesting background on Mr. Boyd. Apparently the U.S.-born convert to Islam fought alongside the Afghan Muslim guerrillas the U.S.-backed against the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Bet the feds thought he was a useful guy then. But now:

"This case underscores the potential threat that U.S. citizens with foreign fighter experience pose upon returning to the United States, specifically in terms of inciting other U.S.-based individuals to follow their example," said David S. Kris, assistant attorney general for national security. "They return from conflict zones with combat experience, a network of contacts overseas and strong credibility with . . . recruits seeking an authority figure."

Ever hear of blowback? Wonder how we're going to feel in 10 years about Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney's pet mercenaries who were so servicable for privatizing current imperial wars?

A U.S. court may find that Boyd is guilty as hell -- we don't know that. But the feds, by their behavior and utterances, could hardly work harder at undermining trust in their case.

1 comment:

Nell said...

The premeditated, gratuitous cruelties of that particularl elaborate deception are stomach-churning.

They knew her son had been killed in a car crash, and made her relive the experience.

They got a family "friend" to participate? By way of what kind of bribe or threat, I wonder, and what are the Boyd family members thinking about him and other friends now?

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