Wednesday, December 01, 2010

explosive weekend

Speaking of bombs, there have been several "explosive" stories in the news lately which will probably raise some interesting questions regarding how the media covers terrorism and violence from Muslims and non-Muslims.

On the one hand you have the occasional-beer-drinking Somali teenager Mohamed Osman Mohamud who was recently arrested in a sting-operation. Mohamud's "plan" was to detonate a van full of explosives near a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. But he was never actually in touch with any international terrorists. His "co-conspirators" were FBI agents who gave him inert explosives for the "attack"... so the public was never in actual danger. Of course, there is a question of possible entrapment. In fact, he originally got on the FBI's radar in the first place because his Muslim father was worried about changes in his son's behavior and personality and alerted some government officials. So instead of doing an intervention or finding some other constructive way to direct this confused and restless young man to channel his energy into something peaceful and positive, officials chose to fan the flames, get a notch on their belt, and ruin this kids life for the next couple of decades.

On the other hand you have George Djura Jakubec, a 54 year-old Serbian national and computer software consultant who a was apparently using his home to stockpile the largest collection of homemade explosives (e.g. PETN and HMTD) ever gathered in U.S. history. Authorities are still investigating the case but the explosives involved are apparently so unstable that the investegators are reluctant about rushing into the house. Also, it seems as if Jakubec isn't Muslim so it will be interesting to see whether this case will change the public narrative about Muslims and profiling. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Finally (and this is more of an epilogue to the first story) an Oregon mosque where Mohamed Osman Mohamud "occasionally" went for prayers suffered an arson attack after it became associated with the failed car bomb incident in the subsequent news reports. (Note, that out of the three situations mentioned, this is the only actual completed act of terrorism.

Let's keep an eye on how each of these stories is covered/presented in the media.

Greenwald: FBI Thwarts its Own Terrorist Plot
Oregon Muslim leaders fear retribution after plot
US probing arson at mosque for ties to Somali case
Investigation Of Giant Home 'Bomb Factory' Suspended Over Dangerous Conditions
Largest cache of PETN explosives found on Thanksgiving Day

Planet Grenada's Past:
on joe (joseph) stack
the murder of george tiller
eric robert rudolph
miami and the seas of david
juan cole on the miami group
amish drug rings or why profiling is really stupid

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