APRIL 15, 2013
Here’s a huge slap in the face for all Americans; the Islamic terrorist serving a life sentence for orchestrating the deadly World Trade Center bombing two decades ago is a social media icon/jihadist hero thanks to his official U.S.-based website.
This is a guy who was convicted in federal court for planning to wage a “war of urban terrorism” against the United States, including the attack of a military installation on Staten Island and other New York landmarks like the United Nations building, the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, a federal office building in Manhattan and the George Washington Bridge. His name is Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and he’s also known as the blind sheik.
In 1993 he masterminded the World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured about 1,000 when terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the parking garage of the center’s north tower. Three years later the sheik was sentenced to life in prison and his home is a solitary confinement cell in North Carolina. For many Muslims he’s a hero and in his native Egypt he’s like a rock star. In fact, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has vowed to free the blind sheik.
Thanks to a sophisticated social media messaging machine the terrorist sheik is more popular than ever and his devoted followers can stay connected to his radical Islamist teachings while Uncle Sam supports him in prison. A political news conglomerate broke this enraging story, citing the work of a respected nonpartisan organization (Middle East Media Research Institute—MEMRI) that analyzes Middle Eastern and South Asian media.
The terrorist sheik is on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and he has a Chicago-based website (Sheikh-omar.com) dedicated to getting him released from jail. His official website was created in June 2010, according MEMRI, and it’s administered by one of his sons, Ammar Omar Abdel-Rahman. The Sheik’s Facebook page includes video footage of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor, endorsing the kidnapping of Americans overseas.
So why isn’t the U.S. government taking any action? Federal authorities say they can’t do anything about the convicted terrorist’s social media escapades because there’s nothing illegal about it. Never mind that the various posts, all included in MEMRI’s report, advocate the convicted sheik’s jihadist acts against Americans. Unless there is a direct terror threat made by those running the site, the U.S. can’t act, according a source quoted in the story.
In the meantime Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) goes around shutting down internet websites that help users download copyrighted music and movies. It’s part of the administration’s effort to regulate the internet and control its content, though the official explanation from Washington is that the government simply wants to protect intellectual property by cracking down on piracy. Dozens of file-sharing music and movie websites have been shut down by DHS as part of a program called “Operation in Our Sites.”
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