Saturday, August 19, 2006

Terrorism prosecution failures

The nits at Larvatus Prodeo are celebrating the release of Jihad Jack. The left generally does anything it can to apologise for what I would call Islamo-Fascism. Sympathy for victims of terrorism - well there is not much of that. On Jihad Jack I much prefer The Australian’s response today – his release is a failure that should be corrected.

At times the one-sideness on the part of the left in supporting groups who support terrorism is open. Comrade Anthony Lowenstein even seems to justify the killing of American troops in Iraq. Under the caption ‘Killing Americans’ I quote Lowenstein:

‘How much longer will Bush, Blair and Howard deny reality? Until there is a full withdrawal from the occupied country, foreign troops are a legitimate target of the resistance’. (my bold)
And even in more moderate non-rat-bag Australia there are attempts to make David Hicks’ paternal adviser Australian ‘Father of the Year’. What a great job he did!

My parochial Melbourne-based bias has made me focus on the trials of suspected terrorists here – an excellent general review of the allegations against the current batch of alleged Islamic terrorist suspects in Australia is provided by the Jamestown Foundation. But I focus on a single person in the group, Mr Benbrika.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika is a member of an alleged Melbourne terror cell currently appearing before a preliminary hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. During the presentation of evidence it was claimed he told his wife that during the leadup to these charges he was going away for ‘terrorist training’. The court was told that ‘he liked explosives’. Moreover, it has long been known that Benbrika was a Osama Bin Laden fan (‘a great man’). For Benbrika, Jihad and opposition to all other religions is an inevitable part of his faith. It was reported in court he claimed that, to kill 1000 Australians, would ‘please Allah’.

Benbrika had missed the opening hearing he said because he had previously been ‘terrorised’. Detectives claimed yesterday he had lied about recently being kidnapped and illegally detained by ‘rogue’ police. It is a complex mix of stories.

Benbrika seems to have a unique approach to disciplining his children:

‘Detective Murray said that on August 23, 2005, Benbrika's wife, Rakia, revealed that he had left home with his sleeping bag after striking one of their children with a telephone. In a telephone call to her mother-in-law, Mrs Benbrika said her son was traumatised as a result of the incident’.
Citing these claims is so culturally insensitive that I almost feel the need for a Yobbo-type apology. Indeed my heart aches for Benbrika who is even being denied the opportunity to pray in a group of three each Friday while jailed. And this man needs to pray. At least Larvatus Prodeo are campaigning to protect Benbrika and his lot. It is hard on Benbrika and his associates being stuck in isolation but lets face it they would not last long unscathed in the general prison population. And the claim is that they were attempting planned mass-murder.

Would the LP scribes continue to support him if the terrorism charges are dismissed but he is instead charged with child abuse?

Update: David Flint makes telling comments on the failure of the legal system in the case of Jihad Jack here. The Courts in bending over backwards to secure the rights of the accused are devaluing the role of juries:

The fact is that the average Australian serving as a juror is just as capable as any lawyer to know and to weigh all the evidence. The criminal justice practitioners are not some priestly caste with superior skills beyond that of the public they are meant to serve. The average Australian understands and accepts that the accused can be found guilty only if that is beyond reasonable doubt.

Take the Thomas case. His interview in Pakistan was crucial. But the appeals court says the jury should not have been told of the interview. This is ridiculous, and if it is a correct application of the law, then the law should be changed. The jury, assisted by the judge, would be quite capable of deciding whether the absence of a lawyer, or any other factors, diminished the value of that evidence.

Juries should be allowed to hear and see more and, with the non-binding advice of the judge, decide what weight they should give to all the evidence. Only by putting confidence in the good sense and fairness of the rank and file Australian sitting on a jury will we begin to restore public confidence in our increasingly biased and inefficient criminal justice system. (my bolding)

The Australian's editorial concerning Jihad Jack makes the issues transparent. Mr Thomas trained with terrorists in the use of automatic weapons and explosives and took money from the terrorist group before returning to Australia. He may be a misfit and even a crazy but he 'betrayed Australia by travelling to Afganistan to serve the cause of terror. In avoiding punishment for this evil act, he has done it again'.


Phil said...

No I would not, but of course the law will assess that too in it's own way Harry. And if fould guilty of child abuse then I'd stand by the law and result just as I do in the case of Jack Thomas. Benbrika is an idiot, just like Thomas and Hicks, but that does not mean they should be denided justice and the full/proper process of law.

What your lot on the right continue to suggest is that the laws should be re-written to create new crimes in order to stage trials that look like the old communist show trials.

There are already laws that suit all this just fine. You know, murder, conspiracy etc. From there we let the police/security forces/legal system do their thing and presto conviction. Thomas was released because some chose to circumvent that system. It was a stupidly prosecuted trial.

I can't see what your problem is with standing up for process and the rule of law.

hc said...

I am not disagreeing with the specific legal judgement but with the moral support these people are gaining among secrtions of the left.

Their prosecution is seen as something appalling when they are joining terrorist organisations dedicated to killing innocent civilians.

conrad said...

I don't see any real relationship between convicting people potentially involved in terrorist groups (like Jihad Jack), versus destroying the military force of an illegal occupier (like the US military in Iraq).

These are surely two different arguments. One involves people going overseas to potentially join a group that almost everyone considers a terrorist group, the other involves large amounts of foreign troops sitting in another country, where many people (including presumably a fair proportion of the local population) think they shouldn't be. If you believe the second of these is illegal and unjustified, I don't see why you can't see the killing of American troops as legitamate (just like any other illegally occupying military force) whilst also seeing people like Jihad Jack as criminals.

James Dudek said...

How is the US occupation of Iraq illegal Conrad?

Are you aware of UN Security Resolution 1483, if not you should do some reading:

"This resolution resolved many of the legal and governmental ambiguities that resulted from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and UK led "coalition of the willing". Its three most important features are that it empowered the coalition, making it the legitimate and legal governing and peacekeeping authority;......."

conrad said...

Perhaps the term illegal is not the best(Peronsally, not being a lawyer, I have no idea where the bounds of being a peace keeping force start, and an occupier end).

Alternatively, if the majority of Iraqis don't support the Americans (including the Shiites -- as Bush himself complained only a few days ago -- who knows the real figures are, but a quick search urns up e.g.,, then I can't see how they could not been seen as an occupying force (whether the UN happens to say so or not) and therefore a legitimate target.

Bring Back EP at LP said...

Harry, I think you and the writer in the OZ should acquaint yourself with the facts of the case.
He was not found guilty of terrorism at any stage indeed quite the opposite.

derrida derider said...

What Homer said.

But my beef is how the likes of the Australian conflate very different actions. "Trained with the Taliban" does not imply "planned mass murder". Pre 9/11 you may well have trained with the Taliban to defend them against the Russian-backed Northern Alliance or the Iranina-backed Shias. And it wasn't illegal to do so. Unlike Benbrika, the evidence that either Thomas or Hicks ever contemplated attacking Western civilians is exceedingly weak.

And yeah, Iraqis taking potshots at foreign invaders is legitimate in my book. I wish they'd do more of that and less shooting at each other.