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Three Ohio Men Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America

By Stephen Lendman  Posted by Stephen Lendman (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Three Ohio Men Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America - by Stephen Lendman

In an October 22 press release, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced another victory in its Global War on Terrorism, renamed the Overseas Contingency Operation to continue its jihad on Muslims, abroad and at home.

By now the charges are familiar, always bogus, and announced earlier about three Ohio men in a Justice Department February 2006 press release as follows:

"Three (Toledo, Ohio men) have been charged with conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against persons overseas, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists...."

On February 16, 2006, a Cleveland federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, and Wassim I. Mazloum alleging they conspired, together and with others, "to kill or maim persons outside of the United States, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi is also charged, individually, with distributing information regarding explosives and two counts of making verbal threats against the President of the United States."

Amawi holds both US and Jordanian citizenship. El-Hindi is also a US citizen, and Mazloum is a permanent legal resident.

The indictment further alleges that these men "engaged in activities in furtherance of their common goal to wage violent jihad, or 'holy war,' against American soldiers and Coalition allies serving in Iraq. Such activities included training and target shooting, receiving instructions in the construction and use of explosives - including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 'suicide bomb vests,' - recruiting others to participate in jihad training, attempting to raise funds to finance the training and to support violent jihad activities, and attempting to acquire and deliver materials - including explosives and computers - to others engaged in violent jihad in the Middle East. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy began sometime prior to November 2004."

Amawi was accused of traveling to Jordan on August 22, 2005 to deliver five laptop computers to the "co-conspirators." They were never delivered. No explanation was given why. Perhaps there were none in the first place, but, no matter. Carrying, transporting, or delivering computers isn't a crime.

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Amani also "allegedly downloaded a video from a 'mujahideen website' which depicted the step-by-step construction and use of a bomb vest, and then copied it on a disk and distributed (it) to an individual who was going to be providing jihad training to the defendants. That individual - identified in the indictment as 'the Trainer' - has been cooperating since the beginning of this investigation (as a paid informant) and acting on behalf of the government" to entrap innocent men with no plans to commit terrorism. More on him below.

Other charges alleged "that in October 2004 and again in March 2005, Amawi made verbal threats to kill or inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States. The maximum sentence....of conspiring to kill or maim persons in a foreign country is 35 years in prison, or life in prison if the conspiracy is to kill."

The maximum sentence for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists is 15 years; for distributing information on explosives, 20 years, and for making verbal threats against the President, five years.

In a prepared statement, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said:

"This case stands as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance. We are committed to protecting Americans - here and overseas, particularly the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces who are serving our country by striving valiantly to preserve democracy and the rule of law in Iraq."

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FBI Director Robert Mueller added:

"These arrests in indictments are examples of how, through close cooperation with our partners and enhanced intelligence capabilities, we are able to detect terrorist planning and prevent acts of terrorism before they occur."

Members of Toledo's Muslim community were shocked, saddened, and angered over the arrests. They also feared growing anti-Muslim sentiment against its 6,000 members that once included former mayor Michael Damas (1912 - 2003), perhaps the first Arab-American elected (in 1959) to high office in a large US city.

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