Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, formerly of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has pleaded guilty to charges connected to his attempt to join the global jihad. This from the Washington Post, with thanks to LGF:
A key member of an alleged Virginia jihad network pleaded guilty to federal weapons and explosives charges today, denying that he intended to harm Americans but acknowledging that he and his co-defendants had sought to fight on behalf of Muslim causes abroad.
Well, that’s reassuring for about a millisecond. Against whom are “Muslim causes” around the world fighting? If they’re not fighting Americans now, they still consider America the Great Satan and primary ultimate target.
Randall Todd Royer, 30, of Falls Church, entered his surprise plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He faces at least 20 years in prison when he is sentenced April 9. Another of the 11 men originally charged in the case, Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hamdi, 26, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty to similar charges and faces at least 15 years in prison.
A St. Louis native who became an activist for Muslim causes, Royer was at the center of the government’s case against a group of men who played paintball in the Virginia countryside to prepare for jihad training that could have targeted the United States, prosecutors say. By his own admission, he played a key role in organizing the men.
Today’s court action brings to six the number of men who have pleaded guilty in the high-profile case that the Justice Department had publicized as an important milestone in the war on terrorism. A federal grand jury originally charged the 11 men in June with weapons counts and with training with Lashkar-i-Taiba, a group that is trying to drive India from Kashmir and has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
Nor was just Kashmir involved:
In September, the charges were upgraded against the seven remaining defendants. Two, including Royer, were charged in the new indictment with conspiring to provide material support to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization and to his Taliban protectors in Afghanistan. A third is accused of supplying services to the Taliban.
However, that’s why he pled guilty:
Those charges against Royer were dropped in exchange for today’s plea.
What will Royer’s old colleague, Ibrahim Hooper, say? That Royer is being railroaded? That the evidence against him has no substance? The guilty plea will be hard to finesse. Unfortunately, however, Hooper will most likely never have to finesse it at all, or to answer any uncomfortable questions about how a jihadist like Royer managed to get a job in such a sterling moderate Muslim organization as CAIR. Hooper will not have to answer them because any journalist whom he doesn’t hang up on will not ask them.