The Washington Post reports that a member of a Virginia jihad group was acquitted. It seems that among other things he dozed off at a key meeting.
Those who doubt the relevance of the Kashmir conflict to the war on terror should be reminded that one of the key features of the war is a new kind of enemy: a loosely affiliated network of jihad warriors eager to go wherever the fight for radical Islam takes them. Today Kashmir, tomorrow — perhaps right here at home.
A federal judge yesterday threw out the case against a member of an alleged Virginia jihad network, ruling that prosecutors had failed to present any evidence that the man was involved in a conspiracy to train for jihadist combat abroad.
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said that although Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem subscribed to a “radical form of Islam” and played paintball in the Virginia countryside, there was no evidence that he was training for jihad. Prosecutors contend, and several witnesses have testified, that the paintball games played by the network of 11 men simulated warfare.
“He is an ordinary run-of-the-mill paintball player. . . . Paintball by itself is not an illegal enterprise. Many people do participate in paintball,” said Brinkema, who noted that Abdur-Raheem had attended meetings of alleged co-conspirators but had dozed off at a key one.
Although Brinkema also dismissed various counts against the other three men on trial in Alexandria, she refused to drop the most serious charges, that some of them trained with a foreign terrorist group and that one had conspired to support al Qaeda and the Taliban.