He’s got an “active fantasy life.” Involving real guns. “Sentencing puzzle: family man or radical Muslim?,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
TACOMA, Wash. — Is Zaid Mu’min a mainstream Muslim with “an active fantasy life” or a radical preparing for holy war? Nearly five hours of testimony failed to clear up the mystery.
In the end, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton went with the sentence government lawyers proposed, four years and nine months in prison for being a felon in possession of guns.
“Clearly this case represents a picture in contrasts,” Leighton said Tuesday. “I don’t know who the real Mr. Mu’min is.”…
Assistant U.S. attorney William H. Redkey Jr. recommended the low end of the standard range after Mu’min pleaded guilty in April to being a felon in possession of guns, asserting that prison time was justified because Mu’min hung out in a south Seattle barber shop where radical Muslims talked “jihad smack.”
Federal agents raided Mu’min’s house on Nov. 18, 2004, as part of an investigation by the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force and found an AK-47 rifle with a scope, a Ruger .22-caliber pistol, a Glock .45-caliber pistol, a Browning .38-caliber pistol, a CIA manual on explosives, an Army sniper manual and instruction booklets on urban combat and the use of poisons to kill.
Mu’min’s wife Jacquelynn said the guns were hers.
Mu’min told the judge he was just curious about different reading materials and used some of the tactical guides in his work teaching children how to keep themselves safe.
“I don’t find or conclude that Mr. Mu’min is a terrorist or someone with terrorist leanings,” Leighton said. But he added that Mu’min’s explanations about the reading material and the guns “didn’t resonate” with him.
Peter Coleman, 44, a government informant who admitted to the court that he committed robberies and assaults to support “a jihad movement,” testified that he met Mu’min at the barbershop and learned that Mu’min was providing violent literature to the shop owner and giving martial arts-type jihad readiness training in a Seattle apartment complex.
However, under High’s questioning, Coleman said he had never seen Mu’min provide jihad training, didn’t know Mu’min provided any literature and didn’t know why Mu’min was there.
Mu’min, who converted to Islam in prison in the early 1990s, told the judge, “I am an American. I am not a terrorist. I just happen to be a Muslim.” He didn’t deny talking to men in the barbershop but said it was while he waited for his Arabic instructor to arrive to teach a class in the shopping complex.
Redkey told the judge Mu’min was either a radical Muslim preparing for jihad, a mainstream Muslim with idle fantasies or a “sleeper” terrorist.
“I’m inclined to think he’s got an active fantasy life,” Redkey said. “My view is that 57 months in prison will be enough to find out who the real Mr. Mu’min is, and to deter others from indulging in active fantasies.”