Houssein Zorkot, a third-year medical student at Wayne State University in Michigan, was arrested on September 8 at Hemlock Park in Detroit. He was wearing camouflage makeup, black clothes, and carrying an AK-47 assault rifle; he reportedly had to be tasered by police when he was arrested. His website features photographs of the Ayatollah Khomeini and a great deal of pro-Hizballah material. Most ominously, on the day he was arrested he uploaded onto his site an image that included a photo of a soldier holding a rifle, with the caption, “The Start of My Personal Jihad (in the US).” Underneath in Arabic was Qur’an 9:20: “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.” The Arabic for “striven…in Allah’s way” is jahadoo fi sabil Allah, which in Islamic theology refers in particular to jihad as warfare.
And now he is free to resume that personal jihad.
“Hemlock Park gunman gets 2 years probation,” by Sean Delaney for the Oakland (Michigan) Press, August 17:
DEARBORN – Houssein Ali Zorkot — a once-promising medical student at Wayne State University — was sentenced on July 29 to two years probation after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a Sept. 8, 2007, incident in Dearborn’s Hemlock Park.
The controversial case gained national attention in late 2007 when Zorkot, then 26 years old, was observed carrying a loaded AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle near the west side of the park, which is located north of Ford Road near Schaefer.
Following his arrest, Zorkot’s status as a Lebanese American and his open support of Hezbollah, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, led some to classify the Dearborn resident as a terrorist.
Or at very least as a jihadist.
Zorkot was arraigned on charges on Sept. 11, 2007, in Dearborn’s 19th District Court — the same day city officials issued a press release about the incident.
Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly has defended the city’s decision to delay releasing the information three days, and told the Press & Guide the information was withheld until after Zorkot’s arraignment to avoid stirring up fears of another terrorist attack.
While Zorkot openly supports Hezbollah on his Web site — www.zorkot.org — he has not been identified as a terrorist or linked to any terrorist group, according to law enforcement officials.
The Dearborn resident pled guilty last month to the charges of possessing a weapon in a vehicle, possessing a weapon with unlawful intent and felony firearm.
According to Dearborn police, Zorkot was dressed in dark clothing and had his face painted black when officers located him on Sept. 8, 2007, inside his 2007 Ford Escape, which was parked on the park’s west side. The engine was still running.
Officers approached the vehicle, which proceeded to pull out of the parking space and head northbound toward the park’s entrance. Dearborn police were able to block the vehicle in before it was able to leave the park.
When approached by officers, Zorkot opened the driver’s side door, but remained inside the vehicle. He then asked officers why they had stopped him, and said, “You guys are always harassing me.”
During the confrontation, officers observed Zorkot lower his right hand toward the center console, which was out of view. According to police reports, officers feared Zorkot may have been reaching for a weapon and grabbed his left wrist while ordering him to exit the vehicle.
An officer at the scene observed the AK-47 in the vehicle’s backseat, and alerted her fellow officers that the Dearborn resident was armed. Zorkot was then forcibly removed from the vehicle through the driver’s side door — although he initially refused to let go of the door. […]
Evidence technicians then searched Zorkot’s vehicle and found two pairs of cloth gloves, a military combat belt with a canteen and two knives, boots with socks, a receipt for the AK-47 rifle and ammo, a gunlock and keys, a list of Metro Detroit shooting ranges, numerous photographs of Zorkot standing in front of billboard depicting “various Muslim extremists,” a briefcase containing a laptop and a cell phone.
Two cameras, a portable AM/FM radio, a pair of binoculars, four computer CDs, an Army surplus bag, a camouflage face paint kit, a Lebanon flag, a VCR cassette of “The Never Ending Story,” and eight prepaid international phone cards were also found inside the vehicle….
A never-ending story it is indeed.