Sacramento’s FBI chief is “trying to convert Muslim leaders who might be suspicious of his agency after 9/11 and the Lodi terrorism case.” If only this stout fellow Drew Parenti had been around at the time, you see, the Lodi jihadists either would not have wanted to engage in jihad, or wouldn’t have been convicted of doing so.
The assumption of everyone concerned appears to be that Muslims only turn to jihad violence because of provocation from non-Muslims, not because of any imperative arising from the Islamic religion itself. Thus Drew Parenti devotes himself assiduously to winning hearts and minds, and appears to accept at face value the Sacramento Muslim community’s self-description. We can all hope, for the sake of everyone in the Sacramento area, that nothing happens to disabuse Drew Parenti of his naivete.
“Local FBI chief rebuilds trust with Muslim leaders,” by Stephen Magagnini for the Sacramento Bee, December 1 (thanks to Robert N.):
For months, Sacramento’s top FBI agent kept a Muslim prayer rug in his office.
It was for Imam Mohamed Abdul Azeez, religious leader of the SALAM Islamic Center in Sacramento, who attended a citizens’ academy with Drew Parenti at the FBI office.
Parenti hasn’t converted to Islam. He’s been trying to convert Muslim leaders who might be suspicious of his agency after 9/11 and the Lodi terrorism case.
And, after years of distrust, Azeez and other local Muslims believe they have found a friend in Parenti.
The local FBI chief has visited several of the area’s 14 mosques, ready to answer tough questions. He also has recruited an Egyptian Muslim agent who is known to the community and worships regularly at SALAM (Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims) and other local mosques.
Local FBI agents and Muslim American leaders now come together “through friendship and partnership, not eavesdropping,” Azeez said. “It’s not us against them, and by working together, it’s having a profound effect on preventing another 9/11. Prevention’s not about phone- tapping and visiting people at 3 a.m., it’s about being friends with the community.
“He’s the guy with the gun,” Azeez said. “If he puts a smile on his face and approaches you humbly, you’re going to open up right away.”
Of course. Dhimmis should always approach Muslims humbly. It’s Islamic law.
Now, the imam and the FBI agent plan to travel around California and the nation, to show other communities how to build similar partnerships.
Azeez believes the Lodi investigation — which ended in 2006 with the conviction of one man of supporting terrorism — would play out much differently today. The new partnership between the FBI and area Muslims could prevent attempts to radicalize Muslim youths, Azeez said.
“Someone familiar with law enforcement told me if we’d had an Arab or Muslim agent on the force, this whole Lodi thing would not have happened,” Azeez said.
Strange statements. Does Azeez mean that if Parenti had been in place at the time, the convicted jihadists in Lodi would have been so charmed as to decide not to opt for jihad? Or does he mean that the law enforcement atmosphere would have been so different that they would have gotten off?
Farouk Fakira seems to suggest the latter:
Farouk Fakira, a leader at south Sacramento’s Masjid Annur — which invited Parenti to the mosque’s open house Nov. 22 — agrees.
Parenti “is very approachable, very decent,” Fakira said. “If Drew was around, the Lodi thing wouldn’t have happened because Drew would have known better.”
Parenti himself, however, opts for the former:
Parenti, who inherited the Lodi case, “makes no apologies whatsoever for the case in terms of the way it was conducted or prosecuted.”
But he did say relationships now in place might prevent the “petri dish” of radical Islam from spawning hatred.
Parenti, 48, became Sacramento Special Agent In Charge on June 19, 2005 — 11 days after two Pakistani American Muslims from Lodi, Umer Hayat and his son Hamid, were arrested on suspicion of terrorism.
In 2006, Hamid Hayat was convicted of providing material support to terrorists by undergoing firearms training in Pakistan and returning to America prepared for jihad.
Hayat, a 25-year-old cherry picker with a seventh-grade education, was convicted based on confessions he made during a 10-hour FBI interrogation without a lawyer present.
Highly tendentious statements. If these things were clear, his conviction already would have been overturned.
Hayat had been befriended by Naseem Khan, a Pakistani American Muslim from Oregon working undercover for the FBI. In phone conversations disclosed during trial, Khan goaded Hayat into attending a terrorist training camp and encouraged his interest in violent Islamic fundamentalism.
Hayat — sentenced to 24 years — admitted relishing the murder of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl. No evidence placed Hayat at a terrorist camp other than his conflicting statements to the FBI….