“After Khan’s arraignment in January, his mother, Zarine Khan, delivered a tearful but stern message accusing ISIS recruiters of ‘the brainwashing and recruiting of children through the use of social media and the Internet.’ ‘Leave our children alone!’ she cried.”
How hearteningly moderate. Here, however, is a photograph of Zarine Khan with her husband Shafi, Mohammed Hamzah Khan’s father. Do you think it’s remotely possible that the boy picked up some of his ideas about jihad, Sharia and caliphate right there in his moderate home, straight from mom and dad?
Now young Mohammed must seek “psychological and violent extremism counseling.” Where in the entire United States — indeed, where in the entire world — can he go to be disabused of his notions about jihad? Any “psychological and violent extremism counseling” he undergoes in the U.S. or anywhere in the West will not touch the Qur’an and Sunnah — to do so would be “Islamophobic.” Instead, it will focus on his feelings of “alienation” and “anger” or what have you, and he will likely emerge more confirmed in his jihadism than he was before.
Meanwhile, his attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, keeps going on about how Mohammed is an “American kid,” and what happened to Shafi and Zarine could happen to anyone: “I don’t think anyone wants to see American kids warehoused for being brainwashed by ISIS….”What we have to keep our attention on is these are American kids, these are not some lunatics from Mars. I think anybody who has ever raised children and has any common sense realizes that this could happen to anybody.” No, it couldn’t. In the first place, it is questionable as to whether Mohammed Hamzah Khan thinks of himself as an “American kid” at all: the theology of the caliphate holds that Islam transcends all national allegiance, and so it is entirely possible, if not likely, that Mohammed Hamzah Khan doesn’t consider himself an American at all. Also, this could not happen to anyone: in the first place, the young man would have to be a Muslim, or convert to Islam. But Durkin can’t note that, because that would involve acknowledging that all this has something to do with Islam.
“Bolingbrook man pleads guilty to terrorism charge,” by Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, October 29, 2015:
A Bolingbrook man who was arrested at O’Hare International Airport trying to board a flight overseas to join the Islamic State terrorist group pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Mohammed Hamzah Khan, now 20, faces up to 15 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. However, if he continues to cooperate with law enforcement, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of five years behind bars.
Dressed in an orange prison outfit and shackled at the ankles, Khan answered in a firm, clear voice as U.S. District Judge John Tharp questioned him about his mental health and understanding of the proceedings.
After the hearing, Khan walked slowly back to the courtroom lockup without turning to look at his father, Shafi, who was watching in the courtroom gallery with another relative. Shafi Kahn declined to comment outside the courtroom.
In addition to the recommended sentence, Khan’s 20-page plea agreement with prosecutors spelled out an unusually long period of supervised release of “not less than” 15 years once he is released from prison.
During his time under court supervision, Khan must seek “psychological and violent extremism counseling,” perform at least 120 hours of community service per year and allow court personnel to search his cellphone, email and computer four times a month for the first 7 1/2 years, according to the plea agreement.
Khan’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, told reporters in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse that he will argue for a sentence of less than five years because it “will not serve him any good to just be warehoused (in prison) until he can come out and get that help.”
“You’re a young man with the rest of your life ahead of you, you don’t want to spend it in a federal penitentiary,” Durkin said. “I don’t think anyone wants to see American kids warehoused for being brainwashed by ISIS.”…
In a case that made national headlines, Khan was arrested last October at the age of 19 as he and two younger siblings tried to board a jet to Vienna with a connection to Istanbul, according to prosecutors. His sister, then 17, and 16-year-old brother were questioned at the airport by the FBI but were not charged.
According to FBI reports, Khan told agents that he had been in contact through an online messenger service with a man who purported to be a member of Islamic State. He admitted plotting to travel to Turkey so the contact could guide him and his siblings into Syria, according to the reports.
Khan told agents he expected his position with Islamic State to be “some type of public service, a police force, humanitarian work or a combat role,” according to the charges. Notes left by the siblings for their parents — who were not aware of the plot — begged them not to tell law enforcement, authorities said….
After Khan’s arraignment in January, his mother, Zarine Khan, delivered a tearful but stern message accusing ISIS recruiters of “the brainwashing and recruiting of children through the use of social media and the Internet.”
“Leave our children alone!” she cried.
Durkin has repeatedly argued that Khan’s desire to join a caliphate, while perhaps misguided, amounted to an expression of his religious freedom. He has also called out the U.S. government for what he says is a “wrongheaded” policy to shoehorn cases like Khan’s into a criminal justice process that’s not designed to deal with disaffected youth.
“What we have to keep our attention on is these are American kids, these are not some lunatics from Mars,” Durkin said Wednesday. “I think anybody who has ever raised children and has any common sense realizes that this could happen to anybody.”…