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North by Northwest

I find it rather interesting the sniper and his boy sidekick were living in Tacoma Washington and doing target practice in their backyard as recently as January. I could not be the only one who remembers there was an al Q’aeda cell training in the wilderness there. One really has to assume the authorities are looking for connections between an Islamic sniper with US military quals and a training camp in his vicinity1.

An FBI fellow interviewed by UK ITV News was certain the dastardly duo were working alone and doing this only for the money. I’m sure his statements must be as accurate and as correct as Official statements on the LAX shootings were.

There certainly is a potential venue for Muhammad to have been recruited. He was a bodyguard for Nation of Islam and that would have flagged his name but good for those who might be looking for native trouble makers. There is no need to assume Nation of Islam has any association whatever with terrorism for this to be true. If I were al Q’aeda I’d be nosing around and infiltrating this ready made army with a classic old style Communist co-opt, take-over and purge in mind.

If I were Louis Farakhan, I’d be watching my back very carefully.

I am relieved these people are in the lockup, although no where near as relieved as people in the region are. I have many friends in both areas where they were killing people. One friend’s youngest daughter goes to school 3 blocks from the Ashland Ponderosa. This is the South and I would not be surprised if he was picking her up at school the last few days… with a bit of security hardware close to hand.

Now we wait for the trial and see what connections come out in court. The State of Maryland will be seeking the death penalty and I doubt there will be any hue and cry over it.

Marshmallows anyone?

1 =“in his vicinity” out in the West should be interpreted to mean “within a few hundred miles. As they say, there is nothing out there but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. Well, nothing other than a lot of trees, mountains, not-so-extinct volcanoes and the odd bear, wolf and mountain lion at least.

8 comments to North by Northwest

  • Kirk Parker

    You’re right that the training camp was far from Tacoma, but quite wrong in your stereotype of “empty space” around here. The Seattle-Tacoma area is home to more than 3 million people, and some of the worst traffic problems in the US.

  • Dale Amon

    Well, yes… but…

    I’ve flown into SeaTac a couple times on trips to Seattle. And I’ve been in the bay cruise and up in the Needle. And from all three viewpoints, there is a small core of heavily populated area… surrounded by wildnerness that goes on for hundreds of miles.

    I have no doubts the Tacoma city area has bad traffic. But it doesn’t take *that* long to get out of the city and suburbs. And then there isn’t much of anything for a very long way.

    I’ve got friends out there who do research on the Lava tubes up in the mountains btw. They are looking at them as lunar analogues for habitation studies.

  • P Fraker

    Maryland does have a death penalty statute but the current Democratic administration of the State has enforced a moratorium on its administration.

    The sitting Lt. Gov., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is running for governor, has tried to exploit the sniper story by running gun-control ads. But she may now have to back-pedal on her cap. punishment moratorium.

  • Dale Amon

    The current governor has stated the moratorium is “unofficial” and has to do with a review of pending death row cases and would pose no problem.

    Check out Fox News here

  • What’s lamer than misspelling foreign names? Going out of one’s way to remember a peculiarity of spelling and putting it in the wrong place.

  • With the arrest of two suspects in the Washington sniper killings, the label game is in full swing.

    Suspect one is John Allen Muhammad. He is labeled as black, Moslem, a Black Muslim, a vet.

    Suspect two is John Lee Malvo. He is labeled as an illegal immigrant, and the victim of a controlling father figure.

    Do any of these labels, or any others, define a reason for these crimes? I don’t believe so.

    Muhammad and Malvo seem to fit the profile of many serial killers who are couples. Indeed, an unstated label in all this is that there may be a homosexual relationship. These guys killed for reasons that have nothing to do with any of their labels. Do we ever read “Catholic goes insane. Kills twelve.”? Religion does not enter in to this spree.

    The drifting across country. The use of Tarot cards. The tenor of the notes and phone calls. The demand for money. Not at all like a series of killings based upon an ideology. The victims of the sniper include young and old, black and white, men and women. An ideology would have selected, sorted its victims. Nothing like that appears to have occurred.

    Expecting Moslems to apologize for Muhammed is silly. Did we ask the Catholic Church to apologize for the Hillside Stranglers, Angelo Buono Jr. and Kenneth A. Bianchi, since both of them had Catholic origins?

    Muhammed has a history of petty crime and domestic disputes. Child custody issues seem to have dogged his life. Could the shot young boy and the statement about the safety of children have anything to do with his own problems?

    Fox News is reporting that Muhammed nicknamed Malvo “the sniper”. While this is probably bogus, it remains an interesting item until it is proven false. Usually the younger person in a serial killing couple will claim that they were afraid, held hostage by their fear. Or, that the older person had them so controlled that they had no free will. The poor little Johnny Malvo whine is already beginning.

    I await the claim that the anthrax vaccine, or the malaria drugs, or “Gulf War syndrome” have something to do with this. And, there are folks that seem to believe that merely serving in the military turns you into a murdering subhuman. But, no, all the Army did for Muhammed was teach him to shoot like millions of other young men and women. Hardly a defect in character.

  • Sigivald

    Chuck – I think there’s some difference between “Catholic origins” and “a very recent convert to Islam” (especially since it’s militant islam, if he is ‘Nation of Islam’).

    Catholics don’t need to repudiate someone who is culturally Catholic and turns out bad. It might, however, be a good idea for Muslims to make it Very Clear that they don’t consider NoI or other radical, militant sects to be Properly Islamic, given that it is likely (though by no means yet established) that Mohammed’s motivation has some relation to his recent religious conversion, even if that relation is superficial and somewhat psychotic.

    (It may not be “right” that Muslims may have some interest in disclaiming this kind of thing, in the sense that they shoudln’t need to in an ideal world. But ours is not an ideal world, and the Wrong Sort of people have increasingly tended to hijack Islam of late. Moderate and Liberal Islam need to start speaking up, and more strenuously, against these movements, for everyone’s good.)

  • Dan Hunt

    The phrase “miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles” would more properly be applied to stretches of the plains in Montana or Texas. The “miles and miles” around Tacoma include much fantastic scenery and geologic features, such as Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula to the west and north, or Mount Rainier and the Cascade Mountain Range to the east. Also there is the heavily populated area of Seattle and suburbs to the northeast of Tacoma, or the developed region, including our state capital Olympia, south along Interstate 5.