Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Abdullah Saleh Al-Ajmi: From Guantanamo to Martyrdom

Debra Burlingame, at the Wall Street Journal, illustrates how the civil liberties activists of the American left have enabled terrorists and sacrificed lives to the nihilist mayhem of Islamist evil.

The story begins with Abdullah Saleh Al-Ajmi, a one-time detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was released from American custody in 2005. Al-Ajmi returned to the Middle East to commit a suicide bombing in Mosul, Iraq, in March 2008 (as seen below, in
the blast photo from the Combat Outpost Inman).

Mosul Bombing, March '08

It turns out that Al-Ajmi had written poetry while at Gitmo, with one poem mocking the American detention system, and glorifying holy martyrdom under Islam:

Al-Ajmi, a 29-year-old Kuwaiti, blew himself up in one of several coordinated suicide attacks on Iraqi security forces in Mosul this year. Originally reported to have participated in an April attack that killed six Iraqi policemen, a recent martyrdom video published on a password-protected al Qaeda Web site indicates that Al-Ajmi carried out the March 23 attack on an Iraqi army compound in Mosul. In that attack, an armored truck loaded with an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of explosives rammed through a fortified gate, overturned vehicles in its path and exploded in the center of the compound. The huge blast ripped the fa├žade off three apartment buildings being used as barracks, killing 13 soldiers from the 2nd Iraqi Army division and seriously wounding 42 others.

Using the name "Abu Juheiman al-Kuwaiti," Al-Ajmi is seen on the video brandishing an automatic rifle, singing militant songs and exhorting his fellow Muslims to pledge their allegiance to the "Commander of the Faithful" in Iraq. Later, Al-Ajmi's face is superimposed over the army compound, followed by footage of the massive explosion and still shots of several dead bodies lying next to the 25-foot crater left by the blast.

In 2006, Al-Ajmi's "Miranda" poem was included in a recitation of detainee poetry at a "Guantanamo teach-in" sponsored by Seton Hall Law School. The all-day event was Webcast live to 400 colleges and law schools across the country and abroad. Some of the lead attorneys pushing for detainee rights participated in the event, which began with organizers boasting about the diversity of the event's participating schools as exemplified by the American University of Paris, the American University in Cairo, the U.N. University for Peace in Costa Rica, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Parsons School of Design in New York City. One of Al-Ajmi's lawyers gave a presentation about detainee treatment entitled, "Insults to Religion."

Marc Falkoff, a former Covington & Burling attorney-turned-law-professor who represents several detainees, read the poems and later published a selection of them in a book ("Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak," Iowa University Press, 2007.) In his introductory remarks to the students, Mr. Falkoff described Al-Ajmi and the other detainee poets as "gentle, thoughtful young men" who, though frustrated and disillusioned, expressed an abiding hope in the future. "One thing you won't hear is hatred," he said, "and the reason you won't hear it is not because I edited it out, it's because it's not there in the poetry." Then how to explain the fact that -- on the advice of Al-Ajmi's attorneys - "To My Captive Lawyer, Miranda" [the poem glorify Islam jihad] was excluded from the published collection last year? Mr. Falkoff, who also has a Ph.D. in literature, refused to explain further, though he insists on describing Al-Ajmi's verse as a "love poem to his lawyer."
The remainder of Burlingame's essay details how recent Supreme Court rulings will likely result in additional terrorists heading back to the bloody landing grounds of the war on terror, who will then kill American GIs and Iraqi nationals now serving to consolidate freedom for the people of Iraq.

Meanwhile, students back home in American college classrooms, like those at City University of New York in Queens (who were assigned "Poems from Guantanamo"), will be enraptured with the poetic lines of the likes of Abdullah Saleh Al-Ajmi.

Photo Credit: Long War Journal, "Suicide Car Bomb Attack Killed 13 Iraqi Soldiers in Mosul."