The Only US Citizen Designated an International Terriorist

Taken From:  DAILY SOUTHTOWN :: News :: The accused: Mohammed Salah:

Born in Jerusalem, Mohammed Salah eventually settled in Bridgeview and has held jobs including car salesman, store owner, college teacher and van driver.  He’s also held the distinction of being the only U.S. citizen designated an international terrorist by the U.S. government.

The courtroom aspect of the War On Terror isn’t new to Chicago.  I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that this is the first time a case has been tried in our backyard.  Come on Chicago, what do you think of this particular case?  I’ve included some of my thoughts after the jump.

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I’ve been covering Mr. Salah’s neighborhood since I became a probation officer in 2000.  I’ve had one case but three referrals from this part of the county.  My first case, involving a kid shooting another kid with a BB gun, was from this neighborhood.  I’ve never been in a safer, quieter or cleaner neighborhood.    However, it took over year for my initial family to warm up to me.  While most of my families will call me with the smallest problem, I had to rely on most of my information from my client’s schools.  For instance, I found out that my kid’s mother remarried nine months AFTER she married.  Most of my families end up inviting me to their family functions.  It took over a year, but, eventually I was welcomed into the family home.

While this seems odd to me, it helped me realize how different Arabic traditions are from other cultures.  I do not think we (meaning most Americans) have done enough to learn about Islam and Arabic culture.  We are obligated to learn about our neighbors, not to judge them.

I have no idea if Mr. Salah is a terrorist.  I do know that he was active in the community and contributed heavily towards charities; The Bridgeview Mosque Foundation helped get my kid community service hours as well as counseled my kid in regards to anger management and grief.  As I stated earlier, I personally do not think that people understand Islam or Arabic culture enough to understand how important charity is to their cultural identity.  Mr. Salah was distributing money to families whose main providers were detained or killed by Israel, and some of these men were members of Hammas.  I also believe that Israel used extremely coercive techniques when extracting their “Confession” from him. 

This complicated trial is going to be a test of another aspect of Bush’s War On Terror.  Given their record of convictions so far, I’m not sure that this is going to go well for him.

edit:  I got rid of that wall of text and clarified a few points.

3 Comments so far

  1. JoJo (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 2:08 pm


    A couple questions/comments:

    You say “I have no idea if Mr. Salah is a terrorist.” I agree; maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I assume your judgement is based on a lack of information.

    Later in the paragraph, you say “I also believe that Israel used extremely coercive techniques when extracting their “Confession” from him.” I’m just curious why you make this assumption. Surely you have information (other than Salah’s own statement) that would lead you to this belief, otherwise you probably would have no idea, like in the evaluation of whether or not Salah is a terrorist.

    Unless you have other info (which you may have), I see a lack of consistency in your thought process.

    Lastly, I would submit that this is not “Bush’s” war on terror. There are many people who made decisions in order for this war to take place, Republicans and Democrats alike. I know you probably didn’t mean it like that, but when people say “Bush’s” war, it implies that he is the only one who supported the war.


  2. Marty Gleason (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    Dear Reader Jojo

    My assumption is based on the extensive documentation regarding Israel and the treatment of their prisoners. In the line you’re quoting there is a link to a UN/Amnesty International paper that documents “coercive” techniques. Another link is from the BBC, where in an Israeli security official admits to torture and lying to the Israeli people about this torture. Coincidentally, this occurred at the same time as Mr. Salah’s arrest. We have another link from the UNHRC.

    Thus far, I do not see a lack of consistency in my thoughts.

    I say this is Bush’s War on Terror simply because he is the architect and self declared “Decider” on this war. The final responsibility is his. This is Bush’s war. He got support from Dems and other Republicans, but the buck stops with him. He is the commander in chief. The lack of planning, each death of an Iraqi or American is his responsibility.

    If he wants to run this war, a war that he says will take generations, a war that is destroying our civil liberties in the name of “freedom”, in this fashion, then I think it is apt to call it Bush’s War. IF he actually wants to do something to stop global terrorism and drop the pretense about “Freedom haters” and “Evil doers,” maybe I’ll consider giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    Thus far, Bush’s War on Terror, have done nothing to keep us safe. They may make whatever claims they want regarding stopped threats–but with out proof, I will not believe it. Why? They lied about the prisons*, on getting to the war in Iraq and about the connections between Saddam and Osama. Why wouldn’t they lie about a foiled plot?

    I do find it interesting that what got your attention was my argument and my source; and the overall context of the post, where in I talk about my experiences within the Arab community. Personally, I felt that was more compelling than a minor political diatribe.

    *Check out the Condi Post for the links there.

  3. JoJo (unregistered) on October 19th, 2006 @ 8:42 am


    Thanks for providing the links. My point is that you make one assumption (he is not a terrorist) based on a lack of specific personal information and then make another assumption (he was tortured) based on a lack of specific personal information. I saw nothing that said this individual was tortured. So therefore, your logic is inconsistent, based on the information presented.

    I haven’t seen any civil liberties destroyed. Are there any in particular?

    You say “IF he actually wants to do something to stop global terrorism…maybe I’ll consider giving him the benefit of the doubt.” Do you honestly think that overthrowing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, killing thousands of terrorists around the world, including key Al-Qaeda members, breaking up terrorist plots, freezing terrorist assets, etc, is not doing something about stopping global terrorism? If you don’t think it is, please explain.

    Nothing to keep us safe? I don’t see how you can possibly believe that. How many times has the US been attacked since 9/11? How many US embassies have been attacked since 9/11? Besides the military and media in the Middle East, has there really been a high level of violence against Americans? During the “peaceful” Clinton years there were attacks on the WTC, Khobar Towers, American embassies, the USS Cole. Once again, please explain.

    I don’t even want to discuss this, but there were no lies that got us into Iraq. Unless of course, Soviet, British, French, Israeli and American intelligence, along with Democrats such as John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton were also lying. Faulty intel is not the same as a lie.

    As for your point about Muslim culture, all you said was that it’s different and most people don’t understand it. I would agree with that, but myself, having lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years of my life, and still keeping in contact with Saudis, Iranians, Iraqis, Palestinians, Egyptians, etc, I am very much aware of the Arabic culture.

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