Skip to comments.Friends React To Soldier Arrest
Posted on 02/14/2004 2:42:18 PM PST by yonif
A day after the arrest of 26-year-old Army Specialist Ryan Anderson his friends are shocked by the news. Anderson is accused of aiding the enemy by trying to communicate with Al Quaeda. Morgan Potter lived in the same WSU apartment building as Anderson. He calls Anderson fun-loving and just like everybody else. However, Potter admits -there's a lot he doesn't know about his friend, including what the government calls Anderson's extreme ideology of the Muslim faith.
"The only link I knew Ryan had to Islam was the fact he was a history major and he joined the army to go over there," said Potter.
Anderson's college roommate, Carl Halmo, says he watched Anderson convert to Islam - first by visiting a Pullman area mosque.
"I remember him saying that he went there and what they said actually made sense, he agreed with it," said Halmo.
Anderson is no stranger to police in his hometown of Everett, Washington. In 1998, he was arrested for carrying rifles down the street and past an elementary school, the day after a major school shooting in Oregon. However, he was never charged.
YAHOO - News - Photos: (REUTERS): "Ryan Anderson walks handcuffed past his rifle after being arrested by a Snohomish County Sheriff in this May 22, 1998 file photo when police responded to a call of a man with a firearm near an elementary school near Everett, Washington. U.S. Army Spc. Ryan Anderson, a recent Muslim convert, was charged on February 12, 2004 with trying to pass military secrets to the Islamic militant group al Qaeda after being caught in a sting operation, military officials said on Thursday. (Michael O'leary/The Everett Herald via Reuters)" (February 13, 2004) (Read More/View Photo...)
SEATTLE TIMES.com: "LOCAL SOLDIER ACCUSED OF TRYING TO GIVE AL-QAIDA INFO" by Mike Carter (ARTICLE SNIPPET: " About two years ago, a young man using the screen name "akagunfighter" joined a local Islamic Internet chat room. His real name was Ryan G. Anderson, and he could hardly have been less welcome. Anderson was arrested yesterday by U.S. Army officials, who say the 26-year-old National Guardsman attempted to communicate and provide intelligence to the al-Qaida terrorism network. Anderson, a member of the 81st Armor Brigade about to be deployed to Iraq, has not been formally charged.") (February 13, 2004) (Read More...)
SEATTLE PI.com - SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER: "UJAAMA CASE COMES TO AN END Ex-Seattle Man Gets 2-Year Sentence; Feds Get Information About Al-Qaida" (February 14, 2004) (Read More...)
US DOJ.gov - Press Release: "EARNEST JAMES UJAAMA SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRING TO SUPPLY GOODS AND SERVICES TO THE TALIBAN" (February 13, 2004) (Read More...)
stepping back in time...US DOJ.gov - Press Release: "EARNEST JAMES UJAAMA PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO SUPPLY GOODS AND SERVICES TO THE TALIBAN, AGREES TO COOPERATE WITH TERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS EARNEST JAMES UJAAMA SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRING TO SUPPLY GOODS AND SERVICES TO THE TALIBAN" (April 14, 2003) (Read More...)
GOOGLE Search Term: "UJAAMA" (Read More...)
KOIN.com: "FIVE CHINESE SMUGGLED INTO PORTLAND ON CARGO SHIP Crew Members Face Human Trafficking Charges" (February 13, 2004) (Read More...)
I looked up his Usenet postings. In '95, he was describing himself as a "committed Christian" and trying to join a militia. By '96, he was asking for advice on converting to Islam. At one point, he was hanging out in skinhead forums. Gaming, second amendment rights forums, military history forums. A lonely, loser kid looking for a clique - preferably with shooting involved.
Don't get me wrong - he should be punished. He just shouldn't be overestimated.
And that's exactly what the terrorist MSA had a fundraiser for in Seattle last night, the "islamic house" just a block away from the main UW campus.
Yes, yes...it's really fun to strut around with your chest thrust out. It is not, however, very helpful.
There's a reason why everyone from Nazi Youth to the Red Guard to the Khmer Rouge to Hamas to the Taliban recruit from lost, lonely, stupid young people. Teenage social outcasts are drawn to danger, violence, hierarchical organizations and black-and-white ideologies. You aren't going to scare them off with martyrdom (see Palestine).
No, I'm definitely not saying we should tackle "root causes" - alienated teenagers are a fact of life. But, for goodness sakes let's not glamorize a dumbass lamer into an attractive, exciting outlaw.
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