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The Stupid Terrorists Club (Daniel Pipes On Islamic Terrorists Darwin Candidate Award Alert) ^ | 10/04/05 | Daniel Pipes

Posted on 10/04/2005 1:16:10 AM PDT by goldstategop

One would think that Mahmoud Maawad, a 29-year-old illegal immigrant from Egypt living in Memphis, Tennessee, would lay low and stay out of trouble. But no, he defiantly did just the opposite.

He used a fake Social Security number to open a bank account, arrange for household utilities, and enroll in the University of Memphis business school. He worked off-the-books at a convenience store and in early 2005 sold alcohol to a minor, for which he was arrested. And then, he ordered US$3,300 worth of airline-related goods in mid-2005 from Sporty's Pilot Shop, including such items as an airline pilot’s uniform, a flight gear bag, a radio communications handbook, and an instructional DVD titled “How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act.”

To top it off, he placed this order on an overdrawn credit card.

Sporty’s, not surprisingly, informed the FBI about Maawad’s order and federal agents searched his apartment in September. There they found flight simulation software and detailed information on Memphis International Airport. Maawad was then indicted for wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

While it’s far from established that Maawad had terrorism on his mind, his actions are sufficiently suspicious to enroll him as an honorary member in my newly created “Stupid Terrorists Club.” He joins plenty of others there.

Mohammed Salameh, the terrorist who returned to the rental agency in 1993 to retrieve the $400 deposit he had paid on a truck subsequently used to blow up the World Trade Center. His penny-pinching lead to his own capture and that of several other bombers. Zacarias Moussaoui, thought to have been the twentieth 9/11 hijacker, was sitting in jail on that date because his disheveled and impoverished appearance at a flight instruction school was so discordant (“there's really something wrong with this guy”) that two of its staff phoned the FBI. In April 2005, Moussaoui pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism. Michael Wagner, an African-American convert to Islam associated with Al-Qaeda, did not wear a seat belt and that got him stopped by the police in July 2004 near Council Bluffs, Iowa. His car contained “flight training manuals and a simulator, documents in Arabic, bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, a night-vision scope for a rifle, a telescope, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.” Zaynab Khadr, accused by the Canadian authorities of having “willingly participated and contributed both directly and indirectly towards enhancing the ability of Al Qaeda to facilitate its criminal activities,” returned to Canada in February with a computer chock full of documents that the authorities say “provide insights into the tactics, techniques and procedures” of Al-Qaeda and other groups. Sami Ibrahim Isa Abdel Hadi, 39, was stopped in May for tailgating in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. When a police officer called in Abdel Hadi’s North Carolina license plates, he learned that Abdel Hadi had been ordered deported to Brazil in December 2001 and is listed in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database. Even more alarmingly, he has a valid temporary identity card permitting him to paint the George Washington Bridge (a high-profile potential terrorist target). When an accused Los Angeles terror gang, the Assembly of Authentic Islam, needed money for arms, it robbed gas stations rather than obtain funds legally. One of its holdup artists dropped a mobile phone during a June robbery, which the police retrieved and used to unravel the plot and arrest the conspirators. Other famous dumb terrorists include Yu Kikumura, a member of the Japanese Red Army, whose odd behavior prompted a search of his car at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop in April 1988, which turned up three powerful bombs. Or Timothy McVeigh, apprehended in April 1995 after bombing the Oklahoma City federal building that killed 168 people, because his car lacked a license plate.

Counterterrorism is a difficult business, so it is fortunate that terrorists often act dumb.

Why can’t they keep out of trouble until the big day? In part, because terrorists, like other criminals, are usually not the sharpest knives in the drawer; and in part because their ideology and hatred cause them to disdain the enemy, leading them to take unnecessary risks.

As a result, the rest of us are a little bit safer.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: danielpipes; darwincandidateaward; frontpagemag; islamicterrorists; stuckonstupid
Islamic Terrorists are today's Darwin Candidates - they qualify for the Award by being stuck on stupid. Great for us, bad for them. If they had sharper IQs, we'd be in a world of trouble.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
1 posted on 10/04/2005 1:16:26 AM PDT by goldstategop
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: F15Eagle

Kill them all let Allah sort them out.

3 posted on 10/04/2005 2:02:20 AM PDT by bikerman
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To: goldstategop

Good article and nice wrap up of dead-enders, but what is really scary is thinking about all the ones we aren't catching. There might be a few smart ones out there.

4 posted on 10/04/2005 2:13:02 AM PDT by benjaminjjones
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To: All


5 posted on 10/04/2005 2:13:33 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: F15Eagle
Perhaps. But if they were very bright they could do a lot of serious damage easily in an open and free country like ours. This country wasn't designed from the prospective of protecting it from people bent on death and destruction.

The amazing thing is, they haven't been able to do so - so far.
6 posted on 10/04/2005 2:21:27 AM PDT by DB (©)
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To: goldstategop

The 27/7 London attempted bombers deserve an honourable mention surely. The one who fled to Italy continued to use his mobile phone not realising that the police can triangulate its position.

7 posted on 10/04/2005 2:27:51 AM PDT by Killing Time
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To: Cindy

Thanks for the links.

8 posted on 10/04/2005 3:10:27 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: PGalt

You're very welcome.

9 posted on 10/04/2005 3:12:31 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: goldstategop
Mohammed Salameh, the terrorist who returned to the rental agency in 1993 to retrieve the $400 deposit he had paid on a truck subsequently used to blow up the World Trade Center.

Actually the story was that he returned to collect his deposit after the vehicle was destroyed in the explosion. Anyone who believes such a silly story probably also believes that a license plate just fell off McVeigh's car and that instead of ticketing the guy the police who stopped him just happened to hold him for more than 24 hours and then ask him if he has anything to do with the bombing. And they probably believe in the tooth fairy too.


10 posted on 10/04/2005 4:40:03 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Don't foget "tourism dry-runs" where some guy who is not toally committed to carrying out a terrorist attack but just tries to test our defences, our response by being a too-obvious terrorist.

It is not a crime to be too-obvious and getting caught doing it especially if you weren't going to committ the act anyway. They just get released and get to report back what happened to their al-qaeda masters.

11 posted on 10/04/2005 4:47:55 AM PDT by JustDoItAlways
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To: goldstategop

As a group, you would have to say that suicide bombers are self-selected for stupid.

12 posted on 10/04/2005 4:52:53 AM PDT by gridlock (You can be a hippie stoner peacenik, but the ROPers will still want you dead.)
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