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May 5, 2010

Your Turn: Facebook Terrorist

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

I’m interested in how you read these pictures.

For my money, I thought the graphic from the Maddow show was perfect (and in sync with this BAG comment) that Shahzad, a guy going nowhere, had made it to Broadway.

(caption: image 2: An image of terror suspect Faisal Shahzad is seen on a screen during a press conference at the US Justice Department in Washington, DC. FBI agents pulled a Pakistani-American suspected of the botched New York car bombing off a plane in a dramatic arrest as he tried to flee the country, officials said. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “a good look” was needed at how the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, almost got away before being removed from an Emirates Airline plane about to take off from John F. Kennedy Airport to Dubai.)

  • DennisQ

    Some people think it’s more important that we nail these guys even if we have to bend our justice system to do it. I think that’s a slippery slope. Under the leadership of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the New York cops engaged in preventive detention of anti-Bush demonstrators at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

    Kelly’s the same guy addressing the media about how the cops nabbed Faisal Shahzad, and he’s also the one deciding how much surveillance is permissible under the Constitution. It’s quite possible that a suspect who is presumed guilty because of evidence that the prosecution can’t acknowledge, will be convicted because the admissible evidence has been um, enhanced. We’ll end up with two justice systems – one the formal one by which suspects are tried before a jury, and the other, the real justice system.

    According to Time Magazine, the politically-motivated prosecutor in the Fort Dix Six case used a forged letter to extort a guilty plea from at least one of the defendants. Handwriting experts who’ve analyzed the incriminating document say that there’s no way it was written by the person to whom it was attributed. Nonetheless, that prosecutor went on to high office, and we’ll never be sure whether justice was served.

    • DennisQ

      Sorry. Here’s the correct link.

  • Deborah White

    My first reaction to the top photo was the hackneyed phrase”My future is so bright, that I have to wear shades.” I think that it was because of that blue tooth thing in his ear. I’ve been reading a little bit about this man and it seemed from the reading that he wasn’t much of a student or an employee. Just average or maybe a little less than that. But in the top picture, he is wearing all of the gimmicks of the upwardly mobile, hip techie. He had a house that he couldn’t afford. He was underemployed or unemployed. The blue tooth thing in his ear would give him a free pass just about any urban center.

  • Malika

    unemployed, home foreclosed….doesn’t seem too far from many other people in this country.

  • Stan B.

    No fervent political extremism here. Just another guy bitten by the hollow allure of The American Dream- and got ticked off when it blew up in his face.

  • Gasho

    My first thought: HYPOCRITE. If this guy is supposed to be an Islamic terrorist who is willing to die for Allah and fight against the great Satan – he sure seems to be enjoying himself when he’s adorned with all the fancy western bling. Maybe that’s why he put together a crappy bomb. His heart wasn’t in it.

    He really wants to be important, but he bought himself a one way ticket to DARK TIMES. How will his story unfold from here? I say put an ankle bracelet on him and never let him be free again, but let him spend some time with an honest, peaceful Islamic teacher who can teach him that blowing people up doesn’t get you into heaven. He could be a poster boy for anti-radicalism (ankle bracelet and all).

    • Shashinka

      That’s the crux of it all. The neatly defined parameters that “experts” here in DC use to feed us, to tell us what the “enemy” looks like. Of course, we always have to paint those who are “evil” in a particularly neatly defined classification of something outside the norm. kind of scary when the reality of the matter that a home grown, or other such terrorist not only looks like us, but acts like us as well. From an intelligence standpoint, that’s pretty damn scary as it makes profiling a potential terrorist much harder. I know it makes me a bit more nervous. Then again, wasn’t that how witch hunts start, right?

  • Adam

    The second photo has been bothering me since it was picked up everywhere. The baby he was holding up to the camera has been cropped out. One piece of complexity too much for the narrative the gov’t and media are trying to put out…

  • futurebird

    He has such a “friendly” face, round soft features, bumbling smile– if I were casting he doesn’t fit the part to my eye.

  • Stackit_up

    In my fantasy I want this guy taken for a one way helicopter ride over the Atlantic. In reality try him, sentence him, execute sentence as the criminal he is, and absolutely, do not make him a martyr by sending him to Gitmo.

  • ahsregusted

    On another blog, there were repeated comments by straight women and gay men that Shahzad was “hot” (looking).

    This got me to thinking once again about how appearances affect our judgment calls on personality in first impressions…

    • Fern

      I find that odd. To me, he looks like someone who THINKS he is hot.

  • Nemottawa

    These are interesting photos.
    But what I see is a person with the outward acoutrements of what indicates success in the US. But his eventual actions indicate that this is all a facade. He does not really fit in. He has the bluetooth. the shades, the chinstrap, but deep down alienated.
    He also represents blowback for the continued unaccounted droning taking place in Pakistan.

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