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From Hollywood grunge to suicide bomber





Mega Fix


TWA Flight 800





Posted: June 8, 2006
© Jack Cashill

by Jack Cashill


Two months ago, in my daily culling of California newspapers, I came across an article in the local interest section of the Los Angeles Times by an "H.G. Reza."

I chose not to comment on this particular article because I thought everyone else would. They have not, not at all. That the major media have deep-sixed this story is as shocking as the story itself. So let me share the saga of one Raed Mansour Albanna, a Jordanian gone native in the worst of all possible ways.

Albanna came to the United State from Jordan in early 2001 on a tourist visa. Somehow he got a job at Southern California's Ontario International Airport and stayed on it through the end of 2002.

By all accounts, the middle-class Albanna, a disillusioned lawyer back home, took to the American fast lane as adroitly as Mohamed Atta and pals. He partied hard, smoked dope, dug Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails, and plunged into the Hollywood scene like a camel at an oasis.

When September 11 came, he professed as much outrage as the next guy with the caveat, of course, that "Not all Muslims are like that. Not all of us hate America." At the time, he seemed sincere.

Subsequent events, however, must have disoriented him, no pun intended. The a-religious Albanna started attending a California mosque and praying religiously. Sensing that he could further his newfound jihadi calling better in the Middle East, he hightailed it back to Jordan where he associated with a hard-core cell of extremists.

In July 2003, the radicalized Albanna got another U.S. visa and flew into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to do who knows what. Kudos here goes to an unnamed customs officer who smelled something fishy. Customs held Albanna overnight, photographed and fingerprinted him, and sent him back to Jordan the next day.

Although we are encouraged to mock the Department of Homeland Security, as subsequent events would prove, its agents did something very right in this instance. Indeed, after four and a half terror-free years, they deserve a little more credit than we give them. This is one reason the media have chosen not to tell Albanna's story.

The second reason is Albanna's destination after leaving Chicago, namely Iraq. Despite voluminous evidence otherwise, the media insist on the canard that al-Qaida and Iraq had nothing to do with each other in the Saddam era and little afterwards. They are wrong on both counts.

On Feb. 28, 2005, this wayward refugee from the Hollywood grunge scene made his mark on the world by driving a truck to a Hillah medical clinic in Iraq and blowing himself and the truck up. He killed 132 of his fellow Muslims, the single most lethal attack in the post-Saddam era.

Authorities knew it was Albanna only because his hand was still handcuffed to the steering wheel. Thanks to heads-up work in Chicago, we had his fingerprints.

So, "why do they hate us?" The Los Angeles Times hunches that Albanna turned bad only after his fellow pedicab drivers at the airport started razzing him for being a Muslim after 9-11. As if what? The other pedicab drivers were all intolerant Aryan beach boys working at the airport to pay for their surf wax? Unlikely.

No, "they" hate us because they are encouraged to. And the scary thing is that our media are doing much of the encouraging.




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copyright 2005 Jack Cashill