Waging Jihad Through the American Courts

March 31, 2010 05:54

If the war against radical Islam is to be won, all avenues of attack, including the courts, need to be battened down.

By from the March 2010 issue The American Spectator

On March 20, 2002, officers from the FBI, customs, immigration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives raided 19 offices and residences in Virginia and Georgia in the largest action against suspected terrorism financing in American history. One of the targets of “Operation Green Quest” was the Washington, D.C.-area residence of Iqbal Unus, a nuclear physicist, along with his wife, Aysha Nudrat and their 18-year-old daughter, Hanaa.

The Unus family responded to the raid by filing an implausible but important lawsuit two years later in the U.S. district court for Eastern Virginia. The three plaintiffs claimed there had been no probable cause to search their house, they further alleged a “conspiracy to violate [their] constitutional rights,” and they sought punitive damages from several individuals associated with the raid:

• David Kane, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent who signed the 106-page affidavit that justified the search.

• Rita Katz, a private counterterrorism specialist and director of what is now called the SITE Intelligence Group.

• “All unknown named federal agents…who searched plaintiffs’ home.” Those agents, the Unus family claimed, “knew or should have known that the affidavit did not contain probable cause for the search…for financial documents.” (The agents, later named, numbered 11 in all: four customs agents, four Internal Revenue Service agents, an Immigration and Naturalization Service agent, a Secret Service agent, and a postal inspector.)

These defendants together stood accused of conspiring to “contrive allegations” that documents relevant to the financing of terrorism were located at their house. In plain English, the Unus family alleged that Kane, Katz, and the federal agents fabricated reasons for the raid.

In other words, the Unus family ascribed responsibility for the search of their house, a sovereign decision of the U.S. government, to specific federal employees and, even more bizarrely, to a private person (Katz) who had never served as a U.S. government employee. They justified suing Katz because she had claimed in her autobiography, Terrorist Hunter, and on the CBS program 60 Minutes to having unearthed the information that led to Kane’s affidavit. Accordingly, the Unus family deemed her “the impetus” behind the search warrant and the source for its “every piece of information.”

The Unus lawsuit, only recently settled, warrants scrutiny because it fits a common pattern of what I call predatory exploitation of U.S. courts by Islamists. It raises several questions: What did the Unus family hope to achieve from its lawsuit? How does this incident fit into the larger scheme of Islamist ambitions? How can this abuse of the U.S. legal system be prevented?


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