Joe Lieberman has always been a great pioneer for internet freedom. Last year, he suggested that the United States should implement an internet kill switch in the event of a cyberattack by taking its cues from China. Now Lieberman is calling for the world’s most popular search engine to censor material that could potentially be used to spread terrorist information.
Lieberman sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking the company to implement a system where users can report websites harboring terrorism and Google will remove them from their Blogger platform. Lieberman brought up the case of Jose Pimentel, who was recently arrested in New York for attempting to make a pipe bomb, and used the internet to do it! Lieberman gave Google some praise for banning any terrorist content from YouTube and allowing users to flag videos, but insisted they do more and implement a similar system on their search platform.
The suspect had little money to speak of, was unable to pay his cellphone bill and scrounged for money to buy the drill bits that court papers said he required to make his pipe bombs. Initially, he had trouble drilling the small holes that needed to be made in the metal tubes.
The suspect, Jose Pimentel, according to several people briefed on the case, would seek help from a neighbor in Upper Manhattan as well as a confidential informer. That informer provided companionship and a staging area so Mr. Pimentel, a Muslim convert, could build three pipe bombs while the Intelligence Division of the <a title="More articles about the New York City Police Department." New York Police Department built its case.
But it was the informer’s role, and that of his police handlers, that have now been cited as among the reasons the F.B.I., which had its own parallel investigation of Mr. Pimentel, did not pursue the case, which was announced on Sunday night in a news conference at City Hall. Terrorism cases are generally handled by federal authorities.
Police said Sunday they had arrested a U.S. citizen who planned to bomb police cars and post offices and kill U.S. servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to protest the American military presence in those countries.
Jose Pimentel, 27, a convert to Islam, had been under surveillance for two years but seemed to have stepped up his bomb-making activities and plotting after the Sept. 30 killing by U.S. forces of Anwar Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born cleric who was living in Yemen, authorities said. Awlaki was a prominent voice for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of Al Qaeda.
Awlaki’s death “really set him off,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a Sunday night news conference at City Hall. He called Pimentel a “lone wolf.”
Federal authorities also said this is not the first time since the 2001 attacks that local New York law enforcement officials have conducted their own anti-terrorism investigation without bringing in federal authorities. They cited a case in 2004 when two terrorism suspects were believed to be plotting to ignite bombs in the New York area, and New York police and their intelligence division shut down the operation.
The case of Jose Pimentel, an “al-Qaida sympathizer” accused of plotting a bomb attack in New York, has once again focused our attention on why converts to Islam appear to be so fascinated by violent jihad. Is there something in the act of conversion that transforms normal citizens into messengers of death?
For the answer, let us look at the pattern of converts to Islam in the West. In the last generation we have had many high profile converts such as Yusuf Islam, a.k.a Cat Stevens, Sheik Hamza Yusef, Ingrid Mattson, and of course, one of the most famous of them all, Muhammad Ali, the great boxer. Each one of them brought their extraordinary talents to Islam and promoted better understanding between Muslims and non Muslims.
So what has changed today? Why are we seeing a number of American converts to Islam plotting against this country? In order to answer this question, I travelled recently for almost a year through the United States with a team of young researchers. We published the findings in Journey into America (2010). What we found was a Muslim community that very much appreciative of being in the United States as proud citizens, but was also sharing a sense of being under siege after 9/11. They saw their religion, culture, and traditions mocked mercilessly. They were conscious of the attacks on mosques and women wearing Islamic dress.
NEW YORK — The mother of a “lone wolf” accused of plotting to attack police stations and post offices with homemade bombs apologized to New Yorkers on Monday, even as questions arose about why federal authorities — who typically handle terrorism cases — declined to get involved in what city officials called a serious threat.
The mother of Jose Pimentel spoke to reporters outside her upper Manhattan home the day after her son was arraigned in state court on terrorism-related charges.
“I didn’t raise my son in that way,” Carmen Sosa said. “I feel bad about this situation.”
She also praised the New York Police Department, saying, “I think they handled it well.”