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THE STORY BEHIND OMAR KHADR

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By thisistwitchy  •  February 10, 2005 01:07 PM

Drudge linked to a story last night, still up today, which he headlined: “CANADIAN TEEN WAS ABUSED AT GUANTANAMO, LAWYERS SAY…”

Now, here’s the rest of the story. The teen is Omar Khadr, member of an infamous clan in Canada with close ties to al Qaeda. In a CBC documentary, Omar’s brothers acknowledged:

“I admit it that we are an al-Qaida family. We had connections to al-Qaida,” said Abdurahman Khadr, who says he resisted his father’s urgings to become a suicide bomber.

But another son, 22-year-old Abdullah Khadr, backed the idea of martyrdom for Islam.

“Every Muslim dreams of being a shahid (martyr) for Islam,” he said. “Everybody dreams of this, even a Christian would like to die for their religion.”

I wrote about Omar here and here.

Refresher:

Before you cry buckets over the poor, abused tots at Gitmo, let’s make one thing clear: We are not talking about hordes of peace-loving, cherubic grade-schoolers (like the kind who were freed from Saddam’s prisons by American troops). We are talking about four male juveniles captured as active enemy combatants against U.S. forces – and suspected of having links to the al-Qaida terrorist network of Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime.

These “children” weren’t playing Nintendo or lolling around in a sandbox when they were taken into custody. They were at war, armed and dangerous, carrying out jihad.

One of the youths reportedly in custody at Gitmo is 16-year-old Omar Khadr, who, as I noted last week, is a suspected al-Qaida soldier accused of lobbing the hand grenade that killed Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, a 28-year-old medic with the U.S. Special Forces. At least one eyewitness said Khadr was no confused little boy. He knew exactly what he was doing: trying to kill Americans.

And:

[Omar]is in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay for his alleged role in an ambush of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last summer. Omar is accused of lobbing the hand grenade that killed Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, a 28-year-old medic with the U.S. Special Forces.

“That wasn’t a panicky teen-ager we encountered that day,” Sergeant First Class Layne Morris of South Jordan, Utah, who lost his right eye in the ambush, told the Boston Globe last month. “That was a trained al-Qaida who wanted to make his last act on earth the killing of an American.”

Speer left behind a wife and two children, ages 3 and 11 months. Just days before his murder, Speer had selflessly walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children.

Judi MacLeod at Canada Free Press has excellent coverage of the press conference the Khadr family and their lawyers held yesterday:

According to U.S. law professor Muneer Ahmad, who had visited Khadr in November and co-authored a subsequent affidavit, the physical and mental abuse of Omar Khadr is “horrific”, “immoral” and “illegal”

“We have evidence that one of Canada’s children has been tortured by the United States, Ahmad said.

With his mother weeping in the background and Edney demanding that the federal government fight more vigorously to protect Khadr’s human rights, a fusillade of questions about the Khadr family’s checkered past all but dominated the news conference.

Khadr may be “one of Canada’s children” to Muneer Ahmad. To many Canadians, he’s the scion of a family, three members of who camped out at Osama bin Laden’s terror training camps in Afghanistan.

Ahmed Said Khadr, the family patriarch–once set free from Pakistan by the intercession of Prime Minister Jean Chretien–was a well-known al Qaeda financier who raised four Toronto-born sons in the world of radical Islam.

It was in bin Laden’s terror training camp that Omar Khadr was captured in July, 2002 after allegedly tossing a grenade that killed a U.S. Army medic.

Khadr’s outspoken mother and sister cried no tears for the fallen army medic.

Following Khadr’s capture, his sister said the death of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer was no “big deal”. His mother, who said she would rather see her sons at al-Qaeda training camps than “be on drugs or having some homosexual relation” in Canada, insulted some Canadians.

Yesterday, Mrs. Khadr let her lawyer do the talking by reading a statement that asked “every Canadian mother and father to help me get justice for my son and bring him home.”

Reporters wanted to know why Canadians should care about her son’s plight in consideration of her family’s open disdain for the West and their close ties to terrorism.

Edney responded with an admission that there is no doubt that there is a lack of sympathy toward the Khadr family, but chided inquiring reporters with, “It’s the principle you’re fighting for”.

“We need to be very clear,” Ahmad, added. “The U.S. did not torture the Khadr family. They took the body of a boy and subjected it to horrific conditions. So how can we forget about that because of a history that the Khadr family has in the public conscience of Canada?”

With evidence that has yet to be proven, Ahmad did not use the word “alleged” when he spoke about the U.S. subjecting Khadr’s body to “horrific” conditions.

Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has conceded that Ottawa is still concerned that Khadr has been imprisoned for almost three years without being charged with a crime.

Sgt. 1st Class (ret.) Layne Morris, who was injured in the firefight that ended with Khadr’s capture, is skeptical about Khadr’s allegations of torture.

“The best defence is a good offence,” he said yesterday, referring to al-Qaeda training manuals that urge members to allege abuse if they are arrested. “He might be youthful-looking, but he is certainly not youthful-acting. You don’t get to Afghanistan in a firefight with U.S. forces on a whim.”

Spare your tears for Omar Khadr. Save them for Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, his widow, and his young and fatherless daughters.

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