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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > NY Times gives op ed forum to brother of ex Gitmo detainee who plotted attacks in Paris and is linked to Beslan massacre

NY Times gives op ed forum to brother of ex Gitmo detainee who plotted attacks in Paris and is linked to Beslan massacre

June 18, 2006

On Vacation With Mourad Benchellali In Jihadiland

June 19, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On June 14 Menad Benchellali, his father [Chellali], mother [Hafsa], brother [Hafed] and 21 others were found guilty in a French court on charges of - "criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise" - and sentenced to varying terms of confinement for proscribed activities including attempting to construct poison gas weapons and planning to bomb the Eiffel Tower, the Commercial Centre at Les Halles and the Russian embassy, also in Paris.

All but one defendant had been accused of aiding Muslim terrorists in Chechnya.

The accused also had links to al-Qaeda and [the late] Ayman Musab al-Zarqawi, facts motivating prosecutors to state that the trial demonstrated the "globalization of the jihad movement."

32 year old Menad was sentenced to 10 years for cooking up chemical and biological weapons in his mother's kitchen on the outskirts of Lyon.

Menad's associate in this venture - also sentenced to 10 years - was Merouane Benhamed.

Benhamed's attorney is Isabelle Coutant-Peyre; after the sentence was imposed she stated that her client and co-defendants were victims whose only guilt amounted to having been, "accused of being Muslims."

Continuing in this fashion, Peyre also declared that "this was truly a political verdict," suggesting that the French court was merely acting upon orders given to it by the United State and Russia, claiming it was "told to condemn Muslims who annoy these power."

Mme Coutant-Peyre is rather notorious - though scant coverage of her background by the MSM would hardly suggest that. She is probably best known as being the wife of the 1970s terrorist leader Carlos the Jackal and having served as one of his attorneys during his 1997 trial.

Carlos, aka Illich Ramirez Sanchez - chief minister of violence for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] - murdered more than 1,500 people during his reign of terror during the 70s and 80s.

Mme Peyre also defended Magdelana Kopp who was convicted in a 1982 shoulder-fired rocket attack on a French nuclear power plant.

But where does Mourad Benchellali fit into this story?

Mourad is Menad Benchellali's younger brother, he and a companion - Nizar Sassi - traveled to Afghanistan on forged passports for jihad training in 2001. They were rolled up in the wake of September 11 in Pakistan along with two others - Brahim Yadel and Imad Achab Kanouni - handed over to U.S. forces and then sent to GITMO.

In 2004 they were extradited back to France where today they face terrorism charges outside those that befell Benchellali's family.

On the day the French terror conviction came down, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Mourad Benchellali, who offered the following explanation for his being in Afghanistan, training with al-Qaeda and taking up arms.

"In the early summer of 2001, when I was 19, I made the mistake of listening to my older brother and going to Afghanistan on what I thought was a dream vacation. His friends, he said, were going to look after me. They did - channeling me to what turned out to be a Qaeda training camp. For two months, I was there, trapped in the middle of the desert by fear and my own stupidity.

As soon as my time was up, I headed home. I was a few miles from the Pakistani border when I learned with horror about the attacks of 9/11. Days later, the border was sealed off, and the only way through to Pakistan and a plane to Europe was across the mountains of the Hindu Kush. I was with a group of people who were all going the same way. No one was armed; most of them, like me, had been lured to Afghanistan by a misguided and mistimed sense of adventure, and were simply trying to make their way home.

I was seized by the Pakistani Army while having tea at a mosque shortly after I managed to cross the border. A few days later I was delivered to the United States Army: although I didn't know it at the time, I was now labeled an "enemy combatant." It did not matter that I was no one's enemy and had never been on a battlefield, let alone fought or aimed a weapon at anyone." - Mourad Benchellali Detainees In Despair New York Times, June 14, 2006

There are many lessons to learn from this little affair.

If it were not already obvious, the zeal with which large segments of the western media act as apologists for terror should be apparent.

Not only is Times' pimping of Mourad Benchellali's dog-ate-the-homework defense of his jihadist activities in itself a travesty, the running of it the day that the rest of his family was convicted of aiding the same Chechen terrorists - who killed 331 Russian children in Beslan in September 2004 - is so in your face that it amounts to a journalistic "fuck you," a seemingly uncontrollable post Judith Miller spasm.

To believe that Mourad is innocent, that he was somehow unaware of and uninvolved with his family's Islamic terrorist activities - punctuated by his presence at al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan - is beyond comprehension.

It is indefensible that the Times would suspend the high level of skepticism - that one almost always observes when the subject matter impinges on the reputation of the left - in furtherance of this terrorist's propaganda.

Of course, the "human rights" world is also fixated upon aiding the Islamists, as the following Amnesty International blurb details:

"On 8 May 2003, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in the case of three French nationals Mourad Benchellali, Khaled Ben Mustafa and Nizar Sassi and Spanish national Hamed Aderrahaman Ahmed, all held in Guantánamo, said that it "cannot but conclude that no legal basis justifies the deprivation of liberty" of the four men. It stated that their detention was "arbitrary, being in contravention of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of which the United States of America is a Party".(171) The Working Group urged the US authorities to remedy the situation and bring it into conformity with international law."

One might hope that this is all politics, damnable enough, but one can't help but get the sense that the thrust of this offensive really is more in keeping with and dictated by al-Qaeda's critique of an imperialistic, decadent west.

These self-blind attacks are therefore constructed around that framework, abusing the freedom of the press to throttle its guarantors - fully aware of its Leninesque dimensions - hanging democracy with its own rope.

Mme Peyre's involvement in this matter is especially clarifying.

It's not only that she defended an international pariah - Carlos the Jackal - but that she married him and has locked arms in solidarity with Chechen terrorists - demonstrating the near elemental psycho-sexual bond that now exists between the left and Islamist terror.

Peyre and the "movement" - of which Europe is largely accommodative, and of which she is part - have elevated her husband's thousand-plus murders into the stuff of legend - a testament to anti-Semitic hatred attainable by few.

This might also explain her physcial appearance, that of a post-liberation Vichy collaborator, only with her hair grown out.

Her presence in this matter working in tandem with the lies of Mourad Benchellali - as sanctified by the New York Times - triggers so many alarms that it's no wonder that the major media has chosen to conceal the essence of this case.

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