This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/593

Muslim army deserter jailed in FL - anti American & anti semitic notes found in backpack read: "Die you know who you are !!!"

"Dangerous guy"....who "had been in the US all his life" threatened sheriff's deputies upon arrest
May 5, 2005

Jail photo
U.S. Army Sgt. Karim Iraq didn't want to go back to the war zone after two tours of duty.

MIM: As Dr. Daniel Pipes had pointed out, at least 15% of all Muslims have the potential to be radicalised. The case of U.S. army sergeant Karim Iraq is case in point.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=731064

Army Sergeant Arrested As Deserter at Parents' Home in Fla.; Anti-American Notes Found in Backpack

The Associated Press

May. 5, 2005 -

An Army sergeant who left his Georgia post six months ago was tracked down at his parents' home after a notebook with anti-American and anti-Semitic writings was found in his discarded backpack.

Karim Iraq, 25, was arrested as a deserter and is being held without bail at the Palm Beach County Jail, sheriff's officials said.

His father said the soldier fled Fort Stewart after the Army extended his enlistment because he had soured on the U.S. military mission in Iraq. The father said the soldier was also harassed over his Palestinian heritage.

"He was feeling rejected or discriminated against for the last year or so.... He said he'd been made fun of all of the time. He never fit in. They made fun of his name. They always looked at him like he's an outsider," Zayed Iraq said.

Karim Iraq was arrested Tuesday, a day after the backpack was found Monday at a gas station within miles of his parents' home in this West Palm Beach suburb. The father said the bag was probably left there by a burglar who had broken into the soldier's truck days earlier.

Authorities said a notebook inside the backpack contained handwritten notes cursing the military, freedom and the United States. A message reading "Die you know who you are!!!" appears with an image of the Star of David in a circle with a line through it.

"He's a dangerous guy with anti-American slogans and a deserter. It's someone we want to get off the street immediately," sheriff's Capt. Gregory Richter said.

Zayed Iraq said his Detroit-born son was proud of his service in Iraq and Kuwait on two previous tours but had become disenchanted and did not want to go back to the Middle East for a third time.

"It's not like he hates the U.S. He's been here all his life. It's the only country he ever knew. Half the country doesn't agree with the president," Zayed Iraq said.

Iraq's commander will determine whether he faces administrative punishment or a court-martial. If he is court-martialed, the maximum penalty under normal circumstances is up to five years in prison. During war, the maximum penalty is death, but the Army hasn't executed a soldier since 1961.

The case was referred to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2005/05/05/m1a_iraqarrest_0505.html

Wellington man held in desertion case

By Rochelle Brenner

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 05, 2005

UPDATED: 9:53 p.m. May 05, 2005

U.S. Army Sgt. Karim Iraq, who is charged with deserting the military, was released from Palm Beach County Jail this afternoon - two days after the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrested him at his father's house in Wellington.

Iraq, 25, is expected to fly back to Fort Stewart, Georgia tomorrow. He walked away from his post in Georgia six months ago because he didn't want to go back to Iraq.

After two tours in the Middle East - one in Kuwait and one in Fallujah - Iraq became disenchanted with the mission for the war and felt like an outsider among fellow soldiers, his father said.

From today's paper

U.S. Army Sgt. Karim Iraq, taunted by his comrades and disillusioned by the Iraq war, didn't want to go back to the desert for a third time, his father said.

So the 25-year-old left his post at Fort Stewart, Ga., and came home to Wellington.

Six months passed. And Iraq might still be in his father's house today had his discarded backpack not been found Monday at a gas station. The bag contained a notebook with anti-American slogans that alarmed authorities.

The next day, about 10 deputies with high-powered rifles, shields and helmets descended on the Iraq family's Old Country Road home, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Iraq was arrested on a warrant for deserting the military and is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bail.

His case has been referred to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Officials learned that Iraq was in the area when his bag was found at the Mobil station at Royal Palm Beach and Okeechobee boulevards. It probably was thrown there by a burglar who broke into the sergeant's truck earlier in the week, Iraq's father said.

When Royal Palm Beach officers discovered the bag's owner was wanted, they advised the sheriff's office to look for him at his father's house, sheriff's Capt. Gregory Richter said.

"He's a dangerous guy with anti-American slogans and a deserter. It's someone we want to get off the street immediately," Richter said.

Reached at home, Iraq's father said his son was proud of his two tours handling supplies in the Middle East in Kuwait for a few months, and in Fallujah, Iraq, for almost a year in 2003. But he becamedisenchanted with the military's policies and was castigated by fellow soldiers after arriving at Fort Stewart last year, his father said.

"He was feeling rejected or discriminated against for the last year or so.... He said he'd been made fun of all of the time. He never fit in. They made fun of his name. They always looked at him like he's an outsider," Zayed Iraq said.

Iraq's family is from the Middle East, and Karim Iraq was born in Detroit. The family moved to Palm Beach County when he was 6.

"It's not like he hates the U.S. He's been here all his life. It's the only country he ever knew. Half the country doesn't agree with the president," Zayed Iraq said.

Zayed Iraq said his oldest son started disagreeing with the military's mission in Iraq during the past year and wanted to be discharged at the end of his contract, but the Army extended his term.

"He said when things started shifting from weapons of mass destruction, it became about democracy and oil and all these things, and he wasn't supposed to be there doing these things," Iraq said.

Every contract includes a clause that a soldier's duty can be extended during war time, Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said. She could not confirm any details about Karim Iraq's case.

"We have an all-volunteer Army and soldiers serve because they choose to do so," she said. "Above anything else, AWOL and desertion are crimes that go against the Army's values."

Evidence of Iraq's frustration with the government was found in the notebook in his backpack.

On handwritten notes on government-issued paper, he curses the military, freedom and the United States, including the words: "Die you know who you are!!!" The bottom of the page has an image of the Star of David in a circle with a line through it.

Iraq, who attended Wellington High School and earned his GED, has no history of violence. But he was angry at the deputies' show of force when they arrived and threatened to hurt himself or someone else the "next time," the sheriff's office said.

Iraq's commander will determine whether he faces an administrative punishment or a court-martial. If he is court-martialed, the maximum penalty under normal circumstances is up to five years in prison. During war, the maximum penalty is death, but the Army hasn't executed a soldier since 1961, Hart said.

"A lot of soldiers aren't happy about going to Iraq twice. That's the responsibility they took on," sheriff's Detective Tom Gendreau said.

Richter is one of them. He said he was disappointed to be reactivated to the U.S. Navy a week after the Sept. 11 attacks at age 45. He said he left his children for a year and 10 days to report to duty.

"They did it to me. My son's in Iraq now. So I have no sympathy for (Iraq). When you change your mind with what the military's doing, you don't just go home. That's a very serious charge," Richter said.

Iraq's father said he doesn't necessarily agree with his son's opinions about the war, but respects him for sticking to his beliefs.

"Nobody's perfect but he's a good boy. I'm not proud that he deserted the military, but I'm proud he stands for what he believes in."

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/593