Saturday, December 04, 2004

AL-Queda in Wichita

A big controversy was ignited when Tulsa Police Chief Dave Been was reported as saying that there are were Al-Queda cells in Wichita and Tulsa. Been backtracked the next day.

Nabil Seyam leader of the Islamic Society of Wichita protested that the chief had insulted all Wichita Muslims.

"We have 5,000 Muslims in Wichita, and each one is humiliated by these comments," Seyam said. "He apologized to Chief Williams, but he needs to apologize to me and our community, or we're taking it to his City Council."
It's hard to see how every Wichita Muslim is humiliated by the possibility of a Al-Queda cell. Been. to be sure spoke carelessly, but he didn't attribute extreme veiws to the entire Muslim community. Should Christians feel insulted if it is reported that there is a Christian Identity or Aryan Nation cell operating in Wichita. I think not.

In fact, the possibility of jihadist, even Al-Queda cells, in Wichita (or Tulsa) is not so absured.
"...1993, when a Palestinian immigrant named Eyad Ismoil drove a truck filled with explosives into the World Trade Center's underground parking garage. Ismoil had entered the United States on a student visa in 1989 and attended Wichita State University for three semesters before dropping out to live and work---illegally---in Texas for the next two years. When the details of Ismoil's history emerged in 1994, the Department of Justice put together an inter-agency task force to take a hard look at the foreign-student visa program."
--Nicholas Confessore. "Borderline Insanity" Washington Monthly May 2002

Moreover, Islamist organizations held national convention in Kansas City and Oklahoma City within the last decade. There is at least some possibility that Muslims from the area were present at one or both events.

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