Saturday, July 08, 2006

Masters Of Disguise

Beware the single young Middle Eastern man who parties hard, drinks harder, plays the field with Western women, and gratuitously ridicules Islam and life back home under it.

It could all be an act. A very dangerous act:

The alleged ringleader of the tunnel terror plot lived the life of an international playboy - on orders from Al Qaeda.

Assem Hammoud, 31, even fooled his mother, if Lebanese police and U.S. anti-terror officials are correct.

His mother, Nabila Qotob, said Hammoud drinks alcohol, had girlfriends, traveled widely and showed no similarities to Islamic militants.

She also said Hammoud taught economics at a local university.

To prove her son was no jihadi, Qotob showed off photos yesterday of Hammoud with his father and lounging shirtless on a speeding motorboat in Germany.

There were also very un-Islamic pictures of Hammoud with three smiling women - none of them wearing veils - on his arm during an undated stay in Canada.

"His morale is high because he is confident he is innocent," said Qotob, who said she had recently visited her son in jail.

But Lebanese police, who arrested Hammoud on April 27, said in a statement that the suspect claimed he had been ordered to maintain a fun-loving, secular lifestyle to hide his Islamic militancy.

"He did just that with perfection," the police statement said.

A long-bearded, turban-wearing, white robe-clad Arab youth reading the Qu'ran on the subway is just going to stand out like a sore thumb, even in New York and Toronto. One can see people move just a little bit away, tense up just slightly, whenever several of them board a subway car or bus at the same time.

To say nothing of the snide comments murmured about the women with everything covered except their eyes.

This arrest is further proof that he who protests too much might just be practicing taqqiya , or hiding the faith for tactical reasons.

And further, that poverty and Islamic terrorism have no correlation or connection. An illiterate Bedouin goatherder or Tehran street urchin would be of no use to the masterminds plotting technically complex and sophisticated attacks.

But the engineer or physician who looks and acts just like an ordinary Westerner is.

Source: New York Daily News

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