MYM Media Section Publishes Story on `Martyred` US Muslim Immigrant
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Somali Islamist defence chief Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed "Inda`ade" Siad (C), arrives for training on the outskirts of Mogadishu, December 11, 2008.
Somalia: MYM Media Section Publishes `Millat Ibrahim` Story on `Martyred` US Muslim Immigrant On 4 October, the "Mujahidin Youth Movement (MYM) Media Section" posted to a jihadist website a statement and a publication entitled "Millat Ibrahim," which is described as "a monthly magazine published by the Al-Zarqawi Center for Studies and Research, which belongs to the media section of the Mujahidin Youth Movement." In the statement the group includes various links for downloading the magazine. The posting is attributed to the Sada al-Jihad Media Center of the Global Islamic Media Front. In the "Immigrants` Forum" section of the magazine, there is a story of an immigrant from the United States who died in Somalia. The story begins with his childhood in Seattle and ends with how he was killed in a US missile strike in Somalia. The author explains that he wrote the story as a lesson for Muslims to learn how a man who became a Muslim fulfilled his duties toward his religion and his nation. OSC filed a summary of the statement announcing the first issue of "Millat Ibrahim"
A translation of the story in the Immigrants` Forum follows:
"Al-Muhajirin (Immigrants`) Forum
(Abu Huriyyah) Amir Abdul Muhaimin
"Praise be to God and prayers and peace be upon the prophet of God.
"I write these lines with mixed emotions deep in my chest, some sad and some happy. I am sad for losing a brother, whose face I will not see again on this earth. I also am happy at the end of my brother, and how God made him steadfast in the right path until he was martyred in the frontlines, may God have mercy upon him. We consider him so and God suffices.
"The story began in the city of Seattle in Washington State of the US. This brother was born to Christian parents, a black American father and Mexican mother. His skin color was a mixture of black and brown. His parents named him Ruben Shumpert (name as received). He was raised in a pure Christian home; at the time of his martyrdom, the brother had a tattoo of a large Cross on his arm.
"The brother had a tough childhood and he was jailed several times during his childhood. Recently, a brother who was close to him told me that he carried a gun since he was 12 years of age, which is why he became a skilled handler of guns. He told some brothers that he never missed once he pointed a gun at someone.
"Ruben grew up in the arms of drug gangs in that state until he became one of the biggest drug traffickers. He became an owner of many houses and buildings. As is the habit of drug dealers, they got involved in some operations that lead the police to look for them. Ruben was pursued by the American police and FBI. The same source told me Ruben told him that in those days he never slept and he installed monitoring cameras on all the roads leading to the home in which he was hiding in order to monitor the movements outside the home.
"His imprisonment, his conversion to Islam, and his movement among the deviant groups in search of what is right:
"As a result of those pursuits, he ended up in jail for a long period, during which he proclaimed his Islamic faith and chose the name Amir Abdul Muhaimin as a new name instead of his previous name. After his release from prison, he was eager to read and seek Shari`ah knowledge. The wind dropped him into the arms of the hope of the era, the new Salafists and sometimes into the arms of the Takfir and Al-Hijrah group. He was not convinced of their corrupt beliefs. Then, he joined the Hizb al-Tahrir group based in Britain, although he did not go there, but then he renounced it for abandoning jihad. The brother became confused while seeing the injustice of the Crusader forces against the Islamic land and the mass killing of Muslims. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ignited the light of faith in his heart such tha the will be asked on Judgment Day before God if he turned his back on his brothers.
"The brother was a strong man and a fierce fighter during his pre-Islamic days. He began to look for weapons and jihad. He did not accept being powerful during his pre-Islamic days and being a weakling under his Islam faith, although he joined Islam only recently. Woe upon those who are born Muslims, yet who have no feeling in their hearts toward their brothers or their usurped lands.
"His release from prison:
"After the brother was released from prison, while he was moving between the different groups, and because he was from among the black Americans, he opened a barbershop in a city whose population mostly consisted of black Americans. Everyone in the region knew the brother during his pre-Islamic days. All feared and respected him; they greeted him with the greeting of Islam "Peace be upon you," because they found out that the brother embraced Islam. The barbershop always was full and prospered through the young people of this neighborhood, either Muslim or infidel, because the barbershop was like a Da`wah center belonging to the late brother.
"Thanks to him, many of his old friends during the pre-Islamic days became Muslims. Through the brother, God guided many sons of the Muslim community living in that area, most of who were from the Somali community. Sometimes, he used his good speech and easy talk and threatened the troublemakers so as not to devastate the others.
"Second imprisonment on charges of terrorism, belonging to Al-Qa`ida, and his emigration to Somalia:
The Somalia Islamic Courts Union`s security forces sit in central Mogadishu July 18, 2006,
"Amir was not tired of seeking Shari`ah knowledge. God guided him to the right path, where he met some brothers who had returned from Chechnya. He got acquainted with them; they provided him with some educational and jihad tapes. Our knight was fond of Shaykh Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi, may God have mercy on him, and hoped to join him there in the land of the two rivers(Iraq).
"The barbershop was on the second floor of a building on the main street; the building consisted of the upper floor and a ground floor. The upper floor had a staircase that passed in front of the ground floor. A person of Muslim origin used to live on the ground floor, but his words and deeds made him abandon the religion of Muhammad, prayers and peace be upon him. Besides his statements and blasphemousness actions, he used to sell alcohol, in addition to being a pimp who traded in prostitution; a truly dirty human being. One day after seeing some jihad movies, one of the enthusiastic brothers among the new Muslims came down from the upper floor to the lower floor and saw a lot of evil. The brother attempted to advise that lewd man, but only received slaps and kicks. The latter wished he had not done that, because the brother was a muscular American Muslim brother who beat the man to the ground in a few moments. One among the customers, perhaps the man`s wife, called the police. When the police asked the apostate about who beat him, he claimed that Amir and 10 other brothers beat him up. The brother had a long police record from his pre-Islamic days, and they were upset at his Islam and the way in which the young people in the area rallied around him. They gained an opportunity to arrest him, despite the fact that the brother who hit the man told the police that he, not Amir, was the one who beat up the man.
"The case contained other dimensions and the FBI quickly intervened and took control of things. The FBI brought out four cameras that were planted inside the barbershop. They accused Amir of terrorism, incitement to terrorism, and even military training within the barbershop. The case went from an issue of a fight to an issue of terrorism, for which the brother was imprisoned. In prison, he met with the imam of the mosque were he prayed. The imam advised him not to talk about matters of jihad and refrain from all of that. Amir asked him: "Oh shaykh, I always talked to people about matters of jihad; you have not read one verse about jihad in your life, but now we are in the same cell." This shaykh was imprisoned in a terrorism case although he was classified as a moderate Salafist. The shaykh laughed about the statement and agreed with him, because the non believers will not be satisfied with anything whatever you do. The brother stayed in prison for several months. They pressured him to admit that he was part of Al-Qa`ida, that he met with Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, that he intended to carryout terrorist acts, and so on from the long chain of accusations, which the brother did not admit. He was released on a bail of limited duration on the basis of admitting to possessing weapons and accepting he was to be jailed for a period of time to be determined by the unmerciful judge.
"One day while he was confused, he met some Somali brothers who have jihadist beliefs. One of them advised him to pretend to confess until he gained a chance to escape from America and go to undertake jihad in Somalia. That was during the days of the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC). The latter convinced him of the idea and the brothers conducted the necessary preparations for the forgery to tickets out of America to Somalia. While on his way, he transited in Dubai and was stopped by the Emirates security services. They were investigating the identity of any person traveling to Somalia at that stage, may God fight them. Praise be to God, he was able escape from the policeman while he was busy talking with some of his colleagues at work, and he was able to catch the plane heading to Mogadishu. He disembarked at the airport, which was a moment when two delights blended into one: the joy of escaping from the American prison, and we all know the extent and brutality of US prisons; and the joy of arriving for jihad for the sake of God.
Islamic courts fighters stand at Mogadishu`s international airport December 25, 2006.
"His arrival in Somalia:
"In the days of the Islamic Courts, Mogadishu Airport was under the control of the brothers. When he arrived at the airport, there was a group of brothers who received the immigrants. Once you arrive, you tell them you are looking for a camp, or to conduct jihad, or a weapon. You say what you want without fear of the intelligence services. They do not grieve and they take you to the camps or to the immigrants` administration.
"In Mogadishu, a new phase of Amir`s life began. Upon his arrival, he only was interested in buying an AK-47. Thanks be to God, he was able to purchase an AK-47 and joined the ranks of the mujahidin in the Immigrants Brigade. In the famous Idali (name as transliterated) battle in which at least 2,000 Ethiopian soldiers were killed, the brother was wounded by a shot in his back. He was evacuated to Mogadishu with the injured for treatment, because the war was raging outside Mogadishu. After the withdrawal of the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu, Amir withdrew with the brothers from the same brigade to the forests of southern Somalia, where he remained for a period of time.
"The story of his martyrdom:
"Amir tried to leave the forest with some of the brothers in order to do something that God only knows. One of them, who turned out to be a spy for the Americans later, betrayed them. As soon as the brothers stepped off the small boat they were on board, they were shelled with missiles immediately. Three of them were martyred, including our knight Amir Abdul Muhaimin.
"The lesson in reciting the story of the brother is for Muslims to look at how a man who became a Muslim immediately learned the duties he had toward his religion and his nation. May God have mercy upon my brother and my friend. May God make heaven his abode and accept him among the martyrs. I ask Almighty God to make us join them in heaven. Oh how I wish that I could see him in the frontlines, but God destined that and He does what He wants and I can only say:
"If we do not meet on the earth someday
"And the cup of wishes separated between us
"Then our meeting will be in heaven
"Where the compassionate live with the compassionate."(Poem)
© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.
Seattle case raises questions about war on terror
By Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers
December 18, 2006
The FBI believes Ruben Shumpert fled to Somalia after he pleaded guilty to gun and counterfeiting charges.
SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- Where in the world is Ruben Shumpert?
By most expectations, the Seattle barber should be sitting in a federal lock-up serving time for gun and counterfeiting convictions in a case deeply colored by allegations of terrorism.
But in November, days before he was to be sentenced, Shumpert called an FBI agent and said he wouldn`t be in court, authorities said.
Shumpert said he was in Somalia, the lawless East African nation far beyond the reach of the U.S. government.
In a second taunting phone call to the FBI, according to prosecutors, Shumpert said he and his associates "would destroy everything the United States stood for."
As he spoke, the FBI agent said, a crowd in the background chanted "Allah Akbar" -- the Arabic phrase meaning "God is Great" that is sometimes used to cheer someone on, or as a terrorist battle cry.
Shumpert`s case -- which drew little attention before his flight from justice -- is now raising questions both about the man and the system.
Among the questions are these:
Why was Shumpert allowed to leave jail without surrendering his passport, as ordered by a federal judge?
Does Shumpert`s escape to Somalia validate suspicions that he was a potential terrorist or simply demonstrate his fears that he was being unjustly prosecuted?
And, finally, is Shumpert now willing and able to attack the United States? Is he giving aid to America`s enemies?
A Muslim convert
Federal authorities say the case against Ruben Luis Shumpert began in 2002 when they received information a group of Seattle men were "speaking in bellicose terms" and using jihad rhetoric.
The FBI began keeping an eye on Shumpert`s south Seattle barber shop, where the men gathered, along with other customers.
Using paid informants, the FBI gathered information on the group and surreptitiously recorded some of their activities.
Informants told investigators Shumpert, an ex-convict who converted to Islam, frequently showed customers jihadist videos, including videos espousing violent attacks on the United States.
The government also used the informants to buy a handgun and counterfeit currency from Shumpert.
In November 2004, police arrested more than a dozen men, including Shumpert, who was then in jail for allegedly conspiring to do bodily harm to a neighborhood businessman with whom he had a disagreement.
Police seized several firearms in the various raids and charged Shumpert with possession of one handgun, which was illegal because of his status as an ex-con.
In exchange for a recommended sentence of 24 to 30 months in prison, Shumpert pleaded guilty to the handgun and counterfeiting charges September 20.
As part of the plea agreement, he was allowed to go free on his own recognizance until his sentencing and was supposed to have surrendered his passport.
Shumpert was never charged with terrorism crimes, and he said authorities misinterpreted his activities at the barbershop.
He admitted showing customers jihadist videos, but said he did it to educate Muslims to reject terrorism. He said he also distributed anti-jihadist literature at his barbershop.
And, he contended, there were extenuating circumstances to the crimes he was charged with.
Shumpert`s attorney, Jim Vonasch, described the barbershop as "a discussion place rather than a place where propaganda against the United States was promoted" and insisted terrorism "was not his [Shumpert`s] agenda at all."
Vonasch said he believes his client committed the crimes he was charged with, but said he felt Shumpert was targeted because of his conversion to Islam.
"Even the government never claimed that my client was a terrorist," Vonasch told CNN.
In a 12-page handwritten letter to U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman last summer, Shumpert said he was initially reluctant to sell the handgun to his friend.
He said he eventually did so because the friend said he needed it for self-defense and invoked an Islamic oath of trust. Prosecutors acknowledged Shumpert`s characterization of the transaction.
Shumpert also wrote that he sold the $2,000 in counterfeit currency during a moment of weakness and that he immediately regretted it and ignored entreaties for additional sales. (Read Shumpert`s letter to the judge, PDF)
Scores of Seattle residents came to Shumpert`s defense, signing a petition supporting leniency and writing letters saying he was a positive influence on their community.
Nipping terror in the bud
Was Shumpert a terrorist or potential terrorist when he was arrested? From the moment the barber shop case became public in late 2004, there have been mixed signals about whether it involved terrorism.
Investigators told the Seattle media they found no evidence of any link to al Qaeda or any other terrorist group, but court documents showed the government was investigating potential ties to terrorist organizations.
And in a July sentencing memorandum, prosecutors recounted the jihadist rhetoric and "atmosphere of violence" they say pervaded the shop.
But the memorandum goes on to say that "fortunately, it was eventually determined that individuals in the group were unable or unwilling to engage in acts of terrorism."
Yet, two years after their arrests, none of the men has been charged with terrorism.
"There was simply insufficient evidence to support a charge under federal law that he was actually involved in actual acts of terrorism or material support for terrorism," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Redkey told CNN.
But David Gomez, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI`s Seattle office, said: "Given time [and] given a little bit more investigative effort, we probably could have come forward with a charge, a material support of terrorism charge."
Redkey and Gomez both said the case reflects the post-9/11 reality of federal investigations, in which the government places more emphasis on preventing terrorist attacks instead of building air-tight cases against criminals or terrorists.
"Although this investigation did not lead to terrorism charges, ... it may have nipped it in the bud, before it had a chance to mature," Redkey said.
"And from that point of view I think the FBI did exactly what it was supposed to do, accomplished its mission, and it nipped this one in the bud before it could become more dangerous."
Threats against the U.S.
Shumpert`s earlier condemnation of terrorism notwithstanding, government officials said it is clear he has ill intent now.
On November 18, three days before he was scheduled to be sentenced by Pechman, Shumpert telephoned an FBI agent involved in the case and said he was in Somalia.
Shumpert said he finally felt free and did not intend to return to the United States, the FBI agent said.
FBI officials said they confirmed the call originated in Somalia.
Shumpert called again November 27, the FBI agent said.
He "made what I interpreted as veiled threats on my life, saying that he and I were in a battle and that we were sworn enemies from this day forward," Special Agent Robert Walby wrote.
"He then added that he and his Muslim associates would destroy everything the United States stood for."
Was Shumpert radicalized by the process?
"Absolutely not," Gomez said. "He was radicalized before he came to our attention."
Shumpert`s mother, Debra Kinzy, said her son was not -- and is not -- a terrorist. "It`s not like they made it out to be," she said.
But she doesn`t think he`ll be turning himself in, because he knows the consequences of doing that.