RIP Lieutenant Boiteux, Pilot Down in Mali

The fight against jihadis is a worldwide effort. So, I must wish the family of French pilot Lieutenant Boiteux (from the 4th helicopter regiment special forces) peace and courage during this trying time. The brave helo pilot was killed in Mali today, during a hostage rescue attempt against an Islamist group there. . .

From Here to Timbuktu

If you wondering how garden-variety jihadis behave when they take over a region, this section on Gao in Mali is quite telling, especially the part on the economics:

Gao, a city of 100,000 people, has become a lifeless place since the Islamists took over. It was once a stopping point for tourists traveling to Timbuktu, but now the roadside stands have disappeared, bars and restaurants are boarded up and music is banned. The new strongmen proclaim their creed on signs posted at street corners, written in white Arabic lettering on a black background, that read: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

To make matters worse, garbage collection has been suspended, leaving waste to rot in the streets at temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Around 400,000 people have already fled the Islamists. Most who have left represent the better-educated parts of the work force, like the engineers who kept the power plant and waterworks in operation. Foreign aid organizations are gone, as are government officials who were in the process of implementing a new road construction program.

“Gao is a dead city,” says Allassane Amadou Touré, a mechanic, as he drinks tea in the shade. He is unemployed, like many in the city, and says that Gao’s economic output has “declined by 85 percent” since the spring.

The Islamic police have become the city’s biggest employers. Ironically, their headquarters are on Washington Street in downtown Gao. From there, the armed police officers, most of them young men who are little more than children, are sent out into the neighborhoods to drum into residents what is considered “haram” and “halal,” or pure.

The jihadis have a headquarters on Washington Street in downtown Gao?

Punking the Jihadis

You gotta love this, the State Department screwing around with jihadis. By going on-line and posing as punky terrorists:

State Department senior technology adviser Shahed Amanullah told the magazine he wanted to use “logic, humour, satire, [and] religious arguments, not just to confront [extremists], but to undermine and demoralize them”.

The article reminds us that if you see the word Lame, it is probably the CIA, undercover.

It’s “Working Women’s Day” in Pakistan!

I have two questions for you:

Do you have anything special planned for today?
Do you live in Pakistan?

According to my stats, I have had well over a hundred visitors from Pok-ee-stan. So I know you Pakis are out there. (Is that insulting to Pakistani folks to call you Pakis? My intention is to be snarky, not fatwa-worthy. Not that you all would ever overreact anyway. The gentle tolerance emanating from your region is legendary.)

Rage Boy: The Peaceful Tolerance of our Pakistani Friends

If you do not have anything special planned and you, by chance, live in Pakistan:

The Pakistan Business Council is celebrating women in business on December 22 “with a renewed commitment to creating space for women to contribute actively in every aspect of the corporate world.”

We can’t pretend that simply dedicating days, or in the case of Nepal, entire years, to “women in business” will effect change. On one hand, days like these can simply be an excuse to check “working women” off the long list of things that want some more respect. But on the other hand, it’s a good sign to see countries across the world at least making an attempt.

Pakistani Woman in a Clothes Cloth Store

As for Rage Boy above, he became something of a celebrity in his town:

But the poster boy of Islamic radicalism has a very different story to tell when he’s at home with his mother

A regular spoof diary appears online in his name and he has come to stand for all that is most frightening about radical Islam.

It turns out he had contemplated, considered, dreamed-of being, a militant:

Shakeel was not a very good militant. When I asked him how many people he had killed, he looked embarrassed.

“I gave scares but I never killed anyone,” he said. “I couldn’t. I never hurled a grenade in a public place.”

What up? Shakeel at home in Kashmir

You never hurled a grenade in a public place? Too bad, it is a heck of a lot of fun. The police even showed him his picture on the internet. And talked of getting him married and employed:

He says he was brought before one of Srinagar’s most senior police officers, who offered him an administrative job in the government, and said he would find him a girl to marry.

Take a guess as to our homeboy Shakeel’s real dream:

I suggested to Shakeel that he must have been tempted by the prospect of a job and a wife, he was unlikely ever to get such a good opportunity again. He looked shy and covered his face with his hands.

Let me at them! Rage Boy Raging

“I want to marry a non-Muslim woman and convert her to Islam.”

Why? I asked.

In a moment that might have come straight out of the Borat film, he answered in a soft, serious voice: “I have been told that if I can convince a non-Muslim woman to marry me, but not convert her by force, then there will be a place for me in heaven.”

C’mon, any takers out there? Hook a brotha up!

An American Teenager Versus Al Qaeda

Kevin Eric Lunsmann Escaped Al Qaeda

Okay, got one for you. Grab some popcorn or some of those cardboardy rice-cakes and settle in.

Kevin Eric Lunsmann is a teenager from Campbell County in Virginia. And he pulled off the escape of the century when he slipped away from his Al Qaeda-linked captors in the southern Philippines.

The Abu Sayyaf gang, which literally translates as Father of the Sword in Arabic, had held Kevin for five months in their jungle lair. But no longer.

Shoeless, Kevin ran to his freedom when he told the single-IQ-digited thugs he was going to bathe in a nearby stream.

He hid for two days before being found by local villagers:

A 14-year-old American boy who was abducted with his mother and cousin by suspected Muslim militants in the southern Philippines was yesterday released after five months of jungle captivity, the Philippine military said.

After walking for two days without shoes, Kevin Lunsmann was recovered by a village official in Lamitan town on southern Basilan Island.

It is a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf rebels, who are believed to be behind the kidnapping, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang.

Kevin Eric Lunsmann’s shirt, Campbell County Virginia kid

Get a load of his shirt, 9-11-11! Hmmm, I am not sure what is on the other side. Some tribal design?

How soon until discussions are underway for a movie? Justin Bieber could pull it off, no? Truly Kevin looks somewhat like Phil Harris’ youngest son Jake, from the Deadliest Catch. That show on Alaskan crabbing.

Jake Harris, Deadliest Catch

Jake’s a bum. After battling serious drug addiction, Jake dealt with his father’s early death by doing more of the same.

Then, he and his more responsible brother Josh, played musical chairs on the Cornelia Marie, trying to find a Captain that would not hold Jake accountable for his behavior.

As for the Abu Sayyaf clowns, no doubt they will be searching for more hostages to kidnap:

Its stated goal has been the establishment of an Islamic state in the southern Philippines, home to minority Muslims in the predominantly Christian nation.

The Abu Sayyaf was founded on Basilan in the 1990s as an offshoot of a violent Muslim insurgency that has been raging for decades.

Hundreds of U.S. troops have been stationed in the southern Philippines, including Basilan, to train and equip Philippine forces but are prohibited from engaging in local combat.

On Monday, suspected militants abducted Australian Warren Richard Rodwell, 53, from his seaside house in Zamboanga Sibugay province, near Basilan, but it was not immediately confirmed if they also belonged to the Abu Sayyaf.

The militants are also holding an Indian, a Malaysian and a Japanese.

Good job Kevin. Welcome back, brother. Get yourself a Whataburger, a Five Guys, anything burger will do. And relax. Your school’s going on break soon and I doubt anyone is concerned about your missed classwork.

Joy, Jihad, and Death

Sometimes stories thematically follow in threes, each on the heels of the first. Tonight, we go from happy to sad. From joy to pain and then to death. And our theme? Rap. The music, not the quick knuckle-tap the nuns used to give you at your Catholic middle school.

Khaliyl Llolyi, little rapper

1. Two year old Khaliyl Llolyi is the offspring of Femi (Smoothflow) and Roucheo Lloyi from the gospel hip-hop duo, Royal Priesthood.

Did that make any sense to you? Me neither. I have never heard of any of these cooly-named individuals. Roucheo? Is that some European Oscar the Grouchish dude?

In the video, Khaliyl raps with a family friend named Alim Kamara. And he is two-years old. He speaks in baby language, his native tongue. And he is two-years old. It is funny. The video is homemade and spontaneous. Have I mentioned that he is two-years old?

2. John Atterberry, a former rap-music executive was shot in Los Angeles:

John Atterberry

A former Death Row Records vice president, John Atterberry, remains in critical condition at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, one of several victims caught Friday in a Hollywood street rampage conducted by a distraught 26-year-old gunman.

Atterberry was driving his Mercedes coupe when Tyler Brehm started shooting at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood Friday. . .

Atterberry, a founder of Mergela Records and Consulting, also helped create the music publishing company Infusion Music Group.

Oddly, or not oddly, very few mainstream press folks are reporting that the shooter yelled “Allah Akbar” during the rampage. Is Tyler Muslim and is this a jihadic gesture? The press seems not the slightest bit curious.

John Atterberry, with former VP Dick Cheney, victim of gunman yelling Allah Ackbar

3. The last rap story is a sad one. It also involves a toddler, but the poor kid dies. During the filming of a rap video, some degenerates drive by the set and shoot into the crowd. And Hiram Lawrence is seriously wounded, to sadly die later:

A one-year-old boy shot in a hail of gunfire last month is to be taken off life support today after tests found he has no brain activity.

Hiriam Lawrence

Hiram Lawrence was shot in the head when an six gunmen targeted a group filming a rap video in Oakland, California on November 28.

Earlier this week, doctors at the city’s Children’s Hospital found that the youngster, whose second birthday is just weeks away, was brain dead.

Truly, it sounded like a brutal drive-by. Gang wars. Beefs. Turf battles. Chickens. Longstanding grudges. Angry flare-ups. All these probably contributed to this:

Witnesses say 20-30 people had gathered at in the city’s West Oakland neighbourhood to film a rap music video at around 6pm when the suspects opened fire with automatic weapons.

Norman Bobino, uncle of Hiriam Lawrence

Three from the targeted group are then thought to have fired back.

Investigators found dozens of bullet casings near a parking lot close to the Nimitz Freeway and the U.S. Post Office, which suggested at least six gunmen were involved.

Police reported finding blood on the street and later established the incident started when dozens of people gathered in a liquor store parking lot, drinking and shooting a music video just after dark.

Somehow, the parents are dealing with the tragic aftermath. Norman Bobino, Hiriam’s uncle, spoke to the press about the grief they were living through.