A friend sent me the following: You’re probably aware of the attempted bomb attack of the Wichita airport recently. Below is a short description of the event. At the end is a link to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District court against Terry Loewen. The complaint is worth reading because of the insight it gives into the thought process of an orthodox Muslim.
Terry Lee Loewen, 58, worked at the airport as an avionics technician. This gave him access to airport grounds. He was arrested before dawn Friday after he tried to open a security gate and get on the tarmac, the Kansas City Star reports.
According to a three-count complaint, Loewen discussed his view of faith as a Muslim. That included expressing “his desire to engage in violent jihad on behalf of al Qaeda” during an online conversation with someone whom, unbeknownst to him, was an FBI employee.
“I don’t understand how you can read the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah,” Loewen allegedly wrote Aug. 5. “I feel so guilt-ridden sometimes for knowing what’s required of me but yet doing little or nothing to make it happen. I love my Muslim brothers and sisters, whether they agree with me or not, it’s just hard to deal with the denial that some of them appear to be going through.”
Osama bin Laden and American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki “are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a (sic) obedient slave of Allah (swt),” he wrote a few days later.
Later that month, he asked for help finding “someone who is active in jihad and could use an occasional influx of ‘help’ … I just hate the kaffar government and those who are following it to the Hellfire, and the sooner it and its followers get there, the better.”
Loewen was trying to drive a van packed with explosives to a terminal as part of a plan he spent months developing, a Department of Justicestatement says. He “talked about his commitment to trigger the device and martyr himself.”
The explosives were rendered inert by the FBI and the public was never in danger. Agents were drawn to Loewen early last summer after he made statements about jihad. He is with trying to use a weapon of mass destruction, and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Many national Islamist groups have criticized similar sting operations, arguing the FBI is manufacturing a terrorist threat where it might not exist. If Loewen’s correspondence in the complaint proves accurate, however, he was a man with the motivation and access to pull off a horrific attack. Left alone, he might have found ways to make his ownbomb.
At one point, Loewen acknowledged not knowing whether he could trust his contact. But it wasn’t enough to discourage him from pursuing an attack. “my greatest fear is not being able to complete an operation because I was set up,” he wrote. “I hate this government so much for what they have done to our brothers and sisters, that to spent (sic) the rest of my life in prison without having taken a good slice out of the serpents head is unacceptable to me.”
If convicted, Loewen could face life in prison.
The complaint, filed Friday, December 13, 2013:http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/2281.pdf#page=13
In the United States, almost everyone is anticipating a Thanksgiving feast later this week. Most people will spend the day with their family. For many of us, our families have been the most difficult people to educate about Islam, and it is a painful fact that in many ways some of our own family members are “aiding and abetting” the enemy (without knowing it, of course).
Family get-togethers may seem like a good opportunity to make your case, but I caution you against it. First of all, talking politics in those circumstances can easily ruin the event for everyone. And an argument certainly will. Second, persuading someone in a group situation is much more difficult than one-on-one (unless most of the people there are on your side of the argument). And third, many of your fellow infidels will be drinking alcohol, and that doesn’t help with good listening or clear thinking.
The family gathering can, however, help our cause. You can use the occasion to observe and gain rapport. I suggest you focus this Thanksgiving on one person. Who is the most likely to be persuaded who will be attending the feast? Who is the most undecided? Pick one person.
Now, during your family occasion, try to discover which representational system the person favors (click here if you don’t know what that means).
And second, use your body to gain and maintain rapport throughout the day with everyone there, especially the person you picked (click here to find out how to do that). I suggest you do this at family gatherings of any kind.
These things will set you up beautifully for future one-on-one conversations with the person — conversations where you’ll have a good chance of bringing them to a new understanding of Islam. In many ways, your task is mostly done as soon as you are in strong rapport. Sometimes taking your focus off convincing and persuading can make you more convincing and persuasive. Sometimes not approaching something directly improves your ability.
I have seen a demonstration that perfectly illustrates this principle. In fact, I’ve done the demonstration myself several times after seeing it in a seminar. Here’s how it goes: I toss something to someone, and they miss it. And they say something like, “I’m terrible at catching.” So I tell them I’m going to test something. “I’m going to toss you this ball,” I say, “but this time don’t try to catch it. Instead, I want you to tell me which way the ball is spinning.” Then I toss the ball, and to their great surprise, they catch it easily.
How does this work? They take their attention off trying to catch the ball, and instead pay close attention to the ball itself, and their body responds naturally and easily and catches it.
In the same way, if you take your attention off making people believe you, and instead pay close attention to their favored representational systemand pay close attention to their body posture and match it, you have a good chance of making them believe you — easily and naturally — without even trying.
These two missions I’ve given you for your family gathering are not time-consuming, difficult, upsetting, or conflict-creating. You can do these things and fully enjoy the day too. Have a happy Thanksgiving.