In the following video, Vlad Tepes interviews Dr. Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam about a recent CBC news report on a young “Canadian” mujahid named Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy. Mr. Bahnasawy was convicted in the USA of plotting a major terror attack in New York City, which he said would be on the scale of 9/11.
I won’t embed the odious CBC report, but here it is, in case anyone wants to watch it. It never mentions jihad, and has almost nothing about Islam in it. The only thing we find out about the young mujahid is that he was an atheist, and bipolar. His parents think he deserves a “second chance”.
Dr. Warner discusses the “dead elephant in the room” that’s missing from the CBC video: Mohammed and the Islamic doctrine of jihad:
Below are excerpts from a more recent CBC article on the same topic. Notice that this one actually mentions the word “jihad” — because the junior mujahid uses it himself to describe his planned atrocity:
Canadian parents plead for mercy ahead of son’s sentencing in NYC bomb plot
Prosecutors say he’s a threat and deserves a life sentence; parents say he’s mentally ill and needs help
The parents of a Canadian man convicted of plotting ISIS attacks against busy New York City landmarks say their son was a mentally ill teenager and doesn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison, however horrible his crimes.
Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, of Mississauga, Ont., pleaded guilty in October 2016 to conspiring with ISIS operatives in the failed plan to bomb Times Square and the city’s subway system.
At his sentencing hearing in federal court on April 9, U.S. prosecutors will argue for life in prison, but his parents are appealing for a lesser sentence and treatment for their son.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News and the Toronto Star, Khdiga Metwally and Osama El Bahnasawy say they realize the gravity of their son’s crimes.
But both say they firmly believe their son’s history of mental illness and drug addiction made him vulnerable to manipulation — first by ISIS recruiters, and then by the intelligence agents who were tracking him.
“We were struggling for this sick boy, and he [was] struggling for himself,” says Metwally, her voice shaking. “Other people try to manipulate him when he was so isolated on the internet, to do violence.”
El Bahnasawy had no criminal record and no history of violence, his parents say. Court documents report he was “radicalized mostly online by ISIS,” beginning about eight months before his arrest.
He had previously described himself as an atheist, his father says.
“He didn’t even know how to pray.”
U.S. authorities say there is no direct evidence the FBI knew of El Bahnasawy’s medical history. And in any event, they argue, it’s a distraction with “no relevance to sentencing.”
“His mental health and drug addiction issues cannot and do not explain or excuse his conduct and shouldn’t be deemed mitigating circumstances,” U.S. prosecutor Geoffrey Berman wrote in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
“El Bahnasawy may be polite, soft-spoken, and articulate, but make no mistake — behind that veil is a dangerous and calculating man who displayed a knowing, willing and steadfast desire to kill in plotting the NYC attack.”
A Canadian legal team led by Dennis Edney, who defended former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, will represent El Bahnasawy at sentencing.
The team has submitted 19 letters to Judge Richard M. Berman from friends, family, medical professionals and Muslim leaders. The letters describe El Bahnasawy’s struggles with drugs and mental health, and characterize him as a non-violent but lonely and impetuous young man.
El Bahnasawy wrote a 24-page letter of his own to the judge earlier this month. He described his life, apologized for the plot and asked for “a second chance.”
“I want to stop having extreme turns that keep getting me in trouble, like my turn towards drugs or my turn towards jihad.”