Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

J. Kurt Roberts: Even in Lodi, we must be vigilant about terrorism

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2005 10:00 pm

With the recent arrests of Hamid and Umer Hayat on suspicion of being linked to al-Qaida, we the citizens of Lodi have been forced to consider the possibility that the seeming peace and tranquility that we in Lodi have come to take for granted may not be as we imagine.

It is to say the least, disturbing to have any member of our community suspected of being involved in anything so repulsive as being a part of a terrorist cell. These two individuals will have their day in court, the facts of this case will be presented and our judicial system will render a verdict. The omnipresent possibility of a plea bargain not withstanding.

It must be said that the very thought of an American citizen, post 9/11, actually traveling to Pakistan with the expressed intent of attending an al-Qaida training camp is about as outrageous of an act that can be imagined in this day and age.

Hamid Hayat’s maternal grandfather, who Mr. Hayat has reportedly spent a considerable amount of time with while in Pakistan, is a well known Deobandi scholar and is a chief cleric of the Jamia Islamia madrassah in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The Deobandi sect has been described by experts to be an “anti-western, militant group” that is nothing if not sympathetic to the Taliban. This new information certainly gives credence to Mr. Hayat’s confession to the FBI of being a trained terrorist.

Hamid Hayat and his father Umer were detained at Dulles International Airport on April 19, 2003, after failing to disclose they were carrying over $28,000 in cash. Federal law requires that travelers reveal if they have more than $10,000 in their possession. Authorities confiscated $27,000 of their cash, which could have quite possibly significantly hindered the younger Hayat’s then-goal of procurring a “wife of quality.” With the matrimonial aspirations of Hamid impeded and the probability that the Hayats were not sure if they’d ever see their $27,000 again, they could have become somewhat embittered to America and then become open to a more extreme form of Islam, even if just temporarily.

There are few if any in the community who really believe that this “cabal” is actually what could be called an overly dangerous lot, as there is no proof of either of them being involved in any way, shape, matter or form in any nefarious plots. But there is the widely held belief that only a handful of the Sept. 11th hijackers actually knew what their ultimate fate would be until there was no turning back. Is it possible that Hamid Hayat was one of an unknown number of “grunts,” sitting in the shadows waiting for a yet-to-be determined sign or message to report for duty? Unfortunately the possibility however remote, is real.

It should be every American’s wish to see the civil rights of every member of society be protected no matter what the charge or cost. That said, the number one job of the federal government is national security, in this post 9/11 world it would be absolutely derelict for the Bush administration to not overturn every stone — yes even in Lodi.

When all the dust settles, there is no doubt in my mind that the people of Lodi will come to realize that the men, women and children of Lodi are much, much, much more likely to be killed or otherwise harmed while driving to work, boating on the Delta, or by being a victim of domestic violence. Being a victim of terror should be way down on the list of things to worry about.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: Rooting out terrorism is not an easy task. Terrorists do not readily admit their associations. Techniques sometimes must be employed that some would say are less than noble. To any and all in the community who may have been offended by the search and, or interrogation techniques used, I would like to be among the first to apologize for any inconveniences the national security of the United States may impose.

Post 9/11, it simply must be done.

J. Kurt Roberts is a Lodi resident and occasional contributor to the editorial page. He can be reached at jkurtroberts@sbcglobal.net

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Readers Choice Awards 2014

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists