Update on the religion of peace
American-born Muslim attempts to attack army base
An AWOL Muslim soldier who refused to be deployed to Afghanistan because of his religious beliefs admitted to an alleged "terror plot" to attack Ft Hood, Texas, the US Army said in a memo overnight.
Pfc. Nasser Jason Abdo was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the Killeen Police Department near the Texas base, which was the site of a November 2009 massacre, allegedly committed by another Muslim serviceman.
The alert, obtained by FOX News Channel and sent to all Army units, said the 21-year-old suspect was found with a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack, adding that he admitted to planning the attack during police interviews.
Chief Dennis Baldwin of the Killeen Police Department confirmed that, based on statements Abdo made during questioning, "military personnel were a target of this suspect" and said he would characterise the absentee soldier's plans as a "terror plot."
Abdo was being held by the Killeen Police Department pending federal charges, Mr Baldwin said, describing him as "a very dangerous individual" and adding that, "as far as we know, he acted alone."
Abdo, a Texas native, entered the service in March 2009 but applied for conscientious objector status in June 2010, on the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan, citing his religious beliefs as a Muslim. Just days after his application was approved, Abdo was hit with 34 counts of possession of child pornography and his military discharge was put on hold.
Abdo adamantly denied that he put child porn on his government computer and claimed the charges were the military's way of retaliating against him. He told WSMV-TV last month, "I think that all sounds pretty fishy."
The soldier then went AWOL on July 4.
Murderous Muslims again
You dare not disagree with them about religion
An Indonesian court has sent a "chilling message" by giving Muslim extremists light sentences for a vicious mob attack in which three sect members died, rights activists say. Twelve people stood trial but none faced murder charges in what human rights campaigners say is a travesty of justice in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
The sentences range between three and six months' jail - less than prosecutors had sought and well below the maximum penalty of 12 years.
Dani bin Misra, a 17-year-old who repeatedly smashed a victim's skull with a stone, was sentenced on Thursday to three months in jail for manslaughter. Idris bin Mahdani, who led the 1500-strong mob in the February attack, was convicted of illegal possession of a machete and received five months and 15 days in jail.
Most of the convicted men are likely to walk free within weeks, observers said. "The Cikeusik trial sends the chilling message that attacks on minorities like the Ahmadiyah will be treated lightly by the legal system," Human Rights Watch deputy chief for Asia Phil Robertson said. "This is a sad day for justice in Indonesia."
In rare criticism of its Southeast Asian ally, the United States said it was "disappointed by the disproportionately light sentences", which came within days of a visit to Indonesia by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The United States encourages Indonesia to defend its tradition of tolerance for all religions, a tradition praised by President [Barack] Obama in his November 2010 visit to Jakarta," a US embassy statement said.
The Obama administration resumed military ties with Indonesia's notorious special forces unit last year, citing improvements in the human rights situation in the country.
The European Union delegation in Jakarta expressed "strong concerns" over the light sentences.
The violence against the Ahmadiyah sect members in Cikeusik, western Java, was one of the most horrific in a long line of attacks on the minority group in Indonesia in recent years. Ahmadiyah, unlike mainstream Muslims, do not believe Mohammed was the last prophet and are regarded as heretics and blasphemers by conservatives in countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan.
A secretly filmed video of the Cikeusik rampage sparked international concern when it appeared online within days of the attack. The reaction in Indonesia, however, was muted. The footage shows police fleeing the scene as the enraged mob - armed with machetes and knives and shouting abuse at the "infidels" - launched an unprovoked attack on a house owned by an Ahmadiyah follower.
A handful of Ahmadiyah men tried to defend the property with stones and slingshots but they were quickly overwhelmed. Then the killing began. The mob clubbed and stoned their defenceless victims to death in front of police, then stood around and joked over their shattered bodies. Several Ahmadiyah tried to flee but were hunted down and badly beaten.
Robertson said the appalling "savagery" demanded a strong response from a country which has ratified international covenants on freedom of religion and claims to have a pluralistic religious tradition. "But instead of charging the defendants with murder and other serious crimes, prosecutors came up with an almost laughable list of 'slap-on-the wrist' charges," he said.
Prosecutors managed to convince the court that the video justified a reduced sentence for the killers.
Meanwhile Ahmadiyah member Deden Sujana is facing up to four years in jail on charges of incitement, disobeying police orders and maltreatment because he ignored police orders to evacuate the house.
Ahmadiyah spokesman Zafrullah Ahmad Pontoh was cautious in his response to the sentences. "Let the legal power handle the case. It's only a worldly punishment," he said. "We'll forgive those who ask us for forgiveness, but so far we haven't heard them asking us for forgiveness."
The graphic footage, which is available on the video-sharing website YouTube, was filmed by an Ahmadiyah follower who mingled with the attackers and watched his friends being murdered. The man is now in hiding under police protection, fearing for his life.