A key member of an alleged Virginia jihad network pleaded guilty to federal weapons and explosives charges today, denying that he intended to harm Americans but acknowledging that he and his co-defendants had sought to fight on behalf of Muslim causes abroad.
Randall Todd Royer, 30, of Falls Church, entered his surprise plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He faces at least 20 years in prison when he is sentenced April 9. Another of the 11 men originally charged in the case, Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hamdi, 26, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty to similar charges and faces at least 15 years in prison.
His lawyer, John Nassikas, said Royer admits that an object of the conspiracy was to fight against India in violation of U.S. law. But he denied the contention of prosecutors, and at least one other defendant, that the men may have taken up arms against the United States or American soldiers.
"Mr. Royer has never had any desire or intent to hurt Americans or American soldiers at any time," he said.
I confess that I thought te paintball excuse was valid. I never imagined that Royer would be idiot enough to actually want to travel to Kashmir and fight there. The sheer idiocy of this boggles the mind, especially given the remarkable lucid warning against victimhood that Royer penned which I found so compelling:
Since victims are all the rage nowadays, it's hard to blame Muslims in America for having a tendency to whine as well. It's easy to understand why, because it's a fact that Muslims have been mistreated in this country to some degree--I myself recently tussled with some neo-Nazis in rural Ohio who had a problem with my wife's face veil. It's also understandable that Muslims would adopt the vocabulary of the left, since liberals have been Muslims' main allies.
Finally, though many of the Muslims who have internalized the language of the left and lecture piously about human rights when it comes to how they themselves (read: Palestinians) are treated, they don't seem quite so moved at the deaths of Jewish children targeted by Muslims who ignore Islamic rules of engagement. This inconsistency doesn't go unnoticed, and gives the appearance (ahem) of a double standard. (Can't wait to see the hate mail on this one--I'll deal with the issue then.) This of course applies to "Israelis" as well, who derive political benefit from the killing of their civilians but will slaughter Arabs at the drop of a hat.
Imagining that Kashmir is a "muslim cause" worth taking up actual arms for - and intending to fight against India - is as absurd an embrace of muslim victimhood as any Jewish settler's persecution complex. Royer also had written excellent rebuttals to Daniel Pipes, but the validity of his arguments will forever be eclipsed.
Still, Royer's body of writing remains thought-provoking and especially relevant to the community of American muslims. Here is his author archive at the group blog A True Word, and here is another link of archived writings off his now-defunct blog.