31 August 2010

Omar Khadr: not guilty by reason of genetics

I am sure the person who sent me the link to www.thekhadrlegacy.com site (now expired) has done so with good intentions in mind. After all, that person, who will remain unknown for the purposes of Elders' network information security, does lots of good in general.

Not this time. Perusing the site caused me one of the worst cases of the blogger block in almost five years this blog is functioning (or erupting, whatever). I mean, try getting your head around a family that... but let's do it in orderly fashion.

So, there was a long period of mulling, and then - eureka! Biology is not going to remain the same after this is published, rest assured.

But first of all a warning: this is rather a long post, so click on "Read more" only if you are interested in a new development in biology that should by rights shake up the scientific world: the Khadr/Al Qaeda Affinity Gene (KAQA)!

In the second half of the last century, a lot of maladies, as well as positive traits, were found out to be hereditary. It is not only your blue/brown/green eyes, it's your tendency to liver problems, your weakness for alcohol or the other sex (or the same one, if you are so inclined), your good or bad heart, etc and ad infinitum. Many a balding man will curse his unfortunate ancestry and many a frustrated woman will do the same when she's not able to squeeze her unfashionably large feet into an especially dainty and elegant pair of shoes.

However, when a person chooses his political affiliation or his/her ideology, it never crosses anyone's mind to link the choice to the person's gene pool. Whether the person becomes eventually a full-fledged believer in capitalism or a raving follower of Mao, never parting with the red book, or a Buddhist carefully treading on the sidewalk to spare the bugs, or... in all these cases the person's genetic legacy is never questioned.


We aren't dealing with the causality chain of the KAQA gene creation and proliferation. Whether it was a high energy particle from an unknown part of the Universe that hit a DNA molecule in Ahmed Khadr's mom's egg or Ahmed Khadr's father's spermatozoon, or contaminated water in the place in Egypt where little Ahmed was born, or it was just that his mom was so frightened by a stray dog two weeks before the birth (which also could cause a gene or two to wilt - a sufficient grass roots explanation for some) - this is really immaterial for our purposes. What is important is that Omar Khadr is innocent and should not be going through this legal rigmarole in Guantanamo. Instead, he should be transported as soon as possible to a research facility for an in-depth genetic study. Subject of the study: isolation and development of quick identification mechanism of the Khadr/Al Qaeda Affinity Gene (KAQA).

So let's embark on a tour of Khadr family history then, using Wiki and other handy sources:

Ahmed Said Khadr (the daddy)

An Egyptian-Canadian aid worker and patriarch of the Khadr family, Sheikh[1] Ahmed Said Khadr (أحمد سعيد خضر) (March 1, 1948 – October 2, 2003) had close ties to a number of militant and Mujahideen leaders, including Osama bin Laden, which saw him accused of being a "senior associate" and financier of al-Qaeda, while his family insisted that he maintained the contacts to help his charity work.
The life story of Ahmed reads like a thriller. To start with bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, arrest, release (thanks to then PM Jean Chrétien's plea before Benazir Bhutto), kissing the ground in Toronto, then back to Afghanistan, living in the same compound as Osama bin Laden. Then a doubtful distinction of having his name added to a United Nations’ terrorism blacklist... and more and more. The end is known: killed by Pakistani counter-terrorist forces at a South Waziristan safe house.

But you can see that it's all one huge misunderstanding, of course - as his surviving relatives claimed all along. So let's see who is next.

Maha Elsamnah (the mom)

There isn't a lot of info on the loyal wife of Ahmed. Maybe this:
Accused of helping to finance terrorism, Elsamnah was listed as the joint director of her husband's Health and Education Project International charity.
Or this:
In 2004, Elsamnah appeared in a documentary entitled Son of al Qaeda;

"I like my son to be brave...I would like my son to be trained to protect himself, to protect his home, to protect his neighbor, to see a young girl innocent, being raped or attacked, to really fight to defend it. I would really love to do that, and I would love my son to grow with this mentality...[a]nd you would you like me to raise my child in Canada and by the time he's 12 or 13 he'll be on drugs or having some homosexual relation or this and that? Is it better? For me, no. I would rather have my son as a strong man who knows right and wrong and stands for it, even if it's against his parents."
In spite of being so disappointed by her sons' prospects in Canada, Ms Khadr is not very eager to leave. It is just that her kids are always gallivanting around all the Al Qaeda - infested areas... purely incidentally, of course, like their daddy. No doubt to become strong and be able to distinguish between the right and the wrong.

But sons are not the whole story, especially since the oldest kid was:

Zaynab Khadr - (the big sister)

Here we can easily detect some action. To start with - the first marriage.
In July 1995, Ahmed arranged for the 15-year old Zaynab to marry an Egyptian man named Khalid Abdullah in December, and Maha began preparing an apartment for the couple in the family's house. On November 19 Ayman al-Zawahiri bombed the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan, and Zaynab's fiancee went into hiding, named as one of the conspirators.
Oops. But you would rightly say: doubtless another coincidence, besides it's the daddy who has chosen al-Zawahiri's sidekick as a husband. Yeah... just wait a little.
In 1999, Zaynab was introduced to the Yemeni Yacoub al-Bahr, who had fought in Bosnia although better-known as a wedding singer in Kabul.
Well, the guy fought in Bosnia, on one hand, but he is a wedding singer, for crying out loud! Where is the harm? Oops again:
The wedding was in Kabul, and both al-Zawahiri and bin Laden attended, although Zaynab later explained that nobody was individually invited, and that word of mouth simply informed all interested parties about the open invitation to their upcoming wedding.
Still I have to insist that it's neither here nor there. People strolled by, seen a nice happy wedding and became "interested parties". Could happen to any of our kids too...

Like her mom, Zaynab loves Canada:
Zaynab lived in a rented apartment with her daughter and younger sister in Islamabad, Pakistan, and although her passport was revoked by the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan, she returned to Canada on February 17 2005 to be with her mother, and help the legal defence teams of her brothers Abdullah Khadr and Omar Khadr.
The love to Canada is somewhat bitter, though:
When she returned to Canada, security officials, including Konrad Shourie, met her at the airport bearing a search warrant stating that "Zaynab Khadr has willingly participated and contributed both directly and indirectly towards enhancing the ability of Al Qaeda", and seized her laptop, DVDs, audiocassettes, diary and other files. They claimed that they were able to determine the present locations of multiple al-Qaeda veterans, though were not able to produce any evidence to charge her.
But this laptop is easily explained:
Zaynab offered the defence that she had purchased the computer second-hand seven months before her trip.
Yep... again, could happen to anyone: these Al-Qaeda information - infested laptops are everywhere, one can't be too careful when buying a second-hand one these days.

And, appearing at her mom's side in this documentary, she says:
We don't like seeing people killed...[a]t the same time, when you're seeing your people being killed and killed and killed, everyday, everyday, everyday, and then you see whoever is doing this...being killed, you don't want to feel happy. But you just sort of think, "They deserve it. They've been doing it for such a long time, why shouldn't they feel it once in a while?"
But this should be discarded as an emotional outburst, I suggest. And as a side effect of KAQA...
Meanwhile, we came to:

Abdullah Ahmed Khadr (the eldest brother)

What can we say:
He has admitted buying weapons for al-Qaeda, but maintains that he was merely on friendly terms with its leaders due to his father's prominence, and not a member himself. He has said that he would "be the first one to stop" any potential attacks against Canada.
Notice how the love of all the family members to Canada surfaces each time. And how every member of the family eventually gravitates to Al Qaeda, maybe even unwillingly. As for his predilection to weaponry, he explained it perfectly, as far as I am concerned:
When testifying about a three-month camp he attended when he was about 13 or 14, Khadr explained that learning about basic weapons training, rocket launchers, grenade launchers and how to detonate explosives, were part of the "Muslim culture" and part of growing up in Afghanistan.
I think it clears the picture completely. Nice guy, with the same KAQA problem. And now:

Abdurahman Khadr (the third broher)
Abdurahman Khadr (in Arabic عبد الرحمن خضر) (b. 1982) is the third child of the Egyptian Canadian Khadr family, and was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba, after being detained in Afghanistan under suspicion of connections to Al-Qaeda.
Here KAQA starts working early enough:
While the family was living in Nazim Jihad with Osama bin Laden's family in 1998, Abdurahman became close friends with Abdulrahman bin Laden who was close to his age...
Then there is some hint on his cooperation with CIA and later rumors on his life being made into a movie, worth a lot of money to the guy. If so, we can stipulate that KAQA could be managed, provided enough dough is invested and Hollywood is interested...

However, Abdurahman seems to be the only lucky one. See the next case:

Abdulkareem Khadr (kid number four - if my count is still OK)
Abdulkareem Khadr (in Arabic عبد الكريم خضر) (b. March 29, 1989) is the youngest son in the Egyptian Canadian Khadr family. In 2003, he was with his father Ahmed Said Khadr during a shoot-out with Pakistani security forces. As a result, his father was killed and Abdulkareem was left paralyzed. He returned to Canada the following year, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada with his mother Maha Elsamnah.
Unfortunately, due to the disability, Abdulkareem didn't have a lot of opportunities falling under the KAQA control. But even so:
Around 1999, while staying with the family of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kandahar, the ten-year old Abdulkareem begged the al-Qaeda leader to let him hold his gun after he returned home one night. al-Zawahiri relented, and let him inspect the weapon.
But, after all, no harm was done, and the boy returned to beloved Canada, where he receives to this day his mom and sis attention and does his best to... whatever. In his case, the KAQA, not being able to come to fruition, transformed into some friskiness that may seem to be excessive for a semi-paralyzed guy:
In 2010, Abdulkareem Khadr, now 21 was charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation, Toronto police spokesman said. The alleged female victim was a minor at the time of the alleged event, but is now 18 years of age.
Of course, like all the other siblings, he is unjustly accused:
He denies all responsibility on the affair.
Otherwise, nothing special. Just a nice boy, with some residual passion for guns and games...

And now to the baby of the family. The one who makes the headlines these days:

Omar Ahmed Khadr - the baby
Omar Ahmed Khadr (in Arabic عمر أحمد خضر) (born September 19, 1986) is the fifth child in the Egyptian-Canadian Khadr family. He was captured on July 27, 2002 by American forces at the age of 15 following a four-hour firefight with militants in the village of Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. He has spent seven years in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps accused of war crimes and providing support to terrorism after allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier.
If you read the story as it is presented in this Wiki entry, you could certainly get dizzy from all the legalese the entry offers. While the case is quite clear: the baby, while being 15 years old and definitely not responsible for anything, succumbed to KAQA and, as a result, found himself in the midst of Al Qaeda best and finest. When the shooting started, he was playing with the usual weapons (RPG, a few hand grenades, etc, as is fitting the boy whose upbringing in Afghanistan got him into the stuff). All the shooting and violence that suddenly developed around him caused his hand (the one with the grenade) to jerk, absolutely involuntary, and the rest is history. Or Wiki, whatever.


Well, if you have followed this long story so far, it's time to conclude what should have become obvious by now:
  • Khadr siblings love Canada, the facts show that every time after a temporary insanity is caused by the gene that controls their behavior, their first request is to be transported back to Canada.
  • Khadr siblings are essentially peaceful folks and any accusation of sympathy to terrorism or some such is completely misdirected.
  • Khadr siblings carry a new gene, already called KAQA. The said gene causes them an uncontrollable urge to travel, as a result always putting them in direct vicinity of Al Qaeda operatives of the highest caliber.
  • The Khadr siblings' passion for weaponry is not related to KAQA in any way, but is the result of the traditional upbringing in naturally weaponry-friendly region. Americans, of all people, should be perfectly OK with this matter.
  • The baby Khadr's trial should be dismissed due to obvious innocence of the accused.
  • The baby himself, and all the other surviving siblings should be studied for as long as it's necessary to identify and isolate the gene.
  • After success of the above mentioned studies, and for as long as appropriate machinery for locating Al Qaeda operatives based on the study is developed, the Khadr siblings should be allowed to roam free, albeit under close observation. Every move they make (geographically) will certainly be a clear indication of another Al Qaeda cell, to be taken care of.
In short: no matter what UN, CSIS, CIA, FBI, Interpol and all the others think about the Khadrs, they should put aside their petty suspicions and let the science do its work.

I just found that I don't know how to finish this post, long as it is. But, on second thought, this story is just beginning. Khadr family is not going to leave their beloved Canada, and there already is a third generation of KAQA - positive babies, who will, in turn, produce more of the kind...

So there.

And, just in case you want to know more about the baby Khadr:

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


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Diane1976 said...

The gene theory makes about as much sense as blaming an accused person involved in an 8 year legal process for everything his family ever did, without even considering what he's actually charged with, the circumstances or the legal arguments.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Legal? We don't need no steenking legal here.

We say Omar is innocent, so that makes him so.