Friday, January 26, 2007

Mother and Sister of Entrapment Victim Released; Father Still Detained Without Charge or Hearing

Two innocent women were released from the nightmare of the immigration prison system yesterday, after posting $35,000 bond.

Their son and brother, entrapment victim Shahawar Matin Siraj, now also known as a "convicted terrorist", was sentenced to 30 years in prison on January 8th, following his arrest in August of 2004.

In an astonishing coincidence, the other three members of his family were arrested the morning after the sentence was handed down.

Their visas had expired, but their appeals were pending. Thousands of people are in similar situations; they are normally allowed to wait for their appeals to be handled. So why was the Siraj family arrested? And why so soon after the sentence?

These are questions only the authorities can answer, but don't hold your breath waiting for answers. The authorities are not saying anything. And rightly so, from their point of view. If they tell the truth about this case, it could all fall apart -- and by "it" I mean not only the case itself but also the entire bogus war on bogus terror.

Defense attorney Martin Stolar has recently filed appeals against both the sentence and the conviction in this case. He argues that the conviction is unjust due to the jury's failure to see the obvious entrapment at the heart of the case; he also believes a 30-year sentence is extraordinarly harsh for a "crime" never committed, in which nobody was hurt and the "perpetrator" had no weapon, no independent means to obtain a weapon, and no workable plan of attack.

Indeed this case has all the earmarks of an entrapment-and-propaganda scam worthy of Kafka and Orwell at the same time.

No workable plan of attack: Like Derrick Shareef, Matin Siraj was spoon-fed the details of his "terror-plot", and prompted to talk about it, until he had said enough -- or, more accurately, until the feds had recorded enough. All they needed were the right words in the right order, and they went to extraordinary lengths to get their "evidence".

A crime on paper: Like Michael Reynolds, he was conned into doing a bit of "surveillance", a process by which he obtained (and/or prepared) diagrams of public places which could then serve as "evidence" of a terrorist attack in the early planning stages.

Politically expedient timing: Like the case of Rashid Rauf, the authorities struck when they needed a jolt of fear and a terror-related story to blot out something else in the news that seemed to be threatening their web of lies.

In all these ways and for all these reasons, Matin Sarij and his entire family have become "collateral damage" in America's endless mindless War Against Muslims.

When the 30-year sentence was handed down, Matin's family cried, "Entrapment!" Less than twelve hours later they were arrested.

Now -- after more than two weeks of unlawful confinement, after considerable support, on the net and in the streets, Matin's mother and sister have been granted a hearing and released on $35,000 bond.

But his father remains in prison, still allowed no hearing, still charged with no crime.


see also Becky Akers: When The Devil Creates A Devil | Becky Akers with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio | Attorney Martin Stolar with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!


fifth in a series