Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rashid Rauf Draws A Line In The Sand

Rashid Rauf, alleged al-Q'aeda mastermind and ringleader of the so-called "Liquid Bombers", has had enough. According to his attorney, he is "preparing to sue the British government for implicating him in a concocted terrorism case."

As you may recall, Rashid Rauf is a Briton of Pakistani descent, whose arrest in Pakistan in early August precipitated the arrests of some two dozen people in the UK, as well as several others in Pakistan. Half of those arrested in Britain were charged with "conspiracy to murder", even though the means by which they were allegedly plotting to commit those murders is so far-fetched as to be laughable. Their trial in the UK is expected to begin in the spring of 2008.

Rashid Rauf is still in prison in Pakistan. The British have apparently been trying to extradite him, but for Tony Blair it's been quid-pro-nullo -- all give and no get.

Meanwhile, on December 13 in Rawalpindi, Rashid Rauf's terrorism-related charges were dropped by the anti-terror court, which left him facing charges for non-violent offenses, such as carrying forged documents. Rauf appeared in court on December 22, but the prosecution hadn't done its paperwork -- hadn't even provided a charge sheet -- and a new court date was scheduled for January 5th.

The dropping of the terror charges was reported all over the world, but few Western news agencies bothered to note that the Pakistani government filed an appeal and had the dismissal of terror charges suspended, and the court date postponed again (until January 15). They also extended his detention for another three months.

But so far they haven't produced any evidence against him, and
If enquiries submitted to the British High Commission about the grounds for his possible extradition do not yield a satisfactory explanation within three days, a lawsuit seeking damages of one billion pounds sterling (1.9 billion US dollars) will be filed against the British government, he said.
Of course if Rashid Rauf has it right, and the "terror" is "concocted", then he's not the only one who's been suffering from the concoction.


thirteenth in a series