Friday, February 23, 2007

Judge Orders Tests To Determine Whether Alleged Terrorist Wannabe Derrick Shareef Is Competent To Stand Trial

Derrick Shareef will undergo testing to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge David H. Coar in Chicago today.

The AP's Mike Robinson has the details:
A federal judge on Friday ordered a psychological examination for an alleged terrorist wannabe who offered to trade his stereo speakers for grenades to set off in a Rockford mall at Christmas time.

Derrick Shareef, 22, of Rockford, is to be examined by a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist designated by the government under the order issued by U.S. District Judge David H. Coar.
It's interesting to see Mike Robinson calling Shareef an "alleged terrorist wannabe", rather than the more standard "alleged terrorist" or even "Muslim terrorist"; perhaps Robinson's starting to get a whiff of the fragrance which has led me to call Shareef an "entrapment victim", rather than "alleged terrorist", since the day he was arrested.
Prosecutors say the 22-year-old Muslim convert plotted with an FBI undercover informant to commit acts of "violent jihad," or holy war, including blowing off hand grenades in garbage cans at the Rockford mall.

The idea was to blow the cans apart and spray the 130-store CherryVale Mall with deadly shrapnel at the height of the Christmas shopping rush, authorities said.
Yes, and a ludicrous plan it was, to be sure. A careful reading of the affidavit filed in this case reveals that nearly every aspect of the "plot" -- the date, the place, the weapons -- was suggested by the "confidential FBI informant". The only detail Shareef apparently came up with on his own was the utter brainstorm about detonating the grenades in garbage cans.

According to the affidavit, Shareef thought the garbage cans -- and the garbage in them -- would turn into deadly shrapnel. But grenades are designed to fragment; they make their own shrapnel. Detonating a grenade inside a garbage can would only serve to contain the shrapnel, and limit the damage. But the "confidential FBI informant" didn't need to worry about the details; all he needed to worry about was leading his horse to water and getting him to take a little sip.
Federal officials said that Shareef had been under investigation long before his Dec. 6 arrest after he offered to trade the speakers for a pistol and four hand grenades. They said there had never been any danger.
Well of course there was never any danger; there were never any live weapons involved either. And if not for the "confidential FBI informant" the alleged plotter Derrick Shareef would never have even visited the alleged scene of the allegedly planned alleged crime: CherryVale Mall.

Nor would he have cased any other potential "targets". For the purpose of selecting targets, Shareef rode around with the "confidential FBI informant", because Shareef didn't have a car. Nor a clue. He didn't have any weapons, he didn't have an independent source of weapons; he didn't even have any cash, and he couldn't get any, either. That's why the "confidential FBI informant" offered to introduce him to an "arms dealer" who would take a pair of speakers as payment.

This was the detail that tipped me off in the beginning. What sort of "arms dealer" accepts used home audio equipment in place of cash? Unknown to Derrick Shareef, but not surprising to me, both the "confidential informant" and the "arms dealer" turned out to be working for the FBI.
Coar issued his order after defense attorney Michael B. Mann said there was a question of whether Shareef was competent to stand trial.
I've been wondering about that myself. Clearly he wasn't competent to resist the enticements of a slick scammer, but whether or not he is declared competent to stand trial, the government has already got all it wants from this case. And that may be one reason why
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake Ryan did not object to the examination.
The publicity generated by Derrick Shareef's arrest gave a big boost to the phony war on phony terror, and it may actually be in the government's interest to have Shareef found unfit for trial; then there would be no trial and no possibility that the slick entrapment scheme which caught Derrick Shareef could be exposed.
Coar said the competency examination should be performed within 30 days and set April 6 for a hearing on the results.
All right, then. April 6 it is. I'll mark my calendar. And I'll try to keep you posted.

Justice Coar also set a date of March 6 for a hearing following Shareef's complaint about the conditions under which he is being held. Mike Robinson has more details here.


seventh in a series