Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Derrick Shareef Pleads Guilty In Rockford Air Grenade Case

Derrick Shareef, the air grenadist of Rockford, Illinois, has pleaded guilty on one of two counts.

Shareef was arrested last December, 2006, after trading a pair of stereo speakers for a box of mock grenades, a handgun and some blanks.

He pleaded not guilty to two charges in January, but yesterday he changed his plea to guilty on one of the counts, "using weapons of mass destruction", according to Rockford's WIFR (Channel 23, CBS).

Shareef is scheduled to be sentenced March 14, 2008, according to a press release from the National Terrorism Alert Response Center which notes:
At all times Shareef allegedly was acting on his plan between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, 2006, Shareef was in contact with an acquaintance, who unbeknownst to him was cooperating with the FBI, and an undercover agent who was posing as the cooperating individual’s friend.
WIFR adds:
Shareef could face a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum life sentence.
The press release elaborates:
While there is no plea agreement, the Government anticipates that a remaining count of attempted arson will be dismissed at sentencing.
Sharp-eyed readers will note that Derrick Shareef was caught attempting to acquire four grenades and a handgun, but was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

Is attempting to acquire the same as using?

Is a hand grenade the same as a weapon of mass destruction?

Yes... and Yes!

We have discussed the relevant laws but that was a long time ago, so let's review:
According to the applicable laws, a "weapon of mass destruction" is defined as anything that gives off poison or pathogens or radioactivity (biological, chemical, and nuclear respectively, as expected) as well as anything that explodes!
Weapon Of Mass Destruction

(2) the term “weapon of mass destruction” means—

(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;
(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or
(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life; and
Destructive Device

(4) The term “destructive device” means—

(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
According to this law, the US invasion of Iraq was justified, and UN arms-inspector Hans Blix is an idiot. Clearly Saddam Hussein had at least one hand grenade; that's a weapon of mass destruction, just the same as any bomb, any mine, and all but the smallest rockets and missiles. In fact this law appears to classify as weapons of mass destruction all weapons which can hurt people from a distance, except for firearms (here we see the long reach of the 2nd Amendment and the even longer reach of the NRA), crossbows and slingshots (and these loopholes will certainly be closed in the next version of the law).
In a fine piece last December, The Polemicist wrote:
Think about the tax payer money being spent so far on Shareef, the dumbest fake terrorist ever. I mean the guy couldn't even think of his own plot. We got the government doing everything for him!
He also noticed how the FBI's Confidential Source (CS) -- clearly the driving force behind this plot -- keeps steering Derrick Shareef in the direction of the mall:
Without precipitation, CS asks Shareef if he thinks it's a better idea to "hit the mall." What the hell? Why is government informant giving the "terrorist" ideas?

Later, Shareef is asked again by CS, "What targets you wanna hit, the mall's good?" Is CS trying to confirm that Shareef will go after the mall? Or, is he encouraging Shareef to hit the mall? After all, wasn't it CS who brought up the idea of the mall? Why does he like the mall so much???
Maybe it has something to do with interstate commerce.

It means Derrick Shareef's case falls under this law:
Use of weapons of mass destruction

(a) A person who, without lawful authority, uses, threatens, or attempts or conspires to use, a weapon of mass destruction —-
(1) [...]
(2) against any person or property within the United States, and
(A) [...]
(B) such property is used in interstate or foreign commerce or in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce;
(C) [...]
(D) the offense, or the results of the offense, affect interstate or foreign commerce, or, in the case of a threat, attempt, or conspiracy, would have affected interstate or foreign commerce;
It's kind of slick how all this works, isn't it?

Slick like oil on the water, my friends.


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