Friday, June 17, 2011

Jihad Scare at the Pentagon

The story that began early this morning at the Pentagon keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. It involves a “suspicious vehicle”, ammonium nitrate, jihad-themed materials, twenty spent 9-mm shell casings, and three cans of black spray paint.

It doesn’t add up to anything that makes sense. The suspect, Yonathan Melaku, is in the Marine Corps reserves. The ethnicity of his surname seems to be Ethiopian or Eritrean, but his first name is not generally used among Muslims — “Yonathan” is Hebrew-derived, a version of “Jonathan”.

So I’ve got no theories about the case. Readers are invited to devise their own.

Here’s the story from CBS News:

Pentagon scare suspect ID’d as Marine reservist

A source told CBS News that the man detained in the discovery of a suspicious vehicle outside the Pentagon Friday morning has been identified as a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Lance Cpl. Yonathan Melaku told authorities during questioning Friday morning that he was carrying explosive materials, the source told CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton.

Previously, FBI Special Agent Brenda Heck, who heads the bureau’s counterterrorism division in its Washington field office, told reporters that a non-explosive material was found in a backpack the suspect was carrying at the time of his arrest.

A law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity said officials found what appeared to be an unknown quantity of ammonium nitrate. The official, who was not authorized to release the information, said nothing else was found that would have enabled an explosion. The official said tests were being done to determine the substance and the exact concentration.

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound that is widely used in fertilizers and can be used in explosives with the correct concentration.

A law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect now identified as Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases “al Qaeda,” “Taliban rules” and “Mujahid defeated croatian forces” when he was detained.

Despite the references to the terror organization that organized the 9/11 attacks, the group fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the Arabic word for “holy warrior,” the law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot.

“It seems to be washing out at this point, but it is still being drilled down on,” the law enforcement source told Milton.

The law enforcement source said the backpack also contained 20 spent 9 mm shell casings and three cans of black spray paint.

The suspect was being held by the U.S. Park Police. No charges have been filed against him.

“This is all very unfolding and a continuing investigation,” Heck told reporters.

CBS News affiliate WUSA-TV in Washington reports that Melaku appears to have an extensive criminal record in the capital area. In Loudoun County, Va., Melaku has four pending cases for grand larceny stemming from a rash of vehicle break-ins.

Federal authorities are searching his Fairfax County, Va., home, WUSA-TV reports.

The suspect was detained after the U.S. Park Police came across him in early Friday morning in Arlington National Cemetery, when it is closed, triggering an investigation. The Park Police then launched a search for a vehicle, which was found near the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C., Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said.


Heck said no suspicious items were found in the vehicle.

Pentagon police spokesman Chris Layman said the car was in bushes near the Pentagon’s north parking lot.


Anonymous said...

my guess is sudden jihadi syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Nah, he just lost the rest of his flash mob - in Afghanistan! Ha! :)

Hesperado said...

"...but his first name is not generally used among Muslims — “Yonathan” is Hebrew-derived, a version of “Jonathan”."

"Musa" (the Moses in the Koran) is also Hebrew-derived.

In fact, the Koran and Hadiths are filled with Hebrew-/Aramaic-derived names from the Judaeo-Christian Bible (not to mention some Greek as well).

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

Yes, and the Hebrew-derived Issa ("Jesus") is also a common Muslim name. I know that.

You conveniently ignored the first part of what I said: "his first name is not generally used among Muslims". For whatever reason, it isn't: I checked.

If you have countervailing evidence, please cite it, and I will stand corrected.

Otherwise, why bother nit-picking? Is it simple reflex on your part?

Hesperado said...


Your em-dashed phrase indicates that it is not commonly used because it is Hebrew-derived, as though Muslims have something against Hebrew names derived from the "corrupted" Taurat and Injil (i.e., the Bible); which they obviously don't, as their tradition is full of such names. Yonathan may not be common for any number of reasons, but I doubt that it being Hebrew-derived is relevant. Nor would it be because Jonathan was not a prophet, as neither was David, but Dawud is a not unheard of name among Muslims (I have no idea how common it is, nor how to measure any given name (other than obvious ones like "Mohammed") as common among Muslims).

In sum, "Yonathan" may be uncommon for reasons (whatever they are; like maybe most parents simply don't like them for aesthetic reasons) similar to why, for example, "Maximilian" or "Dagwood" are relatively uncommon among non-Muslims.

Zenster said...

Despite the references to the terror organization that organized the 9/11 attacks, the group fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the Arabic word for “holy warrior,” the law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot.

Hey, why stop there? Be sure to mention that ammonium nitrate, and the twenty spent 9-mm shell casings. Aren't those enough dots to connect? How many more do you need?

As if the pile of American corpses that were killed on our own soil isn't high enough already?

I dread to think of what sort of horrific act it will take for the American public to finally disregard all government assurances that so many of these domestic attacks by Muslims have no connection to terrorism.

Zenster said...

Baron Bodissey: Otherwise, why bother nit-picking? Is it simple reflex on your part?


Hesperado said...

It's important to realize that Muslims have many names derived from Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek, due to their theological plagiarism of the Old/New Testaments; and that this belies the Islamic belief that the Koran is entirely in Arabic (though that latter paradox can be squirmed out of sophistically). Baron's em-dash phrase implied a Muslim name derived from Hebrew is some kind of oddity and that when we see a Muslim named something derived from Hebrew (like "Yonathan"), it becomes remarkable. It does not, was my unremarkable point, not worth quibbling over (much less accusing me of quibbling).

Kufar Dawg said...


Do you have any proof that the Quran wasn't written in Arabic?

Anonymous said...

Hi cornholio: Here is a related wikipedia link:

The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran

Of course, all scholarship on the origins of the Koran must be conducted under pseudonyms due to the Muslim contention that the Koran is the final perfect immutable word of Allah - backed up by an ummah-wide death sentence for those who might prove otherwise.

You see, if Allah is perfect, but the Koran is written in 'crappy' Arabic, well now, that doesn't say much for Allah having written the Koran - whereas it does indicate that an evil illiterate criminal named Mohammed might have had something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

From Carl Cantrell's great essay:

Did Muhammad Write The Koran?

"There are two schools of thought about who actually wrote the Koran and how it was assembled because it is a know fact that Muhammad was so illiterate that he could not read or write. First, the Muslim leaders tell the people that Muhammad wrote the Koran and it was a miracle because Muhammad was illiterate in spite of the fact that Muhammad himself spoke against miracles and said he could not and did not do any miracles, therefore, calling Muhammad a liar."

"The other school of thought comes from today's theological scholars or experts who claim that the Koran was put together later by a Caliph who simply organized notes left by Muhammad. Amazingly, this belief defies common sense because, first, a man who cannot write cannot leave notes and, second, the size of the Koran would have required to write a huge amount of notes. It is only common sense that an illiterate person who cannot read or write cannot leave any notes much less enough notes to write a book six hundred pages long. Use some common sense. If Muhammad could write enough notes to write a six hundred page book, why didn't he just write the book? The only thing this proves is that many scholars and experts don't have any common sense."

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, it is only common sense that Muhammad would have written the Koran himself by dictating it to a scribe instead of leaving a bunch of notes he couldn't have written or performing some miracle he denounced himself. This is such an obvious no brainer that it causes me to question the intelligence of the academics who believe the Koran was written by a caliph from notes Muhammad could not have written."


"Now, what type of scribe did Muhammad use? There were two basic types of scribes in that part of the world at that time. There were the Jewish scribes and non-Jewish scribes. The difference between the two is that it was well known by everyone that Jewish scribes, especially the religious scribes or rabbi's were trained to be very meticulous and made very few mistakes in their writings. As a matter of fact, they were and still are famous for being the most meticulous scribes in the history of the world. It is also a fact that, until the writing of the Koran, Jewish scriptures were the only place that the same poetic type of verses were found in any writing."

"So, if you were Muhammad, wanted to write a very important religious document, and you had enslaved a large number of both Jewish and non-Jewish scribes, who would you use to write your religious document? There is only one answer and that would be a Jewish scribe. As a matter of fact, after I realized this, I found out that a group of orthodox Jewish rabbi's from the Middle East who were fluent in Aramaic, studied the Koran and came to the same conclusion for the same and different reasons."

Anonymous said...

"These rabbi's concluded that since the poetic verse used in the Koran was only found in the Hebrew scriptures prior to the writing of the Koran, that the scribe used by Muhammad had to be Jewish. But they also pointed out the Biblical errors in the Koran as further proof that it was written by a Jewish rabbi or scribe because only a Jewish rabbi would know enough about the Bible to write such references and make the mistakes that were made. You see, Jewish rabbi's have been trained in how many prior Jewish rabbi's used such errors in their writings to send a message to all Jews that what they were writing was not true. Therefore, a Jewish rabbi would have intentionally suggested such errors to Muhammad, who was clearly ignorant about the Bible, in order to write in secret messages to other Jews to not believe the Koran. Such suggestions would have pleased Muhammad since he was trying to make it look like Allah was the god of the Bible and didn't really know anything about the Bible."

"Based on their observations and my observations, I believe that what almost certainly happened was that Muhammad used a Jewish rabbi slave to write the Koran, knowing he would be killed after the Koran was finished, the slave wrote in secret messages to other Jews by writing in errors in referring to the Bible, and Muhammad's fellow leaders killed the Jewish rabbi after the Koran was completed and they had disposed of Muhammad claiming he had been taken up to heaven by Allah. Based on all of the evidence, this is the most probably scenario for the writing of the Koran."

Sagunto said...

Cornholio -

There's the ground breaking scholarly work of Crone/Cook, and more recently Ohlig/Puin (and Luxemberg).

The book "Dunklen Anfänge" by Ohlig/Puin is from 2005 (German), and its translation is called "The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research Into Its Early History"

In Dutch there's a 438 page book, published in 2009, called "De omstreden bronnen van de Islam" [The Controversial Sources of Islam] that presents an excellent overview of the Ohlig/Puin thesis.

Egghead -

Thanks a bunch for the background info you put out there, that's just A-okay! ;-)

As to Hesperado's presumed reflexive impulses, while there may be some truth to them not being entirely uninvolved, I think that - later on - he nevertheless makes an important point about Islamic plagiarism. That i.m.o. elevates what initially might look like nit-picking above the level of petty criticism.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,

Hesperado said...


I didn't say the Koran wasn't written in Arabic; I alluded to the fact that the Koran contains non-Arabic words -- a fact denied by Muslims because they think the Koran is purely Arabic (and co-eternal with Allah; since, of course, his eternal divine thoughts are Arabic).

One scholar has been studying this, but as Egghead said, has had to remain anonymous for fear of his life: his pseudonym is "Christoph Luxenberg" (amusingly, Luxenberg recounted that he initially didn't care about using his own real name but that fellow Muslim colleagues were the ones who advised him that his scholarly work might be dangerous -- for, they knew how serious this issue is amongst their fellow fanatical brethren). Luxenberg is the one famous for postulating that the Arabic word for the "virgins" in Paradise (houri) in the Koran may actually have been mistranslated, originally meaning "white raisins".

But Luxenberg more broadly has had the temerity to theorize (with solid evidence backing it up) a considerable amount of non-Arabic present in the Koran (mostly, apparently, Aramaic).

Of course, the Islamic sophistical counter-response to this would be that all those non-Arabic Biblical words and names reflect the fact that the Jewish and Christian writers of the Bible had "corrupted" and garbled the originally Islamic revelations of Allah -- since Allah, after all, is (so they aver) the real Yahweh of the Old and New Testaments. Thus, I suppose, Hebrew and Aramaic itself are "corruptions" of the aboriginal Arabic spoken by Allah to Adam and Eve (Adem and Hawa).

Perhaps Muslims even theorize that all non-Arabic languages are "corruptions" of Arabic (and no doubt there is a plagiarism of the Tower of Babel story in the Koran somewhere); just as they claim that all humans are by nature Muslims but that the non-Muslims have lost their Islam because they have grown up in wicked cultures that cultivate "blindness" to the truth of Islam (unless they see the light and "revert" back to their congenital Islam).

Nick said...

Very interesting theory, thanks for putting that up there.

Hesperado said...


Sort of off-topic. Do you know the status of that (in)famous book supposedly written by a Palestinian Muslim who immigrated to Holland in the 60s -- his book was an expose of Muslim attitudes and psychology (among many other things, he writes about how lying is part of Islamic culture). "Rasoel Mohamed" I believe was his name.

I had a link to it once, but the link is now bad. Later, I learned that the book was a hoax written by a non-Muslim.

Do you know anything about this? I'd appreciate any info you might have.


Zenster said...

Egghead, congratulations upon yet another healthy dose of Grade A debunking.

From what I recall, several years ago European researchers stumbled across a Qur'anic equivalent of The Dead Sea Scrolls. This material had to be smuggled out of the Middle East for fear of Muslim officials destroying it on the spot as "blasphemous" writings.

This earlier version showed that the Qur'an was an evolutionary document and not the "cut in stone" perfect word of Allah that it is supposed to be.

If you have any other information or links pertaining to this, please feel free to provide them.

Again, thank you for providing such informative material. It is this sort of solid analysis that helps beginner and seasoned counterjihadists alike to increase their knowledge base and traction in arguments about this nettlesome subject.

Hesperado said...

Egghead's source speculates:

"You see, Jewish rabbi's have been trained in how many prior Jewish rabbi's used such errors in their writings to send a message to all Jews that what they were writing was not true. Therefore, a Jewish rabbi would have intentionally suggested such errors to Muhammad, who was clearly ignorant about the Bible, in order to write in secret messages to other Jews to not believe the Koran."

Another theory, perhaps more plausible, is that the scribes Mohammed used (probably more than one) were from heretical sects -- both Judaism and Christianity have had heretical sects in their history, Christian probably far outnumbering Jewish ones, and especially in profusion during the first 7 centuries A.D..

The strange twists and errors we find in the Koran when it recounts various Biblical themes and episodes would, then, be due to various apocryphal and heterodox corruptions of the orthodox Jewish and Christian texts communicated by one or more Jewish and/or Christian heretics to Mohammed (e.g., the idea of God putting an "impostor" on the cross in order to deceive the Jews into thinking they had killed "Issa" when they really had not -- an idea remarkably resembling the quasi-Gnostic sect of the so-called "Docetists" who were around for centuries prior to, during and after Mohammed's time).

And not only twists and errors, but also additions of strange stories not even found in the Bible at all (e.g., the story of the strange traveler with Moses in the Koran who teaches him, among other things, that it is righteous to kill even your own parents if they stray from the True Religion).

Zenster said...

Hesperado: … the story of the strange traveler with Moses in the Koran who teaches him, among other things, that it is righteous to kill even your own parents if they stray from the True Religion.

Bah! That was just Big Brother in a previous lifetime.

Sagunto said...

Zen -

Let me add to Eggheads great batch of info on this subject and support your personal recollection with an article from 2008 by Spengler in the ATimes.

Hesperado -

Here's a link to the Dutch text by "Mohamed Rasoel" [Pdf]: "De Ondergang van Nederland: land van naïeve dwazen".

On March the 6th, 1989 he wrote an article that featured in the Dutch newspaper NRC, to warn the Dutch population about Islam and Muslims.

Three writers have been appointed as suspected author of the follow-up book, by the abovementioned title that translates as "The downfall of the Netherlands, land of gullible fools".

In 1992, the Pakisthan born resident of the Dutch city of Edam, Zoka Mansoor van A. was declared the probable man behind the Rasoel mask.

Later on, speculation started all over again, based on the detailed textual analysis by the Amsterdam prof. Teun van Dijk, which pointed unequivocally (according to the prof.) to the famous Dutch writer Gerrit Komrij. This analysis was believed by very few. Yet, the literary style of the book was deemed "too sophisticated" for it to have been written by this Pakistan born "suspect".

- Round 2010 the first big test will become manifest. Meanwhile Dutch underground movements will have come about. A fast growing number of Dutch people will become aware how wrong they've been to be nice to the wrong kind of people.
- Muslims will have claimed increasingly higher positions of power in civil Dutch society. Supported by their allies in Belgium, Germany, England and France they will have built an extensive loyal network capable of undermining the whole system. By 2020 the first phase of the downfall will be completed.
- When 2050 arrives, today's Netherlands won't exist anymore. The second phase of the downfall will be complete by then. The royal head of state will still be there along with some govt officials and ministers, but the Muslim party is the de facto ruling power. Most Dutch women will have adopted Muslim garb, to avoid trouble. Iran exerts direct influence through its headquarters in Rotterdam. Half of the Dutch provinces will be dubbed "New Netherlands", the rest declared "Old Netherlands". All Muslims will be transferred from the former to the latter area.

Take care,

Sagunto said...

The last part of my previous post provides an overview of the main predictions by Mohamed Rasoel in his 1990 book.


Hesperado said...

Thanks for the info, Sagunto.

According to the book (which I never finished reading), he emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s when he was a youg man, so if he wrote it near 1990 (perhaps writing it a year or two before?) he could have been in his late 30s or into his 40s having spent all his life in Holland, and if he had gone to college in Holland, maybe he became "sophisticated" enough to have his writing style.

I guess one good test would be to find at least one other Pakistani who can write Dutch at least to the level of that book, to prove that it is possible.

Anonymous said...

Hi all: Thanks for the kind words - and additional information.

Sagunto: You're A-okay! P.S. It's old slang - just for fun - because your English is so good that I have to tease you. Hope your hand is getting better. :)

Hesperado: While your theory about Jewish and/or Christian heretics introducing errors into the Koran is interesting, I firmly believe that the theory that I relayed is actually more probable.

Here's why: I recall reading a famous Greek author from antiquity - I forget his name now - who advised purposely introducing error into writings if you want readers to take a second look for a hidden message.

In this case, the hidden message would be: The Koran is fake.

I will concede that the Jewish scribes may have introduced heretical ideas as their errors.

Zenster: Here's are three more interesting sites - the last is unrelated to the current topic but still worth reading based on our past discussions:

An interview with "Christoph Luxenberg" by Alfred Hackensberger

"Daughter-gate": Allah’s Daughters: el-Lat, el-Uzza, and Manat

The Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Terrorism By Phyllis Chesler

Kufar Dawg said...

Although all academic, an interesting read. Thanks Hesperado et. al.

I've read that the day of reforming Islam has long come and gone.

I can only imagine what would happen to Christoph Luxenberg if his identity was known. I imagine his life insurance policy would be cancelled immediately.

Sagunto said...

And you're a swell bird, Eggy, keep up the good work ;-)