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Such stuff as dreams are made of...interpreted by Ibn Sireen.




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Author Topic: [New Book] Rounded Up  (Read 1302 times)
jannah
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« on: Feb 21, 2010 10:12 PM »



Amazon Link

Rounded Up, written from a Muslim-American’s perspective, is a thoroughly researched, well-documented, inside view of the Albany case from its beginning in 2003, to the FBI raid of the mosque and the men’s arrests in 2004, through the 2006 trial, to its tragic end in 2007 with the sentencing of Imam Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, the two Muslims convicted of aiding terrorism who are now each serving 15 years in federal prison.

In Rounded Up, Ahmad and Aref’s volunteer attorney, Steve Downs, who wrote the book’s foreword, leave no doubt that the case was a frame-up designed to advance the post-9/11 “war on terror” and intimidate the Muslim community. To support this conclusion, Ahmad offers inside information about the evidence that has never before been made public. In addition, direct transcriptions of many of the sting tapes used to prosecute the men appear at the end of the book. Most of these conversations were never entered as evidence in court or released to the public, and they allow the reader to “hear” the defendants interacting with the government informant as the deception evolved over a year.

While Yassin Aref’s 2008 memoir, Son of Mountains, details his own experiences both before and after the trial, it is not about the case per se. Rounded Up is the only comprehensive account of the Albany case available to date, and there is only one other book on the market about a domestic terrorism case itself. Thus Rounded Up is an important contribution to the new body of literature about the government’s preemptive prosecution of Muslims in America. An ironic twist is that the same government informant used in the Aref-Hossain case was also used in the June 2009 arrests of four men in Newburgh, New York on charges of plotting a terrorist missile attack––a plot very similar to Albany’s sting. That case has not yet gone to trial.

Ahmad is a physics professor at the University at Albany, and the 2007 recipient of the Jim Perry Progressive Leadership Award from Citizen Action of the Capital District.  He has dedicated Rounded Up to the Muslim Solidarity Committee, the citizen advocacy group formed in 2006 after the convictions, which continues to support the two defendants and their families and keep the case alive in the community. In the closing chapters of Rounded Up, Ahmad contends that this activism played a significant role in the men’s sentencing by convincing the judge to halve their recommended prison terms, and in establishing “watchdog” status for other such Muslim “terror” cases nationwide.

Rounded Up is available for sale in local bookstores and online at both Amazon.com and the Troy Book Makers. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Aref Education Fund, established by the author for the educational needs of Yassin Aref’s four children. Shamshad Ahmad and Steve Downs are available for interviews. Book reviews are also requested.
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 21, 2010 10:13 PM »

New book scrutinizes Muslim case
By Gazette columnist


Allow me to plug a book. It is “Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11,” by Shamshad Ahmad, concerning the case of the two Muslim men in Albany who a few years ago were manipulated by the FBI in such a way that they could be accused of supporting terrorism.

Shamshad Ahmad was in a unique position to view this case. He was the founder of the storefront mosque on Central Avenue that the two men belonged to — one was the imam there — and was personally involved from the initial raid and arrests through the trial and appeals, negotiating with lawyers, supporting the families, and often serving as spokesman to the news media.

He is a Muslim, of course, and he views the case through that lens: what it means not just to the two men and their families but to the Muslim community in Albany and to Muslims in America generally that such an elaborate and devious plot could be devised by the United States government to bring down two ordinary guys who were not doing anything remotely related to terrorism.

But he is also an American, and a highly educated one at that — a professor of physics at SUNY Albany, resident in this country for the past 30 years — so he can see things from that angle also, can see the legal and constitutional questions and mourn for what has happened to his adopted land.

I won’t attempt to summarize the case for those who might be unfamiliar with it. Suffice it to say that the FBI, under pressure following 9/11 to stop terrorists before they could strike again, resorted to manufacturing terrorists when no genuine ones could be found, and Yassin Aref, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq, and Mohammed Hossain, a Bangladesh-born pizza-shop owner, were two of those manufactured, or artificial, terrorists.

Aref was the primary target, based on the flimsiest of suspicions, and Hossain got roped in. The FBI deployed a Pakistani criminal who was facing deportation to set the two of them up, and it worked. Aref and Hossain were convicted and sentenced to 15 years each, which they are now serving.

Introducing the book Friday at a press conference at the mosque, Ahmad noted that the FBI deployed the same criminal in a more recent operation in Newburgh and said he expects such entrapment of Muslims to continue.

The book is a very able review of the Albany case, with an analysis of the evidence that should be useful to a newcomer and with many fresh insights and tidbits for the connoisseur.
Reading it, I got mad all over again at the misuse of government power, and I couldn’t help thinking, not for the first time, where were all those self-proclaimed foes of big government when this was going on, the ones we have heard so much from on the subject of health care?
If they want government out of people’s lives, why weren’t they protesting at the federal courthouse in Albany when the government was grinding two workaday family men under its gargantuan heel?

Where were the “Don’t Tread On Me” people with their nostalgic coiled-snake flags? Where the self-described conservatives who object on principle, or claim to object on principle, to big government?

Well, don’t get me going. You’ve heard this before, but Shamshad Ahmad’s book did get me stirred up again, that’s for sure.

The book is published by The Troy Book Makers and is available from their Web site, from Amazon.com, and from local bookstores, at a cost of $17.50, the proceeds to benefit Yassin Aref’s four children, who are in particular need.
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