Duffey on Monday sentenced Ehsanul Islam Sadequee to 17 years in prison on four terror-related charges and sentenced his accomplice and protege and Georgia Tech student Syed Haris Ahmed to 13 years on similar charges. The two also will face 30 years of supervision after their eventual release.
The two sent homemade videos of Washington, D.C., landmarks to suspected terrorists overseas and traveled to Toronto to meet with suspected terrorists there who had planned to blow up the Parliament Building. Prosecutors said Sadequee tried to aid a Pakistani-based terror group while on a trip to Bangladesh in 2005 and Ahmed went to Pakistan that year in an unsuccessful attempt to study in an Islamic military school and join a militia.
The two had been watched by investigators for more than a year prior to their arrests. Among the possible targets for the "violent jihad" they were planning was Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, investigators said.
The indictment against the two said they were motivated by "defense of Muslims or retaliation for acts committed against Muslims."
Let's see ... could that possibly have been the liberation of millions of Iraqis from a bloodthirsty dictator with no respect for their religious or human rights? Or perhaps the two were referring to our liberation of millions of Muslims in Afghanistan from the Taliban, which was doing its best to turn back the clock in that country to the eighth century, and brutally preventing females from being educated (while most "feminists" in the Western world turned a deaf ear to their plight). Or perhaps Sadequee and Ahmed meant the billions in humanitarian aid and military aid we've sent to such Islamic countries as Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia through the decades.
Yet, Islamic extremists like Sadequee and Ahmed hate us.
As we noted in a 2006 editorial about the case against the two men: "They hate us because of who we are and what we're not. They hate us because we believe in democracy, equal rights for women, fair treatment for homosexuals and our tolerance of all religious faiths. And they hate us because we are 'infidels' - that is, we are not radical fundamentalist Muslims."
And as we said then, the episode is a reminder that even though there have been no terror attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, this is no time to let down our guard and pretend we are no longer at war: "The war against radical Islamic terrorism is nowhere near over, and the plot in question is unlikely to be the last. Luck, and good police and counter-intelligence work, was on our side this time. We hope that will always be the case."
True then, and true now.