May 6, 2010

Faisal Shahzad, in happier times.



It's that man from Connecticut who lost his home to foreclosure.
As a newlywed, the wedding guest said of Mr. Shahzad by e-mail from Pakistan, “there was no sign of him being extremist or, for that matter, he wasn’t a bit religious.” But in the past couple of years, after changing jobs and fathering two children, Mr. Shahzad “started talking more of Islam.”...
It must have been the economic downturn that made him want to melt the flesh off everyone who happened to be standing in Times Square. These are hard times.
“The recession had taken a toll on them, I guess,” he wrote in an e-mail message from Pakistan. He said that their money worries became apparent in 2008 or 2009 and that Mr. Shahzad “lost his way during the financial problems.” JPMorgan Chase has since moved to foreclose on the Shelton house, which the couple had abandoned in a hurry, leaving behind clothes and toys.
Because, you know, in all these foreclosures, people just suddenly run off and leave all their belongings. It's so sad — children without their toys.

62 comments:

Beth said...

Maybe the cause and effect is that he became a jihadist and then lost his home and all.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We've all got our own different ways of clinging bitterly to guns and religion.

Kirby Olson said...

His anger was displaced and redirected toward perfect strangers in Times Square.

I suppose something similar happened to the Unibomber, and to Timothy McVeigh.

Losers who don't quite know what went wrong, but have this tremendous anger, and then a movement comes along and supplies them with some kind of scapegoat.

And bombing expertise.

Only in this instance, the expertise wasn't expertise.

Maybe he had a similar efficacy at his job: just couldn't carry through, and get things done properly.

Which in this instance turned out to be a good thing!

SteveR said...

Well he never actually was anything close to a typical American who came upon tough circumstances and financial trouble.

With that excuse I would have started blowing things up in 1983 and a few times since.

AJ Lynch said...

NYT expresses sypmathy for a devil.

shoutingthomas said...

Mayer Bloomberg certainly made his feelings clear. In unison with many of our leaders, he condemned racial profiling and possible retaliation against American Muslims, then suggested that some Tea Party wacko was probably behind the attempted bombing.

Middle class white people are the Kulaks of American society... the despised class enemy standing in the way of the great people's revolution.

Have you checked out Shahzad's glorious academic career? If not, do so. It's out there. He was a solid C- student at a low ranking school. But, it was obviously necessary to import him and take a job away from a native American.

Democrats are the party of racism. Alway have been. Decades ago, Democrats were the enforcers of Jim Crow. Today, Democrats are the enforcers of the racial quota system. (Yes, I know Bloomberg is nominally an independent. Jesus Christ!)

This race hustling is so vicious and evil that the Democrats are just waiting for a middle class white man to throw a bomb. It's amazing that white men haven't obliged them. Democrats know that they would start throwing bombs if they were treated the way middle class white men are treated.

Of course, the Democrats are praying that white men start throwing bombs so that they can accuse them of belonging to the KKK.

They've got us by the balls and they're laughing at us.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Since they can't somehow tie this guy into the Tea Party (dagnabit!) and racist white extremists who are pissed about the health care bill.....the media is desperately spinning trying every way it can to tie this guy to

1. the poor economy
2. mean evil big bankers
3. wall street JP Morgan (maybe he should have shorted his house)
4. and of course BUSH

with a big dollop of "ooooh the poor children." The inhumanity....they left their children's toys (and big piles of garbage) when they left.

Driven to attempting mass murder by 1,2,3 and of course #4.

ANYTHING but the truth. The man is a terrorist, albeit an inept one, tied to Islamic extremists, maybe Al Qaida, Pakistan, Talilban.

But.....shhhhhh....we mustn't disturb the fragile snowflake muslims.....sigh....if only he had been an overweight, disgruntled, self employed, teapartying, white guy from Texas or even Arizona (that Nazi racist State!!). Why if he had been a plumber....that would have been the cherry on top of the media's sundae.

Rumpletweezer said...

It looks like he quit his job, took out a $65,000 line of credit on his house, traveled back and forth to Pakistan twice, stopped paying his mortgage and then, THEN, got forclosed on. I don't see any sign of the economic downturn getting to him, do you?

AJ Lynch said...

Dagnabit! What a great word that is! I reckon!

Original Mike said...

I look at that guy, and I think about what would have happened if that bomb had gone off ...

I'm sorry. I've got NO compassion for him. Tie a cement block around his ankles and dump him in the ocean.

JAL said...

Ouch.

MadisonMan said...

Odd. His father tells him that Islam does not permit a man to abandon his wife and children, yet they are abandoned nonetheless when he tries -- unsuccessfully, God be praised -- to blow up strangers (in the name of Islam?)

I think Beth hit it on the head. The man became a terrorist and then his life fell apart. I wonder who helped him decide that was the correct path for him to go down?

Michael Hasenstab said...

He came to the US as a student, married and American so he could stay here, worked, bought a house and then.......quit his job, used the equity in his house to finance trips to Pakistan to learn how to (ineptly) make a bomb.

He sent his wife and kids to live in Pakistan to await his glorious return form the evil America.

Didn't work, did it?

And by the way, why do American women marry guys like this?

JAL said...

Beth's got it right.

wv noted
See? Even wv noticed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm sorry. I've got NO compassion for him. Tie a cement block around his ankles and dump him in the ocean.

Hey! Now that's an idea...maybe BP can use him to plug up the oil leak.

JAL said...

Michael, his wife is apparently a Pashtun. I thought she was "American" too (with a weird name) but apparently she also has Pakistani roots. (Parents emigrated? She stayed after college and was also a naturalized?)

Someone over on Insty sent him a link to a wiki site dissecting the various tribes and families. The guy is connected somehow tribally to some of the more radical Pakistanis. Despite the fact the father was a government muckety muck.

Funny even though Obama pronounces the name right, the radicals don't love him. (I sometimes wonder where his Pakistani roommates are.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe the cause and effect is that he became a jihadist and then lost his home and all.

Or that he was a jihadist all along. I haven't heard much in the way of the economic doldrums being a prime motivator for wanting to slay the infidel.

William said...

They say he's talking but from what's been made public. he seems to be propagandizing. He claims that he was radicalized by witnessing a drone stike that killed innocents. I don't think that he is appealing to our sympathies but I bet his story goes over better among some communities in Pakistan.....He was treated very well in America. There is no need for Americans to examine their feelings about Muslims in order to exorcise some occult hostility. There is, however, a need for Muslims here to examine their feelings about America.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There is, however, a need for Muslims here to examine their feelings about America.

I'd say a better need is for Muslims to examine what is being done in thier name by Islamic terrorist. If he was so upset about innocents being killed, where was his outrage when his Taliban buddies were killing scores of his own in Pakistan? Oh that's right, its different.

AllenS said...

I want all Muslims removed from western civilization.

rhhardin said...

I'd go with the face culture thing.

Pogo said...

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a bomb in his car
Telling me Allahu Akbar

Pogo said...

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a bomb in his car
Telling me Allahu Akbar

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Joe said...

(The Extremely Handsome One)
If he was so upset about innocents being killed, where was his outrage when his Taliban buddies were killing scores of his own in Pakistan?

OR if killing innocent people is wrong, then how can you kill innocent people, in retaliation?

"I'm so mad that you punched my mother in the face. We don't punch females in the face. So in response I'm going to punch YOUR grannie in the face."

It's hard to fathom or qccept a moral argument that is being under-cut by the arguers own actions....

Kind of like asking for "civility" but calling your opponents "tea-baggesr."

edutcher said...

Way back when, this was the kind of person would go down the block shooting everybody he came across or go to the nearest schoolyard (post office, etc.) and just take out people at random. Always the same description - quiet guy, kept to himself, had a little trouble...

Interesting how the Left feels obliged to take the part of the Moslems now, but had no time for the psychotics who did the same sort of thing 20 or 30 years ago. 9/11 put the plutocrats in the same boat as everybody else, so they're playing Daladier and Chamberlain to the jihadis. That, and it fits nicely into their "America is the root of all evil" theme.

Pogo said...

The religion of pieces.

Many small ones.

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Chip Ahoy said...

Once I experienced a break up that was so emotional that my sensibility took leave. My brain kept right on thinking, unchecked, the most outrageous thoughts I ever thought up. I entertained them. My thought process was like a sideswiping careening QE II Earth-Car Cadillac with no brake. I kept visualizing doing the most destructive things and I didn't care one bit about collateral damage, mostly having to do with explosions and fire, heavy on gore, dismemberment, blood, and death. I thought it would take that to even things out. Bring balance to my universe. Achieve Maat. This went on for a very long time, remnant pieces of the incident still occur in dreams. The only thing that stopped me at the time was I couldn't manage visualizing the part about getting away scot free. "Who Me?"

Now imagine if I were deeply involved in a religion that validated all that? If I thought my religion validated it, not if it actually does validate it. If there were support for those thoughts, a minority position within the larger group, sure, but still huge support, world-wide support in fact. I might even get help pulling it off.

Then what? Huh? Who knows what I'd have done unconstrained.

Our leadership and our media do a great disservice by dancing around groping for motive in these cases. We already know what validates the exercise of id. By not directly calling a thing the thing is to play precious games with words, engage in avoidance and idle projection that is not helpful.

But you know what? When I look back at my own experience, that dreadful episode, which my mind still drifts to, I still think those extreme actions are validated even without any outside support.

Joe said...


Once I experienced a break up that was so emotional that my sensibility took leave.


Note to self, do not break up with Chip Ahoy...

A.G. said...

How much you wanna bet that the administration and the MSM were secretly hoping that it was Goldman Sachs that was foreclosing on the home?

alan markus said...

Don't worry about the toys - they flow out of China like poop through a goose. Can be replaced in no time, for little cost.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Interesting how the Left feels obliged to take the part of the Moslems now

No kidding. Did you see that dork Contessa Brewer saying she really really hoped the bomber wasn't from some Islamic country? I laughed my ass of when I saw that clip. Yeah I bet she would have been much happier had it been the 40 something white guy who was pissed at Obamacare.

I mean seriously people, what exactly is it going to take? NYC a radiocative crater before you come to the realization that its not 6-7rednecks in Northern Michigan that are plotting the destruction of our way of life.

Honestly is not so much the Islamic terrorists that fill me with despair but my own goddam countrymen who seem to forget whose side they're on.

Radish said...

And by the way, why do American women marry guys like this?

While that doesn't seem to be the case here, you may learn a bit from Phyllis Chesler, who married a guy like that.

Pogo said...

Their motive is simple, and they have stated it many times:

They don't want anything from us, they just want us all dead.

shoutingthomas said...

I mean seriously people, what exactly is it going to take? NYC a radiocative crater before you come to the realization that its not 6-7rednecks in Northern Michigan that are plotting the destruction of our way of life.

Honestly is not so much the Islamic terrorists that fill me with despair but my own goddam countrymen who seem to forget whose side they're on.

I repeat: middle class whites are the Kulaks of America... the despised class enemy standing in the way of Utopia.

Our political class hates middle class whites more than they hate Jihadis.

Racist hatred of middle class whites has become the bedrock principle of the Democratic Party. Without the block vote of blacks, and the addition of 30 million Hispanics via amnesty, the Democratic party cannot win elections.

Vilifying middle class whites has become the first goal of the Democratic Party, academics and the press.

The Drill SGT said...

Pogo,

I think the basic message for the last 14 centuries has been:

"Convert or Die"


Your quote? I thought of Independence day:

President: What do you want us to do?
Alien: Die!!

Ironclad said...

Just a another thought here on why he drifted into being a radical. (and I know I am generalizing, but I see the pattern a lot, since in the part of the world that I work, there are a lot of people from his native country working around me).

The guy was the son of a high Pakistan Air Force officer, so he would have had a lot of "pull" growing up. Things would have been easier for him there, and then he went to school in the US to get an all important degree from a Western University to take back home, but as noted, he scraped by. I wonder if his marriage was arranged too - I would bet it was - to cement his US ties. But then the narrative goes that he became more radicalized and things fell apart.

This is the classic, "if I am doing badly, there must be someone against me" attitude, I see over and over again. What better place to turn than the religion of rules and absolute certainty? Then you are "fighting against the unjust", not just some guy that can barely carry water. The two motivations on these guys is usually either blackmail against them (especially on females) or a need to gain power (and moral superiority) over your peers.

And sadly, it is the same story with so many of these people that "suddenly go crazy". The motivation has been right under there noses all the time.

CatherineM said...

It makes me sick. The media bend over backwards to make excuses for this guy. CNN - A lot of pressure from foreclosure. Please. Perhaps Timothy McVeigh was stressed out, but that's no excuse for him or anyone to murder. Mayor Bloomberg,MSNBC, CNN and all the PC police put their gloves on because Islamic extremists need understanding.

peter hoh said...

Althouse, I guess I'm confused by your next-to-last line:

Because, you know, in all these foreclosures, people just suddenly run off and leave all their belongings.

Am I detecting incredulity at the idea that people facing foreclosure leave in a hurry, leaving behind clothes and toys?

It's very common that people leave all sorts of stuff behind -- even things like family photo albums.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Perhaps Timothy McVeigh was stressed out, but that's no excuse for him or anyone to murder

Seriously. My business was off by over 35% last year because of the market melt down and all of the negative economic news. Yet, strangely enough, I didn't contemplate blowing up a bunch of innocent people who have nothing to do with the economy or my lowered income.

There is no excuse for murder. The NYT and other worthless rags still continue to try to make excuses and blame America for radical Muslim's actions.

It isn't the rape victim's fault for walking to her car at night and it isn't our fault that these people are seriously unhinged and living with an 8th century mentality. It IS our fault if we don't hit back and respond. It IS our fault if we roll over like nervous puppies and piss all over ourselves in appeasement.

peter hoh said...

People leaving stuff behind: video link.

GMay said...

"Honestly is not so much the Islamic terrorists that fill me with despair but my own goddam countrymen who seem to forget whose side they're on."

This nails it for me. The enemy without I can deal with. Still being on the Marine Corps Retired list and recallable for the next 8 and a half years, I'll have no problem answering the call should it come again.

But these mindless fools - convinced of their own brilliance while trumpeting liberty and tolerance...who would just as soon bow to those who have little use for such concepts - give me little hope.

peter hoh said...

FWIW, reading the linked article, I didn't get a sense that the writer was trying to make excuses for this guy. Yes, the writer acted as stenographer for a couple of people who seemed to be interested in making excuses for him, but the overall tenor of the article was that here was a guy who appeared pretty normal and not particularly religious, and then something changed.

There's a very clear sense that someone radicalized him. And that radicalization was most likely driven by religion.

The classmate said he had remained friends with the couple and had noticed something different about Mr. Shahzad about a year ago.

“His personality had changed — he had become more introverted,” Dr. Anwar said the classmate told him. “He had a stronger religious identity, where he felt more strongly and more opinionated about things.” Dr. Anwar said he had asked the classmate whether this change had come through association with a group, and the friend said it seemed to be “on his own that he was learning all these things.”

Mr. Ahmad, the friend from Mohib Banda, speculated that the transformation was rooted in Karachi. An associate of Mr. Shahzad’s was arrested in a mosque believed to have ties with a militant group in Karachi early Tuesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Joe said...


Seriously. My business was off by over 35% last year because of the market melt down and all of the negative economic news. Yet, strangely enough, I didn't contemplate blowing up a bunch of innocent people who have nothing to do with the economy or my lowered income.


Yeah but you're white and so the system will take of you....if you're a Person of Colour in this Sexist, Racist Homophobic Mega-Technic Gaia-Raping Phallocracy it's an entirely different Kettle of Fish.

halojones-fan said...

@Chip Ahoy: GOOD post.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seriously. My business was off by over 35% last year because of the market melt down and all of the negative economic news. Yet, strangely enough, I didn't contemplate blowing up a bunch of innocent people who have nothing to do with the economy or my lowered income.

Maybe you need to get in touch with your inner jihad.

Or just pop a flask of endless rage. :-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Maybe you need to get in touch with your inner jihad.

Or just pop a flask of endless rage. :-)


LOL!!

Well, I have upped my PvP time and racked up quite a few Alliance kills in Wintergrasp. Quite the stress reliever. "Take that fruity night elf, annonying gnome!!"

Maybe that's the problem....instead of using literal rage we should get the jihadists to participate in virtual rage and mayhem. Perhaps a special WoW battleground just for them with 72 Tauren virgins when they die :-D

c3 said...

Can we just stop trying to attach a narrative to these cases (remember all the confusion about Mohammad Atta, because he was "successful, educated and westernized") that helps us "deal with it". ITS NOT HELPFUL.

I see a guy, a muslim (there I said it) who went to Pakistan for an extended period of time in an area known to harbor terrorist training sites and who the evidence (and confession) now "convict".

He fit a generic "profile". Now deal with it. Its not saying all Muslims are terrorists; its not saying all Pakistani immigrants are terrorists.


I get so tired of journalists searching for the narrative

Pogo said...

Why can't Islamists become cutters or anorexic-bulemics or shoe-gazing whiners or coffe shop nihilists?

That inner-directed rage has made many a good fortune; just ask Alanis Morissette or Green Day or Moby or Keith Olbermann.

AJ Lynch said...

Soon it will be like those sci-fi movies at airports and the borders. There will be guards with automatic weapons checking everyone's papers.

former law student said...

How can anyone with a cute wife and child like that become a terrorist? He has everything to live for, and no reason to harm a living soul.

What a selfish asshole.

El Pollo Real said...

How can anyone with a cute wife and child like that become a terrorist?

I'm guessing that there are other people out there saying he did the right thing. And that's the problem: the enablers and the support systems.

Eric said...

Why delve into his petty grievances like this? Some people are just assholes.

kynefski said...

Hey, it's the American story. The man starts a family and finds religion.

roesch-voltaire said...

Why read the NYT article as making "excuses" for Faisal? I think they are just reporting what is known about him-- just the facts so to speak-- as to exactly what tripped him into this terrorist act is not clear. I want to hear from him, and even then I wonder if that will be an explanation. I can guess at hate and resentment and a host of sources from a c grade to drone attacks combined with the religious belief of us vs them that so many fundamentalist have, but I will hold back these thoughts. All I know for sure is that he is one among the many who have lost the understanding of the value of all life.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

The man starts a family and finds religion.

Or wind it backwards

That's him in thebackground losing his religion ...and family and freedom and life.

JAL said...

@ Peter 12:15

Man. Now that was depressing.

We have a friend who is in foreclosure. (Unrealistic home purchase, then lost job, long story, not financially common sense, bit of a victim personality type ....) I can't imagine her walking away from her stuff.

For heavens sake ... at least have a yard sale or post the computers and DVD player and big screen TV on Craigslist so you rent a uhaul trailer! It's not like they give you 24 hours notice.

Maybe Goodwill and Habitat and some of those other places could come take what they could resell out first (Why don't the banks have them come do it for crying out loud. The trashers just throw the clothes on hangers and furniture and everything out!)

And the family pictures? What was THAT about?

I'd heard of people leaving their pets behind in the garage ...

Unbelievable.

Galvanized said...

I don't believe this guy was religiously motivated in any way. Think about it -- the jihadist's MO is to die as a martyr, not simply to take out people. His glory is in dying for his cause. This man just became disillusioned with the West and perhaps angry. Plus, if he were Taliban-backed, why would he return to face their ire for not completing his task as a suicide bomber? Taliban preys on disillusioned young men and, thus, will never run out of recruits, so if he were one of them, he would have died in the blast, not fled back to Pakistan for more work.

Skookum John said...

Of course, the Democrats are praying that white men start throwing bombs so that they can accuse them of belonging to the KKK.


Should we perhaps give a thought to starting to do so? Throwing bombs, chopping heads, and shooting people seems to be a distinctly effective means of getting your way in today's world. Ask any Islamic extremist.

former law student said...

JAL -- the New York Times article quoted a neighbor saying that the family had had several "tag sales -- the kind of stuff you give to Goodwill." So they had at least one sniffy neighbor.

peter hoh said...

FLS, I think JAL was referring to the scenes depicted in the video I linked earlier.