July 3, 22, 2003
We've all heard a lot in the news
lately about "War Criminals" and "Vicious Terrorists" threatening our
country which has reached a fever pitch comparable to that of a shark
feeding frenzy, and a mob mentality of torches and pitchforks, "Why
Wait, Let's Just Hang'em Here."
Federal Magistrate T. Rawles Jone, Jr.,
has exercised his insight and proper jurisdiction to place a damper upon
the government's overzealous desire to railroad prosecutions through.
4 'jihad' defendants granted
By Kevin Johnson,
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Four men accused of
being part of a "jihad network" were granted bail Wednesday. The move raises
questions about allegations that they were Muslim warriors preparing to fight
against U.S. allies overseas.
U.S. Magistrate T. Rawles Jones Jr. said none of the defendants
threat to the community. The men are accused of training for combat
while on paintball outings in the Virginia countryside.
In the case of
one defendant, Hammad Abdur-Raheem, 29, Jones referred to a solid work history,
strong family ties and military service that he said appeared to defy the
government's claims. "The government's argument that he should be denied bond
concerns for community safety simply does not hold water," Jones
He ordered the men released after they met bail conditions,
requirement that they submit to electronic monitoring while
The decision appeared to undermine the government's
terror-related claims in a 42-count indictment unsealed last week. The court
documents allege that the defendants were among 11 people who obtained weapons
and trained to fight in Chechnya, Kashmir, the Philippines and
Those men, Hammad Abdur-Raheem; Randall Todd Royer, 30; and
Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem, 29, were all ordered released pending appeal.
Prosecutors indicated they did not plan to appeal the release order for Donald
Thomas Surratt, 30.
Royer was visibly moved by the magistrate's decision.
He buried his head in his hands and later wiped tears from his
"This was the only decision the judge could make," said King Lyon,
father of Hammad Abdur-Raheem. "This whole case is built on hearsay.
There is not a fact in the whole case." ....
We need more judges like U.S. Magistrate T.
Rawles Jones Jr., who does not just take the government's word at face value
without questioning it. Our thanks to USA Today for making this story
"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an
irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau