Coloring the sniper news
10/11/2002 12:00:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- Some profiling experts are convinced
that the roving sniper who has terrorized my neighborhood and surrounding
communities is a white male.
-- Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist at New York
University Medical Center, described the shooter as "white, male, single,
20s-30s . . . (with a) longtime fascination with hunting and shooting."
-- Chris Whitcomb, former FBI hostage rescue team member, told
NBC's Katie Couric that "statistically, it's going to be a white male, and
it's going to be a young person, young 20s emotionally, but also because
that's the age most likely statistically somebody's going to commit a crime
-- Brian Levin, the director of something called the Center for
the Study of Hate and Extremism in San Bernardino, Calif., stated
confidently that the killer "is kind of a wallpaper white male, a
disenfranchised, disrespected man who's getting back at society. That's one
of the reasons he's kept his distance from inner D.C., where he might lose
The media immediately embraced the Angry White Male theory by
sensationalizing the cops' questioning over the weekend of one Robert Gene
Baker. Newspaper reports described him as "heavily tattooed" and "linked" to
"militia and white supremacist" groups. The headlines screamed: "Supremacist
Sought in Sniping Spree" and "Neo Nazi Named as Sniper Murders Suspect." But
in fact, Baker was never a suspect and had no weapons on him at the time he
was taken into custody for an outstanding auto-theft warrant.
The AWM theory remains a plausible one, of course. But it isn't
the only one. You won't hear Katie Couric or Peter Jennings talking about it
with their conventional-thinking experts, but there is a significant
possibility that the sniper and the sniper's support system could be
non-white Muslim extremists with ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Consider: Al Qaeda training videos analyzed by the Army show
Middle Eastern terrorists, armed with assault rifles, rehearsing combat
scenarios involving ambushes, raids and sniper attacks.
Consider: James Ujaama, a black American Muslim convert, was
indicted in August on charges of conspiring to help al Qaeda establish a
terrorist training camp on a ranch in southern Oregon. According to one camp
attendee, 10 to 15 members of Ujaama's Seattle mosque brought a large
arsenal of weapons to the ranch for target practice. "I thought they would
only use rifles, but they were pulling out AK-47s, pistols and other assault
rifles, enough for everybody and then some," the camp attendee told the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Drills included both close-range and long-range
And consider: Just before the killings in the Washington, D.C.,
area began, federal authorities arrested members of a suspected terrorist
cell in Portland. Their cache of weapons included semi-automatic pistols, a
Chinese SKS 7.62 assault rifle, a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun, and a
30.06 rifle with scope, which they shot off at a private quarry in
Washougal, Wash. According to Skamania County Deputy Sheriff Mark Mercer,
the alleged cell members held target practice shortly after the Sept. 11
An unindicted co-conspirator of the terrorist cell,
Lebanese-born Ali Khaled Steitiye, was arrested in Portland last October
after attempting to buy an assault rifle illegally. Federal agents found
several weapons and 1,000 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition in his home (the
same caliber used by the D.C.-area sniper), a calendar with Sept. 11 circled
in red, and evidence suggesting a link to the terrorist organization Hamas.
One of Steitiye's alleged shooting buddies, accused Portland
terrorist cell member and black Muslim convert Jeffrey Leon Battle, joined
the U.S. Army Reserve in 2000 and was assigned to a military engineering
unit in Oregon. He was discharged for desertion, but had already received
basic Army training -- including instruction in firearms and ordnance use.
The federal terrorism indictment against him charges that Battle joined the
Army "in order to receive training in U.S. military tactics and weapons
which he intended to use against the U.S. and in support of al Qaeda and the
Many in the mainstream media are convinced that a "wallpaper
white male" is responsible for the D.C. area sniper killings. But the faces
of evil come in every color. We must be prepared for all possibilities, not
just the ones that play into reporters' preconceived notions about hunters,
soldiers, tattoos and guns.