Make a Difference

Day: May 3, 2009

Menacing Matriarch Moans

Poor Rabiah.

Former surfie chick turned jihad groupie Rabiah Hutchinson is complaining about the nightmare of living under ‘constant surveillance.’ After all, she is just a 55 year old grandmother with diabetes and arthritis. So why is anyone picking on her?

To start with, she looks like something out of a teen slasher flick.

Jihad Groupie Rabiah Hutchinson

Jihad Groupie Rabiah Hutchinson

Rabiah has the right to wear whatever she likes. But then the people who see her have the right to be alarmed and suspicious. Or annoyed when she terrifies their children in the aisles at Woolworths.

But her appearance is not why she is of interest to Australian security forces.

After backpacking in to Bali in the 1980s, Hutchinson married a muslim and converted to Islam. Through some student friends she met Abu Bakar Bashir, eventually becoming a close friend.

Bashir is regarded as the ‘godfather’ of terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiah. JI was behind the Bali bombings, and Bashir was found guilty of conspiracy in relation to those bombings in an Indonesian court in 2005.

Well, maybe she is just unlucky in her choice of friends. And by the time of the Bali bombings, Hutchinson was no longer living in Indonesia.

In 1984, she married engineering student Abdul Rahim Ayub in a ceremony at Bashir’s school. They returned to Australia, where Ayub was appointed the leader of JI’s Australian branch, Mantiqi 4.

Maybe she was just unlucky in her choice of husbands as well. Ayub was her third.

But in 1990 she divorced him and took her six children to join jihadi forces in Pakistan. There she met Osama bin Laden, and eventually travelled to Afghanistan.

She married a member of al-Qaeda’s governing council, Mustafa Hamid. She got know to bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, and his wife became one of her closest friends.

al-Zawahiri is regarded as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, the ‘brains’ of Al Qaeda, and a consistent planner and promoter of violence and suicide bombings.

His latest message of peace and goodwill, released only a few days ago, can be found on the NEFA Foundation website.

After the 9/11 attacks and subsequent US attacks on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Hutchinson fled to Iran, where she was detained before being returned to Australia.

In 2006 her two sons Abdullah Mustafa and Mohamed Ilyas were arrested in Yemen and accused of being part of an Al Qaeda cell smuggling weapons to Somalia. They were eventually released wihout charge, but were deported to Lebanon. They were forced to leave Lebanon after authorities there refused to renew their visas.

But according to Rabiah, this is all just bad luck, and she is just a cuddly old grandma.

ASIO (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) thinks differently.

According to the article in The Australian linked above, ASIO believes that there is “a strong likelihood” that further travel by her would involve “participation in, or support and preparation for, acts of politically motivated violence”.

Rabiah Hutchinson’s life, and her movement in and around Australia are not restricted in any way. She has full rights of citizenship, except a passport.

But I for one am glad someone is keeping an eye on her.

Swine Flu Transmitted Via Baggage – Not

Any excuse for a day off.

Baggage handlers at Paris’ Orly airport walked off the job claiming their lives and health were at risk from Swine Flu if they carried baggage on flights from Mexico or Spain.

French health authorities say they will issue face masks to customs, police and airport workers whose jobs bring them into contact with passengers. Way to increase the pointless panic, guys.

They might have been better suggesting travellers avoid Orly airport altogether. When the baggage handlers are either lazy or brain dead, who knows where your luggage might end up?

Condi – ‘Do What’s Right’

Former US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice talks with students at Stanford University.

As always, she is intelligent, dignified, respectful of others. She respects the students who question her enough to listen to them, and to give straight answers to their (often poorly informed) questions.


Key moments:

First, do what’s right…

Unless you were there in a position of responsibility after September 11 you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that we faced in trying to protect Americans. A lot of people are second guessing now but let me tell you the second guessing that would have hurt me more is if there had been 3,000 more Americans dying because we didn’t do everything we could to protect them…

Do your homework…    Read….

In relation to waterboarding, etc:

1) Torture is illegal in the US.

2) The President made it clear that no matter how urgent the need to protect the US from further attacks, anything that was to be done had to be legal.

Of Mice And Maggots

The story of a decorated war veteran being chewed by mice in an Australian nursing home has been much in the news over the last few days, usually with comments about how disgraceful the lack of care must have been, or how this demonstrates systemic failures in the health system.

I am not so sure. There is nothing in the news reports to indicate that this had happened before, or that staff were negligent in any way. But if staff were not negligent, what happened?

At the moment we have a minor mouse plague on Kangaroo Island. We have been catching up to six mice per night inside the house. That does not include mice caught by our two cats, or equally enthusiastic small terrier.

The mice are quick and bold. Two nights ago one strolled across my desk as I was typing. I chatted to it briefly, explaining that its presence was not especially welcome, then went and got a trap and put it next to a pile of papers. A few minutes later, snap, and it was contemplating the mousy version of eternity.

But this is nothing compared to the mouse plagues we experienced in Western Queensland.

Like most people I made bucket traps. This is a ramp leading up to a bottle suspended over a bucket  of water. You smear the ramp and bottle with peanut butter (by far the best bait for any rodent trap). The mice follow the scent out onto the bottle and slip into the water where they drown. I had two such traps and would regularly catch twenty in each per night.

This video, taken in Queensland near Dalby where the nursing home is, shows just how fast and how numerous the mice can be (and a warning, some people might this video disturbing):


People in Western Queensland are aware of the mouse problem (how could they not be!), and health services are normally careful to ensure buildings are sprayed, baits laid, etc.

If anyone is to blame for that incident, it is not the nursing staff, but the environmentalists and bureaucrats who demanded that no sprays be used.

On the other hand, this really was neglect, of the most vile and uncaring kind:

A Melbourne woman allowed her mother to be eaten alive by maggots and left her dying on a floor surrounded by her own waste, a court has heard.

Kateryna Pyrczak’s St Albans house allegedly smelt like a “rotting corpse” when she was discovered by paramedics lying on her kitchen floor with gangrenous legs on November 10 last year.

Police allege the 72-year-old’s right leg was gangrenous from knee to foot and was being eaten by maggots and her body was covered in ulcers.  Ms Pyrczak was rushed to the Western General Hospital but died from multiple organ failure and septicemia later that night.

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