Good gracious, this case has gone on for a long time. But it does appear that former Sharon, MA imam Muhammed Masood is finally being sentenced today, with a trip back to Pakistan on Friday. It's been almost two years since his arrest back in November 2006.
On September 23, a "Joint Status Report" was filed in the federal court, but it's a sealed document. The September 26th sentencing hearing was postponed and rescheduled (again!) for today, October 2. The hearing will be at 2 PM before Judge Douglas P. Woodcock in Courtroom 1.
The former imam was at the mike last weekend at the Friday noon and evening prayers at the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon. It's been a very long goodbye for Masood. You can read my previous postings on this case here, including info on Masood's numerous relatives both in Massachusetts and Pakistan. Much of his immediate family is apparently staying here, so the saga will continue.
Meanwhile, back at Masood's mother country, the Pakistan government is allowing Masood's brother Hafiz Saeed to import a bullet-prooof Land Cruiser. You thought Pakistan was a mess under Musharraf? Things aren't really looking up under the new president, Asif Ali Zardari (aka "Mr. 10%"). Saeed is the founder of two banned terrorist groups - banned even in Pakistan - although his groups operate openly there.
"The Pakistan government has granted permission to the chief of the Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, to import a duty free bullet-proof Land Cruiser, worth Rs 25 million"
"According to the interior ministry sources in Islamabad, the LeT chief, who fears a possible attempt on his life by his 'external enemies', had sought the government permission to import a duty free bullet proof Land Cruiser in view of the rising number of terrorist acts across Pakistan."
"The sources said that after some lengthy deliberations on the issue, the government has decided to give him a go ahead to import a fully armoured Land Cruiser for his use from Dubai. It was for the first time that the leader of a banned jehadi group had made such a request to the government and it is also for the first time that the government has acceded to such a request."
Rising number of terrorist attacks? What a joke, Hafiz Saeed is behind many of them. Giving all the competing jihadi terrorist groups in Pakistan, Saeed is more at risk from them than from "external sources." From the NEFA Foundation:
"The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated Arabic-language biographies of foreign fighters-particularly those from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait-which appear to document a shift in focus away from the jihad in Iraq and towards the growing conflict in Pakistan and Afghanistan."
Things could get crowded there in Pakistan for jihadis.