Stewart, a close buddy of leftwing lawyer Ramsay Clark, was the attorney for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (referred to as “The Blind Sheikh” in the 9/11 Report). The Blind Sheikh lead the Egyptian terrorist organization known as “Islamic Group,” and was convicted in 1996 of conspiring to blow up a number of NY landmarks. Among other things, Stewart later violated existing prison regulations by declaring to the press that the Blind Sheikh had withdrawn a “cease-fire” order, thereby calling upon IG to engage in renewed terrorist activities. (There is also a post on Stewart at Jihad Watch.)
In 2003, Stewart stopped by Seattle and made presentations at Seattle University School of Law. The leftwing Lawyer’s Guild Chapter invited her to the school, touting her as a hero. The SU Federalist Society Chapter, of which I was President at the time, staged an information campaign about Stewart. We ran off over 1,000 flyers about Stewart and included them as inserts in the (now defunct) underground paper at SU, known as The SU Review. Professor Eugene Volokh was kind enough to post pdf files of both flyers (here and here) with his comments at the Volokh Conspiracy. Do check those flyers out!
Further, my op-ed "A Terrifying Presence at SU," discussing Stewart ran in the University-wide newspaper, The Spectator. It is still available online here. My op-ed was later quoted in a story with Front Page Magazine. (The typo in the second sentence of the op-ed was the editor’s doing--I sent him an error-free draft.)
While it was all too clear that Stewart had, at the very LEAST, acted irresponsibly and put many lives in danger by her actions, at the time of her visit I did not know the significance of the Blind Sheikh. After reading Bill Gertz’s book Breakdown and the 9/11 Commmision Report, I was struck by how significant of a figure he was. Usama Bin Laden greatly admires the Blind Sheikh and had even issued threats and carried out attacks in the Blind Sheikh’s name. It has long been an intention of UBL to liberate the Blind Sheikh.
Fortunately, the Blind Sheikh remains behind bars. The world is much safer that way. And there is also a little bit more justice in the world with Stewart soon to join her old pal. Bravo to the New York U.S. Attorney’s office!
(Cross-blogged at Sound Politics.)
(A Far Away Place, USA)