Monday, November 15, 2004

Mohamed Alanssi

We interrupt this blog's lengthy silence to report on someone who didn't try to jump the fence, but apparently attempted to set himself on fire outside the White House on Pennsylvania Ave:

MSNBC/Reuters: A Reuters reporter saw the man try to present a Manila envelope to guards near a Secret Service post on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House West Wing. Moments later, a plume of smoke rose above the guard post while two guards wrestled the man to the ground and a third extinguished flames that engulfed the man's briefcase and overcoat a few feet away.

FoxNews/AP: Smoke hung in the air around the man as paramedics rushed to provide aid. The man appeared to be clutching his hand in pain, but it was unclear how serious his burns were.

Update: The self-immolating protestor was [allegedly] Mohamed Alanssi, 52, a Yemeni national who served as an informant to the FBI. He claims that the FBI paid him $100,000 in 2003 for information on Al Qaeda financing and for helping in the sting operation which caught Yemeni cleric Mohammed Ali Hassan Moayad. Apparently the FBI now refuses to give him his passport or pay him any more money to visit his cancer-stricken wife in Yemen.

Info from BBC, News24, Moonie Times, and AP via ABCNews.

(The Fence Watcher reflects that Alanssi could have stretched $100,000 a long way if he had a job and had exercised proper financial restraint.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that anyone willing to set themselves on fire, in front of the White House is desperate, and angry.
It also seems to me that he was mistreated, misled and abused by the FBI (shock of all shocks), and I am an American who stills believes that the end does not justify the means. I doubt this man was a terrorist, I believe he knew terrorists. I don't think he deserved the treatment accorded to him by the FBI. I also know the FBI will not be held accountable for their treatment of people here or abroad. Today they use a Yemeni citizen... Tomorrow?

7:11 PM  

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