"This community is angry. Something is going to happen. We're going to seek justice. This is a powder keg waiting to go off."
No folks, that’s not Dawud Walid complaining about the reaction of the Arab Street (known locally as Warren Avenue) to the latest outrageous examples of Islamophobia. Those lines were contained in a note confiscated from Sisaye Dinssa, the unemployed young man arrested November 14 with $80,000 in cash he was smuggling through Metro Airport. As mentioned earlier, the bust was facilitated by a sniffer dog.
A federal grand jury indicted Dinssa for bulk cash smuggling, making false statements and criminal forfeiture. US District Judge Marianne O. Battani ruled that he must remain in detention because, his “ominous note and materials detailing nuclear power and how to commit suicide…raised ‘red flags’ in a post-Sept. 11 era”, as reported by the Associated Press.
That’s exciting for two reasons. One, I’m glad to hear there are still flags being raised around here that aren’t white. And I’m gratified that Judge Battani recognizes we’re still in a post-9/11 era.
Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer, who had first crack at locking Dinssa up, was going to let him vanish into the immigrant underground by means of an unsecured bond. Scheer was undoubtedly convinced that Dinssa was probably not a flight risk, since the Ethiopian-born US citizen lied to customs officials, then said he had come in from Kenya where he has a wife and family, via Amsterdam, and was on his way to Phoenix before traveling onto his taxi business in Dallas. But District Judge Paul Borman, who outranks Scheer, put the kibosh on that. After Dinssa was formally charged by the grand jury Judge Battani denied Dinssa’s motion for release on bond.
Allegations of national-security violations contained in the government's original complaint were not part of the grand jury's indictment, but US Attorney Leonid Feller "said the government was still investigating suspected child pornography e-mails found on Dinssa's laptop and articles on nuclear power, using cyanide and other means to commit suicide, and the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
Dinssa may be guilty of nothing more than being a criminal smuggler of cash untainted by terrorists connections. Lord knows what we read in the papers can't be relied on for accuracy, nor do prosecutors release all the facts. But I am curious about what this guy was doing here in Detroit, which no one seems to be talking about.
But articles about nuclear power, suicide by cyanide, the anniversary of September 11, and notes about angry communities seeking justice ought to raise a red flag when you're busted under these circumstances. And in this case, I'm glad they did.