Patterico's Pontifications

1/2/2010

Houston Police Find Rocket Launcher and Jihadist Writings (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,Terrorism — DRJ @ 2:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The police did a “thorough” 2-3 day investigation that did not find any ties to terrorists or a terrorist network. Click2Houston.com has the details:

“A woman called police on Monday and said a man was forcing his way into her apartment in the 5300 block of Elm Street.

When officers went inside, they found something that made them concerned enough to call the bomb squad.

They found an AT-4 shoulder-mounted rocket launcher. It can shoot a missile nearly 1,000 feet through buildings and tanks.”

Apparently the woman had let the man store items at her home:

“The woman did tell police that the rocket launcher belonged to Nabilaye I. Yansane, someone whom she allowed to store items at her apartment.

Police records show that she didn’t want Yansane at her apartment, so she called them.

According to court documents, officers also found Jihadist writings that allegedly belonged to Yansane.”

The woman refused to speak with reporters about the man, his writings, or his weapon. Yansane plead guilty to criminal trespassing and was sentenced to 3 days, time he had already served. His attorney said “[o]ther people could have had access to the apartment, so maybe if a rocket launcher was located there, as is stated in the offense report, maybe it belonged to somebody else.”

No charges were filed regarding the rocket launcher because it was unarmed, a fact that led to this understatement-of-the-day:

“The former director of Houston’s FBI office said rocket launchers can be dangerous if they’re in the wrong hands.

“I don’t know any other use for those weapons except in combat,” Don Clark said. “I’ve had them in combat, used them in combat. That’s what they are used for.”

— DRJ

UPDATE: Commenter Diffus points out Confederate Yankee’s post on this topic — “Houston Wets Itself Over Glorified Pipe.” His point is that “This jihadi wannabe acquired a used (and therefore useless) AT-4 tube.” Commenter Dustin made a similar point.

My point is that we should stop focusing on how effective our enemies’ weapons are and start focusing on whether they are our enemies. It’s similar to airline security, where our goal should not only be to load a weapons-free aircraft, but should also be to profile the people loading and getting on that aircraft.

43 Responses to “Houston Police Find Rocket Launcher and Jihadist Writings (Updated)”

  1. AT-4s cannot be reloaded except by an expert in a factory. They are fire once weapons. Once fired, they are simply tubes of no threat at all.

    Maybe this was just the shell. A prop, basically.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Houston is a pretty violent city. The Geto Boys call it home, which speaks for itself. Probably home defense.

    TimesDisliker (fa1d8d)

  3. Check out Confederate Yankee’s take on this. I’m in my way out the door and don’t have time to post a link, but wanted to put a heads-up in.

    Diffus (648c17)

  4. Aww man, homie. My mind’s playin’ tricks on me.

    /geto boys

    carlitos (d32efe)

  5. Although, if it is just the tube with no weapon, they police should have emphasized this instead of just saying ‘unarmed’. AT-4s have an arming selector.

    And obviously it’s not OK for jihadist loons to have access to anything like this. I’m sure they could have terrorized people even with an empty AT-4.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. It is the “conviction of intent by possession of something scary”. As I commented on Don Surber’s blog, my 20 mm cannon shell (inactivated, no primer, holes drilled) would be classified as a terrorist weapon by the same standard as those hyperventilating over possession of a discarded rocket tube. Or maybe my having a knife (circa WWII) made from a 50 caliber casing and a piece of spring steel. I have a mind to go out and collect examples of right wing extremist literature, nazi literature, communist literature, and jihadist literature just so when they break down my door in the middle of the night the press can report “he had knives, guns, ammunition, and extremist literature”. (Dang, I said “nazi”. Does that invoke “Godwin’s law”?)

    JoeC (6f638c)

  7. He’d probably been out practicing for the jihad day that is coming. Nothing to worry about.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. According to court documents, officers also found Jihadist writings that allegedly belonged to Yansane.”

    Is that alternately described as a notebook filled with Arabic instead of English?
    (Possibly the equivalent of having a print out of this blog and being tied to a threat against the potus or something).

    The police did a “thorough” 2-3 day investigation that did not find any ties to terrorists or a terrorist network.

    Good for the cops to NOT fly off the deep end, but look into the man. Something that needs to be done more as I have mentioned by all of us. BEFORE they “go off”!

    Available here

    Nice Tube Though

    CY blog See Dec 31,

    TC (0b9ca4)

  9. I updated the post. Thanks to the commenters for their links, suggestions, and thoughts on this topic.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  10. My point is that we should stop focusing on how effective our enemies’ weapons are and start focusing on whether they are our enemies

    Exactly. This is why I love you.

    MayBee (a4324b)

  11. i can think of a few field expedient things to do with an AT-4 tube, but nothing you couldn’t do a dozen other ways……

    as above, the tube itself is no big deal.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  12. Joe, I know this will be news to you but, for a 20 mm cannon shell to be dangerous, you have to have a cannon. Do you have one ? For LAWs style rockets, you don’t need a cannon.

    Patrick, this is what you get when you get the LGF crowd stirred up.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. JoeC-

    The father of a friend of mine had all kinds of ammo as you described. He was a WWII vet and avid hunter who did his own ammo reloading. One knew that if he wanted to load something serious, he wouldn’t use a drilled-out casing.

    Given that a used AT-4 launcher is simply a “glorified pipe”, what kind of other things might a person due with it? Fingernail polish remover and hydrogen peroxide are common items. They can also be used to make explosives. Was the guy stupid or posing, or is he crazy as a fox? I don’t know, just asking.

    But I do agree, DRJ, that’s a heck of a quote.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  14. The crushing poverty that this misunderstood young man must’ve faced in Houston surely prompted his jihadist tendencies.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  15. DRJ’s right, of course, that we need to realize we’re at war.

    It’s really as simple as that. It’s like having a Nazi with a fake Anti-Aircraft gun in Houston in the 1940s. That’s intolerable, and the police need to face it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. My point is that we should stop focusing on how effective our enemies’ weapons are and start focusing on whether they are our enemies

    Sounds like a similar thought process has been underway at El Al for decades at this point – but of course we cannot ever, ever consider adopting their proven security techniques and procedures…because of…profiling! Eeeeeek!

    Dmac (a964d5)

  17. For LAWs style rockets, you don’t need a cannon.

    But you do need a rocket.

    navyvet (e4db05)

  18. This is only a weapon if it has a projectile (rocket) loaded into it. Once it is fired, as has been noted, it is just a tube – and, it is easier to convert a semi-auto AK to full-auto than it is to reload one of these tubes. First of all, you have to get the projectile, which are normally only available pre-packaged in a tube, so why bother.
    Since these are not controlled objects once fired, you can find them at some of your “better” swap-meets, just as you would buy expended cartridge brass.

    AD - RtR/OS! (685f75)

  19. They spent 3 days investigating a spent AT-4 tube when you can find them at Military Surplus stores. What would have happened instead if they spent 3 days at a course that teaches best techniques used to profile for suspected terrorist taught by Mossad. I know where my tax dollars would prefer to be sent.

    Sanmon (319c0c)

  20. Calm down, Joe’s concerns are well founded, I made the same point.

    And a live 20mm shell can indeed be dangerous even without the intended detonating cannon! Just depends on if you desire to shoot it, then a barrel is needed, but to blow it up, hit it with a hammer in the right spot.

    Many IED’s are made of such shells, though larger in size! They are indeed very dangerous.

    Launching a LAW would be no more difficult than detonating a 20mm shell. It too is a percussion fired projectile.

    Oh well off track.

    It’s the people that need to be looked into.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  21. But if someone pointed this as a crowd of people, they wouldn’t know if it was the real deal.

    you know, this story is really about how terrible the journalism initially was. The police should have been very clear that this thing had no explosives and couldn’t be made dangerous very easily. The journalists should have researched what a used AT-4 is.

    The story says ‘Unarmed AT-4′. Of course, you have to arm a live AT-4 before firing it… it has a safety-like thing on it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. “It’s the people that need to be looked into.

    Comment by TC”

    That’s DRJ’s point too, and the Houston Police need to get the point.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. You are both right. If you see what looks like a rocket launcher, you should be curious, and investigate what is going on.

    And fed is right, because having that at-4 (already expended) is the equivalent of having a decorative sword hanging on your wall.

    I used to collect swords, though my small collection were actually functional (with two exceptions) But if I run out of my house wielding a giant claymore, I should be stopped and questioned about it, and then have it removed, and maybe get some psychiatric counseling.

    Douglas (2c3ce5)

  24. Why wield a giant claymore, when the small one’s work so effectively (if you point them in the correct direction)?

    AD - RtR/OS! (685f75)

  25. Houston police said they did a thorough investigation and did not find any ties to terrorists or a terrorist network.

    I think the cops did well with this one Dustin.

    I mentioned that in my first post, but I also backhanded them for what they called Jihadist writings. Does not seem to follow for a person to have no terrorist contacts and have Jihadist material as well.

    Just a thought.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  26. Even a stupid clock is right twice a day – even if it is in Houston. Or something like that. Hookem.

    lizbuddie (44db26)

  27. TC, I guess I’m asking too much of local police. They really are a front line in our war, but can they possibly be the kind of force that looks at someone with jihadist materials and treat them like The Enemy?

    That’s exactly how I feel about folks with that material. That’s what I mean when I say they need to get the basic point… this guy didn’t have any means to blow anything up (I suppose), but he’s exactly the other side of our war effort.

    I guess I’m not being all that clear about what I want from the Houston police. I hope they really did this thorough investigation, but how is that even possible in our legal climate?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. I agree, TC. There could be a benign explanation for everything but I don’t see how anyone could be sure of that after a day or two of investigation. Would the DOJ and local law enforcement close an investigation of a similar incident if the offender had white supremacist literature? Possibly, but their name would almost certainly go on someone’s watchlist. Hopefully that happened here, too.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  29. Whatever happened there’s no reason anyone can’t make tee time. It’s who we are.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  30. I don’t see anyone wondering how he got an empty AT 4 tube. By firing a full one ?

    Oh well, I’m sure there is nothing to worry about. What could go wrong ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  31. Benign and rocket launchers just don’t mesh under any circumstances…

    We seem to be at the point where we can no longer declare we are at war, let alone pointing out exactly who the enemy is. We are expected to whitewash and frame it with the necessary excuse (crushing poverty, loneliness, misunderstood, etc), and even then, it’s dicey at best to point the finger. Until our President forthrightly declares we area at war , clearly names the enemy, and publicly renounces man made disasters as the most foolish thing he has allowed on his watch, we’re somewhat doomed.

    At some point in time, reality must set in.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  32. Wrong Claymore AD. :)

    Douglas (2c3ce5)

  33. Mike K., empty LAW and AT4 rocket tubes are essentially scrap and show up in flea markets, and gun shows all the time. I saw a couple today and would be happy to mail you one if you would like one. They really are innocuous, harmless and meaningless.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. WTF – an AT-4? Empty or with a round it in – how in the F&*( did this get a hold of it? FYI if you’re not familiar with what it can do, check this link out:

    AT-4

    I’ve seen these used while in the military – nice little weapon to use against the bad guys if they are in a lightly armored vehicle or hunkered down.

    I use to tell the guys using it, “You’ll put an eye out with that”…then the target goes “BOOM”

    Infidel Mataween (4a9c06)

  35. BTW – don’t stand behind these things (even the CS “Closed Space” version) when they go off…talk about knocking you butt down (and maybe flash burns)…

    Infidel Mataween (4a9c06)

  36. We are all in the same choir here.

    Subject 1.
    It is these events that need detailed looking into by all authorities involved, and that means local cops need to pick up the gotdaaumed phone and call in those that can find any broken or intact links if they exist!

    Is that a bit more to the point?

    Subject 2.

    Literature written in Arabic could be anything, and to almost any local cop it could be stated to be Jihadist, when it might be a letter to mom asking about home, or a discussion about life’s current challenges.

    Now the Jidhaist term could have even been invented by the reporter for article spice, when the cop may have told them “notes in Arabic”!

    Lets go getem, and don’t forget, Drive don’t Fly! :)

    TC (0b9ca4)

  37. But if I run out of my house wielding a giant claymore, I should be stopped and questioned about it, and then have it removed, and maybe get some psychiatric counseling. Comment by Douglas — 1/2/2010

    I don’t see the correlation at all, unless you’re not a Scot. In which case what are ye doin’ wi’ a claymore, lad?

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  38. I was assuming the couseling based on the presumption of being a scot, not about wielding a claymore.

    Douglas (2c3ce5)

  39. Comment by Douglas — 1/2/2010 @ 5:47 pm

    …responding in wide-eyed amazement…

    Oh, there’s more than one type of claymore?
    Fancy that.

    AD - RtR/OS! (685f75)

  40. But if I run out of my house wielding a giant claymore, I should be stopped and questioned about it, and then have it removed, and maybe get some psychiatric counseling

    ” At All Things Scottish, if it isn’t Scottish, IT’S CRAP!!!!!”

    Infidel Mataween (4a9c06)

  41. 38.I was assuming the couseling based on the presumption of being a scot, not about wielding a claymore.
    Comment by Douglas — 1/2/2010

    Lad, be greatful to the Scots, among other things, they invented golf, and the more time the one is on the golf course, the greater the possibility that he won’t do anything harmful to the country.

    Incorrigible, that ye are.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  42. One can just picture the thinking of John Brennan when this news crossed his desk… ‘There are no dots to conect. Houston is home to NASA so a report of rocket launchers around town would not raise red flags.’

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  43. “The former director of Houston’s FBI office said rocket launchers can be dangerous if they’re in the wrong hands.

    Ok, where’s my rocket launcher?

    PCD (ef9431)


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