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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Harrowing rhetoric

Jurors endured an hour of harrowing, bloodthirsty rhetoric about killing Jews and destroying Israel in a lecture by an extremist Saudi sheikh, read in part to the court today by an FBI intelligence analyst.

The lecture, by Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali, propounded a theory that Christians and Jews, and particularly the United States, are trying to take over the Middle East by giving Israel sovereignty over the whole region, and that the only answer is to destroy Israel. It praised Palestinian fighters, especially suicide bombers, and bragged of such victories as a "mujahid" who killed 10 people, seven soldiers and three settlers, at a checkpoint in Israel, then returned home for a calm and peaceful dinner with his family.

"Your brothers in the blessed occupied land have changed from oppression to resistance," Al-Hawali said in the lecture. "This last Ramadan, the number of dead Jews is closer to the number of our dead Palestinian brothers. ... This is a huge improvement."

Hatred of Jews and Israel oozed throughout the Saudi sheikh's lecture, which proclaimed that it's time to "fight and ... to expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed."

Al-Hussayen helped set up a live Internet broadcast of the lecture, which prosecutors say shows he provided support to terrorists. Defense attorneys say the lecture doesn't represent his views - and that the First Amendment allows people to express opinions, even reprehensible ones like Al-Hawali's.


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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.