Beliefnet
PORTLAND, Maine, Oct. 15, 2001--Isanu Dyson, a fifth-generation American who converted to Islam three years ago, is prepared to join the jihad against the United States, and believes government workers are fair targets.

The 24-year-old Maine resident, who carries a dagger and 3-foot sword, told The Post it would be "noble" to enlist with the Taliban and fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan.

"I am a Muslim-American, not an American-Muslim--have a greater obligation to them than to anybody," he said. "I pray when the day comes that Allah doesn't make me a coward--that I don't run away from the fight."

Dyson, who spoke from his apartment in Portland, said "colonialists," including the United States and Britain, created a monster by trying to oppress Muslims and propping up governments sympathetic to the West.

"Now the monster they created is biting them back," he said. "The U.S. might be an economic and military superpower, but Islam is a religious and manpower superpower--we are 1 billion people."

Dyson's inflammatory comments have drawn the attention of Portland cops. Portland Police Chief Mike Chitwood told The Post, "These sort of comments are disheartening and sickening. If he feels that way, he should go and join Afghanistan."

Dyson, who says he began carrying the sword and dagger after Sept. 11 for "self-protection," admitted he felt uncomfortable making such comments while living in America, and said he had considered going to Afghanistan immediately after the attack.

"I would consider it more noble for me to go and get myself out of the country, renounce my citizenship, end up in Afghanistan, pick up a gun and fight alongside everyone else against the enemy--American soldiers," he said.

But he said he consulted an Islamic scholar for guidance, and was told his first responsibility was to a young son from his previous marriage.

Dyson, who raced motorcycles before turning to Islam, said he would continue to obey American law--"up until the point where I would have to disobey the law of Islam."

He claimed he knew one of the Sept. 11 kamikaze hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi, two years ago.

Dyson said he met Alhazmi, who was aboard the plane that killed nearly 200 Americans when it crashed into the Pentagon, through the Muslim community when Alhazmi first came to America as an illegal immigrant.

Dyson was living in his hometown of San Diego, Calif., and said he helped Alhazmi settle in, not realizing he was part of a deadly plot against civilians.

Terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi spent their final night in Portland before going to Boston and hijacking the planes they piloted into the World Trade Center.

Dyson said he believes that Islamic laws forbid the killing of civilians and that the hijackers were wrong to involve innocent people. But Dyson said that crashing a plane into the Pentagon would be within the boundaries of acceptable fighting if the plane were empty, because U.S. government workers helped to implement foreign policy.

Dyson, who is unemployed, also backed terror lord Osama bin Laden, saying the chain of evidence against him is extremely thin.

"Osama bin Laden says he wasn't involved--that is enough for me," he said.

He said if bin Laden is captured, he should be tried in a Muslim court. Dyson also described the United States as "hypocritical," because it believes in freedom but interferes in the affairs of other countries by helping to install governments against the peoples' wishes.

Dyson said he had heard many Muslims in Portland say they were prepared to join the jihad.

"Things are going to be very dangerous, and that's not a threat from me--that's a fact," he said.

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