Friday, August 15, 2008

Denver: Cyanide man "Humble, reclusive and psychotic"

Let the spin begin.

A Minnesota-based legal advocacy center for Somalis is assembling a troubling, curious background of a man found dead in a Denver luxury hotel Monday near a pound of deadly cyanide.

"He was psychotic; he was on medication," said Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, which has talked to dozens of people who knew Saleman Abdirahman Dirie, a 29-year-old Canadian citizen and former Somali refugee.

Dirie's journey to the U.S. and his stay in an expensive hotel does not fit the profile of his humble, somewhat reclusive life, Jamal said Thursday.

"People who knew him are shocked," Jamal said. "He was unemployed; he had no money. Whoever gave him the money for that hotel may have also given him the cyanide. We need to find that person."

There was a pretty good turn out at the funeral for a Canadian recluse. Professional mourners attend?

Dirie was buried Thursday at Hampden Cemetery after a service at the Colorado Muslim Society's Abu Baker mosque.

Mohamad Altaba of the society said about 150 people attended, including many sympathetic Muslims who traditionally attend funerals for other Muslims. He said he met Dirie's brothers and cousins but wasn't sure how many family members attended.

"The place of burial in the Islamic faith is where the person died," he said. "But we leave that decision to the family, and the family chose to have him buried here."

Omar Jamal continues to speak out against jumping to conclusions about terrorism then goes on to jump to a conclusion that makes no sense whatsoever.:

"That perception is out there," he said. "Al-Qaeda is very active in our country, and we cannot deny that some members of our community may be members of that community."

Invoking the context of terrorism causes people who may have information to remain silent in fear of terrorist groups, he said.

It is important to note that the story on how poor, psychotic Mr Dirie got to the US is changing. Now, according to Omar Jamal the story is that he drove to MONTREAL (not Toronto), boarded a bus and came to Denver.