Even More Baseless Clements Murder Speculation?

The Denver Post has an update today on an ugly yet revealing side-story to the recent tragic killing of Colorado Department of Corrections director Tom Clements. In late March, we noted a rush to associate Clements' murder, since connected to a white supremacist prison gang parolee killed in a Texas shootout, with the case of Homaidan al-Turki–a Saudi man convicted of sex offenses here in Colorado, whose return to Saudi Arabia was denied before Clements' murder. Despite a spate of breathless hysterics from conservative media outlets like the Colorado Observer, "urgent" warnings about a six-year old memo on the case from Sen. Greg Brophy, and more restrained but still dubious news reports from local outlets speculating about a link, please be aware of the fact that absolutely no such link has been found.

The Post's Kirk Mitchell today:

FBI agents are investigating any possible financial transactions between al-Turki and 211 Crew members to determine whether he had hired the gang for protection, among other things, sources told The Denver Post. Investigators are examining his bank records, prison financial accounts and prison commissary records. Investigators are also interviewing al-Turki associates who run errands for him outside of prison, one source said.

What's missing from this story is any actual information suggesting an actual link between al-Turki and the white supremacist gang 211 Crew. In fact, this story is replete with vague statements that sound scary at first–but in truth indicate nothing has substantively changed with the case…

So far, all that is certain is that Ebel was involved, he said. The gun found in Ebel's car in Texas following a shootout in which Ebel was killed was tied to the murders of pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon and Clements, [El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeff] Kramer said.

"Did he act alone or in concert with someone else," he said. "I don't think we're leaning one way or the other." [Pols emphasis]

Really? Because this story's headline, "Colorado officials investigate tie between 211 Crew prison gang and Saudi man," sure indicates a "leaning." Only by reading the whole story do we learn that no actual "tie" has been found. Meanwhile, Al-Turki's lawyer insists there is nothing to this, and says his client was put into solitary confinement and "mistreated" by prison officials after Clements' murder–with no actual evidence of any involvement. As the Colorado Independent reported last month, local Muslim groups are increasingly outraged over speculation without evidence that al-Turki may have been involved in Clements' murder.

Bottom line: either a major break in this case is imminent that will exonerate what appears to be totally baseless speculation, in which case we'll need to correct the record, or this is one of the most deplorable, xenophobic episodes in recent memory in the state of Colorado–with lots of blame to go around in local media and perhaps state officials as well. The speculative "tie" between Al-Turki and this white supremacist gang is so weak that without hard evidence to back it up, it's in fact highly irresponsible. And if all of this speculation is either compounding or covering for mistreatment of an inmate to whom no link to the murder of Tom Clements has been demonstrated?

Stay tuned: whether or not justice has been served, this story isn't over.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOP says:

    It's great that you read Colorado Peak Politics, Pols! Here's what Pols is responding to: an epic drubbing from Colorado's leading conservative blog.

    ColoradoPols, Call Your Office: As FBI Digs Deeper, Pols Mad Rush To Exonerate Saudi Sex Trafficker Seems Odd

    On the morning after Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements was gunned down at his home, The Colorado Observer had an exclusive angle that national and local news organizations soon followed.

    Noting only a week prior to Clements death, the prisons chief had denied convicted Saudi rapist Homaidan al-Turki’s request for transfer back to Saudi Arabia, The Observer raised the specter of al-Turki’s involvement in Clements killing.

    Al-Turki is bad news — in addition to raping and imprisoning his Indonesian maid, he published al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki’s anti-American sermons and has powerful ties among the Saudi elite. (In a strange local twist, al-Awlaki is a CSU grad.)

    This solid bit of reporting earned The Observer an outlandish attack from left-wing Colorado Pols, who deemed it “idiotic xenophobia.” Why? Because The Observer is a conservative-leaning publication, it must be racist.

    We decided to let them prattle on with their progressive rant about political correctness at the time because if they wanted to defend an al Qaeda-affiliated rapist that was on them. If they wanted to become the Al-Turki Times, well, we weren’t going to stop them from making fools of themselves.

    In the weeks after Clements death, a white supremacist named Evan Ebel, who was part of the prison gang 211 Crew, was eventually tied to the killing and died in a shoot-out with Texas police while on the run.

    But now comes a fresh angle in the story, with The Denver Post reporting that authorities are looking into the possibility that al-Turki paid the 211 Crew to carry out the killing of Clements…

    Why don't you just address Peak Politics directly, Pols? It's silly to spend all this time responding to them, but pretending they don't exist.

    • Aristotle says:

      You can quit fellating Peak now. It's embarrassing to watch.

      • ArapaGOP says:

        Even so, Peak Politics responded to this post too.

        UPDATE: The crack criminal investigative staff over at Colorado Pols continues to press the case that the FBI doesn’t know what it is talking about in the case of the Saudi sex monster and the possibility that he might be connected to the death of Tom Clements. Check their post.

        Look, we don’t know if the guy is guilty of killing the state’s corrections officer, but we know this is a monster of a human – a man who is so without moral dimension that he imprisoned a woman and made her his sex slave for years. Nobody is convicting the guy of this crime, but there are clearly strange enough ties that the FBI is taking a hard look. That isn’t racism. That is law enforcement.

    • Duke Cox says:

      So you are claiming a white supremicist group would take payment from a decidedly non-white Muslim to kill a white man? Sure…you bet…

      • DavidThi808 says:

        That's what struck me about this when it was first brought up. That combination makes no sense…

      • Canines says:

        If they do contract assasinations that would benefit the gang financially and status-wise, they might potentially commit an act like that. I think there's the misperception that white supremacist prison gangs are strictly ideological, solely basing their decisions on racial concerns. I don't think that's borne out by reports on gangs like that, and their criminal activities.

        • Curmudgeon says:

          What reports?

          • Canines says:

            Well, I'm principally referring to news reports. But some Internet sleuthing on your part might turn up some law enforcement reports, as well.

            Here's one:

            “Like most of these race-based prison gangs, they are fundamentally a criminal enterprise,” Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center told MSNBC. “They are certainly white supremacists, but when push comes to shove, that is quickly set aside in the interests of the criminal enterprise.”

             

            • Curmudgeon says:

              Yeah, it's considered bad form to make a claim about "reports" and then tell someone to go look for them when you're challenged to produce them.

              As for your little snippet of a "news report" http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/01/17557932-officials-suggest-link-between-texas-prosecutors-slaying-and-racist-prison-gang?litenowhere does Mr. Potok mention any possible link with Homaidan al-Turki.   

              That's what "internet sleuthing" gets you.

              • Canines says:

                Well now we're talking apples and oranges. I presented a news report with a pertinent quote concerning white supremacist prison gangs, in general, which states that they will often put money above racial matters. Nowhere did I state that I was presenting an article that directly links al-Turki to the killing.

                • Curmudgeon says:

                   Okay, then, let's get back to home base. Your first sentence was, "If they do contract assasinations that would benefit the gang financially and status-wise, they might potentially commit an act like that. "   So, you are putting forth the possibility that there might have been some link, and offered absolutely nothing to support that.    The one article you provided (actually, you only provided a quote) made no mention of what you're suggesting.

                  • Canines says:

                    Of course, I was putting forth a hypothetical. That's exactly how it was phrased (without using the word "hypothetical," obviously).

                    I think many of us can agree that there is often enough a rush to judgment concerning Muslims in the media, and that al-Turkii may have had his rights violated.

                    But let me ask this, though: Is there anyone who categorically thinks that the FBI shouldn't investigate whether there's a link between al-Turki and the 211 Crew?

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    • Gray in Mountains says:

                      I think the timing alone warrants it being looked into. I also think that prison gangs will kill anyone except their own leader if it gets them money. They don't even worry about "getting away with it" because the shot caller usually has his entire life in prison ahead of him

    • roccoprahn says:

      agop, are you just doing some kind of parody, or do you actually believe this?

      Have you thought for a moment how complicated this would have to be for it to be true?

      The dedicated al qaeda terrorist teams with the white goobers? Are you kidding me?

      My favorite part was the "solid bit of reporting" connected to "the observer". Guarantee those entities will never be used in the same sentance again

      I will say this agop………..this "peakpolitics" deal does seem to appeal to your fear triggered instincts. You should stay with them.

  2. gertie97 says:

    It's hard to see any kind of conspiracy here given the lack of information so far. What is easy to see is the massive ass-covering going on at DOC. As for the Denver paper? Gotta have a follow story somewhere, right?

     

  3. ohwilleke says:

    FWIW, the fact that a guy currently in his sixth or seventh year or an eight years to life term for keeping someone as a sex slave and is running a vigorous business from prison, asked to be transferred to Saudi and was refused is pretty interesting even if he has nothing at all to do with the murder and isn't actually paying off the 211 crew for protection.  This is definitely not your typical Colorado prison inmate.  Maybe, if we're lucky, Westword will profile him.

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      I remember the case well. It turned my stomach. But his guilt in that case does not mean he should be automatically sent to the hole when Tom Clements was shot. The guy might have a case to to take lots of money back to Saudi Arabia with him after this.

      And that would suck, because the guy is a douchebag who can rot in hell. I hate it when people like al-Turki have a legit case.

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