French jihadist captured in Mali


Last month, Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa penned a story for Foreign Policy about Gilles Le Guen, a French citizen who had converted to Islam and joined up with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) during its occupation of the northern Malian town of Timbuktu. Doornbos and Moussa described how AQIM eventually grew suspicious of Le Guen, who styled himself as "Abdul Jalil al-Fransi," and launched a full investigation to determine if he was a French spy.

While al Qaeda's investigation ended inconclusively, we may finally have an answer to the question of whether Le Guen was a spy or a true believer. French troops captured him north of Timbuktu on Sunday night. They will hand him over to Malian authorities, and he will likely then be expelled to France.

Le Guen won't receive a warm welcome in his home country: The French defense minister, who described him as a "loser who became a terrorist," said an investigation was underway to determine what criminal charges could be brought against him.

Above, a video message that Le Guen recorded in support of al Qaeda's goals in North Africa, released on Oct. 9.


Listen to the swaggering blues rock of America's latest ricin mailer suspect

When we read that J. Everett Dutschke, the martial arts instructor and former political candidate accused of mailing a ricin-laced letter to Barack Obama, was the "leader of a local rock band called Dusty and the RoboDrum," we had to hear his work.

Fortunately, the Mississippi native's entire 2009 album, For Your Leather, is available for free on Spotify and for $14.15 on Amazon. Although the style of his music has been billed as "Live-Loop Oriented Rock with tons of lasers," we found it to be a twangy form of blues rock with the occasional heavy distortion guitar-solo interspersed. For your listening pleasure, we've provided a short clip of his track "Mount Up," a rollicking homage to a female love interest.

I don't mind her pony tail, I don't mind her boots.

I like the way she holds my pistol when she wants to shoot.

The tempo is fast, but perhaps not as fast as the federal case mounting against him (you see what we did there?).  The FBI affidavit claims that authorities found ricin on a dust mask discarded by Dutschke, traces of ricin at his martial arts studio, and a downloaded book called Standard Operating Procedure for Ricin. Dutschke, who seems scripted straight out of a Coen brothers flim, insists he's innocent, appearing in a YouTube video last week saying he doesn't "have anything at all to do with" the ricin packages mailed to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker. Guess it's time for Dutschke to mount, er, lawyer up.