Are There Any Real Investigative Reporters Left in Austin?

RECEIVED Tue., May 6, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Why a lack of follow-up on the so-called suicide of Austin Independent School District teacher and Palestinian activist Riad Hamad? After months of being subjected to harassment and surveillance by the FBI and Homeland Security, Hamad was found floating in Lady Bird Lake bound in duct tape.
    A close friend of Hamad's told talk-radio host Alex Jones that he viewed Hamad's body after the autopsy, as part of the Islamic law procedure of cleansing the remains before burial. He said Hamad’s body appeared as if he had been “attacked by an animal in the jungle." Hamad was cut from the shoulder to the stomach; his arms were cut, and his face was bruised, and the rear of his skull was bashed in.
    Hamad's friend also stated that witnesses had seen men with "foreign accents" carrying Israeli firearms at Hamad's residence several weeks prior to his death. Could this have been a political assassination? Any real investigative reporters left in Austin? Get on it, please!
Mike Rieman
   [News Editor Michael King responds: See "The Uneasy Death of Riad Hamad" in the May 9 issue for more. For the record, Imam Ibrahim Dremali, interviewed by Alex Jones, did not know Hamad before the burial preparations. Dremali did not say Hamad's body was "cut from the shoulder to the stomach" other than criticizing the repairs of the standard autopsy incisions (essentially "Y" cuts to the torso for internal examination), and he did not say "the rear of [Hamad's] skull was bashed in," only that he believed the autopsy brain examination had not been adequately repaired for burial purposes. And only Jones claimed, without substantiation, that "armed men with foreign accents" had visited Hamad's home, which was raided Feb. 27 by FBI and IRS agents pursuing an investigation of the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund. We will continue to follow the story.]
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