Friday, June 19, 2015

19-Jun-15: Lone-wolf Islamist terror attack in NY: Four arrests so far

Mumuni [Image Source]
Here's a follow-up to the arrest in New York City of an alleged Islamist terrorist, a "lone wolf", about which we posted on Wednesday: "17-Jun-15: Just hanging around a bridge: They're pursuing terrorists in every one of the US states".

There have been four arrests so far.

The first is Munther Omar Saleh, a college student from Queens. The charges against him assert that he's a "fervent supporter" of Islamist "militants" (a word that conceals more than it reveals) and ISIS. He was arrested on Saturday.

A second male was also arrested in connection with the same offences. Reuters says he has not yet been publicly identified.

On Wednesday, Fareed Mumuni, 21, a student of social work at the College of Staten Island and a Ghana-born US citizen, was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Authorities came to his Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, home that morning with a search warrant relating to the same alleged attack on behalf of ISIS for which Saleh, the "lone wolf" had already been arrested. Ignoring their orders to sit down, he lunged at an FBI agent while brandishing a kitchen knife and attempted repeatedly to stab him. The agent, protected by body-armor, suffered minor injuries. In court, Mumuni appeared wearing "a religious robe and flip-flops". His court-appointed defense lawyer unexpectedly says Mumuni is a “quiet, soft-spoken, very bright young man” whose relatives are "surprised by the charges".

Topaz [Image Source]
Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, from Fort Lee, New Jersey, who had been in close contact with Saleh, was charged Thursday with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS. The motivations to do this, according to material presented to the court yesterday, were that "they" promised him (a) $7,000 a week and (b) four wives, "possibly in Iraq". A 24-page affidavit filed by an FBI Special Agent says he is "vulnerable... impressed with the promise of money and multiple wives", His younger brother told NBC the suspect is "just any other person... just a calm, regular kid [who] does whatever anybody else would do... Everyone in my household believes in a different religion, so you can understand how ridiculous it is."
    We think the "lone wolf" notion - whether or not it's factually accurate - is unhelpful when people try to understand the spread of pro-Islamist terrorism sentiment outside the Arab and Moslem world. The growing number of arrests in this case, where the original suspect who made the first headlines seems not to have acted alone, shows how it works in reality.

    About eight months ago, a syndicated UPI news article quoted a warning
    released by the Army Threat Integration Center [based on] a Tweet from an Islamic State jihadist calling for individuals to use social media sites to track down and kill U.S. service members. The assessment was published Sept. 25 by ARTIC in collusion with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and listed a variety of possible threats that IS forces pose to the homeland, including lone wolf attacks on service personnel... [UPI, October 5, 2014]
    The Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) exists to create and publish
    all-source threat information for commanders and force protection officials at all levels within the Army to provide shared situational awareness, enable effective risk-based decisions, and protect Army personnel, assets, and information worldwide [Source]
    An ARTIC bulletin, quoted by Fox News, refers to published information that
    Islamic State fighters have increased calls for "lone wolves" to attack U.S. soldiers in America in recent months, citing one tweet that called for jihadists to find service members' addresses online and then "show up and slaughter them,,," 
    If lone wolves exist, there seem to be many of them around, and as the New York arrests indicate, they move in packs.

    1 comment:

    rlandes said...

    unhelpful is an unhelpful word. like militants. "counterproductive", "misleading", "inaccurate", "deceptive", "inappropriate"...
    otherwise this is an excellent discussion of a deeply disturbing issue.
    but then, Sarah Leah Whitsen of HRW wd say, what's a (by definition "moderate") Muslim got to do with any of this?