The jihad at home
It’s a sad day in America when the shooting of an abortion doctor stops the presses but no one notices two soldiers gunned down by an Islamist. When abortionist Dr. George Tiller was shot in Wichita, Kan., on May 31, President Obama rushed out a statement condemning the shooting. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. dispatched U.S. Marshals to protect abortion providers and clinics (officially known as “appropriate people and facilities”), and the Justice Department Web site prominently featured Mr. Holder’s statement pledging to “bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice.”
The next day, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a homegrown, Yemenitrained Muslim who spent time in the Middle East, gunned down two U.S. soldiers in broad daylight near Little Rock, Ark., killing one. When arrested, he made statements “indicating his association with Jihad,” according to law en- forcement sources. He told police he hates the military for its crimes against Islam and would have shot more soldiers if they had been available. You would think this would be worthy of comment from Washington, but as of this writing, we are still waiting.
This is the second homegrown terror event by black Muslim converts in as many months. Four men were arrested May 20 for plotting to blow up a New York synagogue and use an anti-aircraft weapon to attack military aircraft in Newburgh, N.Y. Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, who has followed these incidents closely, says he is “surprised we’re not hearing more reports about this.”
According to Mr. Kouri, the problem of radical recruitment among the black population is severe. “They proselytize young people who are persistently being told by society that they have been vic- timized,” he said. “And young people are constantly looking for structure in their lives. Islam provides that structure.” He said this particular brand of Islamic radicalism “also appeals to the tough street mentality, the macho males and submissive females, and, of course, potential for violence.” Jihadist recruitment in America’s prisons is ongoing. Yet with respect to this most recent incident, Mr. Kouri says, “nobody seems to care, at least not in the media.”
There is a fundamental blind spot in some circles as to the threat posed by homegrown Muslim radicals. The March Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled quickly in the wake of controversy with other department publications, was noteworthy for listing Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism but making no mention of any form of Muslim extremism.
In October 2002, when D.C. Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were terrorizing the capital region, profilers claimed with some confidence that the perpetrator was a white male Christian veteran rather than a pair of black male Muslims, one of whom had military service. This politically correct profiling may have kept Muhammad and Malvo at liberty and killing longer than they may have been otherwise.
The FBI is cognizant of the Islamist threat on the home front and has done a good job helping keep America safe. But the official silence is troubling. We suspect it is in part a matter of timing. With the president on his goodwill tour of the Middle East and about to make a major address reaching out to the Muslim world, it would be awkward to discuss a radical jihadist attack in the middle of the United States. Maybe when Mr. Obama gets back home, he can give this matter a few minutes of his time.