In terror arrests, a question of public safety

FILE – EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – This undated image made from a video released by Islamic State militants, Sunday, Feb 15, 2015, appears to show Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. (Militant video via AP, File)

We’ll find out more later this morning about the arrests of several people in Minneapolis and San Diego in a continuing investigation of the recruitment of potential terrorists.

NBC News reports those arrested are suspected of supporting ISIS. Four were arrested in Minneapolis and two in San Diego; all are members of the Somali community, according to NBC.

In every news report so far, federal authorities are stressing this point: “There was no danger” to people in the U.S.

How could this be? Perhaps someone will answer that question today because it takes an abundance of hate to support ISIS, which over the weekend released another video showing the killing of Ethiopian Christians, USA Today reports.

A masked fighter wielding a pistol says Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran, before the captives in the south are shown being shot dead and the captives in the east are beheaded on a beach.

In January, militants loyal to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, claimed responsibility for an attack on the Corinthia hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli that left 10 people including an American and four other foreigners dead.

It takes a particular brand of subhuman to execute people.

As NPR reported over the weekend, the Christians, the Druze, the Ismailis and many other minorities in Syria, are caught between the murderous regime and ISIS, which considers their views heretical.

In the Salamiyeh area of central Syria, the Ismaili community is still reeling from a recent massacre committed by ISIS in one of their villages. One survivor, Ali, still cannot believe he escaped with his life.

“They knocked on my neighbor’s door, just 10 steps away. Of course they killed him and his wife,” he told NPR via Skype, withholding his family name for fear of his safety.

Ali was terrified, waiting with his father and sister from 11:30 p.m. until the next morning when ISIS withdrew. He says that by the time the paramilitary National Defense Forces arrived from the neighboring village of Saboura, it was too late: “Whoever was kidnapped was kidnapped and who was killed was killed.”

The 51 victims included Ismailis and Alawites, as well as Sunnis.

If indeed, this is attractive to people who live among us, how are they — how is that hatred — not a threat to us?

We trust that question will be asked today.

Update 9:42 am – Here are the charging documents.