In terror arrests, a question of public safety

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.

  • This is a phrase that’s been showing up more and more in law enforcement news releases and it drives me nuts. “There is no danger” “there is no immediate danger.” Really? How can they possibly know that?

    In homicide cases, they mean that it wasn’t a random attack. But just because the initial attack wasn’t random, doesn’t mean that a murderer on the loose isn’t a danger. Just because some (accused) terrorists wanted to go to Syria, doesn’t mean there’s no danger here.

  • Jeff

    I’m not sure what you’re saying. Law enforcement is sticking their heads in the sand? We’re being lied to? If there was a possible threat, what would they say? “Better take cover and watch out for suspicious people”. It also potentially labels a whole community as dangerous which seems a bad road to take.

    • Oh, just stop it, and let’s nip this in the bud.

      I’m not sure how to make it any simpler or plain. How is a person (or persons) with THIS much hate who lives here, not a threat to us?

      Why do you have such a hard time figuring that question out?

      Don’t make up stuff and then ask me to defend your ridiculous assertion about labeling a “whole community”.

      What do I expect law enforcement to say. Well,if they can’t answer the question posed, I would suggest they say nothing.

      • Jeff

        From the accounts I’ve read it’s confused, bored youth who are susceptible to recruitment, but it doesn’t make them instant killers. But I agree there is potential. You seem to be suggesting that the authorities don’t recognize this or are not being honest. I wasn’t sure.

        • In interpreting what I say, the best, most accurate method to use is to consider what I actually say.

          I don’t KNOW what the authorities use to gauge whether there is a threat to public safety by individuals in our community who have such hatred for, in this case, Christians, that they’d want to join up with such a barbaric and murderous group.

          I do know that the authorities say — or said — there is no public safety threat but they didn’t comment beyond that, as I said.

          Their having made that claim, I feel compelled to ask the question how can someone with such hatred NOT be a threat to public safety, since we’re a nation with a Christian majority, particularly.

          But even without that fact, I find it possible that that hatred — and the factors that contribute to it — are a very real threat.

          There are, of course, people right here who don’t follow Islam. I find it a logical argument to suggest if you will go to Syria to take part in the cleansing, you probably would do your part here, too. That strikes me as a significant threat.

          I don’t know why someone with any degree of humanity — even after all the videos of heinous executions, including lighting a living person on fire — would want to be part of that.

          I do know, however, that there are a lot of bored, confusing young people in America who want nothing to do with lighting people on fire, or executing people because they do not follow Islam.

          So absent any evidence to the contrary, I don’t find that to be a comforting nor satisfying excuse.

          • Jeff

            Thanks for explaining. To summarize then, anyone who hates, and endorses or condones the brutal murder of innocent people (especially people like us) should be considered a threat? Just asking.

          • I’ve said it multiple times. No reason to repeat nor restate.