The Jihad in America and the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Way

While the world remains enthralled by the unfolding Abu Ghraib scandal, which seems to call American values into question, and the beheading of Nicholas Berg, more details of the ongoing jihad in America have come to light.

  • A large-scale counterterrorism investigation has begun after the arrest last March of a Pakistani national, Osama Satti. Satti was nabbed during an ATF/FBI sting operation in Tyler, Texas, while trying to buy weapons, silencers and explosives. He spoke during the sting of a plot to rob and kill wealthy non-Muslims — principally Jews and gays, two groups always high on radical Muslims’ enemies lists.

    Investigators are trying to determine whether Satti had links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani radical Muslim group with direct ties to al Qaeda. Until his arrest in Texas, Satti lived in the same Virginia neighborhood where members of the “Virginia Jihad” group, aka the “paintball terrorists,” were arrested for training to join up with Lashkar-e-Taiba and wage jihad against Americans in Afghanistan. Some officials believe that Lashkar has sent hundreds of jihadists into the U.S. to form sleeper cells.

  • A secret videotape recorded last February came to light during a preliminary hearing last week on the case of National Guard Spc. Ryan Anderson, a convert to Islam who is suspected of trying to join up with al Qaeda. The tape was extremely damaging for Anderson’s defense. Anderson identifies the men with whom he is speaking as members of “what Americans call al-Qaida” and offers to assist in training jihadists to kill Americans in Iraq. Referring to the armored Humvees used by troops in Iraq, Anderson says: “It would be very easy to kill a driver, or the crew inside.”

    In an earlier email exchange with people Anderson thought were jihadists but were actually FBI agents, Anderson was asked, “Are you with us brother?” He responded: “Every step of the way, Inshallah [Allah willing].”

    Last week’s hearing was part of deliberations on whether Anderson will be court-martialed for aiding enemy forces.

  • The controversial and high-profile Cleveland Imam Fawaz Damra, who already faces charges of lying to American officials about his connections to terrorist groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, may face new charges including money laundering, tax evasion, mail fraud, and more. The financial charges seem to be the result of scrutiny of financial records that investigators took from Damra’s home during a search in January. Damra’s lawyers are trying to get that search ruled illegal and the evidence derived from it thrown out.
  • In Brooklyn, Yemeni ice cream shop owner Abad Elfgeeh pled guilty to funding jihad terrorism. But that wasn’t good enough for the judge Charles P. Sifton, who maintained that Elfgeeh didn’t understand what he was doing when he entered his guilty plea. Sifton insisted: “Nobody, but most importantly not Mr. Elfgeeh, was clearly advised (about) … his rights to a jury trial with the prospect of facing the sentences that he now faces.” Elfgeeh was facing ten years in prison before Sifton threw out his guilty plea.

    Prosecutors believe that Elfgeeh was an integral part of a network that financed Islamic terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and Hamas. He seems to have made $20 million selling ice cream between 1997 and 2003, which either indicates that his mocha almond swirl was awfully high-priced, or that some other source was pumping money into his bank accounts.

    While all this was going on, Senator John McCain (R.-Ariz.), among others, was still riveted on Abu Ghraib. He thundered that what happened in the prison was “not a Judeo-Christian-Islamic-principled way of treating human beings.” McCain, like most analysts today, assumes that the Islamic faith of terrorists and terrorist plotters worldwide is of no moment in determining their motives and goals; and that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are basically identical in their ethical teachings.

    Yet both assumptions are challenged daily by Muslims themselves. Even if Satti, Anderson, Damra, and Elfgeeh aren’t in fact guilty, many others have already been proven guilty of similar activities in America and around the world. People like McCain no doubt fear that acknowledging that elements of Islam can give rise to violence and fanaticism would be tantamount to saying that all Muslims are terrorists. Yet there is no reason why this need be the case — and the unwillingness of McCain and others like him to consider why people like two Muslim immigrants, a convert to Islam, and a Muslim imam seem to have been involved in terrorist activities continues to leave us vulnerable to such plots.