Two Islamic extremists have been arrested in connection with a bomb plot in Ferguson as Islamists stoke the flames. The pair belongs to the New Black Panther Party.
Separately, two Americans have been charged (one arrested) for links to the Islamic State (ISIS). Authorities also revealed that an American who was arrested last month for trying to join the Islamic State had tried to bring his teenage siblings along with him.
Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Davis, two members of the New Black Panther Party, were arrested on November 20 after they illegally purchased two handguns and tried to buy a pipe bomb in order to attack the Gateway Arch. They had also planned to murder St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson.
The New Black Panther Party is an Islamist extremist group that splintered from the Nation of Islam. The two groups have a friendly relationship today. The New Black Panther Party is described by the Anti-Defamation League as “the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist Black militant group in America.”
Its website praises Assata Shakur, originally named Joanne Chesimard, as a “freedom fighter.” She was added to the FBI’s list of most wanted fugitives in March 2013 and is believed to be living in Cuba.
The FBI says Shakur and two accomplices shot two police officers, killing one “execution-style,” in 1973 when they were pulled over after committing a bank robbery. She was arrested and convicted in 1977 but escaped prison in 1979 when other domestic terrorists broke in to rescue her. Shakur escaped to Cuba.
The Party is closely linked to another group called the Collective Black People Movement, which hosts New Black Panther Party material and claims to have administrative offices around the world with headquarters in Atlanta. The website is full of anti-American and militant material.
Islamists Stoking the Flames in Ferguson
Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, is blatantly calling for violence and instigating attacks with his fiery anti-American and anti-white rhetoric in response to the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Most recently, he preached about the “law of retaliation,” encouraged followers to “die for something” and said parents should teach their children how to fight and throw Molotov cocktails. He threatened, “We’ll tear this goddamn country apart!”
More Americans Try to Join the Islamic State
Separately, two Americans have been charged for having ties to the Islamic State terrorist group. One was arrested and the other has already left the country.
Both men, Abdi Nur and Abdullah Yusuf, are from Minnesota. Yusuf was arrested, but Nur is abroad.
The FBI first began watching Yusuf after he tried to get a passport for Turkey. His awkward behavior and explanation of his trip caused the clerk to alert the authorities. FBI personnel intercepted him at the airport on May 28 when he intended to fly, but did not arrest him. Yusuf told the agents that his trip was not terrorism-related.
Nur is the individual who dropped Yusuf off at the airport. His family says he suddenly became devoutly religious before his own departure from the U.S. It is common for Islamic State-type jihadists to radicalize quickly from non-religious to extremists who support terrorism.
In related news, the federal government has revealed that a man arrested in Chicago as he tried to join the Islamic State was bringing two siblings along with him; his 17-year old sister and 16-year old brother.
Mohammed Hamzah Khan was arrested in Chicago on October 4. A search of his home found notes declaring his support for the Islamic State and his intention to go to Raqqah, Syria, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.
“I want to be ruled by the shariah, the best law for mankind,” he said.
Khan complained that his taxes were going to fund wars against fellow Muslims and decried the U.S. as morally bankrupt. He invited his family to join him.
“We are all witness that the western societies are getting more immoral day by day. I do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this. I want them to be the best Muslims,” Khan wrote.
It is now known that his siblings came with him. The siblings also left letters to their parents asking them not to tell the authorities about their trip. The siblings said that they cried as they wrote them.
The younger sister's letter, like Khan’s, repeatedly emphasized how much she loves her parents and how it pains her to hurt them.
She requests of her mother, “Do not be blinded by others no matter who they are. Look to the people who followed Islam in its pure, original form.”
The sister said she “could not bear to live in that land [America],” where the “people mock my Allah” and its government is “using my money to kill my brothers and sisters.”
Most disturbingly, she craved death. She said happiness in the U.S. is a “delusion” and “the only place of true happiness is the hereafter.”
“By the time you are reading this, we could be captured, or stranded or possibly even killed,” the letter states.
She, like other female Islamic State recruits, appeared to believe joining the Islamic State would lead her to love. In another note, she wrote, “The men of my time are cowards like women, who only sit around and gossip like old lions.”
The sister lamented that Muslim-American males are rejecting her more extreme views. “When talk of jihad comes up…they say, ‘The time has not come yet, our elders are not doing it, if the scholars have not said it, who are you to? It is pointless, Islam does not preach violence” and so on…My ears bleed with such talk,” she wrote.
The younger brother’s letter likewise said the U.S. is “ruled by the enemies of Allah” and “disobedience” is everywhere. He cited Islamic scripture throughout to argue that his actions are mandated by the faith.
“The kuffar’s [infidel’s] intent is clear: destroy Islam and Muslims. The evil of this country makes me sick. They tricked us Muslims and enticed us with an easy life and wealth,” he wrote.
He ridiculed moderate Muslims, stating that those “who deny…our obligation of jihad are diseased with hypocrisy.”
A belief that the U.S. government is inherently evil is the common thread between the plot by the two New Black Panther Party members, the Nation of Islam’s ideology and the Islamic State supporters.
These actions are consistently motivated by a belief that the U.S. government and American society is filled with wickedness; a wickedness so severe that violent action and treason becomes permissible or even obligatory.
Exaggerated demonization of America forms the foundation for violent upheaval. Preachers of this sentiment bear responsibility, even if they do not outwardly condone violence. This applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims, but it is especially dangerous when fused with the Islamist ideology.
Stopping Islamist terror plots like these requires stopping Islamism and discrediting the purveyors of its anti-American premises.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.