Friday, June 23, 2006

Miami Jihadis Not A Terribly Impressive Bunch

CNN covers U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez's press conference on the arrest of seven Miami al Qaeda wannabees. They also have a link to the full indictment.

I hate to downplay any such arrest, but these guys sound like a bunch of all out losers. First, they were apparently easy to infiltrate: the FBI had an informant who posed as al Qaeda agent. There may be more to the story (I don't have time right now to read the indictment), but it sounds like someone was on to them very early, and was either recruited by the FBI or offered their services to them, seeing immediately that these men were a possible threat, or failing that, at least an arrest statistic.

Second, the men were apparently stupid: they made no attempt to hide their aggressiveness from anyone. They gave the informant detailed information of their plans, including surveillance photos of several law enforcement buildings in the Miami area. They paraded about in turbans and acted like they were in military training. They even tried to recruit young people from the area.

Finally, the men at no point showed they had any capacity for anything but talk: nothing in the case shows they had any capacity to carry out their plans, and no explosives or bomb-making material was recovered.

CNN reports that "Gonzalez described the men as examples of 'homegrown terrorists' who 'may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al Qaeda'". I'm not certain they deserve that description: they seem like garden-variety alienated losers, the type that populate fringe groups and cults. Given the Toronto arrests and the UNC case, homegrown terror threatens to be a real problem, but I don't think these guys qualify.

CNN quotes a person affiliated with the seven:

A man who identified himself as "Brother Corey" said five of the men arrested in Miami were his "brothers," members of the group he identified as "Seas of David."

Brother Corey said the group has "soldiers in Chicago," but was peaceful and not associated with any terrorist organizations.

"This is a place where we worship and also have businesses, as a work site as a construction company we are trying to build up," he said, referring to the Liberty City warehouse where the raids took place.

He said the Seas of David is a religious group that blends the teachings of Christianity and Islam.

As I said, more like losers attracted to a quasi-religious fringe group than real terrorists. The people we need to be worried about are the ones attending Saudi-funded Wahhabi mosques and buying Islamofascist videos produced overseas.

These arrests look like law enforcement going after some low-hanging fruit.

Oh, and by the way, one of the seven arrested was an illegal alien, and another was here on a visa. I suppose it's good news that blowing up Americans is a job that Americans are no longer willing to do.

Technorati tags: | | |

No comments: