By Ryan Mauro, The Clarion Project
On May 31, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen was arrested in Rochester, New York as he aspired to shoot U.S. soldiers and Shiite Muslims. He was angry at U.S. foreign policy, but the basis of his worldview was a belief in Islamist doctrine and that Sharia governance must be fought for.
The criminal complaint says Mufid E. Elfeegh illegally purchased two unregistered firearms silencers so he could go on a shooting rampage against U.S. troops that returned from Iraq and Shiite Muslims. He expressed support for Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra, and Ansar al-Islam.
He made it clear that he was fighting for the sake of global conquest by his version of Islam. He said that ISIS, a former Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria and Iraq, “will one day rule the world with the will of Allah.”
His targeting of the U.S. was largely because he views the country as standing in the way of this objective.
“Al-Qaeda said it loud and clear. We are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and its people,” he was recorded saying.
Elfgeeh also condemned Syrian rebels that have ties to the U.S. and oppose the implementation of sharia governance. He urged Muslims to donate one-third of their salaries to Islamist rebels in Syria.
Elfgeeh was caught by the FBI with the assistance of two confidential informants. Rather than praise the presumably Muslim informants, American Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) depict such informants as traitors to the community. CAIR and its allies accuse the U.S. government of using informants to radicalize innocent Muslims in order to “manufacture” the War on Terror.
The arrest comes shortly after Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who traveled to Syria from Florida to join Jabhat al-Nusra, became the first American suicide bomber in Syria. Also recently, a French citizen who fought in Syria was arrested for shooting three people at a Jewish museum in Brussels, Belgium on May 24.
At least four Americans have been arrested this year as they planned to join up with Islamist terrorists in Syria. The civil war in Syria was not the source of their radicalism; it was just the chosen location of where to act on it.
Islamist terrorists and extremists may cite conflicts and policies as their motivations, but their view of the world stems from a radical Islamic ideology. For example, an American in Oregon was arrested in March for his involvement in a bombing in Pakistan. He and his associate said they believed they must fight “until Allah’s word is superior or until we perish.”
The common denominator between all of these cases is a belief in Islamist doctrine.
Anger over Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s massacres or the U.S. war in Iraq is an insufficient explanation for these terrorist plots. Outrage over human rights abuses and policy disagreements do not naturally lead to an embrace of sharia governance and acts of violence like these.
The critical factor is the Islamist ideology, not politics, mental instability, poverty or lack of education.