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Carlos Bledsoe

The suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of one soldier and the critical injury of another at a Little Rock, Ark., Army recruiting booth today was under investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force since his return from Yemen, ABC News has learned.

The investigation was in its preliminary stages, authorities said, and was based on the suspect’s travel to Yemen and his arrest there for using a Somali passport.

Esposito, Richard, Pierre Thomas and Jack Date.  “Recruit Shooting Suspect Under FBI Investigation.”  ABC News, June 1, 2009.

Alton Nolen

“This do we find the clear precedent that explains the particular penchant of Islamic terrorists to behead their victims, it is merely another precedent bestowed by their Prophet,” reads the caption, which adds a citation from the Quran, “I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers; smite ye about their necks.”

With this heinous act, Nolen may have been seeking to convince himself, if nobody else, that he was not just an ex-con who was once again out of work.

Daly, Michael.  “The Muslim Convert Behind America’s First Workplace Beheading.”  The Daily Beast, September 27, 2014.

Here is a little bit of the word on “Prison Islam”:

Oliver testified that allowing the Muslim prisoners to pray in a group led the prisoners to setting up an inmate-led Muslim gang. The gang “shunned” other prisoners, forbidding them from joining the group prayer as well as controlling access to food and laying stake to the “meditation room” being used by leaving their prayer rugs and other religious items to the point of intimidating other faith groups from using the room.

Oliver testified that a group of Catholic prisoners gave up trying to use the room. “They said it was the Muslim room,” Oliver stated.

The Clarion Project.  “Prison Officials: Muslim Group Prayer Led to Gangs.”  July 2, 2013.

It may be noted that conversions to Islam in prison bring criminals into the Ummah, and of that lot, some well may well represent the kind of person who would step on to the manufacturing floor and behead an unsuspecting (what’s to suspect?) coworker just doing her job.

Bipolar Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder have been noted on BackChannels in the context of the construction of concepts perhaps useful to the field of Political Psychology, which concept list includes, of course, the “malignant narcissism” so often associated with dictators, who, if they were not so large, might just as well have turned out machete-wielding monsters at work.

Loose citations (lazy ones) for “Prison Islam”:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/05/muslim-terrorists-running-whole-prison-blocks-sharia-law/ – 4/5/2016. | https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-belgian-prisons-became-a-breeding-ground-for-islamic-extremism/2016/03/27/ac437fd8-f39b-11e5-a2a3-d4e9697917d1_story.html – 3/27/2016. | http://www.meforum.org/blog/2015/08/islam-prison. – 8/30/2015.

Nidal M. Hasan

A Senate investigation of the Fort Hood shootings faults the Army and FBI with missing warning signs and not exchanging information that could have prevented the massacre.

Wan, William and Felicia Sonmez.  “Senate probe faults Army, FBI for missing warning signs before Fort Hood Attack.”  The Washington Post, February 3, 2011.

Causes for that fumble: aversion to “bureaucratic confrontation”; “political correctness”; and, possibly, military civility, politeness, and avoidance of opening the proverbial can of worms.  Basically, before the fact, no one knew how to field what was coming out of Nidal Hasan’s heart through his mouth.

Also at the time, great official political correctness, an adamant refusal to invoked the term “violent islamist extremism” produced the absurdity of labeling the “Alahu Akbar” laced mass murder as violence in the workplace.

Talk, behavioral change, and, inevitably, “arming up” become part of the terrorist’s narrative on the way to mayhem — but how are officials to select who to “gumshoe” or, were the laws to allow greater flexibility in examinations without charges, who to detain?

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

The FSB first contacted the FBI about Tsarnaev in March 2011. At the time, he was a resident of Boston who seemed too interested in making contact with or joining a militant group in the Caucasus. The U.S. intelligence official said the FBI made three separate requests to Russian authorities for more information about Tsarnaev without an adequate response. The FBI concluded that the Russians considered Tsarnaev a threat to themselves, not the United States.

Finn, Peter.  “Decades of distrust restrain cooperation between FBI and Russia’s FSB.”  The Washington Post, May 8, 2013.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez

He was not on any U.S. terror list and the FBI was not aware of his having any terrorist leanings. Abdulazeez had been stopped by local police in April when he was booked for a DUI..

Pugeus, Jeff.  “What we know about the gunman in Chattanooga attack.”  CBS News, July 16, 2015.

The Abdulazeez “lone wolf” attack appears not to have produced significant “signal” out ahead of itself.  The gunman sent up no caution flags before his attack.

Mohamed Barry

A machete-wielding man who stormed an Ohio restaurant and slashed diners at their tables had previously been investigated by the FBI over his radical Islamist views.
Mohamed Barry, 30, from the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, was shot dead by police during the rampage at Nazareth Restaurant and Deli, a Mediterranean restaurant owned by an Israeli man in Columbus, on Thursday.

Graham, Regina F., Hannah Parry, and Khaleda Rahman.  “FBI investigated Barry four years ago for expressing radical Islamic views.”  Daily Mail, February 15, 2016.

One cannot (yet) cry “Lone wolf!” before the crime, which is today everyone’s problem.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik

Officials said that not only had he never been a criminal suspect, but that he was also never mentioned by anyone interviewed by the F.B.I.

Schmidt, Michael S. and Richard Perez-Pena.  “F.B.I. Treating San Bernardino Attack as Terrorism Case.”  The New York Times, December 4, 2015.

Malik belonged to an educated, politically influential family from Karor Lal Esan in the Layyah district of Pakistan. Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh, a cousin of Malik’s father, was once a provincial minister. Residents said the Aulakh family is known to have connections to militant Islam.


Investigators have learned that Farook had made contact — in some cases by phone and in others via social media — with people who came up tangentially in previous federal terrorism investigations. But he had not drawn any scrutiny.

Sahi, Aoun, David S. Cloud, and Brian Bennett.  “Tashfeen Malik was ‘modern girl’ who began posting extremist messages on Facebook.”  Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2015.

We all have people in our lives, some equipped with dangerous ideas and personalities to match, and in light of “Social Grammar”, which always applies on this blog, some to many personalities give way before cult, family, in-group, and tribal messages and related pressures either intimidating other thought or promoting deeply malign speech and action paths — and just as many prove more independent and strongly resist the intellectual poisoning associated with one or more social environments or relationships.

As the west does not do guilt or suspicion by mere association — something an outsized paranoid like Stalin would do — the FBI’s call on the matter fits with world’s broadest bandwidth in freedom of religion and of speech.

Still, in 20/20 hindsight, one might add up the dimensions involved: some extremist associates in the family, foreign association with radical centers like Islamabad’s Lal Masjid, and then . . . Islamist expression on Facebook or elsewhere.

When and how should a government step in?

What methods of detention might work?

What laws involving conspiracy or sedition might be needed to get to this kind of person before they arrive at what will become the scene of their crime?

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen

The father of Omar Mateen, identified by police as the man behind the carnage at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban. In a video he posted on Saturday, he appears to be portraying himself as the president of Afghanistan.

Bearak, Max.  “Orlando suspect’s father hosted a TV show and now pretends to be Afghanistan’s president.”  The Washington Post, June 12, 2016.

In the article cited, it’s the killer’s daddy that sounds a wee bit off the hook.

Be that as it may, the son, Omar, had not been completely off law enforcement’s radar.

“The FBI first became aware of Mateen in 2013 when he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible terrorist ties,” Hopper said.
The investigation was closed, Hopper said, after investigators “were unable to verify the substance of his comments.”

Perez, Evan, Shimon Prokupecz, and Catherine E. Shoichet.  “Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS, official says.”  CNN, June 12, 2016.

The story is continuing to break as I type, and it’s expected that more details will come out in the course of the investigation.

As regards “persons of interest”, and a few noted here were certainly either that or potentially that, the same issues — who to watch, what to watch for, and when and how to intervene before the fact — will be topics for debate in law involving sedition and detention for some time to come.

Addendum – 6/14/2016


Addendum – 7/6/2016

Mohamed Bailor Jalloh

According to court documents and court proceedings, in March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL brokered an introduction between Jalloh, 26, of Sterling, Virginia, and an individual in the United States who actually was an FBI confidential human source (CHS). The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the United States and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the CHS.

U. S. Department of Justice.  “Former Army National Guard Member Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISISL.”  July 5, 2016.

Additional Reference

The Last English Prince.  “Omar Mir Seddique Mateen: Understanding the Meaning of this Name.”  June 12, 2016.

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