The increasing number of incidents when US special services arrest Islamists on the territory of the United States perfectly exemplifies the recently published report about the growing terrorist threat in the world caused with the war in Iraq. In most cases, US authorities say that the detained individuals do not pose any threat to the national security of the country. Many experts believe, however, that officials simply attempt to pacify the population. It is easy to understand that the activities of the suspected terrorists cannot be explained with criminal factors only.
Fifteen people – most of them Muslims - were arrested in Missouri last week because of a large quantity of fake documents authorizing the transportation of dangerous freights and substances in the country. The detainees intended to present the documents to 70 residents of Somalia and Bosnia. Ernest “Mustafa” White, a 49-year-old resident of Kansas, the owner of a driving school and the trucking company Muslim Brothers and Sisters was the leader of the criminal group. 300 of his 520 students came from the Middle East. One of the suspects, a superintendent of another driving school, filed a report against Mustafa White several years ago and claimed that there were too many suspicious individuals in Mr. White’s schools, all of them immigrants from the most unstable region of the world. The police ignored the claim, and the superintendent apparently decided to assist Mustafa White in his illicit business.
Official spokesmen for the Department of Justice in Missouri released a public statement that said that the case had no connection with terrorism. Drivers’ licenses for the transportation of poisonous materials can become potentially dangerous weapon for those seeking ways to cause serious damage - that is true. The authorities also said that the defendants neglected the protection of national security. Surprisingly, the US police found no terrorism in the above-mentioned activities. It may seem a little confusing that the investigation was conducted by Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force – a special group of the FBI dealing with questions of terrorist threat in the USA. It brings up the idea that the special group has no work to do if it started investigating criminal affairs.
Another curious situation took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. The police arrested a mentally unbalanced man, a US citizen, who made poisonous substances and stored al-Qaeda brochures. The local authorities believed that it had nothing to do with terrorism either. The police broke into the apartment of Joseph Bagley and found bomb-making equipment and al-Qaeda literature there. The FBI was attracted to the investigation of that “non-terrorist” case. Officers said that they found no evidence to prove Bagley’s links with the notorious terrorist group. They only concluded that the man was inspired with terrorists’ actions. It is not clear though how a mentally unbalanced man could get hold of Islamist literature.
Another similar incident took place in Missouri too. FBI agents searched the houses of three local Muslim community leaders, the founders of Life for Relief and Development charity foundation. It was stated that it was a criminal case, the details of which were not to be exposed. The agents withdrew a computer and several closed boxes from the house of Khalil Jassemm, the director of the fund. Another defendant said that the special services suspected the foundation of its links with Iraq before the start of the war.
On September 18 federal agents raided the office of the same foundation in Michigan. The agents seized files, cabinets, computers and copied documents from the office. Spokespeople for the Muslim community in Michigan expressed their protest and said that Life for Relief and Development was helping those in need in Iraq, Pakistan and Palestine. The fund transferred about $50 million to the war-torn countries during several years of its activities. The authorities and the FBI did not explain the reasons of the probe. It is worthy of note that agents of Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force also participated in the inspection. Were they also tracking down criminal activities only? Not likely.
To crown it all, a new al-Qaeda warlord in Afghanistan urged all US-based Muslims to leave large cities, particularly New York and Washington. The warlord said that al-Qaeda was planning a large-terrorist act in those cities with the use of weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, he said that the weapons had already been delivered to the USA. Supposedly, Osama bin Laden entrusted the terrorist operation to Adnan el Shukrijumah, a Saudi-born US citizen, a professional pilot and cold-blooded killer. The price for his capture reaches $5 million. “Our brothers are ready to strike America from within! We will destroy the US defense once again. We can strike at any moment,” the Pakistani media outlets quoted Adnan as saying. It is not ruled that those “brothers” were the people involved in the above-mentioned incidents in Michigan, Missouri and Indiana, although US authorities said that they had nothing to do with terrorism.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov