Muslim-American Terror Arrests and the Role of the FBI

As I wrote here, there are statistics for the yearly number of Muslim-American terror arrests in the U.S. and they have been declining, not rising.

The statistics are compiled every year by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy.

I was just re-reading the report for 2012 published in February, 2013, in which there were 9 plots (14 arrests), and was struck by the role of the FBI in the arrests. We all knew the FBI is fond of stings, but the details are telling: [More...]

These are the 9 cases for 2012:

  • Sami Osmakac Tampa, FL. Plot to bomb sheriff's office and businesses Early Trial pending
  • Jamshid Muhtarov Aurora, CO. Attempt to join terrorists in Pakistan Early Trial pending
  • Amine El-Khalifi Alexandria, VA. Plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol. Early Pled guilty
  • Adel Daoud Chicago, IL Plot to bomb a bar. Early Trial pending
  • Henry Dewitt McFarland III, Brownsville, TX. Threatened to bomb university. Early Trial pending
  • Sohiel Omar Kabir, Riverside, CA. Attempt to join terrorists in Afghanistan. Early Trial pending
  • Ralph Deleon, Miguel Santana, Arifeen Gojali and Raees Alam Qazi, Oakland Park, FL. Plot to bomb unspecified location in New York Early Trial pending.
  • Sheheryar Alam Qazi and Abullatif Aldosary, Casa Grande, AZ. Explosion at Social Security building No Trial pending
  • Mohammad Abukhdair and Randy Wilson, Mobile, AL. Attempt to join terrorists in Mauritania. Early Trial pending

In 2011 and 2012, there were no deaths there were no fatalities or injuries from Muslim-American
terrorism. 8 of the 9 plots were foiled early, before anything happened.

Since 9/11, a period of 11 years there were 33 deaths due to Muslim-American terrorism. By contrast, there were 180,000 murders in the U.S. during this period.

None of the 2012 suspects had been to terrorist training camps overseas.

There were few ethnic common denominators in the 2012 cases:

The suspects came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: four were Arab-American, two were South Asian, two were white converts to Islam, two
were East Asian converts to Islam, and one each were Afghan, Kosovar, Uzbek, and a Latino convert.

As to citizenship:

Sixty-four percent of the 2012 suspects were
U.S. citizens, as compared with 67 percent of
all cases since 9/11. Two suspects were
refugees (Abdullatif Aldosary from Iraq and
Jamshid Muhtarov from Uzbekistan.)

The decline has been even steeper when it comes to providing material support for terrorism:

The number of Muslim-Americans indicted for
support of terrorism -- financing, false
statements, and other connections with
terrorist plots and organizations -- fell even
more dramatically than terrorist plots, from 27
individuals in 2010 to 8 in 2011 and 6 in 2012,
bringing the total to 467 since 9/11.

On to the role of the FBI in the 9 cases: Informants and undercover agents instigated almost all of them.

  • Undercover FBI employees provided Sami Osmakac in Tampa and Adel Daoud in Chicago with inert
    car bombs.
  • An FBI informant used a debit card to pay for plane tickets for Ralph Deleon,Arifeen Gojali, and Miguel Santana, who allegedly sought to join a terrorist organization in Afghanistan
  • An FBI informant used a credit card to pay for plane tickets for Mohammad Abukhdair and Randy Wilson,who allegedly planned to join a terrorist
    organization in West Africa.
  • FBI employees encouraged El-Khalifi and
    provided him with a jacket containing mock explosives.
  • FBI informants sold Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi a laptop computer that they used to research explosives and religious justification for suicide missions.

These are the cases from 9/11 to 2012:


  • Hesham Hadayet, Shot Israeli airline personnel, Los Angeles, California. 2 fatalities, (plus himself)
  • Charles Bishop, Flew plane into office tower, Tampa, Florida 0 (plus himself)
  • John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, “Beltway Snipers,” metropolitan Washington, D.C. area; 11 fatalities


  • Mohammed Taheri-Azar, Ran over students with rented SUV, Chapel Hill, NC, 0 fatalities
  • Naveed Haq, Shot workers at Jewish center, Seattle, Washington, 1 fatality


  • Sulejmen Talovic, Shot people at shopping center, Salt Lake City, UT. 5 fatalities (plus himself)


  • Tahmeed Ahmad, Attacked military police at Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL, 0 fatalities
  • Abdulhakim Muhammad, Shooting at military recruitment center, Little Rock, AK, 1 fatality
  • Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood shooting, TX, 13 fatalities


  • Faisal Shahzad, Times Square car-bomb, New York City, 0 fatalities


  • Yonathan Melaku, Shot at military buildings in northern Virginia, 0 fatalities


  • Abdullatif Aldosary, Allegedly detonated explosive at Social Security office in Arizona, 0 fatalities

The report concludes:

Muslim-American terrorism dropped for the
third year in a row, resulting in no injuries or
fatalities in 2012. Fourteen Muslim-Americans
were indicted for plotting terrorist violence,
and another six were indicted for support of
terrorism. Almost all of the plots became
known to law enforcement at an early stage,
before weapons or explosives were gathered.

Given these numbers, it is beyond absurd that our politicians are talking about curtailing more of our freedoms and increasing electronic and other means of surveillance on all of us.

The fear of Muslim-Americans is so overblown one has to wonder what motivates it. The obvious answer: nothing more than bigotry.

The FBI should return to the purpose for which it and other law enforcement agencies were founded: to investigate completed crimes. They have done a dismal job when given expanded authority to engage in intelligence activity in an attempt to prevent future crime. I have always said tearing down the wall between intelligence and law enforcement (which began in earnest with the Patriot Act) was a bad idea. I'm now convinced of it.

< Disabling Video Auto-Play (A How-To) | Thursday Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I wonder how much of Big Brother's budget (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:37:43 AM EST
    is devoted to detecting online grumbling.

    I thought (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:02:52 AM EST
    about that too.

    Don't know the answer.


    Probably... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:23:53 PM EST
    have an agent assigned to Talkleft fulltime, maybe even got 'em working in shifts.

    To (none / 0) (#12)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:06:34 PM EST
    tell you the truth, sometimes I do consider whether expressing my opinion is worth the risk...

    Repression. (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:44:19 AM EST
    Given these numbers, it is beyond absurd that our politicians are talking about curtailing more of our freedoms and increasing electronic and other means of surveillance on all of us.

    The fear of Muslim-Americans is so overblown one has to wonder what motivates it. The obvious answer: nothing more than bigotry.

    The way I see it, exploiting fear of Muslim-Americans and Muslims in general is not only bigotry in action, but also the most current means of curtailing our freedoms. Curtailing our freedoms is the goal. Fear is the means.

    Some years ago, it was Communism.
    The FBI infiltrated everything in sight. Scared everyone. Artists and writers silenced.
    Today, Islam.

    To me, there is an obvious connection between our actions in countries with a Muslim population, reigning death upon them on a virtually daily basis, our treatment of Muslim prisoners, our alliances with the less-than-savory heads of state - and the creation of people who wish to do us harm.

    That doesn't seem to enter the picture - that changing our behavior might result in making us safer.

    So, it seems obvious to me that the goal of the government is to repress us, not to protect us.

    AP scrubbed the part about 9/11 truth from this (none / 0) (#4)
    by MsAnnaNOLA on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:27:11 PM EST
    I read this article when it first came out. They must have changed it because it said something very specific about how he believed the U.S. Government was responsible for 9/11. So I guess any one who reads about how 9/11 was a government operation must be a terrorist, naturally.


    So what we have here... (none / 0) (#13)
    by unitron on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:17:48 PM EST
    ...it said something very specific about how he believed the U.S. Government was responsible for 9/11.

    ...is a Muslim terrorist who doesn't believe Muslim terrorists get the credit for 9/11?

    The mind boggles.


    If it holds to be true (none / 0) (#15)
    by f2000 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 02:17:51 AM EST
    that at least one of them (tamerlan?) was partially motivated by his anger that many view Islam as violent, then it seems to me that his 9/11 trutherism would be consistent with his own personal logic.

    please put your urls in html format (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    long ones skew the site and I can only delete the comment I can't edit it. See our comment rules and use the link button at the top of the comment box or at least a tiny url.

    I did not see that...Sorry Jeralyn I don't know (none / 0) (#9)
    by MsAnnaNOLA on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:52:03 PM EST
    how to do that.

    Here ya go.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:35:56 PM EST
    cuz Jeralyn will have to delete.

    MsAnnaNOLA's link

    Others instruct better than me, but basically don't paste the link in the comment box.  Instead type a word or phrase, highlight it, hit the chainlink button, paste the link in the box that pops up, hit ok, post your comment.


    Easy method for embedding url's: (none / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:42:52 PM EST
    In your TL comment: highlight the words you want to have as your hyperlink.

    Go to the url you want (let's just use TL's), highlight it and hit "copy"

    Go back to your TL comment, and in the little boxes above the comment box, click on the one that looks like a link.

    Paste the url into the box that appears and click "OK."

    Preview your comment to see if your link is live - I usually right-click on it and open it in a new window just to make sure it worked.


    What works at one site... (none / 0) (#17)
    by unitron on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:48:10 AM EST
    ...isn't necessarily going to be what some other site will accept, and vice versa, but if you comment in places plagued with the WordPress.com software, this article may be of use.

    This is an easy way as well... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:13:34 PM EST
    [open with the symbol to the left then type whatever you want here then insert your url and close with this symbol]

    Then hit Preview.  If all is okay hit Post.


    We've had enough Bushes in the White House.


    For once... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:56:06 PM EST
    I've got to agree with Babs.

    Actually, I think the Founding Fathers... (none / 0) (#18)
    by unitron on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:51:26 AM EST
    ...may have been on to something with the whole "let's not have a ruling dynasty" thing, and although we seemed to have gotten through the two Adams'es thing okay, I think evidence from the past few decades indicates we shouldn't push our luck.