Fundamentalist Muslims who espouse violent jihad come from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They also seem to exist virtually everywhere. The last point is highlighted by a recent arrest made by federal authorities of a North Carolina man from Fayetteville on federal charges of having a stolen firearm.
The 19-year-old appeared in a U.S. District Court to enter a guilty plea to the federal crime gun charge as part of a guilty plea agreement. It seems that the federal charges regarding a stolen firearm to which he pled are really incidental to uncharged accusations that lie behind the arrest. The 19-year-old teenager has been promoting the idea of violent jihad to one or more federal informants for the past year.
The federal crime gun charge curries with up to 10 years imprisonment. In an affidavit filed by an FBI agent, the offender is reported to have said that Islam will soon rule the world and non-believers are guaranteed 'hell fire.' He's also accused but not charged with plotting a scheme to commit armed robberies to obtain money for weapons.
The sting that got him arrested involved buying what he was told by an informant was a stolen handgun. Agents had removed the firing pin from the gun. He was arrested shortly after buying it. Uncharged statements by the offender included one thing he said when driving by Fort Bragg with the informant.
He said he'd like to go in and observe the movements of the soldiers in case he had to bring jihad against them. He also saw a military helicopter and said he wished he had a stinger missile to shoot it down. He also told the FBI informant that the most efficient way to kill the enemy would be to wear an explosive vest and blow yourself up for Allah.
The plea agreement on the federal charges between the North Carolina FBI office and the offender seem appropriate and realistic. Although his jihadist statements are fearsome in the light of events of the past few years, they are mostly ideas and opinions. It appears that the 19-year-old was doing a lot of venting, but taking little action. But it's also understandable that authorities would not want to let a potential powder keg go free.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "NC man pleads to buying gun for terrorist jihad," Michael Biesecker, May 14, 2013