Southwesterners Safe From Radical Islamic Terrorist Says FBI
SOUTHWESTERNERS FEEL UNEASY
The news of a Muslim compound located in Amalia, New Mexico (NM), came as a surprise to the American public, especially to many south westerners who believe that the threat of radical Islamic Terrorist is beyond the southwest. As a southwesterner, one wonders what would possess a radical Muslim to set up a compound (terrorist training camp) in NM? Or far worst; could a devastating terrorist attack occur in the southwest?
In Santa Fe, NM, close to Taos and Amalia, NM, it is estimated to have 450 Muslims which is 0.3 percent of the city’s population. Iman Ibrahim Habch runs the Masjid Al-Rahma mosque in Santa Fe, where approximately 200 people greet one another in celebration. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales promulgated that Santa Fe is a place for refugees,
“fleeing the world’s most oppressive and most violent places and looking to our country to honor the promise engraved on the Statue of Liberty,”
however, New Mexico governor Susana Martinez opposes the idea to accept a limited share of Syrian refugees fleeing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
SHERIF SEARCH NM COMPOUND
Local Santa Fe authorities, for two months, had their eye on the compound but had no probable cause to search it. Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe decided to raid the compound when they received a message for help, thus giving authorities the impetus of probable cause to explore. Sheriff Hogrefe discovered five adult individuals and children in the compound. The Sheriff stated that the FBI told him that the men were “extremist of the Muslim belief.” In an FBI document from Eric Velez-Villar, assistant director, directorate of intelligence, FBI, states that the FBI will share as much information as possible with local authorities, according to Executive Order 12333. It brings one to wonder if the FBI did share any domestic intelligence collected by FBI, with Sheriff Hogrefe, that the compound was a possible terrorist threat before the raid?
OTHER COMPOUNDS EXIST
According to the National White Collar Crime Center, approximately 22 to 35 Muslim compounds exist in the United States. Also, “covert training compounds” exist in Colorado, Houston-Texas, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Tennessee. Here is a list of white-collar crimes used to support terrorist activities in these compounds:
- Identification fraud
- Money laundering
- Credit card fraud
- Bank fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Investment fraud
- Immigration fraud
- Intellectual property crime
- Tax fraud
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Stealing rental property
- Stealing information
With a large number of compounds in this country, is the FBI monitoring their every movement?
COMPOUNDS ARE BEING MONITORED
The FBI is monitoring Jamaat ul-Fuqra and the Muslims of America (MOA), according to Ryan Mauro, the national security analyst at the Clarion Project. He added that FBI records appear to make no distinction between Jamaat ul-Fuqra and MOA since the group refers to itself by both names in internal communications. According to the Clarion Project report, Jamaat ul-Fuqra was listed as an active terrorist group whose
“Members have purchased isolated rural compounds in North America to live communally, practice their faith, and insulate themselves from Western culture.”
CONSPIRACY THEORY SAYS MEDIA
To ease the mind of the American public, The Washington Post, stated in an article that ‘terrorist training camps’ in America are just a conspiracy theory. According to the Post, the Islamberg (national headquarters of Muslims of America) located in New York, the Mahmoudberg, near Sweeny, TX, and Islamville, in South Carolina; are not ‘terrorist training camps.’ The Post assures the readers that such ‘terrorist training camps’ do not exist and Americans ought to feel safe because a conspiracy theory has been fuel in large part to running the gauntlet of Internet publicity and amateur sleuthing.
FEDERAL PREVENTION AGENCIES
The FBI has assured Americans that they are on top of possible terrorist attacks and training camps by implementing initiatives and strategies which support engagement, communication, coordination, and cooperative efforts with law enforcement, intelligence, public and private agencies. Initiatives such as Office of Partner Engagement (OPE), Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) and National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) will collaborate their efforts to keep Americans safe. Let’s hope that these agencies understand the importance of sharing information between federal and local law enforcement authorities.
Perhaps we as Americans should take comfort that the FBI and local law enforcement are diligently working together to drastically mitigate the threat of future terrorist attacks from radicalized Muslims. We certainly must do our part in reporting suspicious actions related to terrorism and nefarious activity, as well demand much from our government and news media to advance a counter-terror strategy. As President George W. Bush stated on November 6, 2001,
“No group or nation should mistake America’s intentions: we will not rest until terrorist groups of Global reach have been found, have been stopped, and have been defeated.”