Was the decapitation last month of Colleen Hufford in
Yet on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Scott Pelley had the first major television interview with FBI Director James Comey, and failed to ask him that very question that has been the topic of so much discussion. While Pelley talked around the subject, Comey, perhaps inadvertently, provided a revealing answer.
Pelley set up his question
with this narration: “The FBI is investigating whether the murder [in
Then he asked, “Some people call individuals who are radicalized, ‘lone wolves.’ Is that the biggest threat we face?”
Comey replied: “If people use that term, it’s not one I like because it conveys a sense of dignity I don’t think they deserve. These homegrown violent extremists are troubled souls who are seeking meaning in some misguided way and so they come across the propaganda and they become radicalized on their own. Sort of independent study and they’re also able to equip themselves with training, again through the Internet and then engage in jihad after emerging from their basement.”
While Comey was, in effect, acknowledging this heinous act by Alton Nolen, also known as Jah’Keem Yisrael, as an act of jihad, reports and interviews with members of his family suggest it is more likely that Nolen was radicalized in prison than through the Internet. Nolen was released early after serving just two years of a six-year sentence for crimes that included assaulting a police officer and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute,
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough
made waves on September 29th when he accused the FBI of
dismissing the suspected attacks by
Scarborough was reacting to
Representative Frank Wolf
(R-VA) has written the Department of Justice, and the “resigning” Attorney
General Eric Holder, in particular, urging them to investigate Nolen’s actions
as terrorism. “It has been reported that over the past two years Nolen was
becoming radicalized,” he writes. “…it is more important than ever for you to
make clear to the department’s agents and attorneys that this is, in fact,
terrorism and to determine whether this or other plots are part of an effort by
the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or al Qaeda to radicalize Americans
and direct attacks in the U.S. Whether the Nolen investigation ultimately shows
that he communicated directly with terrorists abroad or was independently
inspired by the recent
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry
claimed soon after the
The media are asking questions about how to approach this case, but Harris-Perry’s approach reflects the liberal, leftist bent of the Obama administration, and the ultimate conclusion of the mainstream media. Harris-Perry, in turn, connected the association of Islam with the beheading—which Nolen has now freely admitted he perpetrated—as right-wing agitation, not a simple observation of facts.
Alton Nolen’s Facebook page
had pictures of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, beheadings by the Islamic State,
and celebrations of the
affidavit shows that Nolen traveled home “for the sole reason to retrieve a
large-bladed knife” and returned with it in his shoe. And
according to a KWTV-9 news anchor, “Murder suspect
But the FBI’s conclusion that this constitutes workplace violence, plain and simple, strains credulity.
So did the federal
government’s treatment of Nidal Hisan. Hasan’s attack on
It is therefore logical for leaders such as Rep. Wolf, as well as interested citizens, to question whether Nolen has contacts within the radical Islamist community—or whether he was simply inspired by their propaganda.
Nolen posted a picture of himself on Facebook in front of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, and apparently posed with his fingers in a way that is associated today with the Islamic State.
Breitbart News draws an association between Nolen and Suhaib Webb, a radical Imam who was previously the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City mosque and now is the Imam at the “the sister organization of the mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.” Webb apparently was a “known confidant of Al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki,” according to FBI documentation, reports Breitbart.
But those who attend the
Islamic Society of Greater
“One fact is clear. Nolen did visit the main mosque in Oklahoma City,” Jolly reports. “A picture on his Facebook page shows him standing inside the front entrance flanked by two men and holding up his index finger in a gesture that has become associated with Islamic State militants.”
The worshippers were “quick to distance themselves from the photographs,” writes Jolly. They say things like “I remember him being here and I remember him asking for the photo to be taken” and “I know the men standing on either side of him. But they didn’t know Nolen. They thought it was strange he asked for a photo.”
Jolly also quotes
The Washington Post, in discussing the “debate” over what to call the beheading in Oklahoma, has also concluded that the Oklahoma attacks don’t necessarily fit the definition of terrorism—or that, at least, terrorism is a relative term. “The debate regarding how we define such situations recurs from time to time,” casually comments Post reporter Mark Berman. “The FBI, it should be noted, defines terrorism as something that seems meant to intimidate a civilian population or affect the actions of a government,” he writes. “Of course, the FBI also says that ‘there is no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism,’” he continues.
“Another way some experts
define terrorism is anything that targets innocent civilians,” writes Berman. He
quotes terrorism analyst J.M. Berger as saying, “One of the problems with an
inconsistent definition of terrorism is basically, if a Muslim does it, it’s
terrorism and if a white guy does it, it’s not… If the guy in
Steve Emerson, who heads the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said on Fox News recently that the Department of Justice “has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year,” and that it “put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland.”
The Washington Examiner reports that a new policy from the Department of Justice, expected within weeks, will ban counter-terror investigators from “undercover operations in mosques or other religious institutions unless there is reason to believe criminal activity is going on there.”
Let’s get this straight:
And, if that black Muslim man beheads a non-Muslim white woman while shouting Islamic phrases, and is known to admire a terrorist like Osama bin Laden, is federal law enforcement just supposed to assume his motivations were mainly due to the fact that he was having a bad day at work, and investigate him accordingly? Let’s call it what it is. This is political correctness run amok.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.