Two stories. Two reactions. Two opportunities to learn.
A South Carolina teenager was charged Friday with trying to hop a plane to join ISIS overseas — less than a year after he was paroled in another case with terrorism overtones.
Zakaryia Abdin, 18, was charged in federal court with support of a terrorist organization after being picked up at the Charleston airport. There were scant details about the case in public court documents and no indication of any plot to carry out attacks in the U.S.
A police chief and a defense lawyer confirmed to NBC News that Abdin is the same teen who was accused as a minor in 2015 of plotting to kill soldiers in the U.S. and wage jihad overseas. However, he was not charged with a terrorism offense then and pleaded guilty to a state gun charge.
MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — One man is facing charges after he struck an officer for attempting to restrain him following a commotion in Muncie.
It happened just before 2 p.m. Saturday inside a Goodwill store when officers were responding to a call for a fight.
Upon arrival, officials found 24-year-old Khalid Bilal confronting store employees.
According to reports, Bilal then went on to break an officer’s hand after an attempt to place Bilal into custody.
Bilal was later tased after charging another officer that arrived on scene. After the tasing, the officer was eventually able to corral Bilal into handcuffs. The suspect then began to kick the officer repeatedly with both legs, causing authorities to shackle his legs.
Reports stated that Bilal was yelling “Allah Akbar” throughout the ordeal.
One customer told 24-Hour News 8 she was scared for her life. She was inside the store shopping with her three children when she heard a man screaming at the front.
“A guy had become very irate and was screaming at one of the employees and then grabbed him by the collar and start pushing him and screaming are you scared,” said Chasity Fraley, customer.
“He was just so full of rage and violence I never seen anything like that before,” Fraley added.
Not sure what was going on, Fraley said she began moving her kids.
“We moved to a different aisle… so I could take my kids away from the situation because they got very scared at that point and then I heard him say ‘I’m going to kill everyone in here,”’ she said.
That’s when Fraley says a female employee stepped in trying to calm the man down.
“With her, she kinda used a softer tone with him at first, ‘let’s talk about this, what’s the matter can we take it outside,’” Fraley recalled.
But out of nowhere, she said the man attacked that employee.
Lesson learned? You can’t change them. You can either eliminate or contain them to their part of the world. Their culture and the religion that sprung from it is four thousand years old. There is nothing we can do to help.
Conservative Review puts a finer point on it.
A jihadist attacks individuals in the public square of a Western town.
The media refuses to provide a description of the attacker, reporting only the weapon he used.
A physical description of a man of African, South Asian, or Middle Eastern descent leaks out in the ensuing hours.
Law enforcement authorities deliver a press conference confirming the attacker’s Islamic name and stating that at this time, his motive is unclear.
Rumors on social media percolate about the man screaming “Allahu Akbar.”
Mainstream reporters ask local Muslim community leaders and neighbors about the attacker. They express universal shock, describing him as a decent man who might have been rough around the edges but never showed signs of being a terrorist. The man came from a middle-class family, liked playing video games with friends, and by all accounts lived a normal existence. Toward the end of the stories, those close to the attacker note that he had grown increasingly devout in recent years.
Bloggers begin to research and quickly find that the attacker was a member of a mosque led by an imam who had been recorded preaching hatred and violence toward the West. The attacker posted violent verses from the Quran and railed against the “Crusaders’” wars in the Levant on social media pages captured by screenshot before they were taken down. It emerges that he had spent months in the Middle East during recent years.
Several days later, law enforcement authorities report that the attacker in fact appears to have been a terrorist. But he had no direct ties to IS or Al-Qaeda, so there is no reason for alarm.
Politicians plead with the public that this man perverted one of the world’s great religions – Islam, “the religion of peace” – and that his acts were “non-Islamic.” They urge us all to come together in a shared belief in tolerance and diversity. Love trumps hate. Lone wolves are a fact of life, and their efforts only underscore the need for community engagement to “counter violent extremism.”
How many times are we in the West going to see the above script play out before something changes?
Past behavior an indicator of future performance? Too long.