FBI Arrests ISIS Operative in Maryland
Mohamed Yousef Elshinawy, an American citizen living in Edgewood, Maryland, was arrested by the FBI on Friday on charges of providing material support to the Islamic State. Elshinawy, 30, allegedly received nearly $9,000 from the terrorist group, promising his contacts that he would use the money for “operational purposes.”
According to the FBI’s complaint, the burgeoning jihadist planned to carry out an attack similar to the one in Garland, Texas, where terrorists took aim at a Draw Mohammed cartoon contest. In addition to the material support charge, Elshinawy is being slapped with additional charges of lying to federal agents about money transfers and concealing evidence from the FBI.
The feds say Elshinawy used some of the money to buy electronics such as a laptop and phones. They were not able to track down all of the cash, though they are operating under the assumption that he used some of it to pay for various personal expenses.
Elshinawy maintains his innocence, telling the FBI that he was never going to actually go through with an attack. In fact, he apparently offered to go undercover and help the federal government track the ISIS money trail. Considering his current predicament, we can guess that the FBI declined this generous offer.
If recent reports (to say nothing of the inescapable tragedies) are anything to go by, this has apparently become the new normal in the United States. Whether these jihadists come from Pakistan or get radicalized over the internet, the sick ideology preached by ISIS is spreading far and wide across Western civilization. And while we can accuse President Obama of not doing nearly enough to put the terrorist army into the afterlife, the fact remains that we’re dealing with something much more insidious than a single entity. This is a dangerous system of beliefs that is apparently all too attractive to a certain segment of the Muslim population.
As we saw with the terrorists in San Bernardino, the FBI won’t always be there to stop these plots before they end in bloodshed. Counter-terrorism experts can downplay the idea of another 9/11 all they want, but it’s become abundantly obvious that no one really knows where this is going or where it might ultimately end.
Can it be any surprise, then, that gun stores are reporting record-breaking sales in the wake of this terrorist resurgence? It’s not just about Obama’s failure to confront this threat and it’s not just about his rhetoric on gun control, though those are both likely contributing factors. It’s the American people realizing that this is a threat unlike anything this country has ever faced. Even the greatest national security president on the planet can’t stop every lone wolf who decides that his god wants him to kill innocent people.
But a citizenry that is prepared, armed, and ready can at least – potentially – hinder their ability to do it without resistance.