Actually, no. Their concern was for the elusive but ever-ominous “expected backlash against American Muslims”.
According to the AP story:
The arrests renewed worries among New Jersey’s Muslim community. Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained in the months after the 2001 terror attacks, but none were connected to that plot.
“If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented scores of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks. “But when the government says ‘Islamic militants,’ it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous.”
“Don’t equate actions with religion,” he said.
Yes, we all know that the intended actions of these men had nothing to do with religion. They were animated by some other motive, perhaps a generalized hatred of the military. Or maybe they supported a rival of the Ft. Dix baseball team.
In the wake of 68,775 Muslim terrorist plots designed to kill non-Muslims, the major preoccupation of the MSM is still to make sure that the entire Islamic religion is not condemned for the actions of a mere handful of Muslims. No more than 491,203 Muslims have participated in such actions — in the last six months, that is.
Actually, my primary concern is for the role of serendipity in the thwarting of the terrorists’ plans. The AP story describes the role of the video store hero in exposing the Ft. Dix plotters:
The unidentified clerk is being credited with tipping off authorities in January 2006 after one of the suspects asked him to transfer a video to DVD that showed 10 men shooting weapons at a firing range and calling for jihad, prosecutors said.
“If we didn’t get that tip,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, “I couldn’t be sure what would happen.” FBI agent J.P. Weis called the clerk the “unsung hero” of the case.
You have to give the guy a lot of credit — if he hadn’t “profiled” the videographers, we might have seen a lot of death and mayhem at Ft. Dix.
And the terrorists? They belong to no particular group. They took a shine to Osama, and decided to try their hands at being mujahideen in the belly of the Great Satan.
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Weis said the U.S. is seeing a “brand-new form of terrorism,” involving smaller, more loosely defined groups that may not be connected to al-Qaida but are inspired by its ideology.
“These homegrown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so. They operate under the radar,” Weis said.
Think Richard Reid. Think John Allen Muhammad. Think Joel Hinrichs. Think the Sears Tower plotters. Think of all these marginal, angry, anti-social guys, already here in America, motivated by some kind of malice — but surely not by religion — and ready to kill Americans.
These guys belong to no centralized organization. They hang out in radical Islamic forums and chat rooms, read Muslim Brotherhood literature, listen to Osama Bin Laden tapes, and watch jihad snuff videos from Iraq.
And how do we find them?
Well, we have to rely on video store clerks. And alert postal service employees. And elderly married couples traveling on airplanes. And UPS delivery drivers.
Only after these ordinary folks get into the act do the police, the FBI, and Homeland Security get involved.
And if CAIR and ISNA and their allies in the United States Congress have their way, ordinary citizens like those described above will be liable to lawsuits if they tip off the authorities. How many video store clerks are willing to be sued if they report their suspicions to the feds?
And how many of these bad dudes will simply go undetected?
Let’s face it: these particular jihadis were pretty stupid. They took an incriminating video into a public business to get it transferred to DVD. What were they thinking of? They must not have gotten past Chapter Two in the Al-Qaeda training manual.
The smarter mujahideen are still out there, not using their real names to buy ammonium nitrate, not getting their snuff photos developed at Fotomat, and not trying to buy TracFones by the gross at Wal-Mart.
And if the Muslim lobbying groups and their friends in the Washington nomenklatura have their way, nobody will be allowed to observe and report such people to the authorities without the possibility of being bankrupted by a CAIR lawsuit.
And that will make these animals even harder to find.