Michelle Malkin noted two important stories today, on each of which I have some additional observations.
First, a Muslim convert named Michael Wagner was arrested on Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs, Iowa. In his car, police found “a gun, three bulletproof vests, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a flight simulator and a bag of flight manuals dating to 2001.” In addition, Wagner had a five-foot telescope attached to camera equipment, night-vision goggles and a night-vision rifle scope. The goggles and the scope were hidden in a hollowed-out computer. Along with the small arsenal were “books written in Arabic, including the Koran, along with hundreds of pages printed from the Internet on the Iraq war and terrorism.”
Wagner was traveling with his wife; the news story linked to above does not disclose their destination. When the Wagners were left alone in the police cruiser, a tape recording released by the police indicates that they schemed to murder the arresting police officers.
It appears obvious that Wagner intended to commit sniper-style murders along the lines of the killings by John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, who terrorized the Washington, D.C. area last year. An under-publicized fact about Muhammad and Malvo is that they were Muslim converts who idolized Osama bin Laden and intended their murders to advance the cause of Islamic terrorism. We termed them free-lance Islamic terrorists who were inspired by, but probably had no real connection with, al Qaeda.
Michael Wagner is likely in the same “free-lance” category, even though he told investigators that he “knew of activities and people involved in al-Qaida and Taliban.” But just as Osama bin Laden inspired John Muhammad, it seems likely that Muhammad and Malvo inspired Michael Wagner.
The second story appears even more significant: On July 19, a woman named Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed was arrested at an airport in McAllen, Texas, en route to New York. Federal authorities obviously consider her a major catch. She was on a watch list, is believed to have entered the U.S. as many as 250 times, and authorities say that “capturing this woman could be comparable to the arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11.” So there is obviously something going on here, and, given Ahmed’s intended destination, it may well involve the Republican National Convention.
Ahmed entered the country illegally by slipping across the Rio Grande. Michelle, who is probably our leading authority on immigration issues, links to the Tombstone Tumbleweed, which quotes Border Patrol field agents to the effect that “a flood of middle-eastern males have been caught entering the country illegally east of Douglas, Arizona.”
There is no information as to whether Farida Ahmed crossed the Rio Grande in Arizona, which is quite a distance from McAllen, Texas. However, located much closer to the Douglas, Arizona thoroughfare, through which a “flood” of illegal Middle Eastern immigrants have entered the country, are the native lands of the Tohono O
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