In today’s Star Tribune Stephen Montemayor takes a look at recently unsealed FBI search warrants in ongoing Minnesota terrorism investigations. Here is the opening of his story:
The former Edison High School theater student had changed his Facebook name to “Mujahid Ibrahim Abu Tuabah.” He wrote reverently of four Twin Cities friends who had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and boasted that the terror group “will never be defeated.”
Asked online if he was ready for jihad himself, he paused: “I have to make my faith stronger if I want to die as a martyr,” the Minneapolis 19-year-old wrote, likely unaware that he was corresponding with an undercover New York officer.
Two years later, he is still in Minneapolis and, according to interviews and court records reviewed by the Star Tribune, one of at least a half-dozen Minnesotans at the center of ongoing FBI investigations into ISIS support.
The cases include a 35-year-old father of four allegedly enlisted to help edit a popular ISIS propaganda magazine, a Sauk Rapids hacker reported to the FBI by fellow hackers troubled by his boasts of jihadist connections, and a south metro jujitsu instructor who helped rationalize suicide attacks for a man since convicted on terrorism charges in Indiana.
More than a year after the federal government completed its landmark prosecution of 11 young Twin Cities men — the largest terrorism conspiracy case ever charged in the United States — the records show that the FBI is still probing the possibility of homegrown terrorists in the state.
We have a serious problem in Minnesota. It is augmented every day by the continuing stream of Somali Muslim immigrants to Minnesota along with the growing infrastructure of mosques and Islamist organizations. Open discussion of the problem is stigmatized and suppressed as symptomatic of “Islamophobia.” Montemayor’s article is a useful reminder that the problem isn’t going away. It is, rather, something like a clear and present danger.