Jihadist Serial Killer? Ho Hum!

If a jihadist were going around the United States committing random murders, you might think it would be a significant news story. But apparently not: until this morning, I had never heard of Ali Muhammad Brown, a “devout Muslim” who murdered at least four random American men as an act of Islamic jihad. The story has actually been around for a while; this article from a local paper in New Jersey is dated August 21, and the murders occurred well before then: Accused killer says Livingston teen’s murder was ‘vengeance’ against U.S.:

Ali Muhammad Brown

Ali Muhammad Brown


The man accused of gunning down a Livingston teenager in his car earlier this summer told investigators the murder was an act of retribution for U.S. military action against Muslims in the Middle East.

According to court documents filed Wednesday in Washington state, where he is accused of killing three other men, Ali Muhammad Brown said he considered it his mission to murder 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin as an act of “vengeance” for innocent lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. …

Brown, 29, also confessed to killing the other men, all of whom, like Tevlin, were shot multiple times in isolated areas late at night. He described the murder as a “just kill” – carried out against an adult male who was not in the company of any women, children or elderly persons, court papers said.

Prosecutors say Brown is a devout Muslim who had become angered by U.S. military intervention in the Islamic world, which he referred to as “evil.”

Brendan Tevlin

Brendan Tevlin

The New Jersey victim, Brendan Tevlin, was a 19-year-old college student who was shot, randomly, while stopped at a red light. Brown was accompanied by three other men at the time of the murder; no word yet on whether they are also devout Muslims. Brown has a long criminal history that includes a prosecution for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in 2004. Authorities believed that Brown and 13 other men were using the bank fraud scheme to finance terrorist groups overseas, but were never able to prove where the money went, so Brown pled guilty to a single count and was released in 2005. So it is reasonable to infer that he has been a jihadist for a long time.

One might think that a serial killer who committed four murders (that we know of) in the name of Islam would be a significant news story, and, to be sure, a few outlets have covered it. Michelle Malkin in the New York Post, for one–the exception that proves the rule, one might say–and the L.A. Times did an article in August. For the most part, however, it appears that the story has been consigned to local news in Washington and New Jersey. Maybe Brown didn’t kill enough people, or kill them in the right city. Remember when John Muhammad–coincidentally, a man with a similar name–was terrorizing Washington, D.C. a few years ago? That got plenty of publicity.

Still, if you didn’t know better, you might think that national news outlets are leery of linking the words “serial killer” and “devout Muslim.” If Brown had told authorities he was a Tea Party member, I am sure we would have heard a lot more about him.

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