Three men, two in Brooklyn and one in Florida, have been arrested as two of them were about to depart for Turkey to join ISIS. Their names are Abror Habibov, Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov; Juraboev and Habibov are from Uzbekistan, while Saidakhmetov is from Kazakhstan. Saidakhmetov is a legal permanent U.S. resident. Habibov entered the U.S. legally, but overstayed his visa.
As has usually been the case with domestic would-be terrorists, these three don’t seem very formidable. They talked about hijacking an airplane and assassinating President Obama, but seemingly had little ability to carry out any but the most primitive attack. The authorities have been tracking them since August 2014.
Attorney Adam Perlmutter, who represents Saidakhmetov, claimed that the arrests reflect badly on the government:
“This case really makes us question the federal government’s approach…to young Muslim men in America,” he told reporters. “They are very ham-fisted tactics. There is no attempt to intervene, to speak, to explore, to understand. There’s just the rush to prosecution, to arrest, and to conviction.”
Maybe that will change if Hillary Clinton becomes president and follows through on her pledge to “empathize” with our enemies. For now, I think the rest of us are happy that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are eavesdropping on suspicious characters and tracking them on the internet, which, apparently, is how these particular ISIS recruits were caught.