FBI Investigating Radical Terrorists in All 50 States as Threats Hit Peak

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly / Getty Images

Robert Spencer has a very good comment on this article. I’m wondering why the word “radical” needs to be used as a qualifier for  the word terrorist.

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April 18, 2017:

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike “each and every single day.”

The FBI has “open terrorist investigations in all 50 states,” according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 “ISIS-linked plots to attack our country” since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

Kelly, in his first wide-ranging public address on the threat of terrorism in America since taking office, warned that America’s borders remain wide-open and that there is evidence terror-linked individuals are exploiting these national security weaknesses and entering the United States.

“We don’t know their intentions,” Kelly said during an address at George Washington University. “We don’t know why they’re here or why they’re coming. We are completely blind to what they’re capable of.”

Terrorist also continues to sprout inside American communities across the country, according to Kelly, who said that in just the past year, there have been “36 homegrown terrorist cases in 18 states.”

“We’ve seen an unprecedented spike in homegrown terrorism,” Kelly disclosed. “These are the cases we know about—homegrown terrorism is notoriously difficult to predict and control.”

Terrorists in the United States are plotting attacks “every single day,” according to Kelly.

“I tell you, without exaggeration, they try to carry out this mission each and every single day and no one can tell you how to stop it. No one,” he said.

The United States, he continued, is “under attack” from a wide variety of bad actors, including “failed states, cyber-terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals.”

“And we are under attack every single day,” he said. “The threats are relentless.”

Those who slip over the border undetected, including criminals and potential radicalized terrorists, pose an unparalleled threat to the country.

“We don’t get to vet them,” Kelly said. “We don’t know their intentions. We don’t know they’re here. They slip into our country unnoticed, living among us, and we are completely blind as to what they are capable of.”

These threats just scrape the surface of the danger posed to America by terrorists inside and outside of the country, Kelly said.

“This is all bad news, but it gets much worse,” he explained. “Experts estimate that perhaps 10,000 citizens of Europe have joined the caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Thousands more are from nations in Asia, Africa and the Western Hemisphere. They have learned how to make IEDs, employ drones to drop ordnance, and acquired experience on the battlefield that by all reports they are bringing back home.”

These highly trained terrorist fighters are likely to return to their countries of origin and “wreak murderous havoc” across Europe, Asia, and the United States, among other countries.

America lacks the ability to properly vet these individuals when they attempt to enter the country, according to Kelly, who warned that scores of radicalized individuals are trying each day to enter America.

“Many are citizens of countries in our Visa Waiver Program, they can more easily travel to the United States which makes us a prime target for their exported violence,” he said.

The threat to America “has metastasized and decentralized, and the risk is as threatening today as it was that September morning almost 16 years ago,” Kelly warned.

“We are under attack from terrorists both within and outside of our borders,” he said. “They are without conscience, and they operate without rules. They despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction.”

Report: Homegrown Terrorism is Top Threat to UK

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, March 7, 2017:

  • “The threat to the UK remains from homegrown terrorism, and is heavily youth- and male-oriented with British nationals prevalent among offenders.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “The increased prevalence of smaller cells and individualistic offending, suggests a rise in terrorism cases that feature shorter lead times to offending and fewer opportunities for identification.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “While analysis of pre-offense behaviors shows that there is no one profile for engagement with Islamism-inspired terrorism, some trends can be identified. Offenders commonly consumed extremist and/or instructional material prior to, or as part of, their offending. Much of the pro-jihadist material accessed promotes ‘them and us’ thinking, dehumanization of the enemy, and attitudes that justify offending.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).
  • “Analysis of common sites of inspiration and facilitation appears to corroborate current counter-radicalization policy priorities such as restricting terrorist and violent extremist material on the internet, supporting at-risk sectors and empowering families to safeguard against extremism.” — Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015).

Homegrown terrorism inspired by the Islamic State poses the dominant threat to the national security of the United Kingdom, according to a comprehensive new report on violent Islamism in Britain.

The 1,000-page report — “Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015)” — was published on March 5 by the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank based in London.

The report, authored by terrorism researcher Hanna Stuart, identifies, profiles and analyzes all 269 Islamism-inspired terrorism convictions and suicide attacks in the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2015.

The report also compares data between 1998 and 2010, a period when al-Qaeda reached its zenith, and 2011 and 2015, the period following the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the uprisings known as the Arab Spring, and the rise of the Islamic State in 2014.

The report shows that young British males were the most prevalent offenders, but that involvement by British females nearly tripled in recent years.

The report found little to no correlation between involvement in Islamic terrorism and educational achievement and employment status. In addition, most of the offenders were based in London and Birmingham, and a majority were living at their family homes with parents, siblings, spouses and/or children. “These findings challenge common stereotypes of terrorists as well-educated and middle-class or as isolated loners,” according to the report.

While most offenders were raised as Muslim, one in six was a convert. Three-quarters of offenders were previously known to the authorities; one-quarter had a previous criminal conviction. One in five offenders received terrorist training abroad or engaged in combat prior to arrest.

The report cites the internet as a major source for the inspiration of offenders. At the same time, most offenders belonged to wider networks, formed in person and online, with friends and families. Only one in ten offenses was carried out by someone who acted entirely alone and had no extremist connections.

“The increased prevalence of smaller cells and individualistic offending, suggests a rise in terrorism cases that feature shorter lead times to offending and fewer opportunities for identification,” the report warns.

The report’s main findings include:

  • The overwhelming majority (93%) of Islamism-related offenses (IROs) were committed by males. Females accounted for 4% of IROs between 1998 and 2010 and 11% of IROs between 2011 and 2015 — an increase of 175%.
  • IROs were carried out by individuals between the ages of 14 and 52 years. Forty-six percent of 2011–2015 offenses were committed by individuals aged under 25, a small increase from 42% for 1998–2010 offenses. The most common age ranges overall, and across both time periods, were 21–24 and 25–29.
  • Seventy-two percent of IROs were committed by British nationals or individuals holding dual British nationality. There was almost no difference between the earlier and later time periods (72% and 71% respectively).
  • More than half (52%) of IROs were committed by individuals of South Asian ancestry, i.e., British-Pakistanis (25%) and British-Bangladeshis (8%). Other offenders had family ties to countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
  • Forty-seven percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were born in the UK. More than a third (38%) of those born outside of the UK or of unspecified birthplace were raised (at some point before the age of 18) in the UK. As a result, 67% of IROs were committed by individuals who were either born or raised in the UK.
  • London was the place of residence of 43% of IROs, followed by West Midlands, with 18%. Of the latter, 80% (14% overall) were in Birmingham. The third most common region was North West England, with 10% of IROs. Together these three regions contained the residences in almost three-quarters (72%) of cases. No other region contained 10% of residences.
  • Across both time periods, East London was home to half (50%) of London-based offenders, while the three most common boroughs — Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest — contained the offenders’ residence in 38% of all Londoner IROs (and 16% overall).
  • Just over a quarter (26%) of individuals who committed IROs had some form of higher education. More than a third (36%) had studied for or achieved secondary level, further education or vocational qualifications, while in 38% of cases, attainment is unspecified.
  • Thirty-five percent of IROs were committed by individuals in employment; a further 12% were full-time students. Therefore, almost half (47%) of IROs were committed by those in either employment or education.
  • Thirty-eight percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were unemployed. Of these, almost one-quarter (24%, 9% overall) were in or had recently been released from detention or had recently left full-time education or returned from months-long foreign travel.
  • Sixteen percent of IROs were committed by individuals known to have converted to Islam. This is more than four times higher than the estimated proportion of converts among the Muslim population at the national level.
  • More than half (55%) of IROs were committed by individuals either living with family, such as with a partner and/or children (28%), or living at their family home, such as with parents and siblings (27%).
  • One in five IROs (21%) was committed by an individual whose living arrangements and family circumstances were additionally linked to terrorism or a terrorism investigation. In 55% of these cases, individuals were convicted alongside relatives and/or a partner or they were part of the same cell.
  • Female offenders were more than twice as likely as male offenders to be living with a partner, relative or individual who is also involved in terrorism (50% and 19% respectively).
  • Seventy-six percent of IROs were committed by individuals who were previously known to the authorities; 38% were committed by individuals with previous criminal convictions. More than a third (36%, 9% overall) of previous convictions were for extremism- or terrorism-related activities; almost half (46%, 12% overall) of individuals with prior convictions had previously received a prison sentence.
  • A total of 386 charges were successfully prosecuted in 264 convictions between 1998 and 2015. The most common offenses were preparation for acts of terrorism (27%) and possession/collection of information useful for terrorism (14%), followed by fundraising offenses (8%), dissemination of terrorist publications and conspiracy to murder (both 6%) as well as conspiracy to cause explosions and assisting offenders (both 5%).
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of IROs were secured under terrorism legislation; just over half (54%) of defendants pled guilty. 2011–2015 defendants pled guilty (64%) more often than 1998–2010 defendants (47%).
  • The most common sentence was between one year and four years (35%), followed by sentences of between four years and ten years (27%), between ten years and 20 years (15%), and life sentences (13%).
  • Of the 33 individuals with a life sentence, 30 attempted or planned to kill others, either in indiscriminate bomb attacks or targeted knife attacks, and received minimum terms ranging from 14 years to life.
  • Individuals who committed, attempted or were planning attacks were responsible for 37% of IROs. Among these offenses, bombing was the most commonly featured type of attack (74%). Proportionally, offenses involving beheadings or stabbings increased eleven-fold across the two time periods, from 4% between 1998 and 2010, to 44% between 2011 and 2015.
  • Individuals involved in facilitating acts of terrorism, either by fundraising or recruiting or by providing material goods or documentation, or ideologues who encouraged terrorist acts through incitement or by disseminating terrorist publications, were responsible for one-third (33%) of IROs.
  • Individuals who demonstrated an interest in terrorism, but whose plans were not advanced enough to pose an imminent threat were responsible for 18% of IROs.
  • Individuals whose offenses related to travel (attempted or planned) for terrorist purposes, namely to receive terrorist training or to engage in fighting overseas, were responsible for 12% of IROs. Travel-related IROs increased four-fold across the two time periods (from 5% to 21%).
  • Civilian targets were a feature in one-third (33%) of offenses. Infrastructure sectors and institutions, mostly transportation, were a feature in just under one-third (32%) of offenses.
  • Urban soft targets (areas into which large numbers of citizens regularly gather for usual activities or special events) were among the intended targets for attack in 31% of offenses. Military targets both overseas (including British or coalition forces) and at home (military bases and processions as well as soldiers) were a feature in almost a quarter (24%) of offenses.
  • A total of 117 IROs were committed by individuals directly linked to one or more proscribed terrorist organizations. Of these, 56% were directly linked to the UK-based group al-Muhajiroun (25% overall), 24% were linked to al-Qaeda (10% overall) and 11% were linked to Islamic State (5% overall).
  • One fifth (22%) of IROs were committed by individuals who were known or suspected to have attended training camps for terrorist purposes; the majority (78%) were not. Of those with training, most (78%) had trained at camps abroad, 19% had trained at UK-based camps, and in two cases (3%) the location was unspecified.

The report concludes:

“The threat to the UK remains from homegrown terrorism, and is heavily youth- and male-oriented with British nationals prevalent among offenders….

“While analysis of pre-offense behaviors shows that there is no one profile for engagement with Islamism-inspired terrorism, some trends can be identified. Offenders commonly consumed extremist and/or instructional material prior to, or as part of, their offending. Much of the pro-jihadist material accessed promotes ‘them and us’ thinking, dehumanization of the enemy, and attitudes that justify offending….

“Analysis of common sites of inspiration and facilitation appears to corroborate current counter-radicalization policy priorities such as restricting terrorist and violent extremist material on the internet, supporting at-risk sectors and empowering families to safeguard against extremism.”

On May 22, 2013, British soldier Lee Rigby (right, holding his son) was murdered outside London’s Woolwich Barracks by Islamists Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale, who are converts to Islam. Speaking into a camera just after the murder, Adebolajo said: “we swear by the almighty Allah, that we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone… You people will never be safe.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him onFacebook and on Twitter.

House Report: ‘Unprecedented Spike’ in Homegrown Terror Threat

Homeland Security Committee

Homeland Security Committee

Breitbart, by  Edwin Mora, February 9, 2017:

The 2017 terrorism forecast for the United States and the rate at which Americans are being radicalized at home is “alarming,” according to a monthly assessment by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Citing an “unprecedented spike in the homegrown terror threat, primarily driven by the rise of” the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the House panel’s Terror Threat Snapshot for February warns that, “at this rate, the forecast for 2017 looks alarming.”

“Authorities continue to track a high number of homegrown terror plots in the United States, and the number of cases since 9/11 is nearing a historic milestone: There have been nearly 200 total homegrown jihadist cases in the United States since 9/11 (the figure currently stands at 193), a majority having taken place in just the past few years,” points out the House report.

The monthly assessment attributes the alarming rise in the terror threat to the pressure ISIS is facing “in its key safe havens,” noting that the jihadist organization’s “external operations plotting appears undiminished.”

According to the report, there have been at least 39 homegrown jihadist plots or attacks across 19 U.S. states since the beginning of 2016.

In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey predicted that, as ISIS came close to defeat in its home turf of Iraq and Syria, the number of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other Western countries would increase.

Echoing Comey, Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement:

I am very encouraged that the Trump Administration is preparing to put greater pressure on jihadists in their safe havens throughout the world. But as they do, we can expect to see militants returning to the West to build new networks and to plot more deadly operations. I look forward to working with the new Administration on shutting down terror pathways in America. We must also remain vigilant here at home, because Americans are being radicalized at an alarming rate.

The Terror Threat Snapshot notes that the jihadist threat against Europe has also increased dramatically.

“European nations are moving forward with counterterrorism reforms designed to cope with the surging terror threat,” points out the assessment. “Yet despite improvements, the continent still suffers from major security weaknesses that make European countries more vulnerable to attack and put U.S. interests overseas at risk.”

Since 2014, there have been at least 166 ISIS-linked plots or attacks against Western targets, including 69 in Europe, 36 in the U.S., and 61 targeting Westerners outside those two regions.

The U.S.-led war against ISIS began in 2014, soon after the group announced the establishment of its now shrinking caliphate.

In the assessment, the House panel also notes that al-Qaeda and its ally the Taliban remain dangerous after more than 15 years of U.S.-led war against the terrorist groups.

“The Taliban threat has proven resilient and powerful in Afghanistan. According to an Afghan Defense Ministry official, the group is responsible for nearly 19,000 attacks throughout the country in just the past 10 months,” states the assessment. “Throughout that time, however, Afghan National Security Forces only carried out approximately 700 counter-insurgency operations.”

U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that a few thousand more U.S. troops would help break the current “stalemate” with the Taliban.

“We remain very focused on the defeat of al-Qaeda and its associates, as well as the defeat of Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan,” he added. The U.S. declared war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2001.

Belgian Attacks Horrific, But Expected

jihadi tweetby IPT News  •  Mar 22, 2016

As shocking as this morning’ssimultaneous terror attacks at Belgium’s airport and in its Metro system may be, they show the disturbing depth of the terrorist infrastructure which was allowed to take root in the European Union capital’s back yard.

A series of police actions reportedly are underway targeting elements of that infrastructure. It’s a safe bet that some of those raids will be in Molenbeek, a Brussels suburb.

It has been dubbed “Europe’s terrorism capital.” Saleh Abdeslam, the key surviving player in November’s horrific attacks in Paris, was arrested in Molenbeek Friday. Police were thanked by a hail of bottles, stones and other debris by locals more loyal to the terrorist than the land that gave them refuge.

Authorities “don’t have control of the situation in Molenbeek at present” and said the authorities needed to “clean up” the area, said Interior Minister Jan Jambon.

In raids last week, authorities found an ISIS flag, a book about Salafism, a sizable cache of weapons, indicating more attacks were in the works. They just didn’t realize how close to completion those plans were.

The Paris attacks were planned in Molenbeek – three of the attackers grew up there – and the resulting investigation last November prompted officials to place the entire country on lockdown, fearing attacks like Tuesday’s in Brussels were imminent.

“We were fearing terrorist attacks, and that has now happened,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium said Tuesday.

Belgian Muslims have left Europe to join the Islamic State in greater numbers per capita than any other country. It is so pervasive, Buzzfeed reports, that Belgian law enforcement admits being overwhelmed by the volume of open terrorism investigations.

Their challenge is compounded by the depth of Islamist radicalization which has taken root in Molenbeek, as Friday’s violent reaction to Abdeslam’s arrest shows.

“There is a sort of clannishness in the area that is stronger than anything else,” Claude Moniquet, a former intelligence agent now with the European Centre for Strategic Intelligence and Security in Brussels, told London’s Telegraph.

***

Police: Islamist Motivation in Canadian Recruitment Center Attack

Ayanle Hassan Ali, a 27-year-old man accused of stabbing at least one Canadian military member Monday, allegedly told police after the assault, "Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to come here and kill people," Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said Tuesday.

Ayanle Hassan Ali, a 27-year-old man accused of stabbing at least one Canadian military member Monday, allegedly told police after the assault, “Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to come here and kill people,” Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said Tuesday.

IPT, by Abha Shankar  •  Mar 15, 2016

A top police official has alleged an Islamist motivation in Monday’s attack on a military recruitment center in Toronto.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at a press conference Tuesday morning that Ayanie Hassan Ali, the 27-year-old accused in the case, said, “Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to kill people” during the attack.

Saunders also said Ali was taken to a mental hospital but appeared “non-responsive” when questioned.

A bulletin issued to members of the Toronto Police Service following the attack cautioned officers against “potential sympathizers or lone-actors” and asked them to “maintain heightened vigilance for suspicious behavior.”

U.S. intelligence officials say similar concerns have reached the United States military, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has learned. For the past several months, soldiers have been told to remove their uniforms when they are off base.

Ali, the suspect in Monday’s attack, was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto in 2011. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. News reports said Ali walked into the recruiting office Monday afternoon and stabbed a master corporal behind the counter. He was subsequently subdued by other soldiers but managed to stab another soldier in the ensuing scuffle. Both soldiers suffered non-fatal injuries.

Ali, who is expected to appear in court today, is being investigated for radical connections both nationally and overseas.

***

After Canadian soldiers attacked in Toronto, police chief condemns “Islamophobia” by Brian Lilley at The Rebel Media:

Toronto police have now charged Ayanie Hassan Ali with multiple counts of assault following Ali’s attack on a Canadian Armed Forces recruitment centre that left two injured.

I applaud Toronto Police Chief Mark Sanders for quoting Ali’s alleged remarks during the attack: “Allah told me to do this.”

However, Sanders quickly backtracked and went on to condemn “this Islamophobia nonsense,” meaning, he didn’t want reporters or the public “categorizing a whole group of people,” that is, Muslims, based on this incident.

Obviously there should be no backlash against Muslims, but why is it that we always hear more about these potential “backlashes” than about any real ones (since those rarely seem to materialize)?

 

Left-Wing Extremist Joins Islamic State

Ciccolo / Northumberland News

Ciccolo / Northumberland News

Washington Free Beacon, July 13, 2015:

The FBI arrested the son of Boston police Capt. Robert Ciccolo in a counter-terrorism operation conducted to prevent an Islamic State-inspired plot.

ABC reported Adam Ciccolo was arrested on July 4 after he purchased four guns from an undercover FBI informant. The 23-year-old was a recent convert to Islam and went by the name Abu Ali al-Amriki.

Ciccolo previously participated in the “No More Fukushimas” Peace Walk in 2012.

“It has been proven time and time again that humans do not have the capability to control the long-term effects of nuclear power,” the left-wing group said in a statement. “Nuclear power is not sustainable from environmental, human rights, or economic standpoints.”

“Nuclear power and nuclear weapons for years have crippled societies. Native American societies, Asian societies, Middle Eastern, all of them are affected by nuclear weapons and nuclear power,”Ciccolo told a local paper. “All of us are affected by it. If we don’t stop using them then we’re not going to be able to live on this earth anymore.”

Despite his “peace” protest of nuclear bombs, the FBI found that Ciccolo was building a bomb of his own to use against Americans.

Bomb-making equipment, notes titled “jihad” and “attack planning papers,” partially constructed Molotov cocktails, and a “variety of chemicals” were found in his apartment. He reportedly told the FBI informant that the chemicals would “stick to people’s skin and make it harder to put the fire out.”

The FBI alleges Ciccolo originally planned to launch an attack on both civilians and U.S. military and law enforcement personnel before changing his focus to a state school cafeteria where he planned to broadcast the execution of students live on the Internet. Ciccolo told the FBI informant he was inspired by the Tsarnaev brothers’ use of pressure-cooker bombs.

Ciccolo’s father was one of the first responders to the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. The police captain warned authorities that his estranged son “was going off the deep end.” He also warned his son was “spouting extremist jihadist sympathies.” The younger Ciccolo praised IS terrorist attacks and decried America to the FBI cooperating witness.

Ciccolo is expected to be in a Springfield, Mass., court on Tuesday.

Inside The ‘July 4th’ Terror Busts

1435975410011.cachedDaily Beast, by Michael Daly, July 3, 2015:

A pair of extremist groups, growing increasingly volatile. A double holiday—Independence Day and Ramadan. The FBI felt it had to pounce before things got out of hand.
As the Fourth of July neared, the White House and FBI headquarters decided to shut down two ISIS-inspired terror cells that appeared to be ratcheting up towards attacks, a senior law enforcement official told The Daily Beast.

This year’s Fourth of July was particularly worrisome because it comes during the Muslim holiday Ramadan, which ISIS has declared to be a time when jihad is all the more imperative.

“No acts of worship are equal to jihad, and jihad in Ramadan is not matched by jihad in other months,” ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said recently.

If you have been paying attention to the news in recent days, you have heard talk about a July the Fourth threat; CNN, in particular, has gone wall-to-wall with it. We are going from lone wolves to lone wolf packs and the increasing danger presented by cells like these two—combined with the obvious symbolism of Independence Day—goes a long way toward explaining the heightened alarm.

The more serious threat at the approach of this double holiday appears to have come from a cell based in the New York area that is said to have been researching the construction of pressure cooker bombs, complete with timing mechanisms.

Such bombs were used with devastating effect at the Boston Marathon and officials worried that the New York cell might seek to do the same in the crowds that gather for the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

The criminal complaint filed against one member of the New York cell, 20-year-old Munther Omar Saleh of Queens, suggests that he may have been taking orders directly from ISIS. He referred to ISIS as “dawla”—Arabic for the “state”—when communicating with a confidential informant.

“I’m very sorry, but I was ordered by dawla officials not to talk to anyone,” Saleh said, according to the criminal complaint.

The other cell that worried officials as the holiday approached was comprised of two men from Boston and a third from Rhode Island. The three allegedly plotted at one point to behead anti-Muslim agitator Pamela Geller in New York.

One of the trio, 26-year-old Usaamah Rahim of the Boston area, obtained a 9-inch fighting knife on May 27, followed three days later by a second Marine fighting knife and a 13-inch “Spec Plus” fighting Knife, all via Amazon.com.

On May 31, Rahim met with a fellow Bostonian, 25-year-old David Wright, and 24-year-old Nicholas Rovinski of Providence on a deserted Rhode Island beach. Rovinski had originally connected with them through Facebook. His call to arrange the huddle was recorded by authorities.

“Like I said, I’ve been wanting to meet up with you to discuss some important aspects that I think you might, you might enjoy,” Rovinski said.

“Oh, that sounds so wonderful,” Wright replied.

Wright then had texted Rahim, saying that Rovinski “wishes to speak on some juiciness.”

“LOL,” Rahim replied.

The three allegedly stood in a rainstorm and discussed beheading Geller in New York.

At 5 a.m. on June 2, Rahim was recorded telephoning Wright to announce that he had decided not to join the “vacation” to the Big Apple. He suggested that he would instead be going after police officers close to home.

“I can’t wait that long, I can’t wait that long man,” Rahim said according to the complaint. “I’m going to be on vacation right here in Massachusetts… I’m just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue. ’Cause, ah, it’s the easiest target and, ah, the most common is the easiest for me.”

Rather than let the scheme play out any longer, the FBI and the Boston police approached Rahim on the street later that same day.

“Rahim took out one of the knives he had purchased from Amazon.com when he saw the officers and agents,” the complaint notes. “One of the officers told Rahim to drop his weapon and Rahim responded, ‘You drop yours.’ Rahim moved towards the officers while brandishing his weapon, and he was shot by law enforcement.”

The authorities scooped up Wright within hours and Rovinski ten days later. The two were charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.

Down in New York, the local Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) prepared to shut down what appeared to be developing into a significant bomb plot.

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