Number of Islamic Terror-Related Arrests in 2015 Surpasses Previous Two Years Combined
Last month I reported here exclusively at PJ Media on the rapidly escalating number of Islamic terror-related arrests this year, noting that we were on pace to surpass the number of arrests for 2013 and 2014 combined (48) before the halfway point of the current year next week.
In fact, that is exactly what has happened. At present 53 suspects have been arrested or involved in Islamic terror-related incidents with law enforcement since the beginning of the year.
This is top among reasons why Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said just a few days ago that this is "the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country."
Here are the additional cases since I reported last month, beginning with the most recent:
June 22: Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, of Morganton, North Carolina, was charged with attempting to materially support ISIS and two related weapons possession charges. According to local press reports, the teen intended to attack a bar or concert, and then kill as many as 1,000 victims. DOJ press release. Complaint.
June 19: Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi aka Robert C. McCollum, 38, of North Olmstead, Ohio, was arrested for attempting to provide material support to ISIS, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and trafficking marijuana. Media reports indicate that Al-Ghazi had been known to the FBI since December 2012 due to his social media activity, and that in June 2014 he pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook posting. FBI press release. Complaint.
June 17: Fareed Mumuni, 21, of Staten Island, New York, an associate of Topaz, was arrested for attempting to repeatedly stab an FBI agent investigating his role in a possible domestic terror plot. In court documents, prosecutors said that "Mumuni espouses violent jihadist beliefs and is a fervent supporter of (ISIS)." Complaint.
June 13: Munther Omar Saleh, 20, of Queens, New York, an associate of both Topaz and Mumuni, was arrested for plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb at a New York City landmark in support of ISIS. He was arrested when he and another man lunged at a law enforcement surveillance vehicle that had been following his movements. According to the complaint, Saleh was active on social media, saying in September 2014 that Al-Qaeda was becoming too moderate, and expressing his praise for the Charlie Hebdo attack in January and the attempted attack in Garland, Texas, last month. Complaint.
June 11: Akmal Zakirov, 29, an Uzbek national, was charged as the fifth member of a Brooklyn-based cell to materially support ISIS. Specifically, Zakirov had assisted in helping others plan to travel to Syria to join ISIS. DOJ press release. Indictment.
June 11: Nicholas Rovinski aka Nuh Amriki, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested for conspiracy to obstruct an investigation and conspiracy to materially support ISIS related to his role in an ISIS-inspired domestic terror plot with two Boston-based associates. FBI press release. Complaint.
June 10: Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem aka Decarus Thomas, of Phoenix, Arizona, was indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in the attempted Garland, Texas, terror attack by his associates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, in early May. According to the indictment, Kareem had taken the pair shooting, supplied weapons to Simpson and Soofi, and hosted a gathering in his home to discuss the Garland "Draw Muhammad" event. He is accused of later lying to FBI agents after Simpson and Soofi were killed during the attempted attack. In a subsequent hearing in the case, the FBI said that Kareem had discussed attacking the Super Bowl. Indictment.
June 10: Reza Niknejad, 18, of Prince William County, Virginia, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad. He was charged in abstentia since he traveled to Syria in January to join ISIS. The charges were announced in conjunction with the plea agreement reached with one of his conspirators, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin. DOJ press release.
June 2: Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, of Roslindale, Massachusetts, was killed in a confrontation with FBI agents and a Boston police officer after lunging at them with a large, military-style knife. The FBI wanted to speak to Rahim about his intended plan to kill police officers. One of Rahim's conspirators, David Wright aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 25, of Everett, Massachusetts, was arrested later that same day and charged with obstructing justice in the investigation. Wright and Nicholas Rovinski were later charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. FBI press release. Initial Wright complaint.
May 27: Leon Nathan Davis, 37, of Augusta, Georgia, was charged with trying to aid ISIS. The charges appear related to his October 2014 arrest at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and weapons charges filed in February. FBI press release.
May 26: Asher Abed Khan, 20, of Spring, Texas, was charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. As I reported here at PJ Media, Khan planned to travel to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS, but was lured back home by his family who lied and told him that his mother was dying. Khan apparently made it onto the FBI’s radar when his social media messages turned up in another investigation. According to the criminal complaint, one of Khan's friends was successful in leaving the country and joining ISIS in Syria. FBI press release. Complaint.
It should be noted that every single case I've reported on here involves support for ISIS. This is undoubtedly the result of a directive from FBI headquarters for its field offices to "shake every tree" following the attempted terror attack in Garland, Texas, in early May, much to the bureau's credit.
Last week Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that small-scale ISIS attacks should be expected on July 4th, amidst an active hunt for ISIS supporters by the FBI ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. But with rising support for ISIS here and abroad, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be sufficient.
Regardless, I'll continue to provide updates on the Islamic terror-related arrests as 2015 looks to be an unprecedented year in domestic terrorism.