A Muslim who live-streamed a Christian conference on Facebook while reportedly carrying a gun and a Quran was arrested last week on a charge of terrorism. He posted a series of videos on Facebook and after the conference he reportedly filmed from the car, suggesting the Christians at the conference should be scared.
“With each brandishing of the five weapons, including two assault rifles, he would say ‘be scared’ or ‘be terrified,'” Brannon Howse, a Christian author and radio host, said in a Facebook post. “Ask yourself if a white ‘Christian’ did this at a Muslim conference would he be arrested or charged?”
In initial reports, police said 45-year-old Ehab Abdulmatta Jaber would not be charged. “He had a lot of guns with him, but he wasn’t breaking any laws,” Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens told KDLT-TV. “He didn’t threaten anybody directly. He didn’t threaten any groups of people, anything like that, and it’s not illegal to carry guns or have guns with you.”
On Friday, however, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that Jaber had been arrested and “charged with one count of terrorist threat, class 5 felony, punishable by up to 5 years in the state penitentiary and/or $10,000.” Police also reported having searched the man’s residence and having seized firearms as well as methamphetamine.
According to Jackley’s statement, Jaber “was observed to have been videotaping an ongoing event with his cell phone and carrying a handgun.” After the threatening man “was escorted out of the event,” he was later “found to be live streaming terrorist threats to the public and brandishing a number of firearms and ammunition.”
CBN News reported that the incident involved the Worldview Weekend rally, an April 9 conference addressing the “the extreme dangers of Islamic teaching.”
Pastor Sharam Hadian, an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity, and Howse spoke to a crowd of about 500 men, women, and children. Both speakers told the Capital Journal, a South Dakota newspaper, that they were not anti-Muslim, but were concerned by those who use Islamic teaching to promote violence.
Jaber reportedly filmed the conference via Facebook Live while carrying a Quran and a handgun. One of the event’s off-duty police officers noticed him and asked him to stop filming the conference (the event’s rules forbad it). When the officer asked his name, Jaber reportedly identified himself as “John Smith, the Muslim John Smith.”
The Muslim then left the event and posted two more Facebook Live videos of himself in a car parked outside the conference. He reportedly pulled out several weapons and told the camera to “be scared” and “be terrified.” He also reportedly taunted Christians in a speech laced with profanity.
Jaber was one among 70 conference protesters, and he wore a shirt printed with the message “I am an American, I am a Muslim, I open carry, and conceal carry.”
When asked why he filmed the event, the Muslim replied, “Because I can. Because I am an American citizen.”
“There’s a lot of people out there who are going to think that because I’m Muslim I shouldn’t have that right, but tough,” Jaber said. “Build a time machine, go back in time and change the Constitution and we’ll talk about it then.”
Threatening viewers with a firearm, inside and outside a religious event, might be seen as an act of terrorism, and South Dakota’s attorney general seems to have seen it that way. How will Jaber defend himself now?
Click “Load More” to see the video of Jaber saying, “Be scared, be f**kin’ terrified.”