News & Politics

The Jihad Plot Against New York City You Heard Nothing About

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

“Let it be clear, I am against America. America is my enemy.”

This was written in an online chat by a man in Texas, Jaylyn Christopher Molina, who has been charged with conspiring with another American, Kristopher Sean Matthews of Elgin, South Carolina, to commit “Netflix worthy” terror attacks at Trump Tower and the New York Stock Exchange, which they thought would gain them “rock star status.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed Thursday that white supremacists were the biggest terror threat the country faced: “Within the domestic terrorism bucket, the category as a whole, racially motivated violent extremism is, I think, the biggest bucket within that larger group. And within the racially motivated violent extremist bucket, people subscribing to some kind of white supremacist-type ideology is certainly the biggest chunk of that.”

With antifa and Black Lives Matter burning down city after city and threatening and intimidating Americans on an increasingly frequent basis, while white supremacist terror has been conspicuously absent, Wray’s assessment was curious in the extreme and ignored not just the obvious threat from the Left, but the ongoing terror threat from the stalwart allies of antifa and BLM: Islamic jihadists.

After all, antifa and Black Lives Matter would do nothing but applaud the desire of Matthews and Molina to “hit government centers.” They could have been antifa operatives when they talked of hitting the headquarters of the CIA, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Molina wrote: “We need to stick together, we need to defeat them, we need to take a lot of casualties, a lot of numbers.” Matthews stated: “I would hit places like that to send a message.” Would an antifa member have stood up and told them that they must not talk that way, but stick to peaceful protest?

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According to the legal complaint against the pair, Molina “also described attacking communications centers and plans to ‘fortify a town barrier and establish the first bases or establish a HQ.’” Did they learn that from antifa’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle?

Meanwhile, both Molina and Matthews are apparently converts to Islam: post-conversion, Molina began calling himself “Abdur Rahim” and Matthews went by “Ali Jibreel.” They both pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), discussed traveling to Syria to join up with the jihad group, and even tried to make contact with an ISIS operative who would help them get there. Molina pursued his jihad online, posting instructions on how to train to handle an AK-47 along with directions on how to build a bomb.

This raises a question that has come up many times before, but has never been answered: why do so many converts to Islam come to hate their own country? Nor are Matthews and Molina by any means the first Americans converted to Islam to try to join ISIS. Spc. Hasan Edmonds, a Muslim member of the U.S. Army National Guard, was arrested in 2015 at Chicago’s Midway Airport; he had been planning to join the Islamic State. His cousin, Jonas “Yunus” Edmonds, was arrested as well. They had allegedly been plotting a jihad attack against a U.S. military facility – making Hasan Edmonds the latest in a long line of people who convert to Islam and then turn traitor.

Is it just a coincidence that so many converts to Islam come to regard the country in which they were born and raised, the land of their families and forefathers, as an enemy? Or is there some connection?

Hasan Edmonds clearly believed that his new religion required a shift of his allegiance. “I am already in the American kafir [infidel] army,” he told an informant in January, “and now I wish only to serve in the army of Allah alongside my true brothers.”

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Other American converts to Islam who have turned traitor include Sgt. Hasan Akbar, an American engineer from the 101st Airborne Division, who murdered Captain Christopher Scott Seifert and Major Gregory Stone, wounding fifteen others in a grenade and small-arms attack in northern Kuwait on March 22, 2003. As he committed his murders, he yelled: “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.”

Yet Akbar was not Iraqi or Kuwaiti. He was an American from Los Angeles. But when he became a Muslim, any allegiance he may have had to America was gone. Likewise al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn and the Marin County Mujahid, John Walker Lindh, both of whom converted to Islam and ended up waging war against the country of their birth on behalf of its enemies.

All the major Muslim organizations in the U.S. condemn ISIS. So why, when Jaylyn Molina and Kristopher Matthews converted to Islam, did they fall prey to its supposedly twisted and hijacked understanding of Islam? Why wasn’t the peaceful, tolerant, true Islam that everyone assumes converts to Islam are taught in mosques in the U.S. able to withstand a challenge from the supposedly un-Islamic vision of ISIS? Why aren’t the mosques they attended being investigated? Why am I the only person in the country asking these questions?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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