Something scary happened on Friday the 13th, but you'd hardly have noticed from the news reports.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 58-year old airport employee in a plot to carry out a suicide bombing at the city's Mid-Continent Airport.
The man, Terry Lee Loewen, was a white convert to Islam who authorities say became "radicalized" over the Internet.
Loewen planned to drive a vehicle laden with explosives onto the airport and explode it--and himself--at the terminal where hundreds of unsuspecting travelers went about their normal business.
Luckily, the FBI had intercepted Loewen and his vehicle contained only dummy explosives planted by an FBI agent that Loewen believed to be a collaborator.
This plot received a great deal of exposure on the Drudge Report, but none of the major news agencies thought it worthy of an email news bulletin--except for Fox News.
A plot like this would have stopped the presses just 15 years ago. Today, it's just another news story on a busy news day. In another week or so, very few people outside of Kansas will even remember Terry Lee Loewen's name, or that he was arrested for attempting to carry out mass murder in the name of Jihad. America is becoming desensitized to jihadi terrorism and that is unfortunate. Islamic Jihad is becoming a customary part of our everyday lives.
What is frightening about the homegrown terrorism that we've been seeing the last few years is that those terrorists--or would be suicide bombers--seem to be normal Americans.
Loewen lived in a quiet, middle class, suburban neighborhood in a modest, one-story ranch-style home. In the local newspaper The Wichita Eagle, his neighbors described him as "normal:"
Constance Reed and her daughter, Kyia, lived down the street from Loewen on the 3900 block of East Funston in southeast Wichita.
"I can't believe it," said her daughter, Kyia. "We just went trick or treating down there a month or so ago. It's a normal house, normal decorations. We saw him and his wife; both normal people."
Americans need to understand that this is the pattern--not the exception--when it comes to the homegrown Jihadist terrorists. They don't stand out--by design. In my first book Because They Hate, I discuss watching a news interview of Mohammad Atta's landlord. Atta as you recall was the 9/11 terrorist attack's ringleader. To hear the landlord describe Atta and his roommates and guests, you'd have though Atta and his roommates were Boy Scouts. The landlord got that impression because Atta cultivated that image; he knew how to blend in with suburban America and he made a deliberate effort to do so.
Mohammad Atta wasn't the only one.
Faisal Shahzad, the Jihadist terrorist who attempted to set off a bomb in Times Square in New York City on May 1st, 2010, lived in suburbia and was often seen walking his neighborhood with his two little girls.
Najibullah Zazi, who pled guilty in a plot to bomb the New York City subway system, lived a quiet life in Flushing, New York , attended Flushing High School and, for 5 years, operated a coffee and pastry cart on Wall Street, complete with a "God Bless America" sign on display.
Nineteen-year old Hosam Smadi, who was convicted in a plot to blow up a Dallas skyscraper in 2009, was described by many that knew him as "one of the nicest men they had ever met." The NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth described him in a story: "He was a mixture between wannabe gangster and wannabe rock star"... "Everybody loved Sam. He liked to hang out and have fun." Part of the fun Smadi had in mind was committing mass murder in the name of Jihad.
And I can go on and on...
Jihadist terrorists are all too often your normal next-door neighbor. They are not abnormal looking and typically do not stand out. It takes a well-informed person about the ideology of Jihad to spot the changes of behavior and ask the right questions. The problem we are facing as a society is that we have the blind leading the blind. This willful blindness is coming from the top down. From the office of the president who has purged all terms of Islamic Jihad, Jihadism, Islamic terrorism out of our national language lest we offend Muslims.
Case in point was the Boston bombing. The Russian intelligence turned in a recorded phone conversation between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother discussing Jihad to the FBI to alert them to the coming threat. The FBI didn't understand the seriousness of that conversation because, since the purge by President Obama in 2009, the FBI is taught that Jihad is basically Islamic Yoga to better yourself.
We as Americans must come to grips with the fact that we now have an enemy that is living and working amongst us. We must become educated as to their ideology and doctrine and accept the fact that they hate us because of that doctrine and ideology. It's not a pleasant thought, but whether we want to admit it or not, those are the facts and it is their reality. As a result, it has now become our reality too. It is also our national duty as American citizens to identify the threat, create an open national dialogue about the ideology of Jihad and do whatever we can to protect our citizens against it. Anything less than that would be a betrayal to all the great American leaders who came before us and gave their all to create the greatest, most powerful nation on the face of the planet.
ACT for America
P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591
This report did not contain any links to the Terry Lee Loewen arrest. One may be found at www.kansascity.com