Nine individuals alleged to have given material aid to the Islamic State group were arrested in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of northern Virginia, according to The Washington Times.
The Times reported the arrests on Monday, although the nine individuals were named in a bulletin sent out by the Northern Virginia Regional Intelligence Center in a message to police marked “law enforcement sensitive.”
“Such reports are designed to help state and federal agents recognize trends in the types of individuals who are influenced by the Islamic State’s message and how they communicate across terrorist networks,” The Washington Times said.
“They included a police officer, a Starbucks barista, Army soldiers, bankers and a cabdriver. Four of the nine graduated from northern Virginia high schools, one with honors. Two attended Northern Virginia Community College,” they added.
The nine were accused of promoting propaganda to recruit for the Islamic State group, which is based in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps most notable is that not all of them appeared to have been your usual terrorists, as the names of the accused included Heather Coffman and Nicholas Young.
One of the individuals — Reza Niknejad — traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group and was charged in absentia. Seven of the nine pleaded guilty to their charges. One, police officer Nicholas Young, was awaiting trial.
“These nine arrests highlight once again that Islam is not a race: It’s a global political system of societal control bound by law, Islamic law, with some associated religious practices, that is achieved by conquest and maintained by force, not by consent of the governed,” Middle East expert Claire Lopez told WND.
“Nor is devotion to Islam limited to those of less education, lower economic status, or lack of opportunity. In fact, quite the opposite is often true, as with these would-be jihadis for the Islamic State.”
“Local police are in a particularly difficult situation,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired officer who is a researcher on the threat of extremist Islam. “They face a severe challenge by Islamists operating in the shadows of our open society. These mostly young male Muslims become radicalized either by Islamist imams at some of the thousands of mosques across America, at school, or over the ever-present internet sites that spew anti-West, anti-Christian hatred.”
A scary thought indeed, and one that residents of the nation’s capital need to be on guard for.
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