It was two years ago today that the joy and merriment of the Boston Marathon was shattered by two explosions which resulted in the deaths of three people and injured hundreds many of whom lost limbs. Boylston Street would be cordoned off for more than a week.
The Tsarnaev brothers were not done there. With plans to travel to New York City and attack Times Square, they ambushed a MIT police officer, carjacked a Chinese national, threw IEDs at authorities, nearly killed an MBTA police officer before Tamerlan Tsarnaev lost his life. Dzokhar Tsarnaev would be taken into custody and last week was convicted in federal court on all 30 counts. The jury will begin determining whether he should spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed on April 21st, a day after this year’s Marathon.
Even if Tsarnaev no longer poses a threat we still face the danger of Islamic extremists planning attacks on American soil.
In January, an Ohio man named Christopher Lee Cornell (a.k.a. Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) was arrested for planning to “wage jihad” by attacking Capitol Hill with pipe bombs and assassinating public officials and government employees.
Earlier this month, two New York women Noelle Velentzas and her former roommate Asia Siddiqui were arrested for planning to build explosive devices for attacks on U.S. soil. Velentzas stated she wanted to “make history”. Siddiqui fancies herself as a poet and so does a magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Her poem featured prose such as, “I have work to do. Mistakes to correct, time to make up/No excuse to sit back and wait- for the skies rain martyrdom.”
And then this past Friday, federal authorities arrested a Kansas man named John T. Booker, Jr. for plotting to detonate a car bomb at Fort Riley. Booker was inspired by the Fort Hood attacks. You know the one that the Obama Administration called “an act of workplace violence.” Booker had attempted to join the military but came to the attention of the FBI with Facebook postings such as “Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush!!”
On one hand, we can praise federal authorities for staying one step ahead of these jihadists and saving countless lives. On the other hand, however, it is only matter of time that one or more of these jihadists eludes or is otherwise overlooked by federal scrutiny and commits yet another heinous attack. How many Tsarnaevs are out there?
The biggest problem of all is that we have a growing segment of American Muslims, some of whom were naturalized citizens like the Tsarnaevs or those born in this country who have converted to Islam, who are prepared to kill their fellow Americans in the name of their religion. But as long as President Obama claims that ISIS isn’t Islamic, that we are not at war with Islam even if a critical mass of it is at war with us and that Muslims anger is rooted in legitimate grievances which can be overcome with “jobs for jihadists”, these plots will continue unabated and eventually there will be another successful attack on American soil.