As Americans, Muslim Americans have the same vested interest in preventing terrorism as any other fellow citizen. In fact, since 9-11 woke all of us (muslim and non-muslim alike) to the reality of terrorism against our homeland, American muslims have arguably borne a greater responsibility in preventing attacks. That is a responsibility that the muslim community has accepted and has faithfully upheld.
Ever since 9-11, accusations against muslim Americans have been made that we do not “condemn” terrorism. In fact, we have been doing better than condemning it – we have been actively preventing it, in cooperation with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies. We are the first line of defense. Here is the proof: a list of domestic terror plots from October 2001 to January 2012 where muslim informants helped prevent the attack and helped prosecute the perpetrators:
October 2001: The conviction of “Portland 7” case was substantially helped after a local police officer encountered the suspects engaged in target practice. The police officer was sent to the area after a local citizen notified police he heard gunfire.
September 2002: Members of the “Lackawanna 6” are arrested. FBI first becomes aware of their activities in June 2001 when a local Muslim community member tips off the FBI.
April 2003: A citizen notifies local police after he mistakenly receives a suspicious package sent by anti-government terrorist William Krar. The tip-off starts a Federal investigation eventually leads to Krar’s arrest and the discovery of small arms and chemical weaponry.
June 2003: FBI receives two tips from community members notifying them “military-style training” being conducted suspect by Ali Al-Tamimi. The tips start an investigation leading to the arrest of the “Paintball 11” in Northern Virginia.
August 2004: James Elshafay and Shahwar Matin Siraj are arrested largely based on the controversial use of an informant in the investigation. However NYPD were first notified of Siraj after a Muslim community member anonymously notifies New York police about consistently troubling rhetoric coming from the suspect.
February 2006: Muslim community members in Ohio provide information help into arrest and eventually convict 3 suspects planning attacks in Iraq.
August 2006: British authorities arrest a group of British Muslim violent extremists suspected of plotting to blow up several airplanes over the Atlantic. Authorities first become aware of the plot based on a tip from a Muslim community member.
November 2006: Neo-Nazi terrorist Demetrius “Van” Crocker is arrested after an investigation is set in motion by a tip-off from a concerned citizen.
November 2006: Adnan Babar Mirza, a Pakistani national studying in Houston, TX and is arrested for illegal firearms training and possession. Adnan come to the attention of the FBI when local Houston community members tip them off about Adnan’s activities and alleged intentions.
October 2008: Neo-Nazis Daniel Cowart and Paul Schesselman are arrested by local police, who received a tip from a concerned friend of the two suspects, before seeking to go on a shooting spree against African-Americans.
July 2009: Mosque leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina contact law enforcement to notify them of “violent, threatening action… considered to be dangerous” leading to the arrest of Daniel Boyd and 6 other individuals.
September 2009: Queens Imam Ahmad Afazali, a community liaison to the NYPD, helps local police and the FBI in the investigation and arrest of suspect Najibullah Zazi. Though Zazi is initially accused of tipping off Zazi to police surveillance, information in the court complaint and corroborating reporting from mainstream media sources found this notion to be false. (Afzali was, however, deported on charges of lying to FBI agents, but subsequent media reporting also strengthens Afzali’s claims that he was scapegoat for getting caught up in a turf battle between NYPD and FBI officials.)
November 2009: Five Virginia Muslim youth are arrested in Pakistan, allegedly seeking to join a terrorist group, after family members told American federal authorities they went missing.March 2010: Michigan Militia member and Muslim convert Matt Savino refuses aid to a fugitive member of the Hutaree Militia and instead helps law enforcement authorities track him down.April 2010: Senegalese Muslim Alioune Niass first spots the suspicious vehicle used as a bomb to attack Times Square in New York City. Clues from the vehicle and defused explosive immediately led to the suspect, Faisal Shahzad’s, arrest.