Only one news outlet reported the suspect was Muslim. Why? via Losing His Religion – WSJ.com.
There was a terror scare at the Pentagon this morning. As CBS News reports, it started when the U.S. Park Police “came upon” 22-year-old Yonathan Melaku wandering around Arlington National Cemetery, which was closed. “The Park Police then launched a search for a vehicle, which was found near the Pentagon.”
A search of the car turned up “no suspicious items,” but Melaku told the cops “that he was carrying explosive materials.” They checked his backpack and “found what appeared to be an unknown quantity of ammonium nitrate,” a chemical “that is widely used in fertilizers and can be used in explosives with the correct concentration.”
We learn from the CBS story that Melaku is a lance corporal in the Marine Reserves. The Associated Press adds that he is a naturalized American citizen, originally from Ethiopia. CBS also reports that “Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases ‘al Qaeda,’ ‘Taliban rules’ and ‘Mujahid defeated croatian forces’ when he was detained,” but “that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot.”
All of which raises an obvious question–but one that goes unanswered in the reports from CBS and AP, as well as others from ABC News and the Washington Post. We could only find one news organization that had the answer: Fox News Channel, which reports that Maliku is Muslim.
Now, it’s possible that Fox simply got a scoop here, but our guess is that this fact was omitted from the other reports because of the politically correct taboo against making a connection between Islam and terrorism. It’s analogous to the case we cited Monday in which the Chicago Tribune refused to mention the race of the members of “groups of youths” who had been attacking people in a downtown neighborhood, but it’s worse. Whereas race is not necessarily relevant to the motive of the Chicago attacks, religion almost always is when a Muslim commits an act of terrorism or a related crime.
Melaku, a Marine Corps reservist lance corporal who is Muslim, remains in the custody of the United States Park Police. No charges have currently been filed against Melaku, who is believed to have acted alone.
Sources close to the investigation told Fox News that a notebook believed to belong to the man was also found containing threatening phrases like “Al Qaeda,” “Taliban rule” and “defeated coalition forces.”
Update: Finally someone wrote briefly about it: Arrest of military man in Pentagon bomb scare: Spotlight turns on serving Muslims
Even as police are investigating if a 22-year-old military man arrested near the Pentagon in suspicious circumstances belonged to any jihadi network or was acting alone, the focus has turned to the old debate of Muslim personnel’s role in the US military.
Yonathan Melaku, a Lance Corporal Marine Corps reservist, was arrested in the wee hours of Friday at Arlington Cemetery near the Pentagon. It was reported that a bag recovered from his car contained ammonium nitrate, ammunition and al Qaeda literature. Later tests established that the material found on him were not explosive.
However, police are investigating if Melaku has any connection with the jihadists who posted a list of top Us targets to be attacked as the 9/11 anniversary is approaching.