Philadelphia: Mom pleads guilty, admits planning to abandon kids for ISIS

Her kid’s lives don’t matter. Source: North Philly mom admits to planning to abandon kids for ISIS   h/t TROP

A North Philadelphia mother of two admitted Tuesday that she planned to abandon her children and travel to Syria to pursue “martyrdom operations” with an ISIS fighter she married over the internet.

Keonna Thomas, 32, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization during a brief hearing in federal court. She acknowledged her plans were derailed last year only when federal agents raided her home the day she was scheduled to leave the country.

“I believe that I’m guilty of this charge,” said Thomas, dressed in a head scarf and green prison jumpsuit, when asked by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson why she was changing her plea.

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Federal authorities had couched the case as the latest in a string of prosecutions to combat what they describe as a “more decentralized, more diffuse, more complicated” homegrown terror threat from U.S. citizens radicalized over the internet.

Since the fall of last year, more than 250 Americans have either traveled to Syria and Iraq or tried to do so in an effort to join ISIS. Nearly 60 were arrested and charged in U.S. courts last year for ISIS-related activities.

But Thomas’ decision to admit her guilt just weeks before she was set to take her case to trial came as something of a surprise.

Up until earlier this month, her lawyers – Kathleen M. Gaughan, Elizabeth Toplin, and James J. McHugh of the Federal Defender’s Office – were aggressively challenging the government’s case in court filings that questioned the tactics used to surveil her and the very charge under which her case had been brought.

Earlier, they had maintained that Thomas was being prosecuted for statements she made on the internet that should be protected under her First Amendment rights.

Gaughan offered little explanation Tuesday for the about-face.

“It was Ms. Thomas’ decision after careful consideration of this case,” she said. “She’s accepted full responsibility for her behavior and conduct. She looks forward to putting this behind her and being a mother to her two young children.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer A. Williams declined to comment after the hearing.

When and how Thomas became radicalized remains unclear.

Through months of court proceedings, glimpses of her private life emerged, but there was little to explain why she would agree to leave behind 7- and 9-year-old daughters so she could die for ISIS.

As FBI agents arrived at her North Philadelphia house to arrest her in April 2015, they found her cooking breakfast for the children.

Thomas was born in Pittsburgh but came to Philadelphia as an infant. She was raised here, has local family ties, and has lived in the same house with her mother for a decade.

Before her arrest, she had been unemployed for a few years but previously worked as a home health-care aide, like her mother.

According to a plea memo filed Tuesday with the court, Thomas was circulating terrorist propaganda, under the online monikers Fatayat Al Khilafah and YoungLioness, as early as August 2013.

One of her early postings on Twitter pictured a young boy holding weapons. The caption read: “Ask yourselves, while this young man is holding magazines for the Islamic state, what are you doing for it? #ISIS.”

Another, posted in April 2014, contained images of a skull, flames, and a gun. Thomas purportedly wrote: “I need a permanent vacation that can only mean one thing.” Another Twitter user, court filings say, responded with a word that means “martyrdom.”

At some point, Thomas’ plans went beyond simply voicing support for terror groups online. She communicated directly with a radical Jamaican cleric, Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, and sought his assistance in finding a jihadist to marry.

She later struck up a relationship with Abu Khalid al-Amriki, an ISIS recruit newly arrived in the organization’s Syrian headquarters, and married the man in a ceremony conducted over Skype.

When Amriki contacted her in February 2015 to ask whether she was willing to take part in a suicide attack, Thomas responded: “That would be amazing. . . . A girl can only wish.”

Thomas has remained in custody since her arrest last year, five days after she missed a flight she had booked to Barcelona, Spain, with plans to travel from there to Syria. Amriki is believed to have been killed last year.

Thomas faces up to 15 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Jan. 17.


The federal criminal complaint

 

 

Muslims surpass atheists as most unpopular group in US

They should have included Congress in the survey. Source: Muslims surpass atheists as most unpopular group in US | Religion News Service

(RNS) A new study finds atheists and Muslims still top the list of the least trusted Americans.

Americans’ disapproval of Muslims has jumped to 45.5 percent from just over 26 percent 10 years ago, the last time the question was asked.

And “nones” — those who say they have no religious affiliation, but may also have spiritual or religious beliefs — are also unpopular. This is significant because nones now make up one-third of the U.S. population.

The study found:

  • Almost half of those surveyed — 48.9 percent — said they would disapprove of their child marrying a Muslim, up from 33.5 percent in 2006.

The study’s authors — sociologists Penny Edgell, Douglas Hartmann, Evan Stewart and Joseph Gerteis — describe the jump in disapproval of Muslims as a major change and are focusing now on identifying reasons for it.

“Religion becomes a signal and a marker, an easy shorthand for Americans’ moral judgment,” Hartmann said. “But that is not the only thing going on with Muslims. It’s more complicated.”


Is it really more complicated? via Islamic Terror on American Soil:

Date Country City Killed Injured Description
2006.06.16 USA Baltimore, MD 1 0 A 62-year-old Jewish moviegoer is shot to death by a Muslim medical student in an unprovoked terror attack.
2006.06.25 USA Denver, CO 1 5 Saying that it was ‘Allah’s choice’, a Muslim shoots four of his co-workers and a police officer.
2006.07.28 USA Seattle, WA 1 5 An ‘angry’ Muslim-American uses a young girl as hostage to enter a local Jewish center, where he shoots six women, one of whom dies.
2008.01.01 USA Irving, TX 2 0 A Muslim immigrant shoots his two daughters to death on concerns about their ‘Western’ lifestyle.
2008.07.06 USA Jonesboro, GA 1 0 A devout Muslim strangles his 25-year-old daughter in an honor killing.
2009.02.12 USA Buffalo, NY 1 0 The founder of a Muslim TV station beheads his wife in the hallway for seeking a divorce.
2009.04.12 USA Phoenix, AZ 2 0 A man shoots his brother-in-law and another man to death after finding out that they visited a strip club, in contradiction to Islamic values.
2009.06.01 USA Little Rock, AR 1 1 A Muslim shoots a local soldier to death inside a recruiting center explicitly in the name of Allah.
2009.11.02 USA Glendale, AZ 1 1 A woman dies from injuries suffered when her father runs her down with a car for being too ‘Westernized.’ (10-20-09)
2009.11.05 USA Ft. Hood, TX 13 31 A Muslim psychiatrist guns down thirteen unarmed soldiers while yelling praises to Allah.
2009.12.04 USA Binghamton, NY 1 0 A non-Muslim Islamic studies professor is stabbed to death by a Muslim grad student in revenge for ‘persecuted’ Muslims.
2010.04.14 USA Marquette Park, IL 5 2 After quarrelling with his wife over Islamic dress, a Muslim convert shoots his family members to ‘take them back to Allah’ and out of the ‘world of sinners’.
2011.04.30 USA Warren, MI 1 0 A 20-year-old woman is shot in the head by her stepfather for not adhering to Islamic practices.
2011.09.11 USA Waltham, MA 3 0 Three Jewish men have their throats slashed by Muslim terrorists.
2012.01.15 USA Houston, TX 1 0 A 30-year-old Christian convert is shot to death by a devout Muslim for helping to convert his daughter.
2012.11.12 USA Houston, TX 1 0 A 28-year-old American man is shot to death by a conservative Muslim over an alleged role in converting a woman to Christianity.
2013.02.07 USA Buena Vista, NJ 2 0 A Muslim targets and beheads two Christian Coptic immigrants.
2013.03.24 USA Ashtabula, OH 1 0 A Muslim convert walks into a church service with a Quran and guns down his Christian father while praising Allah.
2013.04.15 USA Boston, MA 3 264 Foreign-born Muslims describing themselves as ‘very religious’ detonate two bombs packed with ball bearings at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and causing several more to lose limbs.
2013.04.19 USA Boston, MA 1 1 Jihadists gun down a university police officer sitting in his car.
2013.08.04 USA Richmond, CA 1 0 A convert “on a mission from Allah” stabs a store clerk to death.
2014.03.06 USA Port Bolivar, TX 2 0 A Muslim man shoots his lesbian daughter and her lover to death and leaves a copy of the Quran open to a page condemning homosexuality.
2014.04.27 USA Skyway, WA 1 0 A 30-year-old man is murdered by a Muslim fanatic.
2014.06.01 USA Seattle, WA 2 0 Two homosexuals are murdered by an Islamic extremist.
2014.06.25 USA West Orange, NJ 1 0 A 19-year-old college student is shot to death ‘in revenge’ for Muslim deaths overseas.
2014.09.25 USA Moore, OK 1 1 A Sharia advocate beheads a woman after calling for Islamic terror and posting an Islamist beheading photo.
2014.12.18 USA Morganton, NC 1 0 A 74-year-old man is shot several times in the head by a ‘radicalized’ ISIS supporter.
2015.07.16 USA Chattanooga, TN 5 2 A ‘devout Muslim’ stages a suicide attack on a recruiting center at a strip mall and a naval center which leaves five dead.
2015.12.02 USA San Bernardino, CA 14 17 A ‘very religious’ Muslim shoots up a Christmas party with his wife, leaving fourteen dead.
2016.06.13 USA Orlando, FL 49 53 An Islamic extremist massacres forty-nine people at a gay nightclub.

That’s just the last ten years and doesn’t include:

  • Mass Muslim immigration wreaking havoc on local neighborhoods and schools
  • Rapes and other non-deadly violence by Muslims
  • Endless lawsuits by Muslims forcing Islam on Americans
  • Billions of tax dollars wasted on security from Muslim terrorists,
  • Loss of rights and freedom of speech to Islamic supremacists, and
  • Constant  media lies about Islam and the false narrative of Islamophobia as Muslims are slaughtering people around the world

No, it’s not complicated. At all. Americans are waking up…albeit too late.

NY: Muslim Indicted for Alleged Death Threats Against Controversial SUNY Professor

No word on his immigration status or background. Source: Former SUNY Potsdam Student Indicted In Death Threat Case | WWNY TV 7 – h/t FreeRepublic

A former SUNY Potsdam student has been indicted in connection with death threats and hate messages directed at an African American professor as well as the college community.

Amjad Hussain was arraigned Monday in St. Lawrence County Court on two felony counts of second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime and one count of fourth-degree criminal solicitation.

The 23 year old Elmira man is charged with delivering two messages to the professor that included death threats and racist and homophobic language. The messages also threatened the professor’s family.

Hussain is also charged with soliciting another individual to deliver a third threatening note to the professor.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the news of the indictment Monday.

“Nobody should be made to feel unsafe or subject to harassment in their workplace, least of all our state’s hardworking, dedicated teachers,” Schneiderman said in a news release. “This indictment sends the message, loud and clear, that racist and homophobic threats will be treated with the utmost concern, and those responsible for such harassment will be held accountable.”

According to filed documents and statements made in court, on two separate occasions in April 2015, Hussain delivered two notes to the professor’s office containing homophobic and racist pictures and language, threatening physical harm and death to the professor and the professor’s family.

Following his arrest in November 2015, Hussain allegedly solicited another individual to deliver a third note, also containing threats and racist and homophobic language directed at the professor.

Hussain faces up to four years in state prison on each felony count if convicted.

During his arraignment, Hussain pleaded not guilty.

He was released under probation supervision and ordered to stay away from the alleged victim.

The next court date is October 11 at noon.


Curious timing on the indictment…nine months after he was arrested for the threats against the race-baiting professor.

It follows a flurry of other terror-related sentencings and announcements by the feds this week, just days after four terror attacks in the U.S.

 

NYC: Muslim gets 9 years for smashing gay guy with chair at BBQ joint

Source: Man gets 9 years for assault on gay couple at Dallas BBQ – NY Daily News

Bayna Lekheim El-Amin, 42, who had about two dozen supporters in the courtroom, may have been slapped by one of the victims with a canvas bag but had no right to react with the brutal beating, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arlene Goldberg said as she handed down the stiff sentence to the remorseless brute.

“That you did not cause serious physical injury to them was only by luck,” Goldberg said.

El-Amin, who is 6 feet 6 inches and 280 pounds, is seen on cell phone footage from May 2015 getting whacked by a canvas bag carried by Jonathan Snipes, who said he thought he heard El-Amin refer to him and his boyfriend Ethan York-Adams as “f—-ts.”

An enraged El-Amin then knocked Snipes to the ground and stomped on his head. After a long time passed and the incident seemed to be over, he picked up a chair and swung it at their heads.

A loud thud can be heard on the footage from the impact on York-Adams’ skull.

El-Amin, who faced 3½ to 15 years behind bars, complained he had been railroaded and did not apologize for his conduct.

He claimed Snipes had a “weapon,” which was disputed by evidence, and that discrimination was the driving factor in his fate.

“I feel like my race was involved in that … if the situation was reversed and I would have went up to them, it would have been different. It wouldn’t have come out the same,” he said.

He also insisted he never said the homophobic slur he was suspected of and pointed to his history of working as an LGBT activist.

Goldberg fired back that the fact the district attorney declined to prosecute Snipes for the bag swatting was irrelevant.

She also said she didn’t see a connection to his race in the scenario. “I just do not see there was any evidence of that,” she said.


Here’s the video from our post at the time: New York: Muslim Brutally Beats Gay Couple in Restaurant (VIDEO)

DC: Muslim pleads guilty to aiding Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

He’s not an American, but he’s in an American court. Source: Man pleads guilty to aiding Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan | Fox News

A Dutch-Turkish man has pleaded guilty to providing material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Federal officials announced Thursday that 58-year-old Irfan Demirtas pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Officials say Demirtas was charged in a 2011 sealed indictment related to actions between 2006 and 2008 when he was a Netherlands resident and a fundraiser and facilitator for the group. The government says the militant Islamic group, formed in 1991, aims to overthrow Uzbekistan’s government and create an Islamic state. In his plea, Demirtas acknowledges providing funds to the group’s leader.

Demirtas was arrested in Germany in 2015 and extradited to the U.S. He faces a statutory maximum of 15 years and financial penalties at sentencing Nov. 30.


Why didn’t the Dutch or Germans try him? Why not the Afghans? What is he doing in a U.S. court where taxpayers will have to pay for his incarceration for the next ten plus years? The unconvincing answer is found in an FBI press release:

“His extradition to the United States is an important step forward in holding him accountable for his alleged role in fomenting terror across Europe and the Middle East. Demirtas is one of four defendants currently pending trial on international terrorism charges in separate cases in the federal court here in our nation’s capital. These cases highlight our resolve to find and bring to justice those who support terror around the world.”

“Demirtas was arrested and extradited to face justice in the U.S. because of his role as the European-based fundraiser and recruiter for a designated terrorist organization that directly worked against U.S. forces and our allies,” said Assistant Director in Charge McCabe.


So the better question is, where will he go when his sentence is over? He may be coming to your town.

NYC Bomber Another ‘Known Wolf’, Father Claims Reported Him to FBI in 2014 (updated)

Update: Investigative reporter Paul Sperry responded to our auto-tweet of this post with a ‘no no no, not true.’ The media is running with the headline that the bomber’s father reported him to the FBI but there is no evidence or confirmation that the father contacted the FBI. Conversely, it was pointed out to us that:

“In August 2014, the FBI initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authorities,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

So the father called the police regarding his son stabbing his other son or daughter and police contacted federal authorities based on comments heard during their investigation.

rahami_bomber1

via ‘The sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets’: A journal found with New York bombing suspect

Rahami, a naturalized American citizen, grew a beard, married a woman from Pakistan, and watched jihadist martyr’s anthems on YouTube, investigators say.

In 2014, after Rahami was accused of stabbing one of his brothers in the leg, his father said he contacted the FBI with concerns that Rahami was becoming a terrorist.

“Two years [ago], I called the FBI — my son, he’s doing very bad, OK?” Mohammad R. Rahami said outside his New Jersey home Tuesday morning. “But they check it almost two months. … They say, ‘He’s not a terrorist.’ I said, ‘OK.’

“Now they say he is a terrorist,” he continued. “I say, ‘OK.’”

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors charged the younger Rahami with planting several bombs around New Jersey and New York City last weekend, including the device that detonated on a street in Chelsea and wounded 31 people with flying glass, shrapnel and ball bearings Saturday night.

Rahami, 28, was also charged for a separate explosion earlier Saturday — a pipe bomb triggered by a cellphone — along the route of a Marine Corps charity 5-kilometer race at Seaside Park, N.J.

According to the charging document, when police captured and arrested Rahami on Monday after a gun battle in Linden, N.J., investigators found a notebook in his backpack with the following entry:

“Inshallah [God willing] the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION.”

Rahami began shopping for bomb components on eBay in June, according to a federal complaint, which charges him with four counts related to bombing a public place.

Continue reading

Rhode Island: Muslim convert pleads guilty in plot to behead anti-jihad blogger Pam Geller

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Source: Man pleads guilty in ISIS plot to behead conservative blogger | New York Post

A Rhode Island man charged with conspiring to help the Islamic State group has decided to plead guilty to charges he plotted with others to kill conservative blogger Pamela Geller.

Nicholas Rovinski is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.

Prosecutors say the Warwick man plotted with two Massachusetts men to behead Geller. She angered Muslims when she organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in 2015. The plot wasn’t carried out.

A document filed in court Tuesday says a change-of-plea hearing for Rovinski is scheduled for Thursday.

Rovinski’s lawyer said Rovinski was a vulnerable man who “fell deep into a rabbit hole of extremist ideology” but now renounces any sympathy for the IS group.


From our previous post on Rovinski:

In his arrest affidavit, Rovinski is not named but described as attending a meeting on May 31 with Rahim and Wright on a beach in Rhode Island, where the three discussed “their plans,” including the idea of beheading Geller.

In March, Rovinski had shared with CNN his Islamist extremist beliefs and motivation to act on them.

A producer exchanged messages with Rovinski, and during the conversation, the Rhode Island resident described exchanges with an alleged ISIS fighter who urged him to come to Iraq and Syria and join the terrorist group.

The communications were part of research into Americans identifying with jihadists online. Rovinski told CNN he considered following the fighter’s call.

On his Twitter account, the Rhode Island resident spoke out against the United States: “Living amung (sic) the enemy.”

“Who wishes to see flag of tawheed upon white house,” he wrote on March 28. Tawheed, a fundamental principle and saying of Islam, is also a favorite inscription on jihadi flags — namely ISIS and al Qaeda.

In an online conversation, he said, “I am not violent at heart but push the wrong button and its (sic) not pretty.”

On his Twitter account were messages directed at people connected with ISIS, including Mujahid Miski, the online alias of Mohamed Abdullahi Hasan, a former Minnesotan believed to be fighting with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Miski also had been in direct contact with Alan Simpson, one of the two shooters in the Texas attack on Geller’s “Draw Your Own Mohammed” event in May.

Rovinski told CNN in the online exchanges that he would attend services at a mosque near his home but said he never shared his fundamentalist interpretation of Islam with his imam. Prior to his conversion to Islam, he said he was agnostic, but sought “truth and guidance” and found Islam.


Then he decided to behead a non-Muslim.

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