Amhad Khan Rahami was not on any U.S. terror watch list when he (allegedly) manufactured and planted bombs in New York and New Jersey. But his father told police that his son was a terrorist two years ago, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
“Two years ago I go to the F.B.I. because my son was doing really bad, O.K.?” he said. “But they check almost two months, they say, ‘He’s O.K., he’s clean, he’s not a terrorist.’ I say O.K.”
He added: “Now they say he is a terrorist. I say O.K.”
This is the danger we face of radicalized young men and women. They turn when you don’t expect it. When Rahami was captured by police after a shoot-out, they found his notebook, which contained statements about killing infidels.
In one section of the book, Mr. Rahami wrote of “killing the kuffar,” or unbelievers, the official said. Mr. Rahami also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist, who died in a drone strike in Yemen, as well as the soldier in the Fort Hood shooting, one of the deadliest “lone wolf” attacks inspired by Al Qaeda.
Al-Awlaki has been dead for five years, killed by a drone strike in Yemen. But his poison is readily available on the Internet.
Thousands of Mr. Awlaki’s lectures and jihadist declarations are available on the web, as is Inspire magazine, which has published detailed instructions for making pipe bombs as well as more sophisticated explosive devices using pressure cookers and Christmas lights, the same components used in the New York-area bombs.
All the time when Rahami was fueling his radical murderous intent, he was never placed on a watch list. We should consider this when formulating policy and goals for stopping the cycle of terror. It’s not about guns, or who gets to immigrate, as much as it’s about stopping the poison of radical Islamic ideology in America.