Muslim American extremists from coast to coast, including New York City, head overseas to train for jihad — and NYPD’s terror chief is concerned about when they come back.
by, Dan Friedman & Corky Siemaszko | New York Daily News
They’re the potential killers next door learning to become jihadists in a factory of terrorists whose ultimate target is New York City.
More than 100 young home-grown Muslims, including some from Gotham, are being trained to become an enemy within by Al Qaeda-inspired groups like ISIS operating in disintegrating Syria and Iraq, the NYPD’s terror chief estimated.
“I would be hyper-concerned about the people over there from New York City on the presumption they’re going to return to New York City,” John Miller, said Thursday.
Video courtesy of: Top Gun Military
Miller said he is just as worried about American jihadists from “Chicago, Minnesota, Portland, you name it.”
“If their mindset is to return to America and to engage in terrorist activities, they’re likely going to end up in New York anyway,” Miller said.
They’ll be fanatics with friendly faces like Abdirahmaan Muhumed, a 29-year-old dad from Minneapolis who personifies “Jihad Cool” and who is learning in Syria to kill so-called infidels.
And they are monsters who could be mistaken for good guys, like 22-year-old Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, a Florida college dropout who was photographed petting a kitty shortly before he died in a suicide attack on Syrian troops in May.
“There’s a factory over there” in Syria and Iraq that turns out terrorists,” Miller said. “The situation in Syria is a cancer and now that has spread to Iraq . . . They’re going over, getting training, getting radicalized.”
Miller laid out the frightening scenario during a meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board — and as President Obama announced he was sending several hundred military advisers to help the hapless Baghdad government stop radical ISIS from gobbling up the rest of the country.
The NYPD’s intelligence chief did not say how many New Yorkers are being schooled in terror by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but he said they have a good idea who they are.
It is very important, he added, to deny ISIS any “sanctuary.”
“Why did we have 9/11? Because Al Qaeda controlled real estate in Afghanistan where they had camps that allowed them to have a logistical infrastructure,” he said. “You don’t want that kind of sanctuary.”
So far, there has been no known successful terror attack on U.S. soil by an American who was radicalized overseas.
The closest thing to that was failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, a Connecticut man who was already infected with Islamic fanaticism before he went to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.
“Bin Laden’s ideology of going after the far enemy was never broadly enacted, even by other radical jihadists,” said Paul Pillar, who was the CIA’s chief of analytic units covering the Near East and Persian Gulf.
But New York Sen. Chuck Schumer warned there’s a first time for everything.
“So we’re going to have to readjust,” the Democrat said. “So far we’ve been able successfully to readjust every circumstance. It’s not an accident we haven’t had a terrorist attack in New York, praise God, since 9/11.”
Americans constitute a tiny percentage of the estimated 12,000 to 15,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries who have flooded in to help ISIS try to oust Syrian despot Bashar Assad — and who are now marching toward Baghdad, said experts like Richard Barrett of the Soufan Group, an intelligence organization.
They have been lured into the fight by rap-filled videos that romanticize the “revolution” and help turn middling Muslims into radicals willing to die for Allah.
In recent months, over a dozen young Somali-Americans from Minneapolis and St. Paul like Muhumed have traveled to Syria to join the ranks of ISIS, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
“A Muslim has to stand up for (what’s) right,” Muhumed wrote in a Jan. 2 post obtained by MPR. “I give up this worldly life for Allah.”
Muhumed and the others are now being chased by the FBI.