The Newburgh 4, failed jihadists, picked the wrong town according to terrorism experts.
"No city is better prepared for this kind of attack than New York," says Fred Burton, a counterterrorism expert at Stratfor, a global intelligence firm. "These guys picked the wrong town to mess with."
While some Islamic groups whine to the ACLU and threaten the FBI with breaking off communications, others quietly help:
Law enforcement officials have not said how exactly they came to know of the plot, or how the FBI informant came into contact with the plotters. But experts say New York authorities have developed an extensive network of community contacts to keep tabs on suspicious behavior. Burton surmises that authorities had a tip-off that the mosque used by chief plotter James Cromite "was conducive to the radicalization process" and planted an informant among the congregation – which ultimately led them to Cromite.
Carafino says those looking for similarities between the Newburgh 4 and other failed plotters won't get very far. Heritage lists Newburgh as the 22nd known plot since Sept. 11, "and so far, the pattern is that there's no pattern," he says.
Apparently the Qur'an, hadith, and Jew hatred do not constitute a pattern. In this case, however, there is an interesting if not telling pattern. Converts to Islam, in many instance in the U.S. prison system. From this report, 2 NY plot suspects are known at upstate mosque, some details start to emerge.
At least three of the four Newburgh, New York jihad plotters were jail house converts to Islam.
Some of the suspects were known at a Newburgh mosque – conducive to radicalization – where the imam, Imam Salahuddin Muhammad (pictured at right), is a jail house convert to Islam, and a prison chaplain.
Imam Salahuddin Muhammad was hired by another convert to Islam – Warith Deen Umar (pictured below, right):
Imam Salahuddin Muhammad, the chaplain at Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, New York, was one of the men hired by Umar. In complaints brought by Shia convicts, Salahuddin Muhammad was alleged to have referred to Shia prisoners as "infiltrators and snitches" during his Friday sermons. He is also one of many prison chaplains who have circulated a anti-Shia pamphlet produced by Wahhabis, titled "The Difference Between the Shiites and the Majority of Muslim Scholars." (This document was published by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, an official Saudi agency.)
Over a quiet dinner at an Indian restaurant in upstate New York, Warith Deen Umar offered his views of Islam and the Sept. 11 attacks. The hijackers should be honored as martyrs, he said. The U.S. risks further terrorism attacks because it oppresses Muslims around the world. "Without justice, there will be warfare, and it can come to this country, too," he said. The natural candidates to help press such an attack, in his view: African-Americans who embraced Islam in prison.
"Even Muslims who say they are against terrorism secretly admire and applaud" the hijackers, he wrote in an unpublished memoir. The Quran, he said, does not condemn terrorism against oppressors of Muslims, even if innocent people die. "This is the sort of teaching they don't want in prison," he said. "But this is what I'm doing."
Back to Newburgh's imam Salahuddin Muhammad – he is "studying for a doctorate at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, according to Ingrid Mattson, head of the seminary's Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations."
Ingrid Mattson, of Hartford Seminary, is a Canadian convert to Islam and her name should be quite familiar by now. Mattson is also president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group that admits it is tied to Hamas – the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and proudly displays a section on its website on Islam in Prison. Mattson's own words have been documented extensively and prove her to be no moderate, defending Osama in Laden in a CNN chat room.
To top it off, Ingrid Mattson was twice invited by Barack Hussein Obama to represent Islam at official, high-profile Democratic events – the Democratic National Convention and to give a prayer at Obama's presidential inauguration.
Mattson had this to say about the Newburgh imam:
"From what I know of him, he is the last person to preach any kind of radical message. I am sure that these individuals got their ideas from some other place."
The Qur'an perhaps? Hadith? Or possibly from a vast inventory of readily available Islamic texts in the prison system and from ISNA-trained prison chaplains:
Wahhabis serve as chaplains at all levels of incarceration in America. They are mainly certified and trained as religious officials by two groups: The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS), which moved to Ashburn, Virginia, after renaming itself Cordoba University in 2005.
Both ISNA and GSISS represent forms of radical Islam aligned with Wahhabism, and both are currently under federal investigation for ties to terrorism. Source
At ISNA's First Conference on Islam in American Prisons, Amir Ali of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education described the services and support system that his organization provides to Muslim inmates: regular visits to prisons by evangelists who deliver books and literature, classes in Arabic and Islamic history, correspondence courses in other subjects, 24-hour toll-free phones and collect-calling services for inmates to call families, mentorship programs for new converts and "halfway houses" to help reintegrate Muslim inmates into society after release. Source
If investigators were to draw up one of those network diagrams, it would look quite interesting, and likely much more extensive than documented here.