Everybody knows that “white supremacists” are the biggest terror threat America faces today: Old Joe Biden has told us so, along with Gestapo chief Merrick Garland and the Department of Homeland Security, among others. They wouldn’t lie to us, now, would they? But back in the real world, a threat that the Left has downplayed and denied from the beginning, the global jihad, is still very much with us, even in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Mirsad Hariz Adem Ramic, a good ol’ boy from down there in Bowling Green, was indicted Monday on charges of providing material support to the Islamic State (ISIS). Ramic, who is a dual citizen of the United States and Bosnia, is also charged, according to the Justice Department, “with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and receiving military type training from ISIS.”
Ramic flew from Bowling Green to Istanbul in 2014, along with two other would-be jihadis; once there, the trio bought tickets to Gaziantep, Turkey, a city near Turkey’s border with Syria. They crossed the border to enter the Islamic State’s domains in Syria. Ramic was to all appearances a convinced, dedicated jihadi: he “attended an ISIS training camp where he received weapons and physical training and fired an AK-47.” He appears to have been deeply involved in the Islamic State’s aggressive activities: “The FBI obtained photographs of Ramic in ISIS territory that depict him wearing camouflage clothing and standing in front of a pickup truck outfitted with an anti-aircraft gun and the ISIS flag. A second photograph of Ramic depicts him holding a rifle.”
Ramic kept in touch with the two friends with whom he had made his journey to ISIS, and would clue them in on his activities. They “discussed, among other things, Ramic’s presence in Raqqa, Syria,” which served as the capital of the Islamic State in the heyday of the short-lived ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria. He also told his friends about “his use of an anti-aircraft weapon to shoot at planes.”
At the same time, Ramic demonstrated a keen interest in the theoretical side of his activities with the Islamic State. He and his talked about “jihad, martyrdom and fighting for ISIS.” Secure in the ISIS domains, one of Ramic’s friends got cocky: “sent two e-mails to Western Kentucky University, stating that he had traveled to Syria to join ISIS and expressing his desire that ISIS conquer the United States.”
Since the fall of the ISIS caliphate, Ramic has been in prison in Turkey, but was deported back to the United States, where he is looking at fifty years in prison and a $750,000 fine if he is convicted.
The Justice Department press release about Ramic’s indictment is laconic. It gives no indication of how a young man (Ramic is 31) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, could have come to believe that it would be a great idea to join an internationally feared and despised jihad terror group. This is the question that remains unanswered whenever a Muslim living in the United States decides to join a jihad group or even plot a jihad massacre on American soil.
We are constantly told, by all sorts of learned imams such as Pope Francis, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. Why is it that there are still some Muslims in the United States, a country where, contrary to Leftist myth, they enjoy complete equality of rights before the law and no institutionalized discrimination, get the idea that their religion teaches them that they have a responsibility before Allah to wage war against unbelievers?
The Justice Department doesn’t mention whether Mirsad Hariz Adem Ramic attended a mosque in or around Bowling Green. Is it possible that he learned at a Kentucky mosque that the Islamic State was truly Islamic and deserving of support? Has the mosque Ramic attended, if indeed he attended one, been investigated? Almost certainly not, because even as people such as Mirsad Hariz Adem Ramic are indicted, the Justice Department remains dogmatically committed to the proposition that Islam, properly understood, is entirely peaceful and benign, and no more likely to give rise to violence than any other religion.
This is a massive blind spot, as Ramic’s trajectory itself demonstrates. It was just a few weeks ago that another Muslim in the United States, Ali Saleh of Queens, New York, was sentenced to thirty years in prison for aiding ISIS. Usually the question of where young men such as Ramic and Saleh get their ideas is waved away with the claim that they were “radicalized on the Internet,” a phrase that is usually meant to convey that the “radicalizers” are far away and pose no ongoing threat. But the possibility that they were “radicalized” within the United States cannot be discounted. Our law enforcement and intelligence officials are foolish to dismiss it out of hand.