Following the shooting in San Bernardino last December, most of this country went on a giant freak-out about terrorism spurred by Republican fear-mongering and media complicity. I understand the old journalism axiom about how, “if it bleeds, it leads.” But you would think that with all the nonsense we were subjected to just a few short months ago, at least someone would have noticed this story.
A terrorist-style plot intended to kill dozens of people with automatic weapons at a Masonic center in Milwaukee was foiled this week by FBI agents, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Samy Mohamed Hamzeh discussed his plan to attack the center with two others, detailing how they would quickly and quietly kill the first people they saw and then methodically move through the building, “eliminating everyone” they encountered, according to a federal criminal complaint.
This Justice Department report says that Hamzeh had been under surveillance since September last year when he initially made plans to travel to Jordan, enter the West Bank, and conduct an attack on Israeli soldiers and citizens living in the West Bank. When that proved too complicated, he decided to target a location here in the U.S.
Apparently Hamzeh had some pretty grand plans.
“Such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. The people will be scared and the operations will increase, and there will be problems all over,… this will lead to people clashing with each other. This way we will be igniting it. I mean we are marching at the front of the war,” he said, according to the complaint.
Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad called it a “detailed plan to commit a mass shooting intended to kill dozens of people.”
“(Hamzeh) also said that he wanted this mass shooting to be ‘known the world over’ and to ‘ignite’ broader clashes. It is difficult to calculate the injury and loss of life that was prevented by concerned citizens coming forward and by the tireless efforts of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
When all Americans hear about are the weeks of fear mongering and agonizing about how “the world is on fire” after a successful attack, but nothing about those that failed due to law enforcement intervention, the whole issue is ripe for politicians to demagogue. We saw the entire field of Republican presidential candidates do just that last December. That’s why I thought it was important to write about this story today. Let’s spread the word to balance the scales just a bit, shall we?