Terrorists Beheading Plots and Targeting the Police


                              The destiny of a wolf cub is to become a wolf, 
                              even if it is reared among the sons of men.

                                                                            -Ibn el-Arabi

The internet and social media are tools that are used to radicalize individuals in the United States. But the important cogs in this process are those who have manipulated and motivated those to undertake these attacks. One such cog was Junaid Hussain. Hussain manipulated two individuals in Phoenix and three individuals in New England to undertake attacks in the United States.

One of those individuals Nicholas Rovinski who is awaiting trial for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS had been plotting to behead people while he is locked up awaiting trial.

Last year David Wright, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim and Nicholas Rovinski, conspired to behead Pamela Geller who had organized the May 3, 2015, Mohammad Art Exhibit & Contest in Garland, Texas. But they were not the first to plan to attack and kill Pamela Geller. Two others from Phoenix had been manipulated to kill Pamela Geller. Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi drove over 16 hours from Phoenix, Arizona to attack the event in Garland, Texas. The two men were encouraged to launch this attack by Junaid Hussain, a key ISIS leader also known as Abu Hussain al-Britani.

True believers do not stray from their path. Simpson and Soofi drove east 1081 miles on Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 to carry out their attack in Garland, Texas. The two men wore body armor and had three assault rifles, three handguns and 1500 rounds of ammunition. Just before launching their attack Simpson tweeted “#texasattack: May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” The two terrorists shot a security guard and at police in Garland, Texas before both being killed. The organizers of the exhibit at the Curtis Culwell Center had 40 off-duty police and security officers to protect the event. Immediately after the attack, Junaid Hussain tweeted “Allahu Akbar!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire.” This would not be the last plot to kill Pamela Geller.

Usaamah Rahim had connected with ISIS members overseas including Junaid Hussain. Hussain had used Twitter and social media to encourage supporters to carry out attacks in the United States and Europe. Hussain had instructed Rahim to kill Pamela Geller in New York.

On May 5, 2015, two days after the attack in Garland, Texas, ISIS posted a propaganda statement calling for the slaughter of Pamela Geller. The statement entitled “The New Era” was posted to justpasteit.com. The statement contained the following:

The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wilyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her, we will send all our lions to achieve her slaughter. This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her, this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooting of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easily we give our lives for the sake of Allah.

We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday. We are increasing in number bismillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name. Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you have killed someone untrained, nay, they give you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.

David Wright, of Everett Massachusetts and his Uncle Usaamah Rahim, of Roslindale, Massachusetts connected with Nicholas Rovinski who lived in Warwick, Rhode Island. The three men conspired to “behead” Pamela Geller. By May 27, 2015, Rahim had ordered three large knives from Amazon. On May 31, 2015, Wright and Rahim drove from Boston and picked up Rovinski at his residence in Warwick, Rhode Island. The three drove to a deserted damp beach in Warwick to talk about the plan to behead Geller.

On June 2, 2015, at about 5:00 a.m. Rahim called Wright and advised him of a change of plan. He no longer planned to conduct the attack in New York on Pamela Geller. Instead Rahim advised Wright that he wished to “meet Allah sooner” and “leave his worldly life.” Rahim advised Wright that he intended to attack “those boys in blue,” police officers locally in Massachusetts either that day or the next. Rahim had been under surveillance and his phone tapped by law enforcement so police knew that Rahim intended to attack law enforcement in Boston instead of going to New York to attack Pamela Geller.

At about 7:00 a.m. Rahim was approached by Boston Police Officers and FBI Agents near a CVS parking lot on Washington Street. Rahim brandished a knife and was shot twice by law enforcement.

This is not the first time the police have been targeted by homegrown terrorists who have been radicalized. In 2014, Zale Thompson, a convert to Islam took the kunya Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik and attacked four New York Police officers on a street in Queens. Thompson attacked the four officers with a hatchet. Thompson struck two officers with the hatchet before being killed.

Terrorists have targeted police and will continue to do so. In the Charlie Hebdo attack the terrorists thought nothing of killing two police officers. In a couple weeks police officers from across the country will gather at Judiciary Square to honor those officers that lost their lives in the line of duty. These plots show how homegrown terrorists are a constant danger to the law enforcement community and we must remember that the boys in blue put their lives on the line every day they go to work.


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Reading List

Books 1Books 2Books 3

I am often asked “What are you reading? What have you read? and What should I be reading?” Depending on who is asking and the topic of interest, I have different lists of books for individuals interested in terrorism, asymmetric warfare, tribes of the NWFP, law enforcement, histories and general reading. Some of the lists are eight to ten pages long, other topic lists a mere three pages. With an office library and a home library I can be like Thomas Jefferson when it comes to purchasing books. Even with a Kindle, the number of books I have purchased has actually increased. I do love a good hard covered book but with a Kindle, I can carry and catalog hundreds of e-books on this marvelous electronic device.

In July 1771, Robert Skipwith asked Thomas Jefferson for some help in choosing some books to “absorb culture as painlessly as possible by reading the smallest amount of well-selected books.” Jefferson sent Skipwith a list of 148 titles that comprised 379 volumes.

On my office desk, I am reading Playing to the Edge by Mike Hayden. By my nightstand, is a copy of The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Eagan. I am finding Eagan’s book hard to put down at night and have now tried to limit my nighttime reading. Eagan writes about the life of General Thomas Meagher who commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War and his flight from Ireland. Here are just a few books not in any order that I would recommend everyone read.

Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why: The 1999 Government Report on Profiling Terrorists
By Rex Hudson

Persian Mirrors
By Elaine Sciolino

The Shia Revival : How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future
By Vali Nasr

Arabia Felix
By Betram Thomas

Through Our Enemies’ Eyes
By Mike Scheuer

The Red Sea Terror Triangle
By Shaul Shay

Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat
By CDR. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein

Powerful Peace: A Navy Seal’s Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War
By J. Robert DuBois

The Peloponnesian War
By Donald Kagan

The 9/11 Commission Report
By The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Lessons in Imperial Rule
By General Sir Andrew Skeen

Scars & Stripes: The True Story of One Man’s Courage in Facing Death as a Vietnam POW
By Eugene B. McDaniel, Capt. USN (Ret.)

ISIS Inside the Army of Terror
By Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan

Nuclear Terrorism
By Graham Allison

The Story of the Malakand Field Force
By Winston Churchill

In the Company of Heroes
By Michael J. Durant and Steve Hartov

Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century
By Marc Sageman

The Walk-In
By Gary Berntsen

Open Target Where America is Vulnerable to Attack
By Clark Kent Ervin

Lone Survivor
By Marcus Luttrell

Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad
By Peter Bergen

Unconquerable Nation Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves
By Brian Michael Jenkins

Hunting Season: James Foley, ISIS, and the Kidnapping Campaign That Started a War
By James Harkins

Rebuttal: The CIA Responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of Its Detention and Interrogation Program
Edited by Bill Harlow

Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President and the Rise of the Drone
By Scott Shane

The Valley’s Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban
By Dan Green

Understanding Terror Networks
By Marc Sageman

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
By Karl Marlantes

Dereliction of Duty
By H.R. McMasters