There's Something Happening Here
Earlier last week there was the revelation that Jihad Jane (aka Colleen R. LaRose) had been in custody since October. Some people wondered why nearly five months later, her detention was being announced.
Frankly, it is probably not too important to try to decipher the reasons for keeping her arrest on participating in a plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks quiet. But now add to her case that of Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a Colorado mother of a six year old boy who is also connected to the plot to kill Vilks. Paulin-Ramirez was released from custody in Ireland. One of the more distrubing aspects of Paulin-Ramirez is the report that she had begun to radicalize and indoctrinate her six year old son, Christian, and had changed his name to Walid. Young "Walid" apprarently told his stepfather, "We are building pipes [pipe bombs], like the Fourth of July!"
Both women have been linked to Najibullah Zazi. It was about six months ago that the list of domestic jihadist activities was perhaps short, but growing. Since then, the list continues to expand. Prominently among them is the case of Major Nidal Hassan who killed 13 and wounded more than 30 others at Ft. Hood in November.
The plot and the interwoven network on "conspirators" in this and probably related situations is troubling. That unconnected individuals can easily communicate with others via the Internet, share thoughts and ideas, perhaps conspire and plot as these people did, is troubling. Consider that as the jihad continues, now approaching nine years since it smacked the majority of Americans "upside the head," it is becoming more possible for al Qaeda's goals to be reached through the acts of surrogates. These surrogates need not be part of the "official" al Qaeda group or its clones.
Evan Kohlmann noted the emergence of an "odd emerging trend in homegrown terrorism" in a recent article, "Jihobbyists" No More.. He notes that al Qaeda sees these unconnected "Lone Wolf" terrorists as another weapon of the jihad. Consider the case of six year old Christian "Walid" Carreon whose mother Jamie Paulin-Ramirez was just released by Irish authorities. Not only was he proud of the fact the "we are building pipe bombs," but he was being taught to shoot a gun. Worse, his indoctrination had gone so far that he told his grandmother "that Christians will burn in hellfire."
Think carefully if you think that we aren't truly engaged in a battle of ideology and a war that could last generations. How people like Colleen R. LaRose and Jamie Paulin-Ramirez are induced to become players in the jihad is something that needs to be better understood. How to recognize them and others like them, and stop them before they can kill Americans, is quite a different issue.
These people could well be traitors. But there's definitely something happening here (and it is probably bigger than these two women).