Saturday, March 24, 2012

Did the TSA stop a would-be terrorist in his tracks?

Reuters is reporting that a Montana man tried to board a flight at the Sacramento International Airport carrying a loaded handgun and three loaded firearms in his carry-on bags.

A Montana man was arrested after he tried to bring four loaded guns through a security checkpoint at a Sacramento, California, airport and is being held without bail, the sheriff's office said on Saturday. The suspect, Harold Waller, 45, was arrested on Thursday afternoon at Sacramento International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers at a checkpoint found a firearm inside a carry-on bag, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Mr. Waller had more loaded weapons in his vehicle:

Sheriff's deputies searched his car at an off-site parking lot and turned up eight more firearms, several of them loaded. The statement did not specify the types of weapons.

Waller faces a variety of charges, though none related to terrorism:

Waller faces charges including unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of a concealed firearm, possession of an unauthorized weapon in a public building and possession of a firearm within a sterile area of an airport, the sheriff's department statement said.

A fair question in a case like this is would Harold Waller be treated any differently--by law enforcement or by the media--if his name were instead Hussein Walji? Would the general public make more of this case if Waller came from Morocco instead of Montana?

I am pretty sure the answer to all of those questions is yes. Is that fair? No. However, Muslims who are not terrorists and who are not in favor of jihadi activities and who don't hate the United States or other modern, liberal countries, who themselves by dint of their religious affiliation face skepticism or in some cases prejudice from non-Muslims in America, must understand that the fear of Islamism is not without cause. A not insignificant number of Muslims are Islamists. They are engaged in a violent jihad. They have committed horrific acts of terror in the United States and in many other countries around the world in the name of Islam. So as long as they continue to engage in this war against modernity, ordinary, law-abiding and harmless Muslims in the U.S. will continue to be subject to harsher scrutiny.

No comments: