February 17, 2007

Terrorism in Salt Lake City? II

sulejman_talovic_slc_terror.jpgWas Sulejman Talovic a terrorist? I don't know, but it's certainly too soon to claim that he isn't a terrorist. His family seems to think that he was "influenced" and "trained" to commit the murders.

"Somebody got (the guns), and maybe (they were) training him and tell(ing) him (to), 'go shoot somebody,'" said his father in an interview with KSL. LGF has the video.

Debbie Schlussel claims that Amir Omerovic is his cousin. The significance? Omerovic was convicted of sending letters he claimed were laced with anthrax to the offices of Gov. John G. Rowland and the United States Coast Guard and Marines in Connecticut. One of the letters said:

09.11.01. Anthrax is deadly. You breathe and die. This is only the beginning. Americans will die. Death to America and Israel. (Source: NYT)
We also know that he attended mosque.

If terrorism was his primary motivation, it would also be troubling if another thing pointed out by Schlussel is true. From the SLC Trib:

With the permission of Talovic's parents, detectives searched their home but did not take any computers or video games, she said.
UPDATE: Apparently, he didn't even own a computer. So, the fact that none were siezed kinda follows......

It also seems to nullify the discussion on the network of cyber jihad below. Thanks to Vinnie for pointing out LGF's update, and also for saying something about relying on somebody something or other..........

Update, Too by Vinnie Nonsense, Rusty, the fact that something something is wrong in her assessment nullifies nothing. He certainly could have accessed computers at an internet cafe type place, or the public liberry. We know he accessed them at school, because the articles state he was found looking at prohibited sites.

Very troubling, because any involvement Sulejman Talovic had with the wider jihadi network would most likely have been over the internet. Through Islamic chat rooms, websites, and bulletin boards which are dominated by Salafi jihadists. Having that computer would be a key piece of evidence, one way or another.

As I said in my previous post on Terrorism in Salt Lake City?

We should also remember that the Islamist message boards have been encouraging potential jihadis to keep it simple. Also, it's important to think about the role of the internet in creating "virtual cells" of mujahideen. That is, jihadis who may never physically meet or formally join an terror organization, but who encourage one another to do acts of violence.

As I've mentioned here many times before, the present structure of the Salafi jihadi movement is such that any one can now claim to be al Qaeda. Although the formal organizations of al Qaeda 1.0 (bin Laden, Zawahiri) and 2.0 (Zarqawi/al Masri in Iraq/ -- GSPC/al Qaeda in Algeria) remain a threat, this "al Qaeda 3.0" is more of a movement than it is of an organization. And thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of young Muslim men in the West sympathize with that movement.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:16 PM | Comments |