I’m amazed by Laura Mansfield at least once a week. She keeps connecting dots that authorities seem to miss:
He went by the name of Salafist Mujahid when we first encountered him in May of this year on MySpace.com. He was one of several other young men we encountered while reseaching jihadist activities on MySpace.com.
Salafist was one of several young men we identified in Chicago with radical Islamist propaganda on their MySpace.com blogs. At the time, we identified him as Talib Abu Salam, who claimed to be 21, and living in suburban Chicago.
When we contacted the FBI regarding the jihadi material on MySpace, we were told that it was protected free speech.
On Wednesday of this week, Derrick Shareef [aka Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef–dg] of the Chicago suburb of Rockford, IL was arrested on charges that he planned to attack a Chicago area shopping mall with grenades on December 22 in an attempt to disrupt Christmas.
Authorities say that there are no indications that Derrick Shareef was involved with any sort of terror cell or organized group in his effort to wage “violent jihad” against Americans.
But one thing is certain. The MySpace blogger known as Salafist Mujahid was part of a large social network of like-minded Islamists communicating on MySpace.com.
Let’s hope that authorities are looking at open source intelligence like this for leads into the threat from radical Islamists here at home.