American man behind pro-ISIS tweets jailed after arrest at airport


From the headline I first thought it might be John McCain.

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Scary people with too many weapons is a very bad thing. But I don’t see any threat of violence in that tweet, nor is it yet a crime to marry a Lebanese woman. I wonder what the probable cause was.

Supposed shenanigans in Lebanon, and “allegedly been brokering deals for military-grade weapons and ammo in his home state and was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm.”

Well on the left of the screenshot there’s the bit where it says “Mujahid pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Islamic State commanding good and forbidding evil”.

Plenty of probable cause in saying you’re allied to a terrorist group and taking part in a jihad.


I’d say it might create reasonable suspicion, but not probable cause. I’m not basing this on case-law, but the way I feel that the First Amendment should function. The problem is that simply stating you are for a cause does not create a bedrock certainty that you are committing a crime or about to commit a crime. Either way, I doubt these are issues. I suspect that he drew attention to himself and that law enforcement didn’t have to bend over backwards to confirm suspicions that he was trafficking. He does not seem like a very smart man.

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There’s a difference between “simply stating you are for a cause”, and actually admitting to belonging to a terrorist group with the statement of taking part in a jihad.

It’s like the difference between saying you support Irish Independence, and stating you are an active member of the IRA and are making war on the UK.

You’re right it doesn’t create bedrock certainty, but we’re not talking bedrock certainty - we’re talking ***probable cause***. In this case, it seems likely that his statements were sufficient probably cause to get a warrant to search his place of residence, which then seems to have turned up the weapons.

Taking part in jihad could mean a few different things, down to “spreading the gospel” such as it is. Jihad is not necessarily armed or violent. As for “belonging to a terrorist group,” I’m not sure how stating an allegiance to a non-state actor is a crime. It is a crime to provide “material support,” but that’s it. Given the US government’s wide latitude to designate anyone down to Nicaraguan Juggalos a “terrorist group,” I’m not comfortable giving them the power to sweep the rug out from under anyone who has done nothing more than talk.

I’m not saying that ISIS (an organization so extreme it gives Al-Qaeda the heebie-jeebies) is so great and fantastic and this man is made of teddy-bears and rainbows; I’m just saying that the standard for the US government to conduct a search should be a smidge higher.


Exactly. If you were an active member of the IRA, raising funds in the US for terror campaigns in England, you’d be Republican representative Peter King.

Oh no,sorry, that’s completely different.


Eh, I’m deeply skeptical of the government’s motives when it comes to “terrorism”, but in this particular case, I think there might be more. We don’t really know why the FBI nabbed him. Certainly his tweets contributed to getting picked up, but there might have been other reasons why the FBI was watching him. The fact that the guy was claiming to support IS and they were able to get him on weapons charges suggests that there might be more. The reason why the tweeting is being focused on is because it is just an open and obvious thing for reporters to report on.

So yeah, he could be an innocent douche bag who wasn’t really going to help IS murder ethnic minorities, or he also could be a murderous douche bag who was going to help IS murder ethnic minorities. As long he gets an actual fair trial and there is more than him being a piece of shit on twitter, I’m not going to get my panties in a twist.

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Again - it sounds like they’ve been watching him awhile, hes a felon, and he was caught with weapons. So even if he was just going squirrel hunting, he was breaking the law. They didn’t move solely on a tweet. There are tons of chucklhead Jihadist on Twitter.


Yes, the term “jihad” merely means struggle, but it’s abundantly clear via context which kind of struggle is meant.

When you swear allegiance to a group who has stated goals and a known modus operandi of violence in the name of radical religious values, then claim you’re taking part in their struggle, it’s obvious you mean armed and violent struggle. It’s like if a member of an extremist Christian terrorist or hate group said they were taking part in a Crusade - no one could reasonably fault you for suspecting them of premeditating violence.

I don’t give a damn about whether you think the government applies the term “terrorist group” too broadly. To be honest, I personally am inclined to agree with you, but it’s entirely irrelevant in a discussion of ISIS, as there is absolutely no ambiguity regarding their aims and means. They and their actions are violent, period.

So when we talk about someone who swears allegiance to them, who is taking part in a jihad on their behalf, we have only the slightest sorts of doubts as to what they are planning. We haven’t proven anything yet, but we damn well have probable cause to suspect they are planning violent acts, and we can take the reasonable precaution of getting a warrant and searching their property for signs of wrongdoing.

If you wanna talk about police and government abuses, that’s fine, but this is not the topic to do it in.

Just like right after 9/11 it wasn’t an appropriate time to actually read and question the PATRIOT Act? Sorry, not how I operate.

God forbid anyone should be in favor of good and against evil. That’s a recipe for anti-state activity right there.

(I really don’t know anything about this case or this person but I couldn’t resist the straightline.)

It confuses me how you invent absurd arguments to pretend that I’ve made just so you can shoot them down in an attempt to discredit my opinion.

A man posts on Twitter that he swears allegiance to a group of radical religious zealots and murderers and is taking part in their struggle. The police, in accordance with due process and full legality, investigate and find him to be in possession of military grade weapons.

And your first instinct is to complain about government abuses and over-reach?

Me? I’m happy the self-admitted zealot with military grade weapons has been legally apprehended before people wound up full of lead, and I’m willing to reserve my concerns on government abuses and over-reach for use in other, more pertinent discussions, thanks.

You said that his statements created probable cause and I took issue with that. If you don’t ever want anyone to argue with something you’ve said, then you shouldn’t say anything. That’s not a veiled imperative to shut up, just pointing out that you can’t control how and whether people will respond to you. Topics can take on a life of their own and frankly this one isn’t getting any traffic because it’s an open-and-shut case of “this guy is a dumbass.” I somehow doubt I’m derailing a discussion that gets any loftier than that.

Except I addressed your concerns as to why this does, in fact, constitute probable cause.

Someone who recently entered the country coming from the Middle East posts that they are a member of a violent Islamic terrorist group, and that they are engaged in open hostilities with “America” and “The West”. No matter how you slice it, that’s probable cause to get a warrant and search their property.

You may not like that fact, but you can’t deny it. If anything is open-and-shut, it’s the fact that this legally constitutes probably cause, as probable cause currently is defined and exists. Maybe you think probably cause should be defined differently, but that’s completely irrelevant.

In my very first comment, I stated that it may not be the law, but that it should be. If you missed that and continued to argue with me, then I can see why you are frustrated. For my part, I think I missed where you were trying to be on-point with the law as applied. I think the problem is that we are arguing about two different things. Honestly, most of the time I like reading your comments and engaging with you on this BBS. Next time we get in a dinghy we should try and row in the same direction, though.

So is this guy really a terrorist or is he just saying things that are unpopular. Seems like the trumped up weapons charge is just an excuse to arrest him. This is a 1st Amendment issue as wall as a 2nd Amendment issue.

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