Washington, DC: On May 21 two young Southern California men were arrested by the FBI on suspicion of joining and aiding ISIS. The FBI stated that they did not use informants to lure the suspects in this specific case. The arrests were made after a preliminary investigation based on the suspects’ social media activities where they expressed support for ISIS. They were both apprehended after one of the suspects left for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to travel to Turkey to join ISIS and the second suspect purchased his plane ticket, says an MPAC statement. It adds:
The FBI made it a point in briefing community leaders that mosques would not be implicated in the counterterrorism investigation. In the discourse on countering violent extremism, there needs to be more dialogue between communities and law enforcement in determining the role of each...
According to an FBI spokeswoman, the two suspects are due to appear in federal court later today. We await the court hearing which will determine the innocence or guilt of the defendants. MPAC is working to bridge the relationship between law enforcement and communities to ensure that communities are safe and are treated as partners rather than suspects. We are working to ensure more dialogue in the future to begin exploring ways to counter the ISIS threat, while protecting the sanctity of mosques.
CAIR-LA Reiterates Rejection of Extremism
Anaheim, CA: In a statement the Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) May 22 said that it will monitor a case in which two Anaheim men were arrested for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to militants. CAIR-LA also reiterated the American Muslim community’s consistent and repeated repudiation of terrorism and religious extremism and reminded the community of the presumption of innocence afforded to those in our court system.
“Our community rejects any form of extremism. We will be closely monitoring this case as it develops. It is very important to allow the legal process to take its course and wait for the facts to emerge. As with all cases, those charged are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.