Nicholas Young, the disgraced D.C. Metro Transit Police Department officer convicted of providing support for the Islamic State (ISIS) in December, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday.
MINNEAPOLIS — A city that’s spawned a surprising number of terror suspects is hosting this year’s Super Bowl, but local law enforcement officials say they're ready to protect Sunday’s big game.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has been home to the third highest number of terror prosecutions in the U.S. since 9/11, behind only the much larger metropolitan regions of New York and Washington, D.C. Twelve Twin Cities residents have been charged with providing support to ISIS and 20 have been arrested for alleged support of the Somali terror group al Shabab in the past nine years. Between 2011 and 2014, 13 locals died fighting for al Shabab and ISIS, according to U.S intelligence officials.
ISIS has continually called for attacks on large-scale events and the possibility of someone hearing those calls is not lost on the FBI’s Joe Rivers, who’s in charge of terrorism investigations in Minneapolis.
Rivers says the FBI and local law enforcement are more concerned about the potential for lone wolves to attack with a vehicle or a firearm than a sophisticated operation. “I think we're more worried about the fact that an individual is inspired to potentially do something,” said Rivers, “and that they find the means and the mechanisms to go ahead and do that either on their own or with very little help.”
To prepare and respond to any potential incident the FBI says it has brought in 200 extra agents who are a part of 1,000 federal agents from multiple agencies composing the largest deployment in Super Bowl history. Minneapolis and other nearby police departments will add nearly 1,000 extra officers, for a total uniformed presence of 2,000.
The game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles kicks off at about 6:30 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, and features halftime performances by Justin Timberlake and Pink. The venue holds nearly 67,000 people.
Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher, who is in charge of the city’s Super Bowl security operation says, “There are no credible threats currently to the Super Bowl or any activities but there's a large group of people who are looking at that and monitoring that hour by hour.”
The photographer, Askia Muhammad, said he took the photo during a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) meeting in 2005. He said he “gave up the picture at the time and basically swore secrecy.”
Also in the picture is Farrakhan’s son-in-law Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad, his son and security chief Mustapha Farrakhan, Minister Farrakhan’s son Joshua Farrakhan, and the Reverend Willie Wilson, executive producer of the program for Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, and a chairman of the 20th anniversary.
Muhammad said a staff member for CBC contacted him “sort of in a panic.”
“I understood what was going on,” Muhammad told Talking Points Memo. “I promised and made arrangements to give the picture to Leonard Farrakhan (the minister’s son-in-law and chief of staff.)”
Muhammad said he gave away “the disk” from his camera but “copied the photograph from that day onto a file” on his computer.
“Realizing that I had to give it up, I mean, it was sort of like a promise to keep the photograph secret,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad believes if the photo had been released during Obama’s presidential campaign, “it absolutely would have made a difference.”
Obama’s presidential campaign wasn’t without controversy. ABC News ran a report in March 2008 about his Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright’s sermons, which were critical of the US government.
Among the comments were: “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye ... and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
Obama denounced the statements but would not disown him as a person until the media pressure intensified. Obama was forced to speak more forcefully against his former pastor and said that he was “outraged” and “saddened” by his behavior. In May that year he resigned his membership in the church. Read More
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