- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thank God a teenager said something when he saw something.

A still-anonymous Circuit City staffer became suspicious while transferring a videotape to DVD. Six young Muslim men in the recording fired guns and yelled “Allahu Akbar” — the “Let’s roll” of the suicide-bomb set.

This wide-awake citizen called 911, thus triggering a 16-month investigation, infiltration and incapacitation of the “Fort Dix Six,” the half-dozen Muslims, including three illegal aliens, who the FBI arrested May 8 on suspicion of planning to shoot up that New Jersey Army base.

“My intent is to hit a heavy concentration of soldiers,” Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer allegedly declared on a wiretap. “I do it in the name of Allah,” defendant Serdar Tatar allegedly added. “U.S., no matter what they do, cannot catch my Uncle Benny,” Agron Abdullahu said affectionately of Osama bin Laden, according to comments to ABC News by this suspect’s co-worker, Bob Watts.

While watching videotaped terror strikes against American GIs, officials said the suspects exploded into laughter when a bomb severed one Marine’s arm. Had that Circuit City clerk stayed quiet, these alleged terrorists might have soaked the Garden State in blood.

“Dude, I just saw some really weird,” the clerk told a colleague, though he hesitated before speaking up. As the New York Post reported May 13, he said: “I don’t know what to do. Should I call someone, or is that being racist?”

This case confirms why Americans should keep our eyes peeled for those who wish us dead. As the War on Terror grinds toward September 11’s sixth anniversary, it is tempting to avoid all this and simply focus on comforting things, like barbecued steaks and richly aged bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alas, those who crave American blood plot mayhem as we plan cookouts. But remember: concerned individuals already have foiled terrorists:

Employees at Access Storage near London’s Heathrow Airport wondered why an urbanite spent some $400 a month to warehouse about $180 of fertilizer. The authorities they contacted soon connected 1,300 pounds of this ammonium nitrate with Omar Khyam and four other Islamic fanatics, whom they arrested March 30, 2004. A week later, U.S. officials nabbed Mohammad Babar, a Pakistani-born, Queens-reared al Qaeda agent. He pleaded guilty to providing these perpetrators “material support” from New York. The five English Muslims received life in prison last April 30 for plotting to bomb the Bluewater mall in Kent or London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub. Judge Michael Astill called them “cruel and ruthless misfits who should be removed from society for its own protection.”

Then-recent Egyptian immigrant Abdel Rahman Mossabbah told two New York Police rookies on July 30, 1997, that his roommates planned to blast transit facilities the next day. Police quickly arrested Palestinian illegal immigrants Ghazi Ibrahim and Abu Maizer for preparing to blow up Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue subway station. According to the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Policing Terrorism, “an FBI agent testified Abu Maizer said after his arrest that he wanted to bomb a B-train because of the large number of Jews from the Borough Park area of Brooklyn on that line.” Ibrahim and Maizer are serving life sentences.

Congress should adopt New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce’s bill to shield from litigation those who report suspicious activity. This legislation, which House Democratic leaders are treating like a rat at brunch, would scuttle lawsuits such as those filed against the so-called “John Does.”

These passengers turned in the “Flying Imams,” six Muslim clerics pulled from a Nov. 20 US Airways flight after their on-board antics and anti-American statements in Arabic worried travelers, including a native-Arabic speaker who notified airline personnel.

Unfortunately, Mr. Pearce’s bill only applies to cases involving transportation, but it is a camel’s nose under the Islamofascist tent. This good start should expand to indemnify those who speak up in good faith even in nontransit cases. They deserve protection and praise.

To that end, Congress also should authorize an Eternal Vigilance Medal to recognize civic-minded patriots whose extraordinary alertness stops terrorists cold. If the Fort Dix Six are convicted, the first Eternal Vigilance Medal, and a handsome cash reward, should reach that dude in New Jersey who saw something, said something and scuttled a conspiracy to slaughter scores of Americans.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Va.

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