Jihadist Gets 17 Years in Prison

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on July 24, 2012

Would-be American-killing jihadist Rezwan Ferdaus has pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb and assault the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. He'll spend the next 17 years in prison. His story tells us a lot about the risks and dangers of mass immigration.

Ferdaus, 26, was born in the United States to Bangladeshi immigrants. He went to Ashland High School near Boston, Mass. The practicing Muslim earned a physics degree from Northeastern University in 2008. Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen, still lived with his parents in an upscale Ashland suburb until arrested last fall. From all indications, he is smart and musically talented.

Is Ferdaus the all-American immigrant success story, the ideal of assimilation and Americanization, the appreciative beneficiary of the better life his parents sought to give him? Hardly. And that's why immigration at unassimilable levels poses unnecessary, foolish dangers to our nation and our citizens.

His ideological extremism based in radical Islam has been solidifying for years. This young man "routinely turned his back during" the reciting of the pledge to the flag in school. Police suspect he burned the American flag over his school in 2003.

Ferdaus eventually sought out radical jihadist propaganda. He honed his treasonous ideology through Islamist websites and videos. By 2010, he started to plan a jihadi attack, getting in contact with undercover FBI agents he thought were al Qaeda operatives. His plot involved automatic firearms, plastic explosives packed into model airplanes, grenades, cell phone explosive devices, and assault teams at the Capitol and Pentagon. Ferdaus got a thrill when told his cell-phone detonator had killed American soldiers in Iraq (it really hadn't, thank God).

From Ferdaus and other such "home-grown" and imported criminals it should be obvious that mass immigration creates environments that not only slow or reverse Americanization, but also foster anti-assimilationist and anti-American beliefs. As the Ferdaus case shows, one doesn't have to live in an ethnic enclave to embrace jihadism (I use this term to differentiate an anti-American political "-ism" emanating from Islam from the religion per se, though Islam hardly passes muster as "a religion of peace").

A Congressional Research Service report illuminates the complexity of Islamic radicalization in our country. Given the twin pillars of the "diversity" cult and the open-borders bias among elites, getting a fair hearing on the very real, very legitimate reasons why we should reduce immigration remains maddeningly difficult. And in addition to cutting back on immigration levels, especially from jihadist-prone countries, we desperately need to reinstate ideological exclusion. The latter might not apply to the Rezwan Ferdauses out there, but it would certainly provide another tool against the Faisal Shahzads (Times Square bomber), Samir Khans (Inspire magazine jihadi propagandist), and Najibullah Zazis (New York City subway bomber) of the world.