Islamic community grateful for foiled terror plot recognition | News
Tampa, Florida -- Sami Osmakac, 25, may not be the only person the feds have their eyes on in the Bay area.
People in the Islamic community, praised for their role in helping to foil Osmakac's alleged terror plot, say the Pinellas Park man had three or four associates who were also asked to leave local mosques for their radical, disruptive behavior. They believe those associates have views as radical as Osmakac's, and the FBI should keep an eye on them.
Before ever showing up on the government's radar screen, Sami Osmakac was already know to Tampa Bay's Muslim community.
He was thrown out of two local mosques, and rejected by several others for what were perceived as "radical views, disruptive behavior, intimidating other worshipers, you know - getting into arguments with people," said Ahmed Bedier, a Muslim community activist.
Bedier says Osmakac physically threatened him for promoting Muslim participation in the democratic process, even calling him an infidel.
He and other Islamic leaders brought Osmakac to the government's attention nearly two years ago, but heard nothing until recently about his arrest. The government said it had been tracking Osmakac since last fall, leaving some to wonder what took so long?
"In fact, for a while we were getting frustrated, because we didn't see any progress happening," said Bedier.
Robert O'Neill, an assistant U.S. Attorney said Monday they "commend the Islamic community and the Muslim community," for its assistance in the case.
It was recognition the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) appreciated.
Sami Osmakac may not be the only person the feds have their eyes on here. I spoke with people on Tuesday who tell me Osmakac had three or four associates who were also asked to leave local mosques, including the Islamic Society of Pinellas County.
Local Muslim leaders say they intend to use this as a learning opportunity, by reaching out to Islamic children in the community and discouraging them from such behavior, and helping leaders to better recognize the warning signs before kids are influenced by radicals.