GEORGETOWN, S.C. -- They don't look like al-Qaida terrorists. Their photos in the local newspaper look menacing enough -- but more like a crew that might knock over a convenience store or an ATM at a gas station. Their apprehension this week by FBI agents in Raleigh, N.C., has their neighbors here talking about "homegrown jihadis" and has prompted the O-Team Department of Homeland Security to warn about "American extremists" once again.
The seven men were arrested Monday, the same day President Barack Obama tendered his much-acclaimed invitation to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley to sit down over a beer and talk about the serious problem of racism in America. The president, who claimed that the police behaved "stupidly" in detaining the professor, apparently considers "racism" to be a more serious problem than Americans being recruited to commit acts of terror.
Our nation's chief executive, consumed with preparations for his "beer summit," was as mute about the "North Carolina Seven" -- all charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists overseas -- as he was about the fraudulent elections in Iran. Perhaps that's because he doesn't want to alarm the public about a real and present danger -- or because he was involved so personally in choosing just the right brews for himself and his guests. For those who care, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says that POTUS prefers Bud Light; professor Gates is a fan of Jamaican Red Stripe; and Sgt. Crowley tips back with Blue Moon. One can only ponder what this revelation will mean for sales of these suds.
What is certain is that Daniel Patrick Boyd -- the alleged ringleader of the Raleigh terror cell -- and his fellow "jihadis" are unlikely to be tippling anytime soon, even if they want to. In the 14-page federal indictment unsealed Monday, Boyd and his six "colleagues" are charged with plotting to murder, kidnap and maim individuals overseas. Prosecutors maintain that Boyd -- who goes by the name "Saifullah," meaning "sword of Allah" -- is a "veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan" and that he recruited his sons and other U.S. citizens to travel overseas for waging "violent jihad." An eighth conspirator is being sought in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.