Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“The wicked Catholics, Jews all of them,” Abdur Raheem Rafeeq ranted, as he scouted downtown Cleveland.
Abdur had a worthless degree from a culinary school that had gone out of business, a criminal record encompassing everything from domestic violence to aggravated robbery, and a deep love of Allah.
Living on disability in what news reports describe as a Dayton, Ohio Job Corps facility, Abdur, who had formerly been known as Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts and would soon demand to be called Saladin Osama Waleed, after the two famous Muslim leaders he worshiped, loved Allah and hated America.
St. John’s Cathedral, whose bells can be heard throughout downtown, drew the Muslim's ire. On the video, which would later be recovered from the terrorist's phone, he spoke of taking it “off the map.”
But Abdur didn’t limit the scope of his plots to Catholics and Jews. He also considered hitting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other targets included the Coast Guard Station, the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building, and Cleveland Harbor. The Muslim terrorist was having a good time narrating his terror plots in the traditional Al Qaeda style that had almost gone out of fashion. After years of impotently railing against America, he had finally found a helpful collaborator to help realize his terror dreams.
The plan for removing St. John’s or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from Cleveland’s map was detonating a bomb in a van. That plan, like the rest of Abdur’s horrific plotting, never came to fruition.
Unfortunately for Abdur, his new Muslim terrorist friend was actually an FBI informant.
Abdur’s first message, which helped begin the FBI investigation, was sent to a San Diego business show whose title, The American Dream, may have caught his attention. "USA Will Be Destroy. Allahu Akbar."
"We must kill all Kafiruns (non-Muslims) destroy, annihilate them," he later declared in his pledge video.
Abdur thought that his pledge videos, in which the criminal murderously boasts about his plots, would be circulated by Al Qaeda or ISIS around the world. Instead the only place they’re going, like the culinary school graduate who in reality never seems to have gotten past food service, is a court of law.
In the middle of June, the culinary terrorist formerly known as Demetrius was boasting about chopping up Marines and President Trump.
"You take the head," Abdur fantasized. “You send it straight to ‘em. The person’s head and his two hands."
It was a style of mutilation favored in Islam. Apologists may insist that beheading, like all the other forms of Islamic terrorism, had nothing to do with Islam, but Mohammed’s prized sword, Zulfiqar, meaning, ‘Spine-Splitter’ and the popularity of the practice in Islamic law to this day, testify otherwise.
“That’s how I would send Donald Trump back. Head, hand, hand,” Abdur went on ranting.
Scimitars aren’t that easy to come by in Cleveland, so Abdur rhapsodized over machetes, the current favorite blade of devout Muslim and MS-13 killers. “I can’t wait ‘til I get me the right machete cause the first day I, how I’m gonna clean it is cutting a person’s head off,” he boasted.
Abdur proposed beheading a Marine by distracting him and asking him to point out a place on a map. But his first and final love was still the bomb. Driving past a Marine Corps flag on a house, Abdur urged planting explosives in the house. Then he suggested bombing a bar outside a base.
But the final plot he would settle on was murdering children at a Fourth of July parade.
The Muslim terrorist detoured to Philly to check out the possibility of bombing the city he called his hometown. “We gonna hit the Bicentennial city, Philadephia, now that’ll really open their eyes.”
He pondered ‘hitting’ Philly’s toweringly baroque City Hall whose clocks put Big Ben to shame, encrusted below with sculpted representatives of all the races of man and topped at the height of what had briefly been the world’s tallest building with a 37 foot statue of William Penn. Abdur might have dreamed of toppling William Penn for Allah, but his murderous heart lay back in the state he had already terrorized.
Abdur/Demetrius had built up his criminal record in Ohio and had built his terror plots around Cleveland targets. The final climax of his terror was to be in downtown Cleveland on the Fourth of July.
"What would hit in the core?" he asked. "Have a bomb to blow up the 4th of July parade."
As the Marines were marching through the front gate and all the bands were playing, that's when the bombs were meant to go off. "That's when you wanna take them bastards out."
"You gotta wait 'til the parade starts, where it gets into motion,” Abdur sketched out his plans.
He settled on remote control cars with C-4 explosive and BBs inside. Inside, the Muslim terrorist wanted to add shrapnel. "if BB’s hit you, you can still live, but if shrapnel hits you— it will tear you up.”
The cars would have little American flags on them. “Ain’t nobody gonna pay attention ‘cause it’s got the little flags on it and everything. Everybody gonna be like aw, aw….BOOM!”
Then the deranged monster managed to top his horrific visions with a new level of evil. He wanted to give remote controlled toy cars to the children of military personnel as gifts. Some would blow up at the parade. Others would be brought home to kill their parents.
And at that point, the FBI had enough.
Abdur was arrested. And though he never got to kill anybody, at least one of his wishes did come true.
"I want it to make the news," the Muslim terrorist had insisted to the informant. And now he has. He’s on the local news in Philly, in Dayton and across the two states where he plotted his wicked slaughter.
But another of his wishes never will.
"I just wanna leave my name. Marked on this earth so they never forget it,” he had vowed.
No atrocity will mark Abdur’s name. He will not be remembered as Abdur, as Demetrius or as Saladin. There will be no mourning families who will recall, decades from now, a terrible day or night of terror. Not even the Al Qaeda terrorists whom he worshiped and sought to emulate will remember him.
Abdur proved to be as much a failure at killing Americans as he was at tossing salads and searing steaks. While he languishes in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, St. John’s Cathedral and Philadelphia City Hall will remain where they are taunting the Jihadist with his failure.
An Islamic evil lurked in Cleveland. Its monstrous plot was aimed at innocence and freedom. It failed.
Children who might have been maimed for life will run laughing home on the Fourth; never knowing the horror that nearly touched them. Their parents will look up as the sky fills with the lights of freedom.
Time will pass and as he rots in jail, the failed chef and failed terrorist will be forgotten. But the children whom he nearly killed will not. They will grow up. Some will become the Marines whom Abdur hated.
And they will go on defending this country and its freedoms from Abdur’s Islamic terrorist friends.