In January, a 20-year-old named Christopher Cornell was arrested for allegedly orchestrating a terror plot against the U.S. Capitol. Having planned the attack with a man who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, Cornell likely faces a long prison term in federal lockup. But while Cornell himself may pose no further danger to America, a recent interview he did with WXIX-TV proves that the threat of the Islamic State doesn’t end with their reign of terror in the Middle East.
Now being held at the Boone County Jail in Kentucky, the Ohio resident – now calling himself Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah – called TV reporter Tricia Macke last Thursday to share his thoughts. So disturbing was the interview that Cornell’s attorney tried to block the station from airing it. A judge ruled that blocking it would violate the terrorist’s right to free speech, and thus we got a little peek into the mind of an American Islamic radical.
“I got orders from the brothers overseas because I’m with the Islamic State,” Cornell said. “My brothers over there, in Syria and Iraq, gave me specific orders to carry out jihad in the West, so I did so.”
Cornell went on to say that his plot was only the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s coming. “There will be many, many attacks. Like I said, we are ready for the battle over the Capitol.” When asked what he would have done had he not been arrested, Cornell said:
I would have took my gun, I would have put it to Obama’s head and I would have pulled the trigger. Then I would have released more bullets on the Senate and the House of Representative members, and I would have attacked the Israeli embassy and various other buildings full of kafir who want to wage war against us Muslims and shed our blood. That’s what would happen.
Cornell blamed the jihad on the U.S., claiming the government brought this on themselves with their presence in the Middle East and their continued support of Israel. He further bragged that there were ISIS members in every state, encouraging listeners to sit back and wait for the future of jihad in America.
It’s obviously tempting to write all of this off as the delusional ravings of a man who wants to feel more important than he is. And they may consist of little more than that. What is certain, though, is that he didn’t come up with these ideas on his own. They are fully consistent with the kind of propaganda ISIS is spreading, and that alone makes the interview noteworthy. Cornell is a perfect example of the kind of soft-minded man drawn to their bloody message.
Why has the West been so ineffective in their response to this propaganda? After all, who does propaganda better than the United States? The problem is that we’ve chosen to handcuff ourselves. It is impossible to tear down the ISIS ideology without also condemning the fundamentals of Islam itself. Not radical Islam, but the words written in the Quran. The form of the religion that endorses human rights violations, a hatred of Jews, and Sharia law. Until we’re willing to admit that the problems with this religion spread well beyond a few terrorist groups, we will not have an effective argument against their claims.