UPDATE: It isn’t as bad as it appeared at first glance. A former US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps Captain writes in: “Kindly note that the ‘National Defense Service Medal’ is awarded to every soldier who completes basic training and enters upon active duty. It is colloquially known as ‘the warm-body medal,’ signifying that one qualifies for it simply by one’s living presence. As far as I know, the ‘Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal’ is similar. As a reserve enlisted man, provided one completes one year’s attendance at required drills, etc., one ‘earns’ this medal. Any half-sensible if stealthy jihadist can accomplish either.” I then wonder why CBS News made a point of mentioning these medals.
Probably those who awarded these honors to Marine reservist Lance Cpl. Yonathan Melaku were anxious to give them to a Muslim, so as to reinforce the proposition that the U.S. is not at war with Islam. And no one would have dared question him about his loyalties, any more than anyone questioned Major Nidal Malik Hasan. To do so would have been “Islamophobic.”
A source told CBS News that the man detained in the discovery of a suspicious vehicle outside the Pentagon Friday morning has been identified as a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Marine reservist Lance Cpl. Yonathan Melaku, 22, told authorities during questioning Friday morning that he was carrying explosive materials, the source told CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton. CBS News affiliate WUSA-TV in Washington reports that Melaku serves as a motor vehicle operator.
In a statement, the FBI said Melaku had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal. The bureau said he joined the Marine Reserve in 2007 and has not deployed overseas.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Melaku is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia. Investigators and bomb-sniffing dogs were sifting through his family’s home in Fairfax County, Va., and agents in white protective suits removed evidence from the property.
Previously, FBI Special Agent Brenda Heck, who heads the bureau’s counterterrorism division in its Washington field office, told reporters that a non-explosive material was found in a backpack the suspect was carrying at the time of his arrest.
A law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity said tests were being done to determine the substance and the exact concentration.
A law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect now identified as Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases “al Qaeda,” “Taliban rules” and “Mujahid defeated croatian forces” when he was detained.
Despite the references to the terror organization that organized the 9/11 attacks, the group fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the Arabic word for “holy warrior,” the law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot….
Of course not!