“Bell roused suspicions at the Islamic Center in Jacksonville in 2012 for discussions he was having with teens who attended the center, including talks about jihad and the civil war in Syria, said Parvez Ahmed, the board secretary at the Northeast Florida center. Ahmed said parents came to the leadership with concerns, and center attorneys contacted the FBI. Federal agents subsequently visited the center several times to interview administrators and others.”
That is just the kind of thing we would have reasonably expected to happen on a routine basis if the standard line about jihadists being a tiny minority of extremists who hijacked the religion of peace were true. Instead, it is a rare and singular occurrence. And Parvez Ahmed, by the way, is the former Board Chairman of Hamas-linked CAIR. He supports an anti-blasphemy law in the U.S. — so he is no supporter of the First Amendment, to say nothing of the others. He may have thought it a good chess move to give this violent nut up to the authorities while he continued to work in stealthier, smarter ways toward his Sharia goals.
Note also once again that while Shelton Thomas Bell almost certainly has a Muslim name that he goes by, the mainstream media doesn’t tell us what it is or refer to him by it. The media calls converts to Islam by their Muslim names only when they’re beloved sports or entertainment stars; converts who wage jihad are forever condemned to be known only by their kaffir names. Islam’s image must be protected, doncha know.
“Jacksonville man accused of supporting terrorists set to change plea Wednesday,” by Jim Schoettler for the Florida Times Union, March 19 (thanks to Twostellas):
A change of plea hearing is set Wednesday morning for a Jacksonville man charged with planning to fight in an overseas holy war he trained for while seeking guidance from terrorists, including the late Osama bin Laden, the Times-Union has learned.
The hearing for Shelton Thomas Bell, 20, will take place before U.S. Magistrate Jim Klindt, court records show. No other details were immediately available. The Times-Union will have a reporter in the courtroom and an update will be provided on Jacksonville.com after the hearing.
Bell, charged last year with providing material support to terrorists, is also accused of using his training to stage a night “mission” in 2012 that damaged religious statues at a cemetery near his East Arlington home, court records show.
The self-employed computer repairman is accused of making recruiting videos for his planned fight in Yemen, though it’s unclear if his travels to the Middle East ever got him that far.
A Jacksonville-based terrorism task force composed of local, state and federal agencies uncovered the plot, but it’s unclear what tipped them off.
Bell has been in jail since January 2013 in an unrelated state case charging him with grand theft and organized fraud. His trial in federal court was set for April 7. Prosecutors and his public defender had been given a deadline of Wednesday to enter a plea agreement.
Bell roused suspicions at the Islamic Center in Jacksonville in 2012 for discussions he was having with teens who attended the center, including talks about jihad and the civil war in Syria, said Parvez Ahmed, the board secretary at the Northeast Florida center.
Ahmed said parents came to the leadership with concerns, and center attorneys contacted the FBI. Federal agents subsequently visited the center several times to interview administrators and others.
Bell is accused in a federal grand jury indictment of planning to travel to the Arabian Peninsula and join Ansar Al-Sharia, an alias for al-Qaida, in violence he termed a “jihad.” The terrorist group has taken responsibility for multiple attacks on Yemeni forces, including a suicide bombing during a parade in May 2012 that killed about 100 Yemeni soldiers.
No other arrests have been reported, though an unidentified juvenile worked closely with Bell and traveled with him to the Middle East, the indictment said.
The indictment said that from May to September 2012 Bell and others took up physical fitness and firearms training in Jacksonville to prepare for armed conflict in the Middle East.
Bell and an unidentified person are accused of participating in a July 4, 2012, night mission in which they dressed in dark clothes, wore masks and gloves, wrapped their footwear in tape and damaged statues at the Chapel Hills Memory Gardens cemetery. Bell is accused of recording the action at the East Arlington cemetery on St. Johns Bluff Road for a recruiting video.
The cemetery is just east of Bell’s home.
Bell and one or two others also are accused of training with firearms on July 4 and July 10 and recorded the latter exercise, the indictment said.
“Bell referred to this training as ‘practicing jihad’ and identified his real target as ‘not the American people, just the flag and the government,’ ” the indictment said.
After more training in late July 2012, Bell applied for an expedited passport. Before heading overseas two months later, Bell leased a laptop computer to communicate with unidentified people in the United States once he and an unidentified juvenile arrived in the Middle East.
He also used the laptop to download lectures and instruction from known terrorist leaders, including Anwar Al-Awlaki and bin Laden, the indictment said. He also researched maps, locations and crossing points to enter Yemen.
Before leaving, Bell and the juvenile went to a Jacksonville Walmart and bought gauze pads, batteries, athletic tape, razors and a computer storage device as part of their plan. It’s unclear how they intended to use the materials.
Bell and the juvenile, using $4,500 Bell defrauded from someone to buy airfare, flew in late September 2012 from Jacksonville to New York to Poland to Israel, where they were denied entry, according to court documents. It’s unclear why they were turned back.
They returned to Poland, then flew to Turkey and arrived in Jordan. They contacted an unidentified person who knew about the plan and could facilitate their travel to Yemen, the indictment said. It’s unclear if either Bell or the juvenile got to Yemen.
Bell returned to Jacksonville two months later. There was no mention of what happened to the juvenile.
An arrest report in the January case said Bell was working in a booth at the Pecan Park Flea Market in north Jacksonville in 2012 when he cleaned out his inventory and disappeared. Several customers told police he’d taken their computers, and they learned he’d bought a one-way ticket to Israel, where he’d stayed for several months.
Bell’s last address is listed in police records as in the 10200 block of Astronaut Court in Atlantic Boulevard Estates, just west of Jacksonville Executive Airport at Craig. He last attended Englewood High School, records show.
A woman who identified herself as Bell’s mother told the Times-Union last year he’d converted to Islam and had been overseas, but she gave no details.