The Corner

Law & the Courts

Was There an ISIS-Inspired Murder in North Carolina?

The Daily Beast brings us this disturbing story, from the Tar Heel State:

An alleged ISIS sympathizer from North Carolina may be the prime suspect in the murder of his neighbor.

The body of John Bailey Clark was discovered in a shallow grave in Morganton, North Carolina in 2014. Police had no leads about who shot Clark, 74, in the head three times until they announced a sudden break in the case in December: a suspect was already in custody on other charges.

That’s believed to be Justin Nojan Sullivan, who lives four doors down from Clark, and was arrested on charges of planning an ISIS-inspired attack.

There are parallels with another possible “ISIS audition,” this time in New York:

An alleged jihadist arrested in June on charges that he plotted to blow up Times Square may also be the fiend who stabbed a 9-year-old Staten Island boy in the neck five months earlier in what some investigators now believe was a botched ISIS audition.

But NYPD detectives investigating the Jan. 9 knife attack have been frustrated by the feds, who won’t give them access to terror suspect Fareed Mumuni, said a source familiar with the probe.

In both cases, the suspect committed a seemingly-random act of violence. In both cases, federal authorities later arrested them on ISIS-related charges, leaving state investigators sidelined as the FBI took charge. 

It’s difficult to determine if these cases represent actual terror attacks, but it’s entirely possible that we’re facing hints of a new kind of “lone wolf” threat – seemingly-random violence as a twisted method of proving jihadist bona fides. I would say these cases bear watching, but for now authorities are remaining largely silent, and absent excellent, inquisitive reporting, we’d be largely ignorant of these incidents.

What else don’t we know?

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