Why aren't radicalized US Muslims outed more often by other US Muslims?

In the last few attacks by radicalized US Muslims when the backgrounds of the attackers are probed it’s obvious that some of their friends and acquaintances knew, or suspected what they were up to for some time, but kept quiet.

Why? We’re not talking about growing pot in your garage, or stealing clothes from the store where you work, or even embezzling money from your office, we’re taking about planning a murderous terrorist attack on your (assumedly fellow) US citizens.

Why is there not more “see something, say something” from US Muslims if they know a fellow Muslim is going in this direction? I get that no one wants to be a snitch and US political MENA actions and decisions are not always in line with the opinions of US Muslims, but at some point you have to decide if being a US citizen is important or just an convenience that allows you a better place to live and work.

These radicalizations don’t happen in a vacuum. Why the silence?

Maybe because there aren’t all that many radicalized US Muslims.

And just because they’re Muslim, doesn’t mean the handful that exist are blabbing it out to every Muslim they see.

Hell, back in the 30s, many organized crime figures were Catholic, yet weren’t turned in by their fellow Catholics.

Exactly. I always figured the first and second rules of Jihad Club was that you don’t talk about Jihad Club.

Anyway, unless they’re going around trumpeting their desire to blow shit up for Allah, it’s probably very hard for someone not in the terrorist know to distinguish between someone who’s had a legitimate growth of faith and devotion vs. someone who’s become radicalized.

OP, this question can be generalized to all kinds of violet, criminal behavior. And I think a major factor is that the vast majority of the time that people talk about doing an extreme behavior that is all it is–just talk. That the person involved is just letting off steam. So consequently people who hear this don’t take the talk seriously. Haven’t you ever had an experience along this line?

I get that, but even ramping up to being in the mob you are still part of the polity and a US citizen. You may be killing your rivals but you aren’t fighting your country. This is basically turning on the entire society as an internal traitor to the US and rejecting the whole of US culture and society. You would think someone would out people behaving like this.

What makes you think they don’t?

I mean, if you snitched on Mukhbar because you thought he was a radical, and the FBI started investigating him, what should happen next? You go on the news to talk about how you snitched on Mukhbar? If Mukhbar is arrested, do you go on the news then? How many more radicals will you be able to snitch on, then?

Thing is, the people most likely in a position to snitch are the people on the periphery of the radical islamic movement. And they’re the ones least likely to want to snitch. There are plenty of patriotic American muslims who’d call the FBI if they thought someone in their group was a terrorist. The guys who want to be terrorists don’t get up in front of everyone in the Mosque and talk about how they’re gonna blow shit up, and then everyone keeps quiet about it.

You hear all the time in the news about such-and-such a group of dumbasses who were arrested after trying to buy weapons from an undercover FBI agent. How do you think the FBI started the investigation of these guys? Except the FBI doesn’t put out a press release naming all the snitches who helped them arrest these guys.

Syed Farook was born in Chicago, grew up in Riverside, and got his degree at Cal State San Bernardino.

Some good points made here.

I would add that part of the problem is that law enforcement has made it scary to come forward. If I were Muslim I would be very reluctant to talk to the FBI without hiring a lawyer first. Apart from all of the illegal conduct that occurred post-9/11, the FBI has also been extremely aggressive toward Muslims even remotely connected to radicalized Muslims, doing things like prosecuting or threatening to prosecute them on dubious false statement charges to get them to give up more info (like the names of everyone who attends their mosque). Or threatening immigration investigations or charges. Etc. If we want Muslims to feel comfortable coming forward, we need to protect their constitutional rights and also rein in the threats and overly aggressive prosecutorial tactics against them.

There’s another current thread explaining how the “bad” cops (over-violent, over-reactive) are a small percentage of police forces. So it should be easy to get rid of the baddies.

Main problem: Getting good police to “rat on” the bad ones. Might this be relevant?

Also, as someone else just pointed out, there* could* be more non-radicalized Muslims expressing concern to the authorities than are named in news reports.

Why does the OP presume such things have not happened and what basis is he thinking that it should be " more often" ?

I have read numerous stories of community informers as contributors to the cases brought by the FBI.

The handful of things I’ve read about “radicalized” Muslims who have been caught by the FBI, they weren’t really interacting with their local friends and fellow Muslims in any sort of radical way. They were interacting online with ISIS or other radical groups, and if anything shunning their “westernized” friends.

These days, you don’t need to sit around and spout off about what angers you to try to convince your friends to follow along. The Internet will point you to any number of echo chambers to help rile you up to the point of acting. And no one needs to know how riled up you are until you’ve gone too far.

I vaguely remember a story from a few years back where the FBI planted someone in a mosque to find out if there were any “radicalized Muslims.”

Apparently after a short time Muslims in the mosque were contacting the FBI saying there was some weird guy there who kept trying to get them all to discuss terrorism.

Same reason teens don’t get outed before they go on a shooting spree at their school I’d imagine.

An ISIS recruiter, Mufid Elfgeeh, was caught in upstate NY this week. The FBI didn’t say they’d been tipped off by the Muslim community, but they strongly suggested that “the public” was involved in identifying him. I’d say that public was likely the Muslim community he lived in, and that they likely weren’t identified to protect potential witnesses. In other words, Muslim witnesses are stepping up.

I think the gradual changes of an individual, group or even a community makes the decision to report a possible problem quite difficult.

It’s not a situation where on Monday Abdullah is an okay guy and on Tuesday it’s time to report him to the police and ruin his life. People can become quite used to a large change if it’s spread out over time.

Plus, a lot of people talk big but don’t actually act. There are jerks in every group. How can you tell which jerk is worth dropping a dime on?

My guess is they’re too busy being ignored while denouncing radical terrorists to have time to talk to the police.

To the extent that they are not reported by other Muslims and we just don’t hear about who outed them, I’m going to go with “Precisely the same reasons radicalized US Christians aren’t outed more often by other US Christians”.

Yes, I recall that story; one result of which was less trust & cooperation between mosques and the government. And the FBI has also become notorious for essentially manufacturing terrorist plots just so it has some terrorists it can arrest.

So there’s one answer to the OP; it’s because the government burned a lot of bridges with the Islamic community. People who think the government is just looking for an excuse to persecute them, don’t talk to the government much.

Here is a heartfelt and rather terrifying article, written by an ex-Muslim (living now in the US) Suraiya Simi Rahman.

Exactly. When talking about “others” one tends to assume they are a hivemind; like all Muslims know one another and what they are doing, like everyone who is in a Big Corporation is in on everything the company is doing, like everyone from Wherethehellistan (a country of tens of millions of people) is responsible or knows about what some dickheads from that country did.

It’s the same phenomenon as when you are a long way from home and tell someone you are from Brisbane [or New Orleans or Birmingham] and they say “Oh, I know a guy, Bob Smith; he’s from Brisbane, do you know him?” Yeah, sure, there’s only millions of people in my city.

The answer to the OP is exactly the same as the answer to the question of why mass shooters and domestic non-Muslim terrorists in the US are not outed by their community. If you don’t see any need to ask that question, then you have no need to ask question in the OP.