The news that an 18-year-old Muslim from Hillside allegedly tried to blow up a Chicago bar with a car bomb has Rep. Joe Walsh feeling vindicated. Walsh was excoriated for his claim that radical Muslims in the suburbs are plotting to kill Americans by journalists who called him “hysterical” and accused him of “stok[ing] anti-Muslim hatred.”
His rhetoric raised even more concern after subsequent attacks on mosques in Morton Grove and Lombard.
Walsh met with members of the Muslim community to discuss his remarks, although the meeting grew acrimonious after Walsh refused to apologize.
At Friday night’s debate between Walsh and challenger Tammy Duckworth, which aired on Fox News Chicago, Walsh asserted that al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that plotted the World Trade Center bombings, is recruiting American Muslims to carry out mass killings in the United States. Duckworth retorted that Walsh needs to take responsibility for the attacks on suburban mosques.
Hours after the debate, 18-year-old Adel Daoud, who worships at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park, allegedly parked his Jeep Cherokee in front Cal’s Bar, 400 S. Wells St., walked to a nearby alley, and allegedly tried to detonate a bomb inside his vehicle, according to police reports.
According to the FBI, which arrested Daoud as he attempted to set off the bomb, the young man was trying to kill Americans because he believes this country is at war with “Islam and Muslims.” He targeted a bar because it serves alcohol, which is prohibited by Islam, authorities said.
To Walsh, Dauod’s plot validated the claim that radical Islam is a threat to Chicago. Monday, he issued this press release:
“While I am horrified to learn that an attack could have happened so close to home, sadly I am not surprised,” said Walsh. “Home-grown terrorism is a real threat here in the United States both in the suburbs and the big cities. It’s something that law enforcement and Americans must face and discuss, instead of worrying about political correctness. We must also rise against partisan politics and work together to keep our country safe.”
Walsh, a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, has spoken previously about the threat of the radicalization of Muslim-Americans. The committee has held five hearings on the topic over the past two years.
“As I’ve stated in the past, the majority of Muslim-Americans in the United States are peaceful, honorable citizens. However, our government must do a better job of focusing on the small strain of radical Islam right here in America that is determined to do this country great harm. This is an issue that all Americans must take seriously, and we must work across party lines to tackle this very serious threat.”
On Friday, police arrested 18-year-old Adel Daoud on charges that he attempted to plant and set off a car bomb in Chicago. The teen was part of a year-long operation by undercover law enforcement that began in Villa Park (a Northwest Suburb of Chicago).
“I commend law enforcement for thwarting this threat early. Illinoisans continue to owe them a debt of thanks for keeping us safe. As a Member of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue to work with Chairman Peter King to ensure that law enforcement has all the tools they need to stop threats like these,” concluded Walsh.