Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in Ariel
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in ArielPhoto: Eyal Mass

It is not for nothing that Florida is affectionately dubbed the "Sunshine State." This is so because of the (mostly) lovely weather conditions, as well as the laid-back lifestyle. Atop it lies another attractive lure - the non-existent personal state income tax. It is an added incentive for all financial brackets. And, having Governor DeSantis at the helm makes living there that much more welcoming.

Even so, in light of the devastating fire at Chabad in Tallahassee (the evening of May 7, 2022), it behooves examining what, more likely than not, went down - never mind what officialdom and compliant media types will proclaim.

Over the years, and up to this day counterterrorism contacts in Florida (throughout the U.S., too) uncover trail upon trail of terror plots. Due to expertise in Islamic jihad, this writer is part of the hunt to expose key terrorists.

Time and again, exposés were compiled to keep up with the flow of jihadi traffic in Florida. One can be read here, as well as at other non-intimidated news sites.

For the central purpose of today's discussion, the following should be viewed, first and foremost, as a Public Service Warning - as per a "Who's Who" listing within Florida's jihadi arena. Beforehand, it is imperative to bear in mind two factors.

- First, it is irrelevant whether or not the top-tier are currently ensconced in the "Sunshine State" - for that matter, in any other. The core component of their mission is to set up a vast network of "sleeper cells", trained to "fly under the radar." Be it through material or non-material support, they must be highly dedicated Islamists - capable of not attracting attention to themselves. In reality, countless stay "buried", and for years on end. Meanwhile, they carry on with both their plotting and everyday living.

- Second, almost always, the top chieftains (some of whom will be revealed) "hide in plain sight." As a mandatory pillar of jihad, stealth jihad a/k/a civilization jihad is the least understood. Nevertheless, it is of grave import.

In the key Muslim Brotherhood Memo unearthed on this subject (written in 1987 but not formally published until May 22, 1991), MB operative Mohamed Akram laid it all out within an Explanatory Memorandum; an eighteen-page document for like-minded "organizations of our friends." Effectively, he said, "their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their own hands ..... so that ....God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."

All of which intersects with the chieftains, as they "hide in plain sight."

Establishing themselves inside major centers of influence within America, be it legal, cultural, political, academic, media, etc. addresses, it is from this and that perch that "respectable cover" is achieved - in order to distance themselves from the fall-out of the corresponding pillar of jihad: frontal! As such, the deceit, the less than six degrees of separation from attack after attack, is unimpeded.

Alas, it is high time to name names within Florida's terror-nest, again, be they current or former residents of the "Sunshine State." But it is very intrinsic to mention that they only represent a small sampling. The below list is not meant to be exhaustive.


- Sami al-Arian: Head chieftain for PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) in the U.S., until his deportation to Turkey in 2015 (having arrived in Florida, as a legal resident, in 1975). He was ensconced at Tampa U of South Florida - with all of the attendant trappings and privileges bestowed with a computer science Professorship. Tampa U, by way of all of its academic (and other) tentacles spread throughout Florida, served as his recruiting hub and cover. The damage he accrued persists until this day. He is still actively plotting, courtesy of his patron, Turkey's Islamist President Erdogan.

- Harlem Suarez a/k/a Almlak Benitez: An ISIS follower, a "Florida resident sentenced to life in prison (2017) for attempting to possess a weapon of mass destruction and provide material support for a terrorist organization." Even at his young age, current Intel assesses that he can still crow that his lieutenants/soldiers in Florida are on the loose and active within the state, with or without his material support.

- Florida’s Omar Mateen: The ISIS Jihadi who rocked the U.S. (on June 12, 2016) with a massive death toll – killing forty-nine and wounding fifty-three innocents at Orlando’s Pulse Gay Club. His jihadi schooling in Florida “earned” a chapter within “Banned: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad.” It is entitled, “Jihad In Orlando: Facebook Takes Center Stage.” Warning: Its contents are horrific.

- Florida's Nabil-el-Shukri! He is the scion of a major terror family within al-Qaeda, namely, the son of “Sheikh Gulshair.”

- Backgrounder: Sheikh Gulshair was the top Imam at the “Blind Sheikh’s” terror mosque, the Al Farooq(attached to the Al Kifah Refugee Center) on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, NY. To internalize the son's jihadi roots, the short of it is this: The close nexus to the “Blind Sheikh” - as the architect of the 1993 Twin Towers bombing – was the “dry run” for 9/11/01!

Following in the family's jihadi footsteps, another king-pin was Nabil's highly accomplished brother', the non-lamentedAdnan El Shukrijumah (Dec.6, 2014). He was a long sought after material accomplice to the 9/11/01 terror attacks, and became a TOP ranking al-Qaeda Commander. He developed many, many ties to the "Sunshine State." He called Miramar, Florida home.

- Unsurprisingly, two terror-tied names are prominently found on the Tamarac, Florida-based Alazhar School website - it, too, houses a veritable list of "Who's Who" in Islamist terror!

Still yet, for those who prefer a visual aid to internalize the out-sized, mostly hidden, danger within Florida, view here.

Either way, know this: Those involved with the horrific attack on Chabad are foot-soldiers. In fact, none of the acts of jihad within Florida (and beyond, but let's leave that in abeyance for another outing) would get off the ground without the sleeper cells they nurtured and implanted.

All in all, even if the devastating wreckage is ruled arson, officialdom, with media lap-dogs intoning from the same script, will do everything to squelch a definitive jihadi nexus.

But never mind, the footprints/fingerprints couldn't be any clearer. Darker.