This news will come as a shock to many of you, particularly our friends in the Phoenix area.
30-year old Derrick Thompson is a Muslim convert who changed his name to Abu Talib al-Amriki, and was arrested a few months ago for plotting to carry out an “ISIS-inspired” attack in Arizona. The court learned that Thompson is an avowed jihadist and has been a supporter of ISIS for at least 3 years, having posted messages of support on various websites and message boards since 2014. He’s also spent quite a bit of time studying the difference between suicide and martyrdom and attempting to buy firearms illegally.
Court documents said Thompson tried to buy a semi-automatic weapon online in January 2015, but the seller sold the gun to someone else because Thompson was not in Phoenix at the time.
A probable cause statement filed in state court said it was clear Thompson attempted to buy a weapon “with the intent to use that weapon to promote or further the objectives of a criminal syndicate.”
Even knowing all of this and understanding that Thompson is the kind of threat to his community that few other criminals are, a Phoenix area court decided to release him on bail and back into the innocent population. Thompson was released from jail after posting a $75,000 bond, the only requirement of his release is that he wear an electronic ankle monitor at all times.
While I agree that as an American citizen who has yet to be found “guilty” of a crime, he deserves certain legal protections, I would argue that the threat he poses to his community outweighs those concerns. A judge is well within their rights to remand an accused person without bail if they believe that the suspect poses a credible flight risk, or a credible risk to the people around them. Thompson is the very definition of “RISK.”
If he can acquire a weapon, wearing an ankle bracelet will NOT stop him from hurting innocent Arizonans. His computer search history proves that he is willing to die for his cause, and now because one judge decided to set bail at such a low figure, Thompson will have the opportunity to do the exact thing he’s fantasized about doing for years.
I pray that the decision to grant bail doesn’t lead to countless deaths, but knowing that a man like Thompson is roaming free on our streets is terrifying.