LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and his top counter-terrorism commanders met with Muslim leaders Thursday night at an Exposition Park mosque to discuss the rise of Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) amid concerns that the terrorist group would launch attacks and recruit members in the United States, reports KCAL 9 in Los Angeles. Some Muslims are concerned about those recruitment efforts.
Beck said, “These are very, very troubled times. Halfway around the world, some horrific events have occurred that hurt all of our hearts.”
Mohammad Khan, LAPD/Muslim Forum Co-Chair, said, “This is a serious issue, y’know? And I know some mothers in the community are concerned, hey what if that happens to my kid? As you know, with the Internet now, ISIS can be in your home. Your young kids could be looking at something that ordinarily they shouldn’t be looking at.”
One member of the Muslim community said, “They are about luring our young men, especially through the Internet, on this false promise that they will go to heaven if they blow themselves up.”
Addressing reports that Islamic State has targeted Times Square in New York by trying to recruit “lone wolf” attackers, Beck said there hasn’t been any evidence of such an attack in Los Angeles, but the best way to prevent such attacks is to have good relations with the Muslim community. He said:
Nobody can tell from a black and white car what’s going on inside a house, and so we need people to come forward when they have things that are suspicious. If you see something, say something. It is extremely important that everybody takes a role in public safety, especially when we have these incidences where we’re concerned about ‘lone wolf’ or home-grown insurgents.
Yet there were some accusing the LAPD of targeting the Muslim community. Hajj Kasib Abdul Rahmaan, a Muslim activist, said, “They need to know that we are not the enemies. They need to know who is on their side, who is not. You can’t know that if you’re sitting at the desk, you’ve got to come in to the mosque.”