Rep. West Reacts To Alleged Terror Plot: Middle East 'Has Their Their Eyes On US'

January 09, 2012 5:28 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Earlier today, the Justice Department announced the arrest of a 25-year-old Florida man accused of plotting several attacks in Tampa.

A Kosovo-born Muslim man was charged with plotting to attack crowded locations around Tampa, including nightclubs and a sheriff's office, with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said Monday.

According to a federal complaint, 25-year-old Sami Osmakac recorded an eight-minute video shortly before his arrest explaining why he wanted to bring terror to his "victims' hearts" in the Tampa Bay area. Osmakac is a naturalized American citizen born in Kosovo, a region in the former Yugoslavia in eastern Europe.

Robert O'Neill, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, commended law enforcement agencies as well as the local Muslim community, saying that "this investigation was also predicated, in part, by assistance from the Muslim community."

Osmakac's arrest is a reminder that the threat of terror and violence is very real. Beyond that, O'Neill's comments highlight the fact that, contrary to the crusade that Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has been leading, local Muslim communities have played an important role in not only confronting radical behavior but also reporting it to the proper authorities.

But Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the fiery freshman who has based his short political career on anti-Muslim demagoguery, saw the incident as something different: a reason for our troops to have stayed in Iraq. On Twitter, West linked to an article about the arrest, adding that it serves as a reminder of why Americans should worry about Iran and support our military presence in the region. West, a former lieutenant colonel who was reprimanded for torturing an Iraqi policeman, is a vocal critic of the withdrawal from Iraq.

It's not entirely clear what connection West is trying to make here. According to news reports, Osmakac was born in the former Yugoslavia; that would be Europe, not the Middle East. Additionally, the FBI affidavit makes no mention of Iran or Iraq, which suggests that the only part of the news that West understood was that the alleged perpetrator was Muslim. West has previously said he believes the United States is at war with Islam.