This section is updated every Sunday morning to give church security teams some things to think about as they prepare for weekend services. I wish your team the very best and hope you may find occasional things applicable to your operations.

Security!? In a church?

Think About it ...

Thoughts of Jihad

 

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.[i]

 

We often have no idea how evil was interrupted before it hit us. In this case, we do know. A man discovered his son’s weapons and plans, then talked him out of the planned carnage. At the same time this was happening, excellent law enforcement coordination was watching the kid and doing the right things. Now we hope the wheels of justice do the right thing. This didn’t happen in Syria, Pakistan or Iraq. It was Detroit, Michigan.

 

Evil plans of attack on an unsuspecting church were temporarily postponed due to the dad’s intervention with his son who was another Jihadist Idiot (JI as we will call him for this article). I suspect there were prayers of protection being offered up in that church as well – and that is the primary thing that I would suspect turned things around.

 

As impressionable young empty skulls of slop often are, JI was caught up in reading of the exploits of ISIS as they continue their sweep through the middle east. Though interrupted the first time, thoughts of an American Jihad continued to brew in JI’s mind.

 

In an 8-page FBI complaint filed in the US District Court, Eastern Michigan Division on Feb 4, 2016 some details of JI’s plans are emerging. In a copy of the report obtained by me, we see the following allegations concerning this 22-year-old knucklehead.

 

Item 17 revealed how JI had appreciated the ISIS (aka IS, Daesh or Dawlah) videos of the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot, men being thrown off of high-rise buildings and the beheadings of Christians. His enthusiasm was expressed by re-tweeting, liking and commenting on these exploits on his twitter account.

 

Item 23 begins the most chilling part of the story. In this point JI tells an undercover agent that, “I tried to shoot up a church one day. I don’t know the name of it, but it’s close to my job. It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. Ya, I had it planned out. I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced with it. I practiced reloading and unloading. But my dad searched my car one day and he found everything. He found the gun and the bullets and a mask I was going to wear.”

 

Item 24 reveals why he chose a church as his target. In his own words it was because, “It’s easy and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news. Everybody would’ve heard. Honestly I regret not doing it. If I can’t go do Jihad at the middle east, I would do my Jihad over here.”

 

Item 25 indicated that the FBI identified the Detroit area church but did not name it in the formal complaint. They said only that it seats 6,000 people.

 

Item 28 told of how JI planned to go to the hospital where one of the area police officers was being cared for after a heart attack. It was a police officer who had pulled JI over in October. JI held a special grudge against that police officer, planning to go to that hospital and “do a martyrdom operation at the hospital, killing the police officer in the process.”

 

Item 29 discloses how JI carried a large knife (or sword) in his car and how reports of death “excite” him. He told the undercover agent that, “It is my dream to behead someone.”

 

Think About it…

 

Ø I had a lot of dreams and aspirations as 22-year-old man myself. Beheading someone sure never entered my mind. We are dealing with a new and sick generation of evil.

 

Ø Read item 24 over and over. He was wrong on one point (you can carry a firearm in a Detroit church – see the next point). In fact, Detroit Police Chief James Craig encourages an armed citizenry, recognizing it as part of the success in fighting crime in his city. Knowing Detroit area churches as I do, I suspect little JI may have had a real surprise in store should he have tried something at that church. But that doesn’t change the perception of idiots with misguided perceptions. And those idiots can get you hurt. Read everything he said about his reasons for attacking a church. Right or wrong, they are perceptions held by many and in some churches everything he said remains true. There are a lot more where this little punk came from and they are thinking the same thing.

 

Ø Those (like little JI) who only read headlines and make quick interpretations may think they are quoting Michigan laws when they say conceal carry doesn’t apply in churches. One must read the law carefully to see that if the church leadership allows it, Michigan law (Firearms act 327 of 1927, section 28.425o, subsection 5o, item [e]) allows armed citizenry to carry for protection in the houses of worship. A careful study of the entire law reveals abilities of carrying in the parking lots, carry by retired law enforcement and other exceptions that punks don’t generally know about. So here is a hat-tip to Michiganians in the know. I know many of your churches are well protected. As many punks as there are trying to understand law and come into an unsuspecting church, there are more sincere faith-based security professionals who are miles ahead of them. My concern is those churches who remain behind in the acceptance of intentional security. Perhaps this was a wake-up call to them.

 

Ø The picture of JI he used on his twitter account had him holding up a single index finger on his right hand. This is becoming symbolic of support for ISIS. This new gesture wave is known as “Tawhid” (the Oneness of God) and is likened by authorities as the infamous Nazi salute (item 20 of the report). When I was a young man holding up the index finger signified “one way” (meaning Christ is the one way to everlasting life). Our culture continues to be hijacked one word and one gesture at a time.

 

Ø  JI and those like him prefer the AK-47 as it is the weapon of choice of ISIS. JI was proud of his AK (item 22 in the report). I am certainly not saying that everyone with an AK is another JI, but it is one of many things to watch for.

 

Ø I see an increasingly common thread developing in our nation. Those who despise our freedom to worship are the same ones who despise our police officers. It is obvious in this case and others, that our (churches and law-enforcement) enemies are the same. I am glad to see law enforcement joining with churches across the country. Police are spending time with churches helping them to be better prepared and churches are supporting law enforcement in many ways. Keep up the great work!

 

[i] I Peter 3:12 (NIV)


… and last week’s TAI;




 
Pastors and their families

 

I am struck by the number and awfulness of pastors and their families being targeted. Often those attacks are at the pastor’s home. Sometimes it is a parsonage or rectory owned by the church and sometimes it is not. Regardless, it is the senior pastor’s home. As such it is the concern of every sincere church security effort out there, so those incidents are included.

 

Just looking at last year (2015), here are some incidents to take special note of.

 

January 27th, 2015. The Rev. Dr. Israel Ahimbisibwe and his wife (Dorcus) along with their 5-year-old son (Israel Jr.) were found brutally murdered in their home. The parents had been beaten to death with a lamp, a baseball bat and a hammer. The 5-year-old had been stabbed to death.

 

All of the bodies were brought from the areas of the home they died in, and placed into the bathroom. The parents were on the floor covered in towels and blankets and the little boy was in the tub.

 

The couple’s own 19-year-old son was arrested for the brutal murders.

 

February 7th, 2015. In Beckley, WV (just a few months after we had conducted a security seminar there) evil struck at the home of the Pastor of the Cool Ridge Community Church. 68-year-old Pastor Ronald Browning was home alone when a local 19-year-old girl came to his house. The 19-year-old female killer appeared to have no connection with the pastor except for it being his door she had come to.

 

When Browning’s wife returned home, she discovered the bloody crime scene throughout the house. A jar they kept coins in was broken apart with bloody shards of glass and coins scattered around his body.

 

When the girl broke into another home nearby, the occupants escaped and called police who arrested the girl in their home. She was covered in blood, urine and feces. She then began to tell how she had “killed that old white man” with a jar because God had told her to.

 

February 27th, 2015. Pastor Jack Moriaty ran the Redeemed Outreach Center primarily as an outreach to homeless and former inmates. Two of those who had been helped broke into his home that Friday night and shot him dead as they robbed his home.

 

June 17th, 2015. A 21-year-old drop-out / drug addict had just the right brain-power to be impressed by Aryan Nation nonsense. The thug decided to attack a peaceful Wednesday night Bible study at the Emanuel A.M.E. church.

 

After being welcomed into their study group, he sat next to Reverend Clemente (Clem) Pinckney for approximately 1 hour, stating later they were so good to him he almost changed his mind.

 

In the end, he stood up with a .45 ACP handgun and executed Rev. Pinckney and 8 others.

 

September 20th, 2015. Pastor Taifiq “Tai” Forney of the Mayfield Baptist Church had a reputation and passion for helping the homeless in his community. He left early that Sunday morning and was gunned down and killed in his car about 7:30 AM by a troubled man with a lengthy criminal history.

 

November 10th, 2015. An 8-day crime spree by three thugs culminated in the home of the pastor of the Resonate Church. Pastor Blackburn was gone that morning, but his 28-year-old pregnant wife (Amada) was at home with their toddler when the 3 entered through an unlocked door. They brutally assaulted her, then shot and killed her.

 

 

Think About it…

 

Ø    The most important thing your team can do is to pray for the safety of your pastor and family. If your pastor were to discover you pray for only their safety and not the rest of the staff and congregation, you’re probably going to be in trouble. So don’t forget to pray for the safety of all while you’re at it!

 

Ø    Once you’ve prayed, then it is time for some active awareness and efforts as seen following.

 

Ø    In three of these cases the murderer was completely unknown to the pastor. 2 were killed by people they were trying to help, and in one of the cases the killer was the pastor’s own son.

 

Ø    Does protection of your pastor end when they go home?

 

Ø    I can’t think of anything worse that a Pastor would endure than knowing their spouse or child had been killed by violence. What kinds of protection detail do you give to your pastor’s family?

 

Ø    Can a person angry at your pastor find their home with easily accessible public information? Have someone in your church who is good with internet savvy and investigation skills discover all the ways in which a searcher might find your pastor’s home address. Then try to plug those holes. There is no reason the pastor’s home address should be easily discoverable.

 

Ø    Does the pastor (or their family members) park at the same place every Sunday? Is there a reserved parking sign that clearly states that is the spot for the pastor? If so, just make a new one that says, “If you are angry with our pastor, you can find him getting out of his car right here on any Sunday morning.”

 

Ø    While we don’t want our pastors living in fear (most I’ve known couldn’t be forced to anyway), do you have personal safety conversations with them? Do you tell them to watch for suspicious behavior? Do you talk with them about their predictable patterns, and patterns of their family members which could be raising their risks? Are they (and their family members) clued into it if someone is following them or observing their home? Do they tell you if they are getting calls, texts or e-mails that might indicate communication going off the rails?

 

You should be familiar with the internet search site www.whotalking.com and similar sites as you search for who might be saying what in various social media about your pastor and your church.