The fact that the U.S. faces an enemy unlike any other, who defies conventional methods of deterrence, was illustrated Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Ohio.
Terrence McNeil, 24, of Akron was standing before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to receive his sentence on charges he threatened members of the military and their families in the name of ISIS.
The judge issued a 20-year prison sentence, but McNeil defiantly told Polster it was of no concern to him, Cleveland.com reported.
“Nothing you did today even matters," McNeil said. "Jihad will continue until the day of judgment. And that’s a promise from Allah.
"It’s not going to change. It’s not going to stop. Neither of them are. My commission of Allah is not going to stop. So this is meaningless. I’ll be rewarded for what I do. You’ll be punished for what you do. I’m fine with that. You’re fine with that.”
McNeil concluded: “So we’ll wait for the punishment of Allah to afflict you, either by himself or through the hands of the Muslims, and then we’ll see. Inshallah.”
Polster responded, “All right. Mr. McNeil, while I respect your opinion, I think you have confirmed the wisdom of my 20-year sentence.”
Robert Spencer, the author of numerous books demonstrating the Islamic motivations of terrorism, noted on his Jihad Watch blog one of the many verses from Islam's chief text, the Quran, that calls Muslims to fight non-believers.
Quran 9:14-15 states: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts.”
Jihad Watch previously highlighted a study led by former German minister of justice Christian Pfeiffer that conducted in-depth interviews with 45,000 respondents investigating how reading the Quran and practicing Islam influence people.
The interviews showed that Islam is distinguished by being the only religion that makes people more prone to violence the more religious one becomes.
“Even when other social factors were taken into account, there remained a significant correlation between religiosity and readiness to use violence,” Pfeiffer stated, adding he was dismayed by the research results, because they support critics of Muslim immigration.
Jihad Watch also cited a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Waterloo who talked with surviving terrorists to find out what motivates them.
“Not one of the subjects suggested directly or indirectly that being marginalized socially or economically pushed them onto such an extreme path,” said researchers Lorne L. Dawson, Amarnath Amarasingam and Alexandra Bain.
They recommended "more attention and significance should be given to the repeated affirmations of the positive benefits of being a jihadi."
One terrorist said during an interview the "zeal for jihad always struck me when I would sit in my room and read Quran with English translation.”
Another said: “We are motivated by our religion, by our Quran and Sunnah, and we are not ashamed of that.”
'Highest terror threat in years'
Cleveland.com, citing prosecutors, reported the FBI arrested McNeil in November 2015 after he used social-media websites to profess his support for ISIS.
A file he posted Sept. 24, 2015, on his Tumblr page had the header “Islamic State Hacking Division,” followed by “Target: United States Military” and “Leak: Addresses of 100 U.S. Military Personnel.”
The text of his first file, according to prosecutors, encouraged people who saw it to kill military members "in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe."
He made similar postings on Twitter and Tumblr at least two other times.
McNeil's social media accounts included ISIS propaganda such as, "I can't wait for another 9/11, Boston bombing, or Sandy Hook!!!"
Then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in April the FBI was facing it “highest terror threat in years,” causing the FBI to launch investigations in all 50 states.
“The threat to our nation and our American way of life has not diminished,” Kelly said in a speech at George Washington University. “In fact, the threat has metastasized and decentralized.”
Kelly said there have been 36 cases of homegrown terrorists in 18 states over the past year, calling the radicalization of Americans “notoriously difficult to predict and control."
WND reported in 2015 that ISIS has recruited thousands of supporters in the United States, far more than previously thought, according to a report by national security experts at the Threat Knowledge Group.
The report accused the Obama administration of “downplaying” the threat of ISIS while adding to the threat by importing Muslim refugees that are difficult to screen.
On Wednesday, the national daily German newspaper Die Welt reported a list of 173 ISIS assassins poised to strike in Europe was discovered in the terror group’s former stronghold of Mosul, Iraq.
The document includes names, photos and country of origin of the jihadists.