Authorities in San Bernardino County descended on Apple Valley this Sunday morning after Calif. campers reported seeing a group of men wearing Turbans firing hundreds of shots into the air.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a team of local deputies and an FBI agent found 17 men of Middle Eastern descent loitering at the campsite. Moreover, the men were in possession of several handguns, a rifle and a shotgun.
A statement put out by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department later that morning revealed that none of the men had a criminal history or any outstanding warrants, and all their weapons except for the rifle were registered with the Department of Justice. Their vehicles were registered as well.
“None of the persons interviewed yesterday were identified as terrorists,” spokeswoman Jodi Miller added.
What makes the seemingly innocent situation a bit disconcerting, however, is that according to witness text messages obtained by New York radio station Superstation95, the men were heard chanting a derivative of “Allahu Akbar.”
he texts also alleged that a group of Marines were robbed while the Middle Eastern men were in the vicinity, though this was never confirmed.
Frankly, the station has a track record for reporting sketchy stories, so these texts should be taken with a grain of salt.
Did something sinister occur in Apply Valley, and were the Middle Eastern men possibly preparing for a terror attack? Probably not, especially since Turbans are associated with Sikhs, not radical Islamic terrorists.
Still, the fact that campers in Apple Valley reported the situation and then local deputies worked with the FBI to assess the threat is a good thing. Unlike President Barack Obama, everyday Americans clearly take the threat of terrorism seriously and realize that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The irony is that when Obama hears about this, he will likely begin complaining about Islamophobia. What he likes to call Islamophobia, however, is what the rest of us like to call good old common-sense.