You probably don't know the name Cary Lee Ogborn. But you should. And why you don't is yet another case of selective coverage of terrorism, potentially because of the profile of the suspect involved.
Ogborn is a 50-year-old man from Houston who was arrested on suspicion that he was planning a homegrown terrorism plot. His charges include attempting to transport explosives with the intent to use them to kill, injure, or intimidate an individual or damage or destroy a building or vehicle.
According to the FBI, Ogborn wanted to buy wireless transmitters, dynamite and fragmentation grenades powerful enough to destroy a building or vehicle. He was arrested when he picked up the package that he believed contained the explosives.
Ogborn attempted to purchase the explosives online anonymously. His attempts, however, led him to an undercover FBI agent acting as an explosives dealer.
He apparently communicated online with the username “boatmanstv.”
Here are some of the communications released by the FBI:
“The idea we have for this person is, while he is sleeping we put grenade in back of truck and run to our car 20 to 30 meters away, then the truck blow up, he heres (sic) truck blow up and come outside while he outside we blow up house. Tell me about grenade please. How far do we need to be away?”
“Going to ignite gas because it is the cheapest way I know. If you know cheaper, please inform. Don’t need big explosion, just need to make sure building 20 ft x 40 ft made of wood burns to the ground. I don’t have a problem with being close buy. Just can’t use fuse because it will be at night and fuse burning can be seen at night. The explosive will be placed under the center of the building because it is up on blocks.”
However, boatmanstv said he did not want to murder anyone.
“Person will not be there when set off. Don't want to kill, just send message,” the feds said he wrote to the undercover FBI employee. The employee was not located in Texas.
Cary Lee Ogborn has a long history of arrests as well as convictions for drug and illegal firearm possession.
If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Cary Lee Ogborn is accused of participating in a bomb plot, where is the outrage for him? That's terrorism too.— Steffanie (@sincerely_steff) September 20, 2016
His name is Cary Lee Ogborn....so meh. Media ain't interested. https://t.co/fioFZHrq8v— S.K.P (@happyloner) September 20, 2016
He is not the first one. Remember the likes of Dionisio Garza III and Dylann Roof? No one called them terrorists despite their acts of terror.
Richard White, carrying six homemade explosives, was shot after he chased an unarmed Transportation Security Administration agent in a lobby packed with travelers at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on March 20, 2016. A sheriff's deputy fired three shots at the attacker who died a day later at a local hospital.
As grave as the incident was, it failed to grab headlines or the attention of cable news pundits for perhaps one simple reason: The attacker wasn’t a Muslim.
As Dean Obeidallah from The Daily Beast pointed out, “….if White had been a Muslim, the investigation into his motivation by the media and maybe even the police would have essentially been over once his faith had been ascertained. If a Muslim does anything wrong, it’s assumed to be terrorism."
“In contrast, when a non-Muslim engages in a violent attack, even on federal government employees, law enforcement and the media immediately look to the person’s mental history, not possible terrorist motivations.”
Why is it then when a mass slaughter or an act of terrorism is carried out by a white person, they are “mentally unstable” and the main topic of concern is gun control laws, not terrorism?
Muslims, on the other hand, even if innocent pay the price of their faith by getting harassed and even hurt. They are constantly on the radar and victims of hatred and intolerance.
Apparently, the authorities only consider an attack to be an act of terrorism if the attacker is non-white, especially Muslim.