The Muslim man who brandished pistols, assault-style weapons and ammunition outside a Sioux Falls, S.D., Christian conference earlier this month was charged Friday with making terrorist threats, the Associated Press reports.
The man’s name is Ehab Jaber. (RELATED: Conservative Conference Threatened By Heavily Armed Muslim Man)
Last week, a police spokesman told The Daily Caller that Jaber had not broken any laws.
“Be scared… be f***ing terrified,” he said in the video as he revealed pistols, rifles and ammunition he was carrying in his van.
South Dakota allows open carry, and Jaber also has a concealed carry permit, so his possession of weapons was not by itself illegal. Sioux Falls Police public information officer Sam Clemens stated that “Everything he was doing was legal. He didn’t break any laws so we didn’t charge him.”
However, Attorney General Marty Jackley and Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman subsequently reviewed Jaber’s videos. According to the Argus Leader, Jackley stated he believed that Jaber’s comments violated state law, which prohibits threats to “commit a crime of violence with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”
A police search of Jaber’s home found methamphetamine in addition to weapons. He claims that he was not threatening anyone.
Jaber describes himself as an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights. “You know what the sad thing is? I’m a Republican,” he told ABC’s KSFY. “I’m a Republican for one reason: the Second Amendment.”
This felony charge could result in Jaber losing those rights. A conviction carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
Conference organizer Brannon Howse told TheDC that while he was glad Jaber was arrested, he fumed that it took the police 12 days to do so. “My blood ran cold when I found this out. METH? You mean we could have had a guy jacked up on drugs, combined with his ideology, putting 500 men, women, and children at risk at our Christian conference? Why was he not arrested that night or even questioned? How did he stay on the streets for 12 days with guns and meth?”
Jackley said that public pressure did not have a role in their decision to finally press the case, adding, "If anything, the public pressure can create more challenges for an investigation… It doesn't play any role in our investigation or our decisions.
Howse was skeptical. “What would have happened if the shoe were on the other foot?” he asked. “If that had been a conservative brandishing weapons in front of an Islamic conference, or indeed practically anywhere, he would have been thrown in jail immediately and all his firearms confiscated – no questions asked! And the media would have had a field day talking about conservative 'domestic terrorists!' But here we have the media bending over backwards to help Jaber make his case, quoting him as ‘just a Republican exercising his Second Amendment rights.’ Since when does the media defend someone who believes in the Second Amendment? What a joke!”
Howse told TheDC that as a direct result of Jaber’s videos, event hosts at subsequent conferences required him to hire extra security — costing thousands more dollars — for these free-to-the-public events.