SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A felony terror charge has been filed against a Muslim man who recently recorded himself on Facebook Live brandishing numerous guns outside of a Christian event and warning viewers in a profanity-laden denouncement to be “scared” and “terrified.”
Ehab Abdulmutta Jaber, 45, has been charged with one count of making terrorist threats after he slipped into a Worldview Weekend conference in Sioux Falls earlier this month, which featured a message from Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor who leads Truth in Love Ministries in Spokane, Washington.
The event, held at Hilton Garden South, had been protested by approximately 70 members of the Islamic Center of Sioux Falls, who believed that the gathering was “Islamophobic” because it presented argument against the Islamic religion. Hadian’s message was entitled “Sabotaging America: Islam’s March Towards Supremacy.”
Worldview Weekend President Brannon Howse also spoke on biblical prophecy.
Jaber had been spotted filming the event with his cell phone in the back of the room and was advised by a security guard that recording was not allowed. The Facebook Live video shows Jaber filming the cover of his Koran before scanning the crowd of approximately 500 people.
“My name is John Smith,” Jaber told the guard in being approached. “The Muslim John Smith.”
After being ejected from the gathering because he was carrying a firearm, Jaber recorded another Facebook Live video in his car in which he brandished several handguns and rifles, warning viewers amid expletives to “be scared.”
“There’s about, probably 400 people in there, if not maybe 500. … And now if you want to be really scared—be scared,” he declared, holding up his weapons one by one. “Be scared. Be [expletive] terrified.”
Jaber was later interviewed by local television station KSFY, and told reporters that he was “heartbroken to see that many people in that place.”
“They didn’t show up for a Christian conference,” he asserted. “They showed up for an anti-Muslim rally.”
Jaber contended to the news outlet that he regularly travels with the weapons and was simply exercising his Second Amendment rights.
“I’m not armed against the regular citizen. I’m not armed against Christians or against Jews, or against women or against children. I’m just armed against stupidity and oppression,” he said.
While the Sioux Falls Police Department initially declined to press charges, stating that “everything [Jaber] was doing was legal,” South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman concluded otherwise, announcing on Friday that Jaber had been arrested.
They told the Argus Leader that the video appeared to be a violation of state law, which prohibits threats to “commit a crime of violence with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”
Jaber is also being prosecuted locally as meth was found in his home during the investigation.
Hadian says that he is bewildered both by the conclusion of the Sioux Falls Police Department and the portrayal of Jaber in the media.
“I’m not sure if I’m sure if the statement of the police officer is more baffling to me as a former police officer, or letting this guy … seem like he’s the victim, [saying], ‘I was upset. I was heartbroken,'” he outlined in an interview with Howse over the weekend. “There’s lots of times that [we] get heartbroken over things, but we don’t go brandishing weapons and have an arsenal and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.”
Warning: Foul language