On Wednesday, Obama made his first appearance at a U.S. mosque in his seven-year presidency.
He met with Muslim leaders during a visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, before delivering a speech there where he spoke warmly about Islam, highlighting the contributions that Muslims had made to the fabric of American society and claiming “Islam has always been part of America.”
However, what is not widely known is that in 2010, the Islamic Society of Baltimore was placed under FBI surveillance following the arrest of one of its members. The member had been planning to bomb an Army recruiting center near the mosque in Catonsville.
According to Investor’s Business Daily, the would-be attacker was 25-year-old convert Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain.
Hussain had assured other worshipers that he had “brothers” who could supply him with the necessary bomb-making materials. His plans to combat the Army came from his interpretation of the Quran’s mandate to “fight those who fight you.”
An undercover FBI agent was placed in the mosque, but leaders within the community objected to being monitored. Another agent was dispatched to take questions and concerns from the mosque’s leadership, who felt what the FBI was doing was entrapment.