Matheny: TN terrorism met with ‘silence, inertia or deliberate avoidance’

Slightly edited email to media Friday from state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma:

The murders by Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez last week in Chattanooga should, sadly, not be a surprise to most of Tennessee’s leadership. A discernible pattern is emerging and there is no question that Tennessee is not immune. Rather, some terrorism experts believe Tennessee is a target.

A recent article at makes it clear that select Tennessee youth are targets for jihadists. (Note: See previous post HERE.)…Our terrorist problem in Tennessee has an added dimension; silence, inertia, or deliberate avoidance by many in our political leadership to the realities of the soft infiltration into Tennessee by individuals and institutions that have documented links to terrorist organizations.

Enough is Enough.

In September 2012, I met with Governor Haslam and others in his office and, based on the knowledge I learned from previous security briefings and from researching the material support bill, I urged them to expedite state efforts to prepare for the possibility of an attack in Tennessee.

In the same meeting, I also warned of possible financial activities in Tennessee that were funding Mid East and Tennessee based jihadist activities. Later I submitted to the governor’s office thoroughly researched and documented data of this. It was, based on my experience as a law enforcement veteran and on my thorough education in Islamic money laundering, more than enough data to warrant an investigation. To my knowledge, as of today no investigation has been undertaken. The data is still as viable as it was three years ago.

After I expressed both concerns, Governor Haslam responded to me that his security agencies informed him that the threat of white supremacists operating in Tennessee far exceeded any threats from Islamic terrorists so he believed that I owed the Muslim community an apology. I didn’t and I don’t. The Chattanooga murders prove me out.

Enough is Enough.

We must immediately begin using the law enforcement tools – both criminal and civil – that we have put into state law specifically to pursue, on a systemic basis, the infrastructure that supports these threats in our state. These bills were passed overwhelmingly by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Haslam.