It was among the anti-Muslim comments posted on Facebook by Kansas militia groups after talk of an armed protest against a Wichita mosque.
“WE need to keep an eye on muslim owned buildings. and ready to strike,” the April 2 Facebook post said. It was from a group identifying itself as Saline County Kansas Security Force-Defense Force.
The comment struck Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst with the Department of Homeland Security, as a domestic terrorist threat that should be investigated by authorities at a time when anti-government militias are increasingly targeting Muslims in America.
Who posted the anti-Muslim comment that disturbed Johnson?
J. Neil Jednoralski confirmed in recent interviews that he wrote and posted the comment.
Jednoralski is a 69-year-old retired engineer in Salina who raises Huskies. A few years back, he came to the attention of the people who guard the president when he voiced that he was going to arrest President Obama during a 2011 visit to Kansas. He views Islam as “a dangerous cult” in America that needs to be watched. He describes himself as a one-man militia allied with similar groups.
When he used the word “strike,” he said, he meant to remove any ammunition or explosives that could be stored at mosques for terrorist attacks.
His views provide insight into the beliefs of some of the Kansas groups actively opposed to Muslims.
Jednoralski said he thinks the government already sees him as a domestic terrorist because of his expressed desire to arrest the president, which he explains this way: “I want to arrest him so he’s tried (by a court). I don’t want to endanger his life.”
Jednoralski’s anti-Muslim stances are repugnant not just to Muslims but to other Kansans of various faiths, some of whom spoke out and showed support for the Islamic Society of Wichita after it canceled a controversial speaker in late March when it received reports that protesters were going to come to a north Wichita mosque with firearms. The protest, organized by another militia group separate from Jednoralski, was called off after the speech was canceled. The protesters viewed the speaker as having ties to foreign terrorists.
An Islamic school for about 200 children at the same location as the mosque let out early because of the perceived threat.
Jednoralski said he supported the planned protest but probably would not have attended.
Q: Why bring guns to a place of worship?
He said there’s no law against someone carrying guns at a church. “I have conceal-carry, and I carry most of the time.”
Q: What would he say to Muslim parents of the schoolchildren?
“I don’t think they (Muslims) would be endangered unless they would do something to endanger the people (protesters) carrying the firearms.”
He said he wouldn’t be opposed to someone setting a mosque on fire. “I would have been like the people in Europe that cheered” when mosques there burned fairly recently, he said.
Q: Which mosques was he referring to when he said “ready to strike”?
“I think I meant for all mosques in Kansas.”
In a September Facebook post, he listed the addresses of about 20 mosques or Muslim facilities in the state.
Q: Why did he list the mosques?
“We need to be finding out if their buildings are storage sites for ammunition and explosives.”
He mentioned a mosque in Hays: “And it’s just sitting there, and a group in Hays is keeping an eye on it.” His understanding, he said, is that the group watching the Hays mosque is a militia.
“If there’s unusual activities going on around the mosques, we need to keep an eye on it, and depending on what those activities are, report them to the appropriate agencies.”
Groups that share his beliefs need to watch mosques, he said, “because I don’t think we can rely on our present government to keep an eye on them.” By “present government,” he means the Obama administration.
Q: Why does he oppose Muslims?
“I think they’re a dangerous cult,” he said. “They’re not a religion.
“I think the Muslim religion is against the law in the U.S.” He says that Islam goes against constitutional law. “I took an oath when I served in the military to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said. “And I feel that oath is forever.”
Jednoralski acknowledged that part of his feelings against Muslims stem from his treatment by a Wichita Veterans Administration physician who is a Muslim. Around 2010, she caused him to have a serious infection, he said.
He describes himself as a disabled Vietnam War veteran whose condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange from contaminated sand in the Mekong Delta.
He said he has given 34 Huskie puppies as companions to other disabled vets and to disabled children.
Q: What is the view of Kansas Muslims?
Kansas Muslims are aware of militias and their anti-Muslim views, said Moussa Elbayoumy, chairman of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“It’s sad to see some people resorting to armed protests in front of a place of worship,” Elbayoumy said.
“But we realize also that this is only one of the symptoms of the growing Islamaphobia in our country. And we realize that his (Jednoralski’s) hate originates from fear, and fear comes from ignorance. It is obvious that this person or other individuals in this group either have no knowledge of Islam or have the wrong information about Islam.
“I believe that if he had the opportunity to interact with ordinary Muslims in the course of his daily life, that his view would change or at least subside.”
Jednoralski and others need to learn about Muslims though education and outreach, Elbayoumy said.
“We invite the them to visit a mosque – hopefully without their guns.”
Q: How did Jednoralski draw the attention of the U.S. Secret Service?
“I’m the one in Kansas who tried to arrest Obama” when he visited Osawatomie in 2011. After his intentions became known, a Secret Service agent came to his door the day before the president arrived, he said. At the federal agent’s request, he said, he gave his firearms and handcuffs temporarily to authorities.
Then, for another presidential visit, “I tried to arrest him (Obama) when he came to KU,” he said. He had no ticket to the pavilion where Obama was speaking. He parked across the street in a handicapped spot, where a sign on his truck called for Obama to be impeached as a traitor. A number of law enforcement vehicles passed him, he said, “and not one person stopped and questioned me.” He said he watched the president’s motorcade from about two blocks away.
Jednoralski said he wasn’t armed while sitting in his truck but had a set of “high-security handcuffs” that he would have used to arrest Obama if he had had the chance.
Q: Why did he want to arrest the president?
“I think he’s a felon” who is guilty under the Kansas Constitution of treason for aiding America’s enemies and of voter fraud, because he is “the No. 1 illegal alien in the country,” he said.