Today, the New York Times has a profile on Edgar Valdez Villarrael -- a one-time high school football star in Texas who rose to become one of Mexico's most feared drug lords. He's accused of running a lucrative drug ring that smuggled money and cocaine to and from countries including the U.S. "Taking a page from Middle Eastern terrorists," the article says, "he was willing to use beheadings, videos of killings and corpses to send messages."
How does a kid go from tackling running backs to running drugs? I'm not sure, but "Barbie," as Villarael was called, has company in the homegrown terrorist category.
Al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen (born in New Mexico) "who has turned the Web into a tool for extremist indoctrination." Although an American citizen, the Obama Administration has recently authorized his targeted killing (although the ACLU is challenging that decision).
Adnan Shukrijumah was raised in Brooklyn and is now one of the top commanders in the al-Qaeda organization. He has reportedly taken over the position of "operational mastermind once held by none other than Khalid Sheikh Muhammed" -- the man behind the 9/11 attacks.
Just last month, a federal grand jury in North Carolina was asked to review evidence against Samir Khan. He's accused of being the editor of a terrorist magazine considered the Cosmopolitan for jihadis. "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," reads one headline.
It's a stark reminder that we live in a fallen world.