Jon Ritzheimer's claim to fame is that he organized the first anti-Islam protest at a Mosque in Phoenix, Arizona; and then proceeded to organize more anti-islam protests at Mosques across the country.
I have been observing Mr. Ritzheimer's activities since he first came on the scene. Many Muslim and peace groups contacted me before the first event to ask what I thought about the situation and how they should respond.
My perspective from the beginning was that if Mr. Ritzheimer was not an FBI plant, he was an unwitting FBI dream. The Mosque events were the most excellent opportunities for the FBI to take pictures and names of extremists - not of Muslim extremists, but the homegrown white-supremacist kind.
A variety of people showed up for the event in Phoenix. It was quite large. On the one side were Muslims and peace activists. On the other side were people just scared by all the fear rhetoric as well as highly motivated haters of all things different.
This continued to be the theme at the events Mr. Ritzheimer called for across the country. Some events were, surprising to the attendees, very small - like a party of one or less.
For the Muslims, it turned out to be an opportunity to connect to people who were just scared due to their own ignorance, and several of those people did in fact enter the Mosques and learn that Muslims are human too.
For Mr. Ritzheimer, this has been an opportunity to demonstrate just how ignorant and disorganized his ideas are - though that very ignorance has energized his ability to be accepted among biker gangs, armed patriots, and militia groups.
Mr. Ritzheimer then went on a cross country trip to New York to continue his quest of rallying against Muslims. I actually chuckled when the media reported that the FBI had "lost track" of Mr. Ritzheimer during that trip. It was even funnier when it was reported that Mr. Ritzheimer had been given a warning by state troopers - yet he was still able, evidently, to travel through New York without incident. That was more than a little strange considering the FBI had supposedly been "searching" for him.
I still have Muslim and Peace groups calling me for my perspective on Mr. Ritzheimer.
My opinion has not changed.
Mr. Ritzheimer is an FBI plant - whether he knows it or not.
If Mr. Ritzheimer actually works for the FBI, the strategy is impressive to penetrate the organized and lay militia movement - the ultimate provocateur.
If Mr. Ritzheimer is actually a lone wolf, the FBI has been blessed with an opportunity to locate and identify the members, and potential members, of the militia movement that has more potential than anything they have seen in a long time.
Personally, I am unconcerned either way because I have no doubt the FBI has eyes on Mr. Ritzheimer.
No one get's this much law enforcement attention without incident unless there is something else going on.