Stopping the Next Tsarnaev
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Saturday, May 16th, 2015 @ 1:49AM
Left: Boston Marathon bombing, April 15, 2013
The news of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s death sentence made headlines in the American and other Western nation’s media. However, more than two hours later, Abu-Dhabi’s main English-language publication, The National, has not mentioned this at all. Instead, its news page included stories on four teenagers suspected of stealing penguin babies in Norway, Johnny Depp’s dogs to flee Australia amid death threat, and Obama’s pledges of deeper security cooperation with the GCC. Iran’s semi-official Fars news also kept mum, as did the Egyptian al Ahram.
This silence calls into question the sincerity of statements made recently by Arab Sunni leaders to fight Islamist terrorism.
Recall Egyptian president Fatah el-Sisi who repeatedly called for Islamic reform. Other Sunni Muslim leaders, especially those participating in last February’s Muslim World League summit in Mecca, have agreed. The topic under discussion at the summit was Islam and Counterterrorism. Saudi King Salman himself noted the occurrence of “Islamized terrorism”and the conference program explicitly stated that “our own children are responsible for extremist violence.”
The grand imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar University, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, discounted poverty, social marginalization, and incarceration as the primary cause of radicalization. Instead, he opined, the most prominent source of radicalization among Muslims is the “historical accumulations of extremism and militancy in our heritage.”
The Atlantic Monthly’s analysis of the event noted that Abdullah bin Abdelmohsin al-Turki, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, was even blunter: “The terrorism that we face within the Muslim Ummah and our own homelands today is religiously motivated. It has been founded on extremism, and the misconception of some distorted Sharia concept.”
As reassuring as these statements sound, the conduct of many of these leaders makes the impression the participants were concerned with the rise of jihadist movements only in their own countries. This would help understand the lack of reporting in Arab state controlled media.
But how would thousands of ISIS, al Qaeda and the members of other jihadi organizations react? Would this lead ISIS sympathizers in the Unites States to try to “retaliate”? Most likely.
How safe should Americans feel? How well could U.S. law enforcement agencies protect them?
Judging by the recent spate of public statements by U.S. officials, “lone-wolf” attacks and airline bombing were imminent even before the Boston jury condemned Tsarnaev to death. Both FBI director Comey and the Secretary of DHS Johnson indicated that ISIS has won the hearts and minds of many Americans in all fifty states that are most likely willing to become ‘Lone Wolves’ to attack us at home.
But defining these would-be terrorists as ‘Lone Wolves’ implies there is not much the authorities can do to stop them. Admittedly, it’s not easy to find needles in a haystack. But when many different needles are fed by and resonate similar vibes and emit the same signals, one would expect they could be pulled out before they set the place on fire.
However, as long as this administration is confined by a president who claims ISIL is not Islamic, one can expect there is not enough to stop “Lone Jihadists.” This has become even a bigger threat after the recent court decision to limit the National Security Agency’s ability to monitor communications of suspected terrorists in the U.S..
This restriction will not only prevent early identification of American citizens bent on jihad, but also thousands of Muslim refugees already in the U.S. and more than a million Syrian refugees and many others chosen by the U.N. to resettle in Europe and here. It is unknown how many of them are radicals, but it is safe to assume many will become radicals not only because of ISIS’s successful social media campaigns, but most likely because neither Europe nor the U.S. has made an adequate plan to absorb them.
As the foregoing suggests, worrying publicly about Lone Wolves, does not serve to reassure Americans. Instead of pointing the finger at the deadly recruits of jihad, it is time to identify the teaching and teachers of jihad as detailed during the trial of Dzhokar Tsarnaev. The radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers began at home by their parents and was reinforced by the mosques they attended years before they responded to the call of jihad on social media. Other Western Islamists followed a similar path.
It is time the U.S. and other “infidel” nations to recognize the threat of jihadi preaching and use all possible measures to stop the rise of future Tsaraevs.
Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Al Qaeda, Boston Marathon, Egypt, El Sisi, incitment, Internet recruitment, ISIS, ISIS/IS, Islam, Islamist, Jihad, Jihadist, Latest News, Lone Wolf, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Refugees, Obama, Obama Administration, Radicalization, Saudi, Saudi Arabia, Shari'a, Sunni, Terrorism, Tsarnaev, U.S., U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Policy