Terrorism In Review 2009

At the close of 2009, this year took the appearance as one of the most dangerous since 2001 for terrorist activity. Consider what is known as a result of media reporting:

  • Young Somali-Americans missing by the dozen from their suburban communities only to be found either in terrorist training camps in Africa, or dead as a result of their extremist activities.
  • A purported Al-Qaeda cell planning attacks against the New York City subway system. Investigators found up to 12 backpacks that could have been used to transport the explosives, and this would indicate plans were for potentially 12 homicide bombers hitting the transit system in a coordinated attack.
  • American, caucasian, citizens apprehended while they were within the planning stage of a terrorist attack on military installations state-side. It was revealed that the seemingly normal "average Joes" had been involved in militant activities for at least a decade, if not more, and had received terrorist training overseas.
  • Government facilities in Houston and Chicago were targeted for Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices and fortunately, the bombers were set up for interdiction by the Joint Terrorism Task Force before carrying out their plans.
  • A U.S. Army recruiter shot and killed outside of his recruiting office by a Muslim American with known extremist views.
  • Another American citizen, Chicago resident, recently discovered by foreign law enforcement assets, who fore-knew of the 2008 Mumbai, India, terrorist attack which killed hundreds. Only time will tell to what extent this person contributed to the event, but media reports suggest his knowledge of the attack plans were extensive.
  • Last, but not least, the doctor who took several oaths (one to treat the ill and the other to the President of The United States as a field grade officer in the U.S. Army), but instead of serving his nation honorably, he killed his nations soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas.

What do these incidents have in common? Islamic Extremism - plain and simple.

Since 2001, there have been roughly 30 known planned terrorist attacks against the U.S. with 10 of those being discovered in 2009 alone. This more than 30% increase, within one year, is explosive growth and is a duly noted concern being echoed throughout all levels of the federal government. The real factor accounting for this alarming growth is the acceptance of Islamic extremist ideology by immigrants and others susceptible to that belief system. The U.S. has entered a phase of battle, concerning the overall Global War on Terror, that Western Europe has been confronted with for years, as referenced in a December 12th, 2009, article by The Wall Street Journal, titled, "Arrest Raise Fears of American Jihad".

Watch What You Say

When the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, took place U.S. Army knew, or should have known, exactly what they were dealing with: a Lone-Wolf Terrorist within their rank-and-file. However, the command elements immediately denied the shootings were an act of terror, but rather chalked up the event as the unfortunate act of a deranged gunman. Before taking this approach, those military commanders should have read their own Army regulation that defines what terrorism actually is. According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terminology, they define terrorism as:

The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. (Army Regulation 525-13)

Does the incident that Nidal Hassan is alleged to have committed fit this definition? I believe it does, and evidently so does Senator John McCain who stated in a hearing he hoped political correctness was not a contributing factor to the catastrophe. Why would the military deny the incident as a terrorist attack? Consider the following:

  • The military does not want to admit that Islamic extremists have penetrated the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Not preventing that penetration would high-light the failures of commanders.
  • The concern that the public could lose confidence in the military on many levels.

Terrorist know that Americans are sensitive to what is said, how others may feel, what is politically taboo, even if true, and what should not be said publicly. Strategically, terrorists have done their homework. They understand all too well, more than most Americans I would argue, how the Civil Rights Era of the late 1960s has impacted our communities legally, socially and politically. Terrorists have studied their notes and will certainly exploit the weaknesses that have come about as a result of well intended legislation gone array.

Scared of Complaints

In my experience cops in America have been conditioned to not pursue criminals with aggressiveness but to haphazardly enforce the law while trying to keep a safe distance so as not to be subjected to a complaint from the public resulting in a internal review from their politically appointed agency head, civilian review board, ACLU, NAACP, FBI Civil Rights Division, or whomever. Again, terrorists will manipulate that to their advantage. Is the fear of complaints filed against us or public scrutiny unique to us? It must be, because Europe seems to be different.

Two British Bobbies were hailed as heroes this past week for simply doing what cops are supposed to do; protect the public. In a article titled, Beat Officers Prevented Terror Attack by Stopping Suspicious Tourist in the London Times, two very young constables (ages 21 and 22) stopped a foreign national who was taking pictures as if he were a tourist, seized his camera and discovered the man had compiled an extensive array of photographic intelligence detailing "soft targets". British intelligence concluded the videos could only have been used for planning a terrorist attack and ultimately a terrorist cell had been disrupted. When London City Police were accused misusing their anti-terror authority pertaining to this case, the Chief of Detectives responded by saying, "I'd much rather justify what we did do in stopping someone than having to justify why we didn't do it against the backdrop of a burning building and a terrorist atrocity." Clearly, London City Police are not concerned with what the media, or anyone else, thinks of them. I believe that London Police understand the nature and scope of 4th Generation Warfare. We don't.

Simply put, 4th Generation Warfare is a military doctrine that terrorism follows. From a strategy standpoint, it is a long conflict in duration, attacks our culture, uses the media and our laws against us and will use whatever it can from our politics, society, economic and military to our detriment. Interestingly enough, the doctrine itself was a product of the U.S. military think-tank in 1989. Terrorists are smart enough to take what we contrived and are using it against us while our nation idles in denial.

We are not fighting this war to win it. The bad guys know it. I predict that The United States will cease to exist a hundred years from now, if not sooner, from the way we know it today. We face nuclear proliferation, other WMD credible threats, and hyper-criminals that will use whatever they can to win. On the other hand our police are told to not offend anyone by what they say or do and certainly do not stop anyone on the pretext of what they look like. How about our military? U.S. Navy SEALs are charged criminally for punching a known "high value" terrorist in the face after being sought for five years when he killed U.S. citizens. What does that tell you?