Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Reflections on Orlando
Wolf Dens, Not Lone Wolves - Joseph Ax
A Reuters review of the 90 Islamic State court cases brought by the Department of Justice since 2014 found that 3/4 of those charged were not isolated individuals but rather part of a group of 2-10 co-conspirators who met in person to discuss their plans.
Even the isolated individuals were almost always in contact with other sympathizers, whether via text message, email or networking websites. Fewer than 10 cases involved someone acting entirely alone.
Islamic State: Inspiring Attacks Abroad - Greg Miller
In its early expansion phase, the Islamic State called on Muslims across the world to join its ranks in Syria, to take part in the historic restoration of the caliphate. Now, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in a recording issued May 21, don't bother coming to Syria because "the smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would do if you were with us." Those inside the caliphate's borders "wish we were in your place to punish the crusaders day and night."
The devastation in Orlando represents a danger that many U.S. counterterrorism officials warn will be harder to contain than the Islamic State's aspirations for an extremist haven in the Middle East. CIA Director John Brennan told al-Arabiya just days before the shooting in Orlando, "Countries around the world are having to be concerned about the potential for individuals or groups of individuals to act on their own, without the direct contact with organized terrorists or groups." The shooting in Orlando is the deadliest example to date of the terrorism model Brennan described.
Counterterrorism experts believe that the Islamic State may only be in the early stages of demonstrating its ability to incite a kind of violence that doesn't require penetrating the post-9/11 defenses of the U.S.
Welcome to Israel's Reality - David French
America is slowly moving into Israel's security reality - the dilemma where external power projection leads to domestic discord and international condemnation, while a purely defensive strategy allows terrorists to recruit, re-arm, and inspire a new wave of jihadists. Israel's answer is a permanent defensive struggle punctuated by periodic bursts of offensive activity - all of which help keep life in Israel livable and peaceful for the vast majority of its citizens, but at great cost.
Americans hate the notion that there are no good answers to jihad. Something has to work. But reality is showing us what a permanent struggle looks like.
Here's the bottom line - in the absence of an effective offense, our defensive challenge will grow more difficult. But because there is no way to [fully] eradicate jihadist theology from Islam, defense will always be necessary.
Welcome to the permanent war. Israel's been here for a while.
Lessons of Orlando - Thomas L. Friedman
[W]e're just waiting around for the next Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino or Orlando.
And the only thing that can stop them is from the inside: a meaningful mass movement by Muslim governments, clergymen and citizens to delegitimize this behavior.
(New York Times)
For the official ISIS video celebrating the Orlando attack, click HERE
The Media's Apologetic Coverage of Islamic Terror - Tarek Fatah
The question is this: Should we fear Islamophobia or Islamofascism?
In the meantime, a jihadist newspaper in Pakistan carried this as its front-page headline: "Afghan youth roasts 50 Americans."
[The Toronto Sun]
Orlando Shooting Shows How ISIS Calls the Shots - Robert Pape
ISIS is creating a new role for itself as the producer of terror who attracts the right cast, provides a rough draft of the script, and ensures publicity after the fact.
That Omar Mateen was able to gather the necessary tactical knowledge to carry out this complicated act of terror shows that inspired attacks can now be as deadly as directed ones, and that the online reach of ISIS is a true game changer. ISIS has found a way to bring the fight to us.
The writer is director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism.