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What does it say about our country that following yet another terrorist attack, the collective response by our “leaders” is to not only condemn an inanimate object but to go further than that and blame Americans for our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? What took place in Orlando, Florida, wasn’t because of a gun, nor was it because of the make of the gun or the caliber of the rounds or the size of the clips.
No, what took place in Orlando happened because of the ideology that pulled the trigger. The ideology sought the weapon, the ideology fired the rounds, round after round, until 49 people were killed and more than 50 wounded. It was the same ideology that hijacked our planes on 9/11 and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, it’s the same ideology that exploded two pressure cooker bombs filled with nails at the Boston marathon, and it’s the same ideology that slaughtered Americans attending a Christmas party in California. It’s that same ideology that has never changed, nor will it ever change no matter what kinds of weapons it uses. Nor is this ideology concerned with class distinctions, economics or the means of production. Today our enemy fights not for earthly reasons to serve a tangible here-and-now but to serve a transcendent reality, to serve Allah in the name of Islam.
Yet, we continue to ignore this ideology at our own peril. As I wrote back in November following the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris killing 130 and injuring another 350 others, the strategic incoherence in the West’s ability to counter jihadist attacks will, in the future, be increasingly measured by news stories and reports that reveal the government’s inability to answer basic questions about the nature of the enemy and his environment. Future jihadist attacks will come to manifest themselves in official responses to such attacks that are progressively less reality-based as those professionally and constitutionally tasked with keeping citizens safe continue to lack awareness, understanding and even professional curiosity about the doctrines that drive the enemy to action.
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On Sunday morning, more than 100 Americans suffered the consequences as Omar Seddique Mateen, an Islamic State-inspired jihadist, opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando. As Mateen proclaimed his allegiance to the Islamic State, he went on to commit “jihad in the cause of Allah,” motivated solely by his religion, to the exclusion of all other reasons including underlying causes such as economic deprivation, climate change, poverty or any other asinine fairy tale “underlying cause” cooked up by the apologists in the Obama administration. The root cause of this attack, like so many before it, from San Bernardino to Boston, always traces back to Islam itself. Yet, this fact, this piece of truth, is always obfuscated and distorted while being whitewashed and ignored as meaningless by an administration that is blinded by its own preconceived ideas of why terrorism occurs.
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, is influenced by malevolent actors who have a vested interest in censoring any talk of the religious aspects of our enemy’s ideology. As Dr. Sebastian Gorka, one of the most experienced and sought-after authorities on counterterrorism, explains in his book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, “at the highest level of the U.S. government, terrorism is deemed to be the result of poverty, unemployment, and lack of political enfranchisement. This fallacy must be jettisoned.” Why? Because this fallacy is killing Americans and will continue to kill many more to come if it is not replaced with a strategy to actually defeat the global jihadist movement based upon facts and reality.
“For Americans to properly understand the threat of global jihad,” writes Gorka, “the politically motivated censorship of government analysis, training, and education must end. The White House must scrap the arbitrary rules about what materials can and cannot be used to educate our warfighters, our analysts, and our FBI agents about the jihadist threat.” He continues, “At the same time, Washington must resist the continuous lobbying and subversive tactics of groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which purport to represent the Muslims of America but do not.”
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Organizations such as these foment hatred for American ideals via their ideology while posing as civil rights organizations and charities. In reality, they’re nothing more than front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood. It is important to remember that the Muslim Brotherhood serves as the ideological component for jihadist groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas and the Islamic State through their teachings of Islamist ideologues like Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. It is by no means an understatement to say that the Muslim Brotherhood has inspired the entire modern Islamic terrorist enterprise as the very ideology that the Muslim Brotherhood supports is at the root of the majority of Islamic terrorist groups in the world today, and without acknowledging the ideology America itself stands no chance in even beginning to fight.
Yet, as daunting of a task as it may seem, one doesn’t need to be an “expert” in order to begin to fight back against the global jihadist movement. As Gorka elaborates, “The most important contribution you can make, whatever your ‘day job’ happens to be, is to be an educator. First educate yourself. Then educate your family members. Then broaden the circle and educate your friends, your colleagues, and even your neighbors.” Understand what is happening to our country and know that we are at war with an enemy that is ideologically hell bent on destroying our way of life. It’s no different than what we faced during the Cold War with the Soviets or World War II with the Nazis. If we can begin to think in terms such as this then we will be one step closer in the right direction. On a more operational level, though, all Americans need to understand and accept the reality that they are now on the front line of a war with an enemy that cannot be negotiated with or rationally deterred.
This war’s battles are being waged here in America, not in caves in Afghanistan but on the streets of New York and Boston, at naval installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on army bases in Texas, at Christmas parties in San Bernardino, California, and at nightclubs in Orlando. The jihadists want to kill infidels here in America, no matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, white or black, gay or straight. They want to kill you and they are doing it just as much as they want to purge the “impure” from the territory of the caliphate they have established in the Middle East. You, your loved ones and your neighbors and colleagues are all potential targets of terrorist attacks here in the United States, and you should prepare accordingly. All our citizens, therefore, should walk through life in a deliberate manner focused on what is happening around them, looking for that which is odd or out of place, as opposed to just staring at their mobile phones. This is not about being afraid but about being aware, of having your head on a swivel because ISIS and its global affiliates are becoming an increasingly persistent threat.
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Take for example the following statistics delivered in a report by the House Committee on Homeland Security in its Terror Threat Snapshot for June prior to the Orlando jihadist attack. According to the report:
80 percent of the FBI’s more than 1,000 active homegrown jihadist investigations here in the United States are linked to ISIS.
Since September 11, 2001, there have been at least 152 homegrown jihadist plots in the United States, including attempts to join terrorist groups overseas and execute attacks at home. Around 85 percent of these cases have occurred or been uncovered since 2009.
Currently in the United States authorities are actively investigating more than 800 ISIS-linked cases stretching throughout all 50 states.
Now, if we were to include the Orlando jihadist attack to this report one can begin to understand how much of a threat America faces as the jihadist attacks are becoming more prevalent and even more deadly.
What Americans need to do now is practice situational awareness, not to a point in which you’re paranoid, but to a point in which you’re aware of your surroundings. Recall for instance that the jihadists responsible for the November Paris attacks were keenly familiar with their targets. They had extensive knowledge and conducted pre-operational surveillance prior to launching their attack on the Bataclan Theater knowing that it would be crowded, causing a massive amount of casualties. This is the same type of modus operandi as the Orlando jihadist, who, according to People magazine, had “recently scouted Walt Disney World as a potential target in April, as well as the Pulse [nightclub] for attacks.” The latest attack must serve as a turning point in our own mentality as a nation as each and every individual American must have a heightened sense of awareness knowing that the enemy is here and he’s not going to be defeated until we as a society start focusing on the threat as it is, not as we would like it be.
It would serve as a good reminder as well to remember the following quote by Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as he told a Pakistani interviewer, “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.” It’s as simple as that.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.