…one could instead see Hasan in a long line of killers and would-be murderers of the last decade that in some loose way express an Islamic anger at either American culture or the United States government or both, as a way of elevating their own sense of failure into some sort of legitimate cosmic jihad.
Prior to 2009, there have been at least 20 terrorist plots broken up after September 11, 2001—aimed at subways, malls, military bases, airports, bridges, and synagogues. Those foiled cabals are in addition to more common scattered murdering by freelancing angry killers, who in some very general way either evoked radical Islam, their own faith, the Palestinian cause, al-Qaedistic Islamism, or solidarity with worldwide Islam (from the Beltway sniper to the UNC and the San Francisco car murderers), and a number of lethal attacks on Jewish centers and temples resulting in numerous deaths (from the LAX attacks to the San Francisco and Seattle shootings).
In 2002, long ago, I wrote an article in which I called this al Qaedism and updated it with more recent examples in 2007.
In this year alone, aside from the recent mass murdering at Ft. Hood, there have been four more terrorist plots uncovered. Colorado resident Najibullah Zazi was recently indicted for conspiring to use explosives in the U.S., apparently as part of a plot to let off a bomb in New York on the anniversary of 9/11. In addition, North Carolina residents Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi were arrested and charged with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel at Quantico, Virginia. In Texas, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi—a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen who was in the U.S. illegally—was arrested and charged after he placed a would-be bomb near Fountain Place, a 60-story office tower in downtown Dallas.
Most recently in Boston, a Massachusetts man was arrested in connection with terrorist plots that included attacks on U.S. shopping malls and on two White House officials. Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury, Mass, was charged with plotting with other terrorists from 2001 to May 2008 to carry out overseas and domestic terrorist attacks— including killing shoppers and first responders at malls.
Time and time again we hear of this stuff, and lets give the Obama administration credit, they have foiled every one until this one so far. We are constantly being told how afraid people are of a backlash against Muslims in America, Hansen talks about it, or rather the lack thereof:
the narrative after 9/11 largely remains that Americans have given into illegitimate “fear and mistrust” of Muslims in general, rather than there is a small minority of Muslims who channels generic Islamist fantasies, so that we can assume that either formal terrorist plots or individual acts of murder will more or less occur here every 3-6 months.
At some point, if both these organized plots (see the most recent in Boston) and isolated acts of lone gunmen and homicidal drivers continue, and if the prevailing theme continues to be fears of American intolerance and unfairness to Muslims after 9/11, I think the public will resent the disconnect between what they are told to think and what they believe, on the basis of some evidence.
I’m going to go much farther. Simple mathematics suggests that sooner or later one of these plots are going to succeed and it will be a target where average Americans rather than soldiers gather. When Americans perceive that they are in danger anywhere they are the mood is going to change and it is going to be ugly.
If however we forthrightly acknowledge that there is a jihad problem and that there are those who are attempting to radicalize Muslims in America from within and take steps private and public to prevent it we will do several important things:
1. We will of course prevent attacks
2. We will put people planing attacks on the defensive rather than on the offensive, their focus will be on preventing capture and arrest.
3. It will become easier to compromise those less “devout” in order to catch the hardcore jihadists.
4. It will embolden actual moderate Muslims who want no part of this and came to American to escape Sharia law in the first place. They will no longer be cowed.
5. It will forestall much harsher measures that could come in the wake of an attack on the general public.
Kicking the can down the road for the sake of political correctness is a disservice to everyone. Until we take this seriously we will pay.