Mainstream Finally Catching Up with the Terrorists
There’s something peculiar about this new focus on lone wolf terrorists:
After 9/11, it was the men who went to radicalized mosques or terror boot camps who were seen as the biggest terror threat. Today, that picture’s changed: Authorities are increasingly focusing on the lone wolf living next door, radicalized on the Internet – and plotting strikes in a vacuum. …
And President Barack Obama said in a CNN interview on Aug. 16 that a “lone wolf” terror attack in the U.S. is more likely than a major coordinated effort like the Sept. 11 attacks.
Anybody remember John Allen Muhammed and John Lee Malvo, the Beltway snipers, back in 2002? Or how about the El Al Airlines shooter, also that year?
As I recall, it was a subject of some debate whether such acts ought to be counted on the tally of radical Islamic terrorists. The tendency was to resist the conclusion that the real root cause of terrorism was the ideology that drove its adherents to kill, even when their own deaths were necessarily part of the method.
On a tangential note: reading the article, one can’t help but worry that the reality of these lone wolves is going to be used as justification for the intimate, deep monitoring that might actually catch terrorists by the content of the video clips that they watch online. Of course, historical practice suggests that the government won’t find itself able to limit its intrusions on those who fit a very narrow profile, but will insist on monitoring everybody, everywhere (you know, so as not to show prejudice).
If that’s the direction that we’re headed, the American people ought to choose endurance of small-scale terrorist attacks, rather than of Big Brother.