When news breaks with headlines hinting at the idea that yet another terrorist attack might have occurred, many ask why and how could it happen.
Surely, by now, countries have done what they can to protect their citizens?
You see, although the idea of terrorist attacks is nothing new, the way recruitment is being executed in the modern day has taken on another form. Instead of violent crimes being executed by refugees, immigrants or foreign nationals, it’s increasingly common for them to be committed by people actually born in the country.
This from Daily Beast:
The inevitable question arising from this calamity – “Why would someone commit such an atrocity against his or her homeland, on behalf of radical Islam?” – has become a common one in recent years, thanks to a rash of attacks that, here in the U.S., include the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, the 2015 San Bernardino attack, and the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, among others.
In all of those instances, the people responsible claimed allegiance to the cause of al Qaeda and/or ISIS, even though they had few direct ties to those organizations [sic]. Rather than foreign-born nationals or refugees infiltrating the country to carry out their dastardly plans – the situation targeted by President Donald Trump’s proposed (and still-under-fire) immigration ban – such incidents were born, and executed, by our very own citizens.
And done so, to a large extent, courtesy of the internet.
Looking into this online phenomenon, a new documentary premiering on USA’s Showtime “seeks to investigate…the evolution of Islamic terrorism over the past few decades,” reports Daily Beast. Premiering this Saturday, it is:
Narrated by Liev Schreiber, executive produced by Alex Gibney and Peter Berg, and directed by Alison Ellwood – who was reportedly inspired to make the film by Berg’s Patriots Day – it’s a fascinating investigation into the burgeoning threat our (and all Western) nations face from radical Islamic belief. Because as it argues, our true enemies aren’t just the messengers of hate – it’s their message itself.
Titled American Jihad, here’s what the documentary is about:
[It’s] primary focus is Anwar al-Awlaki [main image up top], a New Mexico-born man whose career as an American Imam took a turn after he was exposed to extreme Muslim ideologies in London. He then brought those philosophies back to the U.S. – and, more importantly, online. Before long, al-Awlaki was uploading sermons in which he equated jihadism with terrorism, and endorsed catastrophically violent action against Western oppressors as the only true course of action for a real Muslim. While he also aided and abetted various terrorists in their plans, al-Awlaki’s real impact was via his viral videos, which spread his radical-Islamic message far and wide. At the height of his power (in Yemen, where he’d been forced to take refuge), he was the veritable English-language mouthpiece for al Qaeda, as well as the co-creator of its official Inspire magazine – which, among other crimes, published an article about how to make a homemade bomb that was followed, years later, by Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Al-Awlaki was the first U.S. citizen to be targeted, and killed, by a drone strike, when President Obama ordered that operation in 2011. Yet as American Jihad convincingly maintains, his legacy lives on, via the radical sermons that continue to be virtually disseminated around the globe (ISIS still uses his videos). Whereas European terrorists are often cultivated via face-to-face meetings, Americans can be seduced and conscripted without a single conversation taking place; all they have to do is seek out al-Awlaki’s posts, immerse themselves in a related online community, and then act in accordance with their principles.
American Jihad insists this was the case in Boston, and Orlando, and to some extent also in Fort Hood, Texas, where Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan carried out his fatal 2009 attack (after having attended al-Awlaki’s Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and emailing with him afterwards). While other incidents have definitely involved Westerners traveling overseas to receive training and/or take up arms, many new-era domestic strikes are committed by angry people who can find justification – and spiritual, if not practical, support – for their lethal impulses on the web. It’s radicalization via a simple Google search.
Basically, it is a vicious cycle that the United States and other countries have found themselves in and one or more elements need to be removed to stop it.
Until then, we will surely continue to see more of these attacks, no matter what travel bans and deportations Trump aims to implement.
Read the Daily Beast’s full piece HERE.
[imagesource: AP] One day in 2016, 23-year-old Christopher Rivas looked up at the clear...
[imagesource: SNL] Not every celebrity appearance on Saturday Night Live is met with gr...
[imagesource: Reuters / Albeiro Lopera] The sentiment about how important the descendan...
[imagesource:here] Life on a beautiful island known for its beaches, palm trees, and bu...
[imagesource:here] It is nice and easy to grab a random fruit juice and down it for tha...