by Stephen Bryen
The French think they are off the hook over the terrible terrorist incident in Nice. No matter that the terrorist, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was known to the Nice police and had served time in jail. And no matter that he is officially described as a French-Tunisian, when in fact he is a French citizen of Tunisian origin; none of this matters because he was a lone wolf!
What, one might ask, is a lone wolf? The idea of a lone wolf is the latest excuse made by political leaders and law enforcement to “explain” why we should accept terrorist attacks as a normal part of life. As the French Prime Minister, the same genius who bounded off to meet with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a known terrorist organization, Manuel Valls, we have to live with terrorism. It is the same excuse used by US law enforcement to explain mass killings in California at San Bernardino and in Florida at Orlando. But it is an “excuse” that is inexcusable.
Americans and Europeans always want to import their cultural ideas when describing how other cultures think and behave. That is one of the reasons why law enforcement is always outfoxed by terrorists. They don’t behave the way you think about them. You don’t need a Party Card or any formal organization to carry out terrorist acts. We are dealing with a fanatical religious hatred that unites these criminals. The degree of hatred and its depth are far outside any norm understood in the West. Even the “nice” Muslims who may not think of themselves as fanatics dance in the streets when one of them kills innocent people, whether in France, the US, or Israel. The mother of the killer who stabbed a little teenager to death in her bed considers her son, the murderer, a hero. She is just one of tens of thousands with the same view.
So if you do not need to belong to a formal organization or have a party card, why is this disease spreading the way it is?
Part of the problem is the irresponsible owners of social media who give them the ability to proselytize without interference. Every sort of violence and hatred is spewed out across social media and the West allows it to go on unabated. It would seem that a first step is to destroy all access to social media by these fanatics and cut off their means of communication altogether.
The intelligence professionals will argue that doing this will cut off knowledge about ISIS, al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists. That may be true, but it will also reduce the chances of radicalization.
The next thing to do is to expel all the radical preachers operating in the West. If not expel, then jail for incitement. If you take a look at the miserable record of Western countries, for example Great Britain, you will see that we are stumbling over our own concept of laws and rules. But if we are at war, kick them out or put them in jail in solitary where they can’t recruit while incarcerated.
The third step is to stop importing refugees for now. Importing refugees is dangerous for three reasons: the first is that some of them are fanatics and are hiding inside so-called legitimate refugee groups; the second is that they are carrying messages on how to carry out the Jihadi war; the third is that they are the spear tip of smuggling operations bringing in weapons and plans for attacks.
Anyone who thinks there are really lone wolf attacks does not understand the dimension of the threat to the West. While President Obama may think that terrorism is not an existential threat to America, the fact is he is wrong. Might the next attack be about hitting a serious target like a major government building, a military base (as at Ft. Hood, another so-called lone wolf operation), or a nuclear power plant?