What with the Fort Hood mass murderer, the Christmas Pantybomber, and now the Times Square bomber, you may have noticed a little uptick in attempted terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland in the last few months.
Rep. Lamar Smith did, and, at the House Judiciary Committee, he was interested to see if the attorney general of the United States thought there might be any factor in common between these perplexingly diverse incidents.
“In the case of all three attempts in the last year, the terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, those individuals have had ties to radical Islam,” said Representative Smith. “Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?”
“Because of . . . ?”
“Radical Islam,” repeated Smith.
“There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions,” replied Eric Holder noncommittally. “I think you have to look at each individual case.”
The congressman tried again. “Yes, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?”
“There are a variety of reasons why people . . . ”
“But was radical Islam one of them?”
“There are a variety of reasons why people do things,” the attorney general said again. “Some of them are potentially religious . . . ” Stuff happens. Hard to say why.
“Okay,” said Smith. “But all I’m asking is if you think, among those variety of reasons, radical Islam might have been one of the reasons that the individuals took the steps that they did.”
“You see, you say ‘radical Islam,’” objected Holder. “I mean, I think those people who espouse a — a version of Islam that is not . . . ”
“Are you uncomfortable attributing any actions to radical Islam?” asked Smith. “It sounds like it.”
And so on, and so forth. At Ford Hood, Major Hasan jumped on a table and gunned down his comrades while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” — which is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” and an early indicator of pre-post-traumatic stress disorder. The Times Square bomber, we are assured by the Washington Post, CNN, and Newsweek, was upset by foreclosure proceedings on his house. Mortgage-related issues. Nothing to do with months of training at a Taliban camp in Waziristan.