ISIS has claimed credit for yesterday’s jihadist bombings in Jakarta that killed at least two civilians (in addition to the five suicide terrorists). Those attacks follow hard on the jihadist bombing earlier this week in Istanbul, which killed ten. These, in turn, come quickly after the jihad struck Philadelphia . . . and San Bernardino . . . and Cologne . . . and Paris . . .
And then there is the story that, much like Iran’s capture and humiliation of U.S. Navy crews in the Persian Gulf, President Obama somehow managed not to mention in his alternative-universe State of the Union address on Tuesday night: Federal authorities have apprehended an Iraqi refugee who – I know this is hard to believe – turns out to be an ISIS supporter who was allegedly plotting to blow up malls in Houston.
The Justice Department says the jihadist, Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan, was coordinating with another Iraqi refugee living in California, Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab. Jayab is in custody in Sacramento, charged (for now) with making false statements in an international terrorism investigation. Like al-Hardan, he is a Palestinian born in Iraq (don’t ask me if that makes him a “natural born” Palestinian). He was accepted into the U.S. as a refugee in 2012 and proceeded to travel at least twice to Syria, where he joined affiliates of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the fighting.
So the threat of jihadists embedded or “radicalizing” in our midst grows more pronounced everyday. What a perfect time, then, for New York City, perhaps the most coveted target of the global jihad, to willfully blind itself to indicators of terrorism.
As our editorial explains today, the Obama-esque administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has caved in a lawsuit brought by Islamist activists who demand that the NYPD make like the White House and pretend that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism committed by Muslims who proclaim – with immense scriptural support – that they are acting on behalf of . . . Islam.
Among the concessions the city has made is that the NYPD will no longer be permitted to rely on “Radicalization in the West,” a painstaking 2007 report in which, by studying actual terrorism cases, intelligence officers outlined a pattern they’d detected that could alert police to signs that an ostensibly ordinary person could be evolving into a jihadist. As the editorial explains:
“Unremarkable” people, not necessarily Muslims at the start, with little if any criminal history, were being influenced by “internal and external factors” (perhaps a local imam, perhaps Internet websites) “to explore Salafi Islam”: a particularly strident, literalist interpretation of Islamic scripture. In some, the “self-identification” stage — often in conjunction with some life upheaval like job loss, death of a loved one, or political activism over international conflicts involving Muslims — led to a gradual abandonment of the person’s former identity and to association with Salafist ideologues. Some became indoctrinated wholesale, and some percentage of those moved on to participation in jihadist violence.
Obviously, establishing and recognizing the pattern is a sensible way to allocate limited investigative resources. Far from smearing all Muslims as potential terrorists, the report tried to identify the small subset of Muslims who might be “radicalizing” so that authorities could interrupt plots before lives were threatened or lost.
Now, police won’t be allowed to do that anymore. Good timing, don’t you think?