Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

How to Spot a Terrorist

Well, you can’t, anymore. Not since “Jihad Jane” or, Colleen LaRose of Pennsylvania took up the cudgel of intended violence on behalf of terror. Most of us harbor no love lost for certain people and politics, but we do not recommend bumping them from this mortal coil as part of the remedy.

“Jane” was touted as an example of the “evolution” in the face of terrorism. Well, get ready to deal with that because it’s not only the latest rock-in-the-shoe in this world of woe, but will be the fashion for years to come. Now of course is the next page of it, in the person of Faisal Shahzad–whose face I’m already tired of on daily news. I now know what he looks like, and what I’d rather see is the mug of the next most likely to try and terrorize us.

One thing is certain, when invisible Jihad Janes and Joes turn their anger inward on their own country, we too will suffer what other parts of the world have endured forever and a day. In time it will change our debate over domestic security as well as foreign policy, not to mention issues of world hunger, political oppression and how and whether we can get along with foreigners we don’t like.

It is human to keep unpleasantries on a back burner till they come close to home–a variation of the old “Not In My Backyard (NIMBY)” complex. Ten years ago while serving as consultant in and around Washington, DC I was absorbed with a book about a little-known Islamist terrorist. Colleagues resented my taking every spare moment to stick my nose in it instead of hanging out, drinking single malt scotch and b.s.-ing the night away. But I deemed the book a blueprint for future terror activities in the U.S.

Months later, ensconced in Arizona, I was pulling on hiking shoes for an early morning mountain trek and saw news that planes had just struck the Twin Towers in New York City. The mastermind of that devastation was the subject of the book I couldn’t put down the year before: Osama bin Laden.

It is now known that no few of bin Laden’s highest-ranking cohorts opposed such flagrant attack, fearing it would but wake a sleeping giant and, in time, quash future success against the Great Satan, America. Well, did and did. And that is curious in that I fully expected a much less dramatic but nonetheless carefully laid and punishing plan, beginning with recruitment of potential domestic jihadists in vital centers around America–a pattern followed typically by plotters far from our shores. Why bin Laden went instead for the Brass Ring of the Twin Towers is a mystery not uncommon to evil minds that ends in their undoing.

“Jane” was on her way elsewhere, as we know, but she’s American, lived on a small-town street bedecked with porch-flags and, we think, should have had no thoughts of murder based on terror politics. Faisal made his fumbled attempt at mayhem and was on his way out of the country.

It is troubling is that such people have decided that the USA is as good ground as any to teach democracy a lesson. Hers is an unlikely face among mugs on Most Wanted lists, to say the least, and she and others like her would have a devastating effect on our domestic tranquility should they practice their derring-do closer to home. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for her kind to be so involved.

Judging from the book mentioned, I had come to expect, instead of the events of 9/11, the kind of mischief that could damage our morale much more and for longer times than one day of drama in 2000: imagine suicide bombers inside our malls where people are shopping their hearts out in a daily ritual to stave off boredom and depression (or little hand-made goodies stuffed inside McDonald’s wrappers and dropped in trash cans) or at movies wherein we lose ourselves in characters much more interesting than we are. Car bombing, another common recourse elsewhere in the world, is an unhappy one to contemplate around our own city halls and courthouses.

Our homes could become like that of Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist whom “Jane” was after, who offended Muslims with irreverent depictions of the Prophet Muhammed; his abode requires electrified barbed wire and a safe room.

Hence, whoever would severely daunt American morale need only keep us away from our favorite stores and movie plexes. And not to forget sporting events, where the crudest of home-made bombs could ruin precious moments of last-gasp Hail Mary passes or buzzer-beating three-pointers. Hockey would not be a preferred site for terrorism, given the mayhem already on the ice where the freedom-loving are out to kill each other, anyway.

Let’s just say that Jihad Jane is the pretty face of all that we would deem ugly. Shahzad is a handsome such face but his purposes are more than ugly. And either of their kind may be coming to a multiplex very close to you in the near future.

One Response to “How to Spot a Terrorist”

  1. Blame it on Osama; he’s such an easy target. What so often is overlooked in this accusation is how Osama reacted after the towers collapsed. He said he didn’t do it. He was surprised by the event.

    It wasn’t long before he was blamed by the fear-mongers among us – those who want us to have enemies – those who portray cave dwelling islamists as sinister techno bombers capable of flying large aircraft at near sonic speeds – and into buildings.

    All propaganda that would make Goebbels grin. We have an enemy, and he/she/they are the ones who masterminded the twin tower implosions. And Building 7 which imploded for unexplained reasons, maybe that one was Saddam Hussein – wasn’t he supposed to be an instigator?

    We have enemies, and it is in their best interest to remain hidden. It is also in their best interest to wave false flags and keep us aiming away from them, in the wrong direction. Discover the real enemy and terrorism is over. That enemy wrote the book on Osama setting him up as the perpetrator of evil. It is a long term plan, still playing at a mall near you.

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