Thursday, July 31, 2014

31-Jul-14: Perhaps we're winning the war against the terrorists but what if it's more luck than wisdom?

"Life sucks", the now-dead young man
says [Image Source]
From the New York Times today:
When Moner Mohammad Abusalha drove a truck packed with explosives into a restaurant in northern Syria in May, American authorities conceded that they knew little about how a young man who grew up a basketball-obsessed teenager in a Florida gated community had become a suicide bomber. And they have never publicly acknowledged the startling discovery they made weeks into their investigation: that after receiving training by an extremist group in Syria, Mr. Abusalha had returned to the United States for several months before leaving the country for the last time. Mr. Abusalha chose to carry out his attack in Syria rather than in the United States, but the difficulty learning about his background, motivations and travels illustrates the problems law enforcement officials face in trying to identify the Westerners - including dozens of Americans - believed to have been trained by Islamic militants in Syria.
If it's comfortable to think that young jihad-minded men and women like this one are constantly on the radar of the authorities in Western country, then let's keep thinking it.

But for those of us open to far-less-comfortable thoughts, there is a real possibility that massacres like the one he executed, via an explosives-filled garbage truck, in Syria can be staged just as easily in the US, in the UK, in Australia, anywhere really.

The disclosure that this human bomb flew back to his American home-town with a head filled with angry, pseudo-theological, explosives-fueled ideas and no one knew it until now ought to encourage a little more modesty on the part of those who say "we're smart and we're winning against the terrorists".

We need to consider the possibility that we're neither winning nor all that smart. And also that we need to be demanding of the responsible authorities that much more has to be done to protect our families and communities from their onslaught - wherever we live.

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