One of my favourite military affairs writers talks about terrorism, Islamists and why the West’s response to them is going to fail.
Terrorism remains alive and well in the US, but it’s not the kind of terrorism that seems to get the press that it should. Federal authorities in Georgia made an arrest of someone who planted a bomb in Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s Vickery Creek Park. That by itself is unremarkable given that there are hundreds of bomb plots investigated and arrests made annually (usually arson and for insurance purposes, but occasionally for political/ideological purposes). This is one of the latter instance, but not in the way people usually associate with bombings.
The bomber wanted to make it look like a Muslim was behind the bombing. He intended to injure or kill his fellow Americans so as to implicate the Muslim community in the attack. In other words, it was a false flag attempt that was thankfully stopped before anyone got hurt:
I thought I had seen every imaginable way to stoke the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry in America. There have been countless people on Fox News, certain Republican elected officials, the professional bigots, and even some right-wing “Christian” leaders serving up hate in various ways.
But these people all pale in comparison to Michael Sibley. You see, Sibley wasn’t content to just giving us the same old right-wing crap like Muslims wants to impose Islamic law so say goodbye to bacon cheeseburgers and whiskey and say hello to lamb kebobs and strong coffee served in small cups.
Nope, this self-described “patriot” planted a bomb at a national park in Georgia in the hopes that the public would think a Muslim did it. And yes, I know most haven’t heard about this incident. There’s not even a need to mention how different the media coverage would be have been if the bomber had actually been Muslim. I already detailed that scenario earlier this week in my article about a non-Muslim man that attacked federal officers at a U.S. airport with poison spray and a machete while carrying six homemade bombs in a duffel bag.
Sibley, who is 67 years old and lives in Roswell, Georgia, told FBI officers that he planted this bomb because in his view, “no one was paying attention to what was going on the world.” Apparently as a “patriot” he was going to maim or even kill his fellow Americans to wake them up to the threat facing America.
And what is this “threat” Sibley speaks of? Well, it’s pretty clear he’s talking Muslims. You see, according to the federal complaint, Sibley put some Muslim memorabilia in the backpack along with two “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs) he crafted.
We haven’t heard much about this incident because there wasn’t a loss of life (and without the bleeding, it doesn’t lead/lede the news). Rather, it turns out that upon deeper investigation that the bomber was trying to make it look like Muslims did it. The bomber? He was a older white guy who wanted to stoke the Islamophobia with a false-flag bombing.
The bombing would have taken place in Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s Vickery Creek Park.
And the materials he included in the backpack included a map with other potential targets identified, including a Jewish Community Center, transit facilities, and provided a Muslim name to go along with the ruse.
So, for those claiming that Muslim terrorism remains the primary threat, note too that the number of those killed by right wing terror groups in the US exceeds those killed by Islamic extremists in the US since 9/11 by a wide margin.
Get a load of this guys! Doktor Zoom reports the only way Wonkette can,
As if you needed any further proof that there are extremists on both side of the abortion issue, consider the recent heinous attack launched on the anti-abortion website “LifeNews,” which was hit last week with a full-scale assault of glitter mailed in a letter. But it was threatening terrorist glitter, and proof that Both Sides Do It, although one side has been a bit more partial to firebombing clinics and shooting doctors, nurses, and receptionists dead.
The reaction from LifeNews was swift: They sent out a fundraising email Saturday with the subject heading “URGENT! Our office was bombed, we need your help!”
The fundraising letter explained that LifeNews has been targeted by multiple glitter bombings from a group calling itself “Glitter Bombs For Choice,” and detailed the devastating toll that the relentless attacks have taken:
Over the last few weeks, abortion activists have sent several glitter bomb letters to LifeNews, some with threatening messages. When our staff open the letters, glitter poured inside goes everywhere and makes a huge mess.
iLL_D (via Reddit)
This just happened, my father was on the plane and took this picture.
He was screaming and sprinting towards the cockpit. Several large passengers tackled him before he even reached the door.
This was after the plane had taken off for Denver, after this incident it was returned to Dulles. He claimed to have bombs on board when first taken down. They are still looking into it but I imagine it was most likely a lie.
It sounds like it may simply be a deranged young man and not a genuinely credible threat. However it just happened 2-3 hours ago so the situation is still developing. Good on those passengers (undercover Air Marshals?) for intervening and stopping this man from reaching the cockpit and potentially endangering the lives of passengers and crew. The lessons of 9/11 are still fresh in the minds of many Americans and it seems unlikely that any future hijackings will proceed without resistance from those on board.
He reportedly screamed “Jihad, jihad” while charging the cockpit door.
From the video you can hear his first intelligible words: “My father *sob* made me…I’m sorry…I’m sorry”
He says what sounds like “my dad” again at 0:58 in the video. I’ll bet he’s so proud.
Arthur Chu on the Bigotry and hypocrisy of “New Atheists”
One of the most obnoxious refrains you hear when you complain about Islamophobia in the United States being a form of racism is “Islam isn’t a race, it’s a religion.” It’s a nasty derailing technique that’s endorsed by luminaries such as Richard Dawkins.
And it’s wrong for transparent reasons. You don’t need to look far for other examples where religion and ethnicity are conflated within the logic of prejudice. You only need to look as far as the Holocaust, the single bloodiest genocidal campaign in history, which targeted anyone of Jewish ethnic descent regardless of what religious beliefs they professed, based on stereotypes that explicitly invoked biological, racial difference.
You don’t need to look far in our own time to find people being targeted for “looking Muslim” regardless of their racial beliefs, and indeed, you can find Dawkins’ fellow luminary Sam Harris openly endorsing racial profiling as policy.
But the sheer hypocrisy of saying that anti-Muslim prejudice is a consequence of rational disagreement with the tenets of Islam rather than xenophobic distrust of people who look different from “normal” Americans becomes most obvious when you see how much of it falls on Sikhs.
As I attempted to describe in several comments here and here, context makes a world of difference and is something that was sorely missing from Wood’s original article on ISIS, despite it’s detailed long-windedness.
The article below addresses that omission. It’s a bit long, but nowhere near the 10,000+ words of Wood’s original article which, to be quite honest, struck me as yet another example of intellectual Islamophobia—something not very different from “scientific” racism, IMO.
Since Monday, much has been said in print, radio, and television about Graeme Wood’s recent front-page feature piece for The Atlantic entitled “What ISIS Really Wants.” The article, which is lengthy and highly descriptive, and is essentially an exhaustive examination of the ideology that shores up the cruel vision, messages, and tactics of ISIS, the radical militant group currently terrorizing entire sections of the Middle East. But while the article was initially met with widespread praise, it has since become the subject of criticism and even condemnation from several groups, including Muslim academics, scholars of Islamic law, Muslim leaders and high-profile political pundits.
Critics have elucidated a slew of issues with the piece, but many are rooted in quotes by Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University who Wood quotes extensively to justify his claims. When ThinkProgress spoke with other scholars in Haykel’s field, however, at least one expressed surprise at his involvement with the piece, and indicated curiosity about the scholar’s thoughts on the final product.
With this in mind, ThinkProgress reached out to Haykel, who agreed to an interview to help dispel any misconception that he is trying to score “political” points, explaining, “my approach is a scholarly one and not motivated by an agenda.” He admitted that he had initially read Wood’s article quickly — “it’s a long piece,” he joked — and declined to directly address most of Wood’s claims other than to insist the piece was ultimately “[Wood’s] argument … not my argument.” Still, he didn’t shy away from expanding on some things the author left out or possibly misrepresented, and offered a revealing examination of what’s at stake when fighting ISIS. […]
From the author of the article:
Interesting reactions to my Atlantic/ISIS posts. Many Muslims and Islam scholars? Fans The author, conservatives, random dudes? Not so much
You can put this in the folder right next to the one labeled “Why don’t Muslims speak up—why aren’t they doing anything?” They are doing something, but they’re up against a wily, dedicated enemy with apparently abundant time & resources. They’re trying to figure out what works, as you’ll see if you read the entire article. Added emphasis is mine:
STERLING, Va. — Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago, at his family’s urging, to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.
But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete. Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop.
“The recruiters wouldn’t leave him alone,” Imam Magid said of the young man he met with recently. “They were on social media with him at all hours, they tweet him at night, first thing in the morning. If I talk to him for an hour, they undo him in two hours.”
President Obama on Wednesday described the fight against violent extremism as a “generational challenge” that would require the cooperation of governments, religious leaders, educators and law enforcement. But even before he called on more than 60 nations to join the effort, the rise of the Islamic State and the attacks by homegrown terrorists in Paris, Ottawa, Copenhagen and Sydney, Australia, had jolted American Muslims into action. […]
A man in Canada on trial for plotting to derail a passenger train also wanted to make Yellowstone supervolcano erupt, a Toronto court has heard.
Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, wanted to trigger a catastrophic volcanic eruption at Yellowstone National Park but ended up dismissing the idea because it would have been too difficult, a court heard.
An undercover FBI agent told how Esseghaier, a Montreal PhD student from Tunisia,and co-accused Raed Jaser, a Palestinian dispatcher from Ontario, talked about the “death and destruction” a blast from Yellowstone would cause.
“Wouldn’t it be great if my enemies’ worst national disaster could happen?” the agent told the court Esseghaier said.
Last year, scientists at the US Geological Survey explained what would happen if Yellowstone were to produce a supereruption. Findings indicated the umbrella cloud was capable of pushing ash as far as 1,500km away.
In the long-term, the authors said there would be major climate effects and large parts of the US would be blanketed in ash, causing disruption to transport, power and farming.
The agent said Esseghaier was “very passionate” about making Yellowstone erupt, but eventually decided to target the Canadian passenger train instead, the Star reports.
“No. We cannot do anything to make the volcano erupt. It’s very deep. I don’t have any access,” Esseghaier is alleged to have said.
But hey let’s frack Yellowstone! What could go wrong?
Denmark - From Joy to Terror: Participants at Copenhagen Bat Mitzvah Describe Event as Shooting Unfolds
Denmark - What should have been the happiest moments of Chana Bentov’s life turned into a nightmare of epic proportions as the 12 year old’s bat mitzvah celebration was punctuated by the sounds of gunshots in the night.
Journalist Eva Blum fled to the basement of The Copenhagen Synagogue with her 15 year old son during the terror attack, which took the life of Dan Uzan, as previously reported on VIN News. Blum spoke with Israeli news site Maariv (goo.gl ) and described what happened inside the synagogue as terror reigned in the streets of Copenhagen.
“We were more than 50 children and adults together,” said Blum. “We were at the bat mitzvah and we were dancing and suddenly the security guard came and screamed ‘turn off the music and go down to the basement.’ We raced downstairs quickly, not even taking our telephones or our bags.”
While the group originally congregated in the basement, they were told to move into a more secure area, deeper inside the basement.
“We knew then that something bad had happened,” said Blum. “We were there for close to two hours. It was very hot and the children were frightened. The father of the bat mitzvah girl overheard the police and the security guards talking and he told just us, the adults, that one of the security people had been shot. We hid this from the children. We just told them that that there had been an attack and that we were being guarded.”
As students at Copenhagen’s Jewish school, the children at the party had all participated in drills to prepare them for a potential security breach.
“They know what the word means,” said Blum. “They are prepared. But this time it was real. This time what we planned for and have always feared actually happened.”
The scariest moments, according to Blum, came when dozens of armed police officers came to evacuate them from the building.
“Each one of the adults took a child, or several children in hand,” recalled Blum. “Imagine what it is like to run with a shoeless child, through roads full of armed policemen. It is frightening.”
The children, many of whom were unaccompanied by their own parents, held up admirably according to Blum.
“We couldn’t call their parents,” said Blum. “We had no phones. The children were scared but they were ready for something like this.”