Islamic terror just hit Orlando.
After 9-11, Americans understood what the specter of terror signified. But over the years, even while the threat remained constant, a sense of ennui set in. Threats that were real happened elsewhere. Americans—citizens and government officials alike—became complacent. When it came to terror, out of sight out of mind became the unspoken mantra, the unwritten rule of thumb.
And then terror struck Orlando.
And it was not just terror—it was ISIS’s brand of terror. Islamic terror. Do not be deceived. Call this terror by its name—its ugly name. Not to call it Islamic terror is not simply a mistake it is also a hindrance. We need to know what we are confronting in order to fight it.
To confront Islamic terror, authorities need more latitude. But if you don’t acknowledge the acts of carnage as being Islamic terror that latitude will never be given. And the risk of attack is heightened. It’s a simple equation.
The language we use is essential. If we are afraid of putting a name on something, we will never be able to fight that something.
Islamic terror in general and ISIS terror perpetrated terror against the West, against our values, especially the United States.
This terror cannot be confronted through normal police activity. To confront Islamic terror, authorities need more latitude. But if you don’t acknowledge the acts of carnage as being Islamic terror that latitude will never be given. And the risk of attack is heightened. It’s a simple equation.
Latitude needs to be defined. Terror needs to be analyzed outside the realm of normal criminal activity. State, local and federal law enforcement see the world from the POV of criminals. Terrorism cannot be confronted this way. Terrorists are not simply criminals.
We need to institute a system where the authorities can monitor potential terrorists like Mateen. The police cannot make this decision on their own. Law enforcement would need a judge to sign off on special investigations. A renewed version of the Patriot Act, which expired one year ago on June 1, 2015 would have to be drawn up in order to make certain fundamental rights were still protected.
Terrorist websites throughout the Dark or Black Web have lit up in recent days, filled with praise for the act and the man that took 49 innocent lives in Orlando, Florida and wounded so many more. ISIS adherents are glowing with vicarious pride because one of their own has landed a serious blow to the infidel.
The Dark Web is that part of the internet that exists below the surface. It is always encrypted and extremely anonymous. In the Dark Web terrorists are free to spread their messages. They are in bad company: Assassins, drug lords, sexual deviants, gamblers and informants thrive on the Dark Web.
These sites call for more attacks, just like the Orlando attack, to bring the United States to its knees. These terrorist sites use their success stories as the foundation for recruitment campaigns. And they don’t mince words. In his Ramadan message, ISIS spokesperson and leader Al Adnani declared that attacking in the heartland of the Infidel is more valuable than joining the battle in the Middle East.
Islamic terror is not a new phenomenon for Americans. The United States has been hit by Jihadi terrorists for years, but it took 9-11 before any notice at all was paid to threat.
In 1983, US peacekeepers in Lebanon were attacked. 307 people were killed, 241 were wounded. In 1993 the World Trade Center, the same target as 9-11, was hit by the same people, al Qaeda. More than 1,000 were wounded and six people were killed. In 1996, in Saudi Arabia, terrorists targeted US citizens and killed 19 of them. In 1998 simultaneous US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania killed 263 people and wounded over 5000 more, most of them locals. In 2000 the USS Cole was attacked killing 17 American military.
It took 9-11 to wake up the sleeping giant that was the United States. But we did not learn our lesson. On June 12th we were caught snoozing again, because Islamic terror is not going away.