Islamist terror has evolved toward lone actors – and it’s brutally effective

The two attacks that shook the US and France on Sunday and Monday suggest a very new form of terrorism, posing a dramatic new threat.

But the horrific actions of Omar Mateen in Orlando, Florida, and Larossi Aballa outside Paris are the result of a 20-year evolution of Islamic militancy towards a decentralised, anarchic but tragically effective type of violence.

A year after the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998, Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qaida, explained what he saw as his primary task.

“Our job is to instigate,” he said.

  • B__2

    Part of this stems from the Western Civilization belief in the individual, that an individual is only responsible for their own personal actions. The marked two exceptions on this rule are ‘whiteness’ and ‘maleness’.

    As a result, the West finds it almost impossible to deal with people and cultures who do not believe this. Cultures where the community is more important than any individual will sacrifice individuals for what they perceive is the common good. Individuals who believe that their reward will come after death, not during their life.

    Before the current Western Civilization, families, tribes and communities were held responsible for their member’s actions. The penalty for an outrageous act by an individual was often the extermination of the group that this individual was part of. This extermination achieved two purposes: eliminating the group-thinking that may have inspired or supported dangerous act, and the existential threat to the group tried to ensure that the group policed its own members.

    In the West, it is almost unthinkable to jail or deport the family of a criminal. In the modern world, the lure of guaranteed heaven for an jihadist who dies while killing his religious opponents means that it is hard to provide a deterrent for such behaviour. The wife, children or even the father of the Orlando terrorist will not be punished by the state for his acts, unless they conspired or participated in the acts.

    Israel is widely criticised in the West for destroying the houses of the muslim terrorists who kill themselves in the act of killing Israelis, but it is done to try to get the families of the terrorists to dissuade the potential terrorists from acting. One of the incentives the Israelis try to counter is that a terrorist act in the West Bank or Gaza triggers a pension paid to the family of the terrorist by the Palestinian Authority.

    The muslim world cannot wage war face to face with any Western country as their culture prevents the trust and cooperation necessary even though they may have the wealth to buy the weapons of war. The muslim culture is an ossified desert nomad culture, accustomed to what we now would term guerrilla wars or raids. Loyalty is to individuals and dissolves on that individual’s death, and there are no permanent treaties or alliances.

    And so, we are here. Where individuals or small groups wage war on a vulnerable civilisation: a civilisation based on a general trust in people behaving honourably and cooperatively. Where there is no large enemy organisation that can be bombed or invaded to eliminate the threat. Where every muslim is incited to jihad against non-muslims by their religion, not just their political leaders. Where you can’t punish or deport the family or group for the actions of an individual just because they are the family – even though they may believe what the individual did was right. Where in some places you can’t even deport the terrorist themselves back to the country of their citizenship.

    This is the world in which we live, and this is why lone actors are so successful.

    • infedel

      …and when we throw PC into the bin of history we can rightfully beat the crap out of islam yet again.

  • pdxnag

    Be patient, it will morph into mobs of 5,000 like-minded Rage Boys soon enough.

  • infedel

    We can be equally effective if we reclassify islam to the isms of communism and nazism and totalitarianism–which it rightfully belongs…it is certainly not a religion.

  • Jay Currie

    Adorable…we’ll just forget what Israel has been dealing with for the last thirty years.