The Potential That Jihadi Groups Will Unify … And With It, More Savagery

On Tuesday, December 16, the Pakistani Taliban attacked a large school in Peshawar killing 145 people, many of whom were children. The targeted school was a facility for dependents of soldiers from a specific unit; a unit which has been engaged in a recent campaign against the Taliban in the northern Waziristan Province of Pakistan. The attack was particularly brutal — some children were lined up against a wall and shot or forced to watch as their teachers were tortured and executed.

The expected reaction of outrage was swift and included an unexpected rebuke from some in leadership positions within the Afghan Taliban, who condemned the attack as “un-Islamic.” President Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest was quick to point out that the attack had not come from the Taliban in Afghanistan, the assumption being that the specific enemy opposed by American forces had been subdued or mitigated to a point that rendered it incapable of conducting such an attack.

America and its allies around the world have become jaded with regard to jihadist terrorism, and are becoming less and less shocked and disgusted by these acts. This particular barbarism targeting the most vulnerable, however, outraged the world more than it usually would have. If recent history is an indicator, though, unfortunately, even this outrage will subside far too soon.