Cross posted at erickstakelbeck.com
Details are still pouring in about last night’s horrific jihadist massacre in Paris. Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the carnage, we still don’t know, as of this writing, the identities of the eight jihadists who carried out the slaughter at multiple venues. Were they all French citizens? Were they “returnees” who had fought and trained alongside ISIS in Syria and returned home to France with instructions to attack on their native soil? We should have the answers to these questions soon (according to this report, one of the terrorists was a “refugee” from Syria. If true, this would, sadly, be no surprise). In the meantime, here are some quick thoughts on the deadliest violence to rock France since WWII–and the second deadliest Islamic terror attack (next to the 2004 Madrid train bombings) to strike a Western city since 9/11:
–The Paris massacre is the West’s Mumbai. Ever since the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India in which ten jihadists armed with guns and bombs fanned out across that city and created mass havoc, there has been fear among Western intelligence agencies that the Mumbai massacre would be replicated by jihadists in a major Western city. The tactics used and targets hit in last night’s attacks certainly echo those used in Mumbai, as do the casualty numbers. With radical Islamists gaining a firm foothold the past few decades in major cities throughout Western Europe, we can, unfortunately, expect more large-scale attacks like we witnessed in Paris, particularly with battle-hardened ISIS “returnees” trickling back into their countries of origin. In April 2015, a top EU official said that as many 6,000 Europeans have traveled overseas to join ISIS, including some 1,500 French citizens. That is an astounding number. As I wrote in my latest book, "ISIS Exposed," the goal is for ISIS “city wolves” –homegrown sympathizers and returnees from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq–to turn European and American cities into guerilla war zones, where we see Paris-style carnage on a regular basis. By the way, Western Europeans do not need a visa to enter the United States.
–Which brings us to the obvious question: could what happened in Paris happen in America? Absolutely. We’ve already seen smaller-scale but deadly Islamic terror attacks in Fort Hood, Boston, Chattanooga, New York City and Oklahoma over the past few years, not to mention a number of foiled attempts on U.S. soil. That said, Here are a few sobering facts to keep in mind moving forward:
–FBI director James Comey said last month that there are currently at least 900 active investigations into jihadist (mostly ISIS-related) activity on American soil. Comey has also said that the Bureau is investigating ISIS-related activity in all 50 U.S. states. Meaning that ISIS has a network of supporters and sympathizers in every state in the union.
–The House Homeland Security Committee recently released a report stating that at least 250 U.S. citizens have traveled or attempted to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS–and dozens have already returned.
–The Obama administration plans to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in 2016. If what’s unfolding in Europe is any indication, these refugees will largely be young Muslim men from jihad hotbeds like Syria. Both FBI Director Comey and Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson admit there is no way to properly vet all of them.
As you can see, the barbarians are not just at the gates–they’re inside them. This is not alarmism, scare tactics or sensationalism: I am merely quoting Obama administration officials and the findings of the bi-partisan House Homeland Security Committee. Given these facts, it’s no exaggeration to say that America’s homegrown jihad problem is nearing epidemic levels. Think a Paris-style coordinated attack can’t happen here? Look no further than a place like Minneapolis-St. Paul, where dozens of young Somali Muslim men and women–U.S. citizens–have traveled to Syria, Somalia and elsewhere to join Islamic terror groups like Al-Shabaab and ISIS. What happens if–and when–a number of these jihadi recruits return to the United States and congregate in one metropolitan area?
One obvious way to deal with this problem is to utterly crush ISIS in the Middle East: destroy its mini-caliphate and devastate its holy warriors much like the Allies dismantled the German and Japanese war machines during WWII. Destroying the caliphate would put a dent in jihadist ideology and demoralize the global movement. This is not a difficult task for Western militaries to accomplish–quite the contrary. Yet the will is not there among feckless Western leaders, with President Obama at the head of the pack.
History shows again and again that when a great evil rises it must be crushed immediately before it is allowed to metastasize. In the case of ISIS and the Iranian regime, the West has completely failed to answer the call, to its eternal shame.
History also repeats itself. It’s 1939 all over again. Will a Churchillian leader emerge to help set things right in the West, or will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain a lone, sane voice crying in the wilderness?