It is commonly asserted that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. The lack of further mass terrorism is often used to bolster the case that domestic intelligence and law enforcement have been doing their jobs effectively.
The latter assertion is undoubtedly true. Presumably any number of would-be shaheeds and mujahideen have been rounded up, arrested, surveilled, interfered with, deported, denied entry, and otherwise prevented from carrying out their deadly intentions here in the USA.
There may well have been a failed attempt at a terrorist attack in Norman, Oklahoma on October 1st of this year, when Joel Hinrichs committed explosive suicide. OU, the FBI, and the major media have all declared the case closed, but I’m not so sure.
However, it has become clear that there was a successful Islamist terrorist attack in the United States during the fall of 2002. I refer, of course, to the shooting spree of the “Beltway Snipers”, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, which killed ten people and wounded three more. For three weeks in October of 2002 they terrorized Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia, and mesmerized the local and national media.
My earlier report on Jamaat ul-Fuqra in Virginia cites a Defense Watch article in 2002 detailing the connections between John Muhammad and the terrorist organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra. There are some indications that he took time off during his spree to hole up in a safe house at the Red House, Virginia compound for a little R&R.
Given Muhammad’s stated sympathy with Osama bin Laden, the jihad-related documents possessed by Lee Malvo, and Muhammad’s connection with Jamaat ul-Fuqra, it becomes clear that this was a domestic terrorist operation carried out by Islamists, in association with a known terrorist organization. Not only that, the leader of this terrorist organization is associated with Al Qaeda, appears to be complicit in the murder of Daniel Pearl, and has connections with Pakistan’s intelligence service, ISI.
This is rich loam indeed, in which the seeds of paranoia can be planted to grow luxuriant vines of conspiracy theories. The customary government phrase — “no known connection with terrorist organizations” — begins to look a little shopworn at this point, doesn’t it?
Look at it from the point of view of the Great Islamic Jihad: the Beltway Sniper operation was an easy, low-budget way to strike fear into the hearts of millions ordinary Americans and cause the retail economy of the Nation’s Capital to grind to a near-halt.
Beat-up old car: $1200
Welding, etc., to convert it into a killing machine: $300
Stolen high-powered rifle and ammo: $0
Sandwiches and soda pop for 3 weeks: $350
American citizens cowering beneath their beds: PRICELESS
Well, there was also the guy who shot up the El Al ticket counter. And the guy who shot up Louie B. Armstrong Airport (who was shouting Allahu Akbar, and yet was later reported as a “disgruntled employee”). The anthrax attacks, the sniper…
So, I guess there have been no terrorist attacks since 9/11!
Really, though, I don’t know that I’d say most Americans cower under their beds. Only when the media presents it as an insurmountable problem. When a way is shown (even if it involves quite a bit of violence), I think the American public tends to jump on board.
Finally, I’m getting a chance to rant about the D.C. Snipers!
I live in the D.C. Metro area and have lived here all my life, as my father did before me. Let me tell you about what I lived through here just a few years ago, a year after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. What happened during those three weeks of sniper attacks in October 2002 was indeed terrorism!
How can I describe what I lived through? No place was safe! I bobbed and weaved at gas stations and in the grocery-store pickup area. I drove around with a handgun on the seat of my vehicle and a cell phone immediately handy. I looked to my left and right at every stoplight, and scrutinized other drivers as I looked them in the eye. I received calls from friends wondering if I was okay when sniper locations were known to be places where I shopped, ate, or filled up my gas tank. At one point, Geraldo showed up, and one of my long-distance friends called and said to me, “As if things aren’t bad enough, Geraldo is now in town.” As attacks came one after the other, I canceled some of my work obligations (I often travel to my clients’ homes), or my clients themselves holed up and didn’t want to do anything besides sit glued to the TV set.
Everyone I know in this area felt the same way, and the local economy took a downturn. We became shut-ins of sorts, afraid even to go from the house to the vehicle at our own residences (Many in my neighborhood do not have attached garages). We felt something like political refugees, hiding from criminals as opposed to hiding from the authorities.
Then finally Mohammed and Malvo were captured. The relief we felt was palpable! We started coming out of our holes and going out again.
And all the while, the media soft-pedaled the connection to Islamism! I stewed over this aspect nearly as much as I worried about getting my head blown off. Had I been in the blogosphere, Lord only knows what rants I might have given vent to.
Peace for a time. And then came the trials.
During the trials, the media descended on Fairfax City like a bunch of locusts. Traffic had to rerouted; roads were gridlocked–not only in Fairfax City, but throughout the Metro area. On certain days, other cases on the dockets ahd to be postponed. I66 westbound was a nightmare in the morning, and eastbound was a nightmare once the hearings released and the media went elsewhere. The Fairfax Judiciary Center was permanently reconfigured, with new parking, special security measures, etc.
Now we the taxpayers are paying hard-earned dollars to support Mohammed and Malvo, the latter for the rest of his life.
I am so angry that I boil over when I think of all the above.
Now to the present day, more or less. Bombings at OU and Georgia Tech, UCLA–to mention two. More out there which we’re not hearing about? Are the OU and GT bombings a sign of something larger? That first sniper shooting didn’t alarm us much, but within a few days, we knew that we had maniacs out there.
And JF is also in our midst.
Baron and Dymphna,
Congrats on the Pajamas profile.
Pastorius — Many thanks.
And thanks to all our loyal readers.
As you may remember, the Sniper made a little side-trip down 95 to Fredericksburg, Ashland, and Richmond. He killed someone in Ashland, and stopped at the corner of Parham Rd. and West Broad in Richmond (the West End, actually in Henrico County) to use the phone booth. It was a big deal for the Richmond area.
Well, I work in the West End, a few miles from Parham and Broad, and am down in that area during the week. People went nuts, avoiding the malls, crouching down by their cars to pump gas, etc.
I remember going to Regency Square Mall, which is just off Parham, during the height of the sniper scare, and crossing the floodlit parking lot. I didn’t do a broken-field run like some people were doing (too much pride for that!) but my back felt itchy and my shoulderblades sure twitched as I went across that parking lot.
Just think — two guys with a car and a gun did that to us. What kind of terror would a real attack cause?
Gentlemen, the deep threat of JF is the America’s racial fault line.
The assault went on and on because of the race predjudice of the DC cops, and others, who assumed that it had to be a white cracker.
The snipers kept being identified time and again by cops and witnesses — but these accounts were against the profile.
The Method of Operation will be to use black muslims to attack randomn black baptists to establish a ‘race based profile’.
This race baiting will trigger social havoc.
If coupled to a WMD campaign the impact would be impossible to limit.
This also illustrates the limitation of profiling. You had better get it right. With sophisticated players, profilers themselves get ‘gamed’. Beware of that.
Present crime analytics are just not up to a crew that itself has access to their own team of psychologists plus is being coached by the FBI — unwittingly.
All of the FBI assistance provided to KSA is available as blow back to the Islamists campaigning here in America. The current Crown Prince of KSA is an intense Wahhabist and must have many Islamists on his payroll. And this is the guy they count on to block AQ.
Only yesterday, I hit my thumb with a hammer, and, as per usual let out my disgruntled
Allah Akbar Scream.
Must not try to make apples from Oranges.
Similar to warning about profiling below:
If rigid profiling were in place come hell or high water, some seriousness would finally be on display, and threats would be
Sorry, profiling warning was above.
Who is this “JF”?
I’m puttin my bets on
John Fund of the WSJ!
(all eyes out for white Heteros)
Doug — JF is shorthand for Jamaat ul-Fuqra (also spelled Jamaat al-Fuqra, Jemaat al-Fuqra, etc).
blert — you and I are on the same wavelength. The PC aversion to racial issues is our big security hole.
I think that when Al Qaeda launches its next major attack on us, it will piggyback in on a race war started by JF or something similar. We will be hobbled by political correctness when that starts.
always on watch posted: We became shut-ins of sorts, afraid even to go from the house to the vehicle at our own residences
Terrorism in the modern world is a very cheap and effective way to wage war. Even high tech products are readily available at low cost. The suicide bomber is the ultimate precision guided weapon, and for those who do not value lives, theirs or others, it is a very cheap precision guided weapon indeed.
The aftermath of a terror act in a major city such as London or New York, can not only shut down the city but paralyse the nation and even a continent. 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London illustrate this. What was the cost to the nation and the world for 9/11 or 7/7? They are such large sums, they are impossible to quantify. Moreover their effects have to be considered over a few years to properly cost the damage. Terrorists not only have the advantage of suprise on their side but their acts have a very high “profit ratio”. Our military and security apparatus just cannot cope with this “profit ratio”. There does not seem to be a simple and effective answer to this type of precision guided weapon.
Then there is the psychological damage to individuals and society. Always on watch writes about the effect on him and his friends and family. This fear extends outwards like a web, even affecting those who are not in the immediate target area.
Fear is the most disabling emotion in a human or a society. It paralyses the mind, then the spirit, and then finally paralyses the body. There is no emotion as deadly to the human condition as fear. As a first step, how do we fight this fear that has begun to pervade society?
Perhaps FJ is so rich in links inside and outside of
our borders that the FBI
wants to continue with watching and connecting
all their dots.
It will also be very political when it breaks with the Black Muslim front
It will be massive in its
Could we be waiting for Iraq
to cool a bit?
Just realize the poor showing of politicos and
crowd at the
“Million More March”.
Sometime that “creepy” feeling is just picked up
We will see. In meantime see no problem letting them
know they are not off radar.
Saying there is no known connection to Islamic terrorism denies the Islamic terrorists credit, of a sort. I am supposing that the terrorists get gratification both from terrorising us and also gratified from being seen by their fellow travelers (never thought we would need to revive that phrase) as being effective. Let them appear to be marginal.
No Terrorist Attack on US Soil Since 9/11?
It is also the statement -No terrorist attack BEFORE 9/11 which is supported by so many because it implies that “terrorism” only began with GWB.
That Jihad against the Infidel is central to islam and a duty of all muslims (whether they choose to exercise it or not)is not understood by the majority of the public.
QED, there are “no reasons” for acts of terrorism. they are commited per se, like some kind of random quantum tunneling.
We invent the “reasons” simply to comfort us from the painful truth that simply being an infidel kaffir is enough reason to have ourselves and our families brutally murdered.
Pervasive fear about a relatively unlikely threat is a certain sign that people have nothing important to occupy their minds. Most activities in the western world are relatively frivolous. Look at all the obesity. Just another symptom of decadence and lack of seriousness in society. Superficiality is the hallmark of modern culture. Fear may be the only thing that captures the attention for more than a few seconds.
al fin, you are quite right. A person is 40,000 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than by a shark. Yet look what a single shark attack does to the media.
Unfortunately, organizations like Jamaat ul-Fuqra may eventually give us something really worth being afraid about.
Yes, PD111, my lengthy comment deal with my fear. Here I am, a rational and reasonably brave person, and I was nearly undone.
I forgot to mention this….If I heard about a rather distant-to-me attack (i.e., Fredericksburg), I’d dash out to what I thought would be a safe grocery store or gas station, then hustle back home. And I’ll repeat here: And all the while, the media soft-pedaled the connection to Islamism!
JF is something to be afraid of. But not just that–JF is something for law enforcement (DHS, et al) to deal with. Is law enforcement doing what needs to be done?
PD111 posted: There does not seem to be a simple and effective answer to this type of precision guided weapon.
Actually there is. You remove the source of the precision guided weapon from your national boundary. This type of precision guided weapon has a very limited range. No access to Jihad means no paradise with virgins, and thus no point in islam.
always on watch
You mention your own fears. There is also collective fear of the community which feeds upon itself. Fear being a very irrational emotion is immune to logic and rationality. This sort of fear can destro societies and even nations.
Examples come from the spread of islam. Every islamic invader did his best to instill fear in the heart of his enemy by indulging in mass slaughter. Quite often the infidel army did not turn up or simply melted, away due to fear. Collapse of morale.
In his most recent article covering the Iraq election, Michael Yolen mentions the Beltway Sniper attacks as having inspired the current practice In Baghdad (especially on highways like ‘Route Irish’) of two-man AQI sniper teams shooting once from a hole drilled into a trunk or door and then driving off. This has apparently become a common occurrence. But it should be no surprise, since the technique is specifically outlined in the Al Q training videos captured in Afghanistan. One more link in the chain between Malvo and Muhammed and bin Laden.
Recently there has also been a concerted effort to portray the captured letter of al Zawahiri as a fake. Today he released a video urging his organization to help with earthquake relief; the authenticity of the letter is not questioned. This means that a. it’s taken him this long to respond just to the earthquake (meaning he’s very out of touch), or b. he is in Pakistan, or c. he chooses not to deny the letter, though he obviously can. Or some or all of the above. My feeling about the letter is that it’s genuine.
Bin Laden is also reported by a Pakistani newspaper as having died 4 months ago, so we may soon see a video in denial of that rumor as well.
duh, Michael Yon.
As we now near the end of the first decade of the year 2000…The clock keeps ticking away, in the background. The type of clock that you hear right before the giant mushroom cloud…The weapons of total world annihilation have long since been mastered and distributed…And now it’s just a matter of time.
“You mean to tell me they hate us enough to pull off the most myth-defying most stupendous most outrageous dazzling feat that anyone could ever imagine on 9/11 but can’t let off one single car bomb over here in ten years since? Sorry for being politically incorrect(or, Canadian) and all but, Helloooo Mcflyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!” – Me, and you can put that in the bank!