It’s been well-established for nearly ten years that as far as the United States government is concerned, there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. Islam and terrorism just don’t go together. That is an unquestioned and indisputable premise — a postulate, if you will — underlying everything the government does and says concerning violence and threats of violence by bad people who just happen to self-identify as Muslims.
We might call it Obama’s Axiom: An act of hatred or violence cannot be Islamic.
Corollary: Anyone who commits a violent act cannot be a Muslim.
There are no exceptions; that’s why it’s an axiom. If a violent act occurs, we know it cannot involve Islam. If someone who kills innocent people says he is a Muslim, he must be a liar, or a lunatic. No other options are possible.
The subtext of every investigation of every act of terrorist violence is that it must not produce conclusions that might tend to contradict Obama’s Axiom. Evidence that seems to do so must be suppressed or reconfigured to fit the Narrative, which depends on the Axiom.
An essential part of the reconfiguration is to assert that people who use Islamic terminology when they commit violent acts have been radicalized, a mysterious process that transforms them into something that is no longer Islamic.
If a radicalized not-Muslim acts alone, he is known as a lone wolf, and nothing further needs to be ascertained about his ideology. If he survives the execution of his violent act, he is simply treated as a criminal offender. If he uses his trial as an opportunity to expound on Islamic law and the Islamic basis for his acts, the prosecution, the government, and the media will explain to the American public that the defendant is mistaken in his assertions and possibly deranged. They will insist that he has twisted and distorted the tenets of a peaceful religion to justify his evil deeds.
Jurists, government officials, and media outlets say these things because to do so is mandatory. There is no higher goal for justice, governance, and propaganda than upholding the Axiom. The importance of its absolute truth underlies all official action.
If a radicalized not-Muslim acts in concert with others, he must be identified as a member of a designated not-Muslim terrorist group such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. These groups have been officially certified as non-Islamic, so they may be safely referred to without any risk of contradicting the Axiom.
This means that everyone is a “lone wolf” unless he carries one of these in his pocket:
I bring all this up because of the recent contortions made by the Narrative as it attempts to cope with Ahmad Khan Rahami, the accused bomber of targets in New Jersey and New York.
Very early in the investigation his acts were said to have “no connection with terrorism”, which is the standard mantra after such events. It must be the first thing officially uttered by a public spokescreature, even before the pools of blood have been hosed off the sidewalk.
After Mr. Rahami — an Afghan — was identified as the suspect, and especially after it emerged that he had traveled to Pakistan, denying a link with terrorism became more difficult, and was eventually abandoned. At that point he was shifted into the “lone wolf” category, which is the second line of defense for the Axiom.
However, evidence rapidly emerged that the perp seemed to have had assistance and accomplices, so it became time to backpedal on the “lone wolf” meme. Now the media are trying to find an Axiomatically acceptable card in his pocket so that it can be established which non-Islamic terror group he belongs to. As of this writing the word is that it might have been the Islamic State, but that’s not definite.
This article from CNN is fairly representative of media efforts to keep the Axiom on track. Below are some annotated excerpts:
(CNN) The capture of bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami alive gives investigators a rare opportunity to try to establish his motivations and affiliations — if they can get him to talk.
Law enforcement officials launched a manhunt for Rahami after identifying him through a fingerprint, and he was taken into custody Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.
But questions remain about the events leading up to Saturday’s bombings in New York and Seaside Park, New Jersey, and the discovery of pipe bombs found Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Did Rahami act alone?
Authorities believe the “main guy” has been caught, but the investigation continues to determine if Rahami had help.
Though FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said there is “no indication” of an active operating cell in the New York area, evidence suggests Rahami was not acting alone, sources told CNN.
Surveillance video shows a man believed to be Rahami with a duffel bag in the area where an unexploded pressure cooker was found in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.
After he leaves, the video shows two other men removing a white garbage bag believed to contain the pressure cooker from the duffel bag and leaving it on the sidewalk, according to a senior law enforcement official and another source familiar with the video.
Right after the above section of the article there is a link to a different article, which I haven’t had time to read yet, that refers to Ahmad Khan Rahami as “an ordinary American terrorist”. That’s an intriguing characterization. Are there now so many American terrorists that we can establish the characteristics that identify one of them as “ordinary”? Is this an attempt to draw an equivalence between Mr. Rahami and Timothy McVeigh, say, or maybe the Unabomber?
Lenny DePaul, a US Marshals Service former commander, told CNN that investigators would be asking Rahami whether he had any help.
“The real question is: Is there anyone else out there? Was this him solely on his own? Is this a lone wolf or a known wolf that’s slipped through the cracks?”
Investigators will likely look to leverage his personal relationships to get information, DePaul said.
“Is there an ability to say: If you don’t work with us, everyone around you who may have been complicit may be hit with a conspiracy charge (that may happen anyway) so there’s leverage now that he’s here,” DePaul said.
If Rahami is not a lone wolf, where’s the rest of the pack?
Ah, yes, that’s the big question. We’ve got to find out what pack he was in, so we can slip that card into his pocket. It can’t be the Islamic pack — there must a card somewhere for a different, non-Islamic one.
Is Rahami affiliated with a terror group?
A notebook found in Rahami’s possession when he was taken into custody contained ramblings, including references to previous terrorists, such as the Boston Marathon bombers, and Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a spokesman for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula before a CIA drone strike killed him in 2011.
ISIS first appeared in Afghanistan in 2015 — after Rahami’s last visit — but has been calling for lone wolf attacks in the West.
The Afghan Taliban denies any involvement in the bombings and any ties with Rahami, said the group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid.
And the reference in the notebook to AQAP’s former spokesman Awlaki — a source of inspiration for several terror attacks — appears to bolster an emerging view among investigators that this weekend’s attacks weren’t ISIS-inspired, at least not in whole.
Former New York state homeland security adviser Michael Balboni told CNN it appeared Rahami “didn’t have a plan B or a plan C.”
“This has the flavor of someone who was self-radicalized and perhaps who was inspired but not instructed,” he said.
So does this mean we’re going to return to the “lone wolf” scenario after all? Stay tuned.
But CNN is keeping its options open:
Evan Perez, CNN’s justice correspondent, said authorities would be looking at whom Rahami was meeting and associating with when he was abroad and whether they could have taught him to make a bomb.
One thing is for certain, however: when all these loose ends are finally tied up, they will definitively show that the actions of Ahmad Khan Rahami were not Islamic in nature.
The Axiom brooks no contradiction.