Terrorism as a Rising Political Expression
Americans are slowly adjusting to the age of surveillance and body scans due to the increased threat of terrorism. Not long ago, communities would grind to a halt over a bomb threat from a prank call. Now, Americans feel relatively safe under a perpetual Homeland Security Advisory System that alternates between “elevated” and “high.”
Although terrorist activity is nothing new, efforts to avoid world wars have caused the exportation of military activity to non-state groups who will conduct guerilla warfare directly on enemy citizens. This is especially true of Islamic states, which want to continue supplying oil to world markets without the economic penalty of open war.
Guerilla warfare is so effective that most of the battles being waged worldwide involve cultural subversion and terrorist cells -- not state militaries. Terrorist cells of all stripes are nothing more than mercenary soldiers of ideological groups, many of whom will attack their own countrymen. The ideologies in question include religious fanaticism, eco-zealotry, communism, fascism, anarchism, and everything in between.
From a religious perspective, the most dangerous terrorists are Muslim extremists. Islamists seek to conquer those they cannot convert -- to “cast terror in the hearts of disbelievers.” Under the leadership of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, militants are now shifting away from centralized control into an era of independent cells that follow directives posted on extremist websites. Because of this tactical shift, terrorist plots are less complicated than 9/11 but have exponentially grown in number.
Pockets of violent Muslim “youths” in Western Europe conduct terrorist activities from inside those countries. That kind of homegrown terrorism is spreading in America. Dearborn, Michigan -- home of the largest U.S. Arab community, is under constant FBI surveillance because some residents have expressed a desire to “spread Islam through violent jihad and violence against the United States government and against law enforcement.”
Due to the spread of Islamist violence, Jews outside of Israel are again seeking the refuge of a homeland. Even the famed neutrality of Sweden now fails to protect them from persecution.
Those fleeing political and religious persecution have no where else to go but America, the last remaining sanctuary country. Walid Shoebat put it succinctly when he described his own defection from the Muslim culture:
America is the only place that we can live -- people with conscientious objection. I can’t go to the streets of Ramallah and carry a sign that says, "I condemn suicide bombing." I’ll be lynched within seconds! You can’t go to a bus stop in Cairo or Syria or Damascus ... and say, "I’m Jewish" or say, "I’m against terrorism."
But Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader and organizer of the Million Man March, creates a hostile environment here in America -- among many incitements of racism, he engages in hate speech about whites and Jews. Farrakhan preaches of white “devils,” characterizing them as the “anti-Christ.” He promotes anti-Semitism by defaming Judaism, calling it a “gutter religion” and Jews “bloodsuckers.” His effect on the youth of the Nation of Islam can be seen in a video of a drill team marching to a young man’s cadence:
The devil’s on your left, the devil’s on your right. ... We kill when we know it’s time to fight. Farrakhan is our leader, Allah told him right. Touch your hand on his head if you want to lose your life. Soldiers going strong; studying Islam. Martial law we train, break backbones and all. We fast on Ramadan; we know holy Koran. ... Soldiers for Farrakhan.
In that clip, the young drill team is encouraged by a cheering, jubilant crowd.
Islamists are not the only ones who make up terrorist and militant groups in America. Anarchists, eco-zealots, and animal rights activists are following the same effective decentralized command structure as jihadists: individual cells claiming responsibility for terrorist acts under the banner of a larger coalition.
The most alarming aspect of the tight-knit pack of left-wing extremists is an increasing use of IEDs in terrorist attacks. Because Mexico is preoccupied with drug cartels and gangs, these groups are bolder in their attacks in that country -- setting off over 12 IEDs from January to September of 2009.
Left-wing extremist groups have used IED attacks in the U.S., but the groups are more closely monitored and investigated here; as a result, the groups are not as emboldened as their Mexican counterparts. However, the situation in Mexico is headed our way if America descends into social crisis from our plummeting economy.