Thoughts about the Orlando shootings

Liberal commentators on the Orlando shootings are downplaying Islamic terrorism as a factor to concentrate instead on the need for gun control laws.  Some are even blaming Christians!  The reasoning is that no evidence has of yet turned up that ISIS planned and ordered the attacks from Syria.  Therefore, this is a “lone wolf” act of domestic terrorism by an American who hated gays and could easily procure firearms.

But modern terrorism employs the technique of “leaderless resistance“; that is, decentralized terrorism.  ISIS has sent out a call to attack the United States, specifically the state of Florida and killing gays.  So an American Muslim took up the task.  (And this is not the first time.)  There is no need for central planning when you can summon terrorists scattered all over the world.  What makes a person “ISIS” is pledging allegiance to the caliphate and operating in its name. That is exactly what Omar Mateen did.  So this was, in fact, an ISIS attack.

UPDATE:  Some of you commenters have chastized me that my “thoughts about the Orlando shootings” don’t say anything about sympathy for the victims.  Of course I have sympathy for the victims!  What happened to them is horrible and must never be tolerated.   I thought I conveyed that in my original post about the shooting.  My revulsion for this killing of gay people is why I am trying to think through how we might stop this sort of thing from happening again, which is the subject of this particular post.

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Those religious-extremist Anglicans

Yes, American foreign policy is a laughing-stock abroad, but that means at least some of the reaction is funny.  British commentator Douglas Murray discusses the new American counter-terrorism strategy, which, in its written form, never mentions “Islam.”  Terrorist-inspiring religious extremism is a problem, says Secretary of State John Kerry, for all religions.  Which has Mr. Murray worried about what’s going on with those Anglicans. [Read more…]

Australia thwarts ISIL beheading plot

Islamic State jihadists planned to kidnap two random people off the street in Australia and then behead them, showing the video online as a way to demonstrate their worldwide reach.  But Australian authorities discovered the plot, arresting 15 people in the country’s largest counterterrorism operation.

Do you doubt that ISIL (I’m just going to start calling them that) would like to do something similar in the United States?  I predict that instead of the large-scale mass killings favored by al-Qaeda, the new ISIL-flavored terrorism will aim at smaller-scale attacks that are easier to carry out but that still have a maximum horrific impact.  Think, beheadings. [Read more…]

NSA tracking porn visits to discredit enemies

According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA has been tracking visits to porn sites and other questionable activities as a way to discredit or perhaps blackmail suspected Muslim terrorists.  Read about it after the jump.  Is this a brilliant tactic that should be expanded to combat the pornography plague or a dangerous precedent-setting invasion of privacy?  Or what? [Read more…]

Be careful what you google

The anti-terrorism surveillance, we are told, involves just aggregate data and in any event wouldn’t be a bother to ordinary law-abiding citizens.  But a Long Island woman happened to be researching pressure cookers while her husband was shopping for backpacks.  Whereupon six men from an anti-terrorism task force showed up at their home and subjected them to interrogation. [Read more…]

How to interrogate a terrorist

Interesting piece from the BBC about how the FBI conducts interrogations of terrorist suspects.  And it doesn’t involve torture. [Read more…]