So much for the lie that poverty causes terrorism.
Despite the mainstream media’s refusal to accept it, there is one factor more reliable than any other in predicting whether an individual will engage in terrorist acts against the United States and its allies:
(1) It’s not whether he lives in third world poverty and resents being overshadowed by the imperialist West. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, was the son of a prominent, wealthy Nigerian bank chairman. Abdulmutallab attended the British School in Togo and University College London, the latter of which cost as much as Obama shells out for his daughters to attend a semester at Sidwell Friends. Abdulmutallab’s college dorm was a $6 million apartment in London’s West End.
If poverty caused terrorism, then a corollary of this argument is that a country’s efforts to relieve poverty should prevent terrorism. Yet the U.S. provided Arlington, VA-born Major Nidal Malik Hasan with a free medical education worth tens of thousands of dollars, which apparently did not console him enough to prevent him from murdering fellow soldiers on his military post in Ft. Hood, Texas. Indeed, Hasan planned and carried out the attack after having been promoted from captain to major, despite miserable performance reviews.
John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and San Anselmo, California and attended a “California Distinguished School” in the Tamalpais Union High School District.
If poverty caused terrorism, then poor people the world over—rice farmers in China, untouchables in India, non-flat screen TV owners in the U.S.—would be rising up en masse to wreak havoc in hijackings and suicide bombings.
(2) It’s not depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or any garden-variety psychological malady. If it were, we would expect suicide bombings from Vietnam vets, or from the New York Times staff after the public option was dropped from the health care bill.
(3) It’s not whether we’re currently at war with the country of the individual in question. I don’t recall any recent U.S. incursions into Nigeria, Arlington, or San Anselmo.
The most reliable factor in predicting whether an individual will engage in terrorist acts against the United States and its allies is: whether the individual adheres to an ideology that encourages engaging in terrorist acts against the United States and its allies.
Never mind that the ideology in question always happens to be Islamist. At this point, even I would be fine with overlooking this fact if we would just do something about these threats when they appear.
If the warning signs sent by would-be terrorists were densely coded and difficult to decipher, delayed action by our national security officials might be understandable. But a PowerPoint presentation urging Muslims to cut off the heads of infidels and pour burning oil down their throats is not subtle.
Nidal Hasan delivered a now-infamous lecture to an auditorium of army psychiatrists in which he imparted charming Koranic admonishments for the nonbeliever such as “Seize him and drag him in the midst of the blazing fire. Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water” and “We shall burn them in fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, we shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment.” This is not exactly the Venona cables.
Abdulmutallab’s high school teacher reported that, unlike all other students in his class, Abdulmutallab repeatedly defended the Taliban’s tactics in school discussions and endorsed the 9/11 attacks. Abdulmutallab disappeared in October, cut off ties with his family, and moved to Yemen to learn Arabic, all of which prompted his father to call the American Embassy in Nigeria to warn that Umar was a likely threat to the U.S.
John Walker Lindh began studying Islam in high school and converted when he was 16, moved to Yemen to study at a madrassa when he was 19, and wrote his family letters, not asking for money, but praising the bombing of the USS Cole by Sudan-funded terrorists.
Yet regarding the motivations of these attackers, the mainstream media and Democratic officials warn us not to jump to any conclusions, at least any that might interfere with the bestowal of glory upon Allah. I can sooner conceive of stubborn liberals going after Nigerian bankers as a suspect class before I can imagine them pointing the finger at Islamists.
If we can throw an American in jail for joking that he’d like to shoot the president, can we please add a militant, well-funded Islamist with terrorist connections to the crummy no-fly list?