CAIR Chief’s Reflexive Terror Denial Stands Apart

Nihad-AwadIPT News, July 15, 2016

Before the bodies of all the victims had been removed from the streets of Nice, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad insisted that religion had nothing to do with the terrorist attack that killed at least 84 people.

A French resident of Tunisian descent rammed a truck into a crowd of revelers gathered to watch fireworks commemorating Bastille Day. The truck traveled as much as two kilometers, leaving twisted bodies in its wake.

French President Francois Hollande described the “undeniable terrorist nature” of the attack, which was further established by the presence of guns and explosives inside the killer’s truck.

“All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” Hollande said. “Our vigilance must be relentless.”

To Awad, this was reckless and inflammatory.

“French President #Hollande is pouring oil on the fire by describing the #Nice crime as Islamic terrorism and subjects France’s Muslims to danger,” Awadwrote, in Arabic, on Twitter. “What is Islamic about this crime?”

Plenty of analysts have shown exactly how terrorist groups like ISIS are deeply rootedin Islamic theology. As IPT Shillman Senior Fellow Pete Hoekstra noted, Islamist terrorists have been calling for such attacks for years, and al-Qaida specifically suggested this kind of attack in 2010, using a mock Ford-150 ad: “With the right tools and a little effort, the truck can be turned into a killing machine from a Wes Craven horror film,” an article in al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine said.

That seems to be a pretty good description for what happened in Nice.

ISIS spokesman Abū Muhammad al Adnānī ash Shāmī made a similar suggestion in a2014 statement: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war … kill him in any manner or way however it may be … Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.” [Emphasis added]

Awad’s denial does nothing to discredit these ideas or the Islamic theology underpinning them. In another tweet, he claimed such talk was “blaming all Muslims for the heinous #Nicemurders.#Don‘tCallTerroristsJihadists.”

Compare Awad’s reaction with other Muslim voices. He doesn’t win points for courage.

Writing in the Telegraph, former Islamist Maajid Nawaz begged Muslims and non-Muslims alike to stop pushing the counter-productive “nothing to do with Islam” message. “Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse,” he wrote.

Terrorist groups like ISIS successfully recruit new members in part because “we have allowed hardline Islamism to permeate our communities and mobilise the vulnerable,” Nawaz wrote. “To stop it we have to make it less attractive, and that is a long-term struggle, similar to those against racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.”

He could have been speaking directly to Awad when he added, “please stop denying the nature of jihadism. Please stop ignoring the narratives which drive these attacks. Instead of aiding extremists who insist Islam today is perfect, perhaps you should aid us beleaguered reformist Muslims who are attempting to address this crisis within Islam against all the odds.”

Nawaz also called out the hypocrisy of critics who don’t think images of the carnage in Nice should be shown.

Speaking on Fox News Channel, American Islamic Forum for Democracy President Zuhdi Jasser explained that “intoxicant of theocratic Islam, the sharia state” must be confronted for the terror to wane. That starts by “looking at the schools of thought of jihadism, Wahabism and Salafism. And the fact that most Americans don’t even know what those terms are is a crime.”

Unable to argue on the merits, Awad and his CAIR colleagues tend to dismiss Jasseras a sellout and simply ignore reformist voices like Nawaz’s.

But even Hamza Yusuf, founder and president of Berkeley’s Zaytunah College, an Islamic institution, acknowledges there is an Islamic root for the recent wave of terrorism. In an essay he titled “The Plague Within” – which he posted after terror attacks in Orlando, Baghdad, Bangladesh and elsewhere that were carried out during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – Yusuf likened radical interpretations of Islam to “brain-eating amoebas.”

Citing another cleric, Yusuf said the plague is “the bitter harvest of teachings that have emanated from pulpits throughout the Arabian Peninsula, teachings that have permeated all corners of the world, teachings that focus on hatred, exclusivity, provincialism, and xenophobia. These teachings anathematize any Muslim who does not share their simple-minded, literalist, anti-metaphysical, primitive, and impoverished form of Islam, and they reject the immense body of Islamic scholarship from the luminaries of our tradition.”

While Yusuf still seems to balk at the phrase “Islamic radicalization,” he still called for action from scholars and others to counter the ideology driving the terrorism: “What we do not need are more voices that veil the problem with empty, hollow, and vacuous arguments that this militancy has little to do with religion; it has everything to do with religion: misguided, fanatical, ideological, and politicized religion. It is the religion of resentment, envy, powerlessness, and nihilism.” [Emphasis added]

Yusuf has spoken at CAIR fundraisers, and the organization spotlighted a message of his just last year.

These are but a few examples of Muslims who are trying to wage a battle of ideas within Islam in hopes of discrediting the ideology that fuels shooting massacres in Orlando and Paris, bombing massacres in Turkey, Belgium Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and now a vehicle massacre in Nice.

With the possible exception of Maajid Nawaz, none of them has the profile and bully pulpit Awad and his organization enjoy. Reporters quote them all the time and television news airs their views almost every day.

The message so far – don’t talk about religion when religious zealots kill – is a wasted opportunity of immeasurable proportions.

Al Qaeda: Kill White People So the Left Doesn’t Screw Up the Narrative

inspire guideNational Review, By David French — June 28, 2016

This would be hilarious if it didn’t signify how twisted our world has become:

Lone wolf jihadists should target white Americans so no one mistakes their terror attacks for hate crimes unrelated to the cause of radical Islam, Al Qaeda writes in the latest edition of its online magazine.

In an article first reported by The Foreign Desk, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) called for more self-directed Muslim terrorists to kill in America. But the article, titled “Inspire guide: Orlando operation,” tells terrorists to “avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found” because if gays or Latinos appear to be the targets, “the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility.”

By attacking a gay club, Omar Mateen likely thought he’d chose the perfect target for illustrating his jihadist motivations. After all, ISIS and multiple other jihadist organizations are known for executing gays in particularly vile ways. But when the Left’s narrative collides with ISIS’s, the Left’s narrative wins — so a Muslim Democrat’s attack became an expression of Christian Republican hate. It was the most extraordinary perversion of truth that I’ve ever seen.

Jihadists will keep attacking, but some leftists will keep excusing. It’s a deadly race to the bottom, with each leftist excuse only postponing the day when Americans finally remember what it’s like to fight the enemy, not each other.

***

Also see:

Jihad: It’s Just This Simple

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: Orlando police officers seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The suspect was shot and killed by police after 20 people died and 42 were injured. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 12: Orlando police officers seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The suspect was shot and killed by police after 20 people died and 42 were injured. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Unconstrained Analytics, by Stephen Coughlin, June 21, 2016:

In the world of ISIS jihadis, there are no forms to fill out to send in a check to get a membership card. This is not the Sierra Club. When ISIS declared to its target audience of followers in the West that this year’s Ramadan (June 5-July 5, 2016) would be a time of jihad, if they heard the call and agreed with it, under sharia law they had a duty to act. The Orlando shooter heard the call, agreed with it, and therefore had a duty to act, and acted.

It’s just this simple.

Why was the Orlando shooter an ISIS jihadi? Because he said so. He was ISIS because he declared as such when he acted. Why? Because once he agreed with ISIS’s call to jihad, he had a duty to act based on a common understanding of the doctrines of jihad in sharia — Islamic law.  Hence, it was a legal duty.

It is the legal nature of this duty that binds the ISIS call to action to the Orlando shooter’s rampage. It is a simplified and coherent form of command and control that delivers chaos to the target population while defying western predictive and behavioral models of the same. Paris, San Bernardino, and Orlando are sadly just the beginning.

One does not have to argue that all Muslims agree with such doctrines or that such interpretations are correct to demonstrate the truth of the proposition. Certainly groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and ISIS recognize such duties, they appeal to them all the time. A common thread among these groups is the demand to re-establish Islamic law so that these duties can be given greater legal effect. Not only is this not complicated; it is really quite simple.

Counter-terror analysis that incorporates these duties into their threat analysis arrive at simplified understandings of the threat that delivers clarity and predictability in support of targetable decision-making capable of supporting strategies. Counter-terror analysis of Islamic-based terrorism that fails to recognize these duties is incoherent, incompetent and assures defeat.

When glossing over basic truths by reference to scientized behavioral models, news-cycle experts obscure the issue while diluting our ability to recognize the lethal simplicity of the actual threat. As with the violent extremism narrative generally, the very memes used to discuss Orlando distort the reality of the event being covered. The relationship between duties and jihadi acts was first explained when at CENTCOM in Doha, Qatar in 2005. The goal then was to explain how some Iraqis engaged in jihadi suicide attacks against fellow Muslims in Iraq in ways that distinguished between actors and non-actors in an all-Muslim forum. The explanation is easily transferable to attacks in the West today.

There was clear warning that ISIS would attack. Reviewing recent statements from ISIS and al Qaeda before Memorial Day, I warned of strong indicators of terror attacks. In a speech in May, the ISIS Spokesperson Muhammad declared that “Ramadan has come near, and it is the month of raids and jihad, the month of conquest.” He added that these “raids and jihads” should focus on innocent civilians.

Know that inside the lands of the belligerent crusaders, there is no sanctity of blood and no existence of those called “innocents” … Know that your targeting those who are called “civilians” is more beloved to us and more effective, as it is more harmful, painful, and a greater deterrent to them. So go forth, O muwahhidin everywhere! It might be that you attain great reward or even shahadah during Ramadan.

Wahhabis dislike the term Wahhabi, preferring the term “muwahhidin.” Both al-Qaeda and ISIS are “muwahhidin.” Attaining the “great reward” concerns a declared jihadi being killed in jihad.

Spring 2016 “Inspire” magazine cover

Spring 2016 “Inspire” magazine cover

Also in May, al-Qaeda released its latest issue of Inspire magazine where, in an article on economic warfare, the first example was of Muhammad ordering raids on caravans during Ramadan. Along with a section on bomb making, the Spring 2016 issue of Inspire reiterated al-Qaeda’s preferred strategy of individual jihad for attacks in the West:

Firstly: Definition of Lone Jihãd:

The first is Jihãd: It is to make every effort to strive, and to endure in fighting the enemy.

The second is fardy (Individually): and what is intended by Lone Jihad is that the brother should implement jihad, as we have defined, but individually and independently in the land of the kuffar without having to report to the Mujahideen leadership. And this individualism and independence is the main reason for it (Lone Jihad) to be termed as a Lone Wolf attack.

America is a Kuffar nation. In the definition, Inspire recognizes the weakness of “lone wolf” when pointing out that it separates the individual nature of the actor from the jihadi mission served. As far back as 2005, the West had warning of al-Qaeda/ISIS attacks in 2016 when Der Spiegel published “What al-Qaeda Really Wants” that disclosed al-Qaeda’s operational plan including “Phase 6”, the period when 2016 was identified as the year to initiate “total confrontation.” As important, al-Qaeda first announced that its Western strategy would be based on individual jihad in its first release of Inspire magazine back in 2010. For six years al-Qaeda has openly been priming the pump on individual jihad in America.

Written in English, Inspire is directed at prospects already in the West. It hardly matters to the individual jihad schema that the only time many of the actors identify with al-Qaeda or ISIS is when they act.

From target sets, to tactics, to timing, there should be no surprise concerning terror attacks like the ones just witnessed in Orlando. We have long since been put on notice.

The difference between understanding Islamic terror and not can be measured by the chasm that exists between individual jihad and lone wolf.

  • Individual jihad has roots reaching back to the time of Muhammad, gives rise to duties, which al Qaeda announced as its principle strategy. Lone Wolf is a constructed term our counter-terror community adopted to avoid using “individual jihad” when pretending to address Islamic terrorism under the rubric of violent extremism.
  • Individual jihad has a historic basis in shariah that is supported by the duty of jihad and has a doctrinal basis. Lone wolf facilitates violent extremism narratives that anticipate idiopathic or sui generis explanations grounded in trendy pop-psychology rationales. “He was crazy, what’s there to investigate?”
  • Pretending to serve as a proxy, lone wolf masks individual jihad.
  • Individual jihad requires analysts to know what they’re talking about while lone wolf simply expects a transient grasp of the narrative. One requires mastery of the subject matter, the other simply calls for the ability to mimic a common list of talking points.

It’s no accident that the counter-terror community adopted lone wolf at about the time al-Qaeda announced its new strategy. When you get down to it, the difference between individual jihad and lone wolf terrorism is the difference between winning and losing this war. In the face individual jihad, the sophistry of lone wolves, self-radicalization, and violent extremism, along with the faux activities it spawns, may best be understood as an entertaining form of disinformation.

First published in the Daily Caller in June 2016

Listen:

Stephen Coughlin on the Ben Shapiro show –  how the Obama administration has shut down the debate about Islamic terrorism and the role the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plays in this.

Homeland Security Advisory Council: Covering for the Enemy Threat Doctrine

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton

America is at war and we continue to be prevented from identifying and understanding our enemies as a result of influence operations targeting our bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus.

The latest evidence of this long-standing and, unfortunately, very effective influence campaign comes from the revelation that the “Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee” of the Homeland Security Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a recommendation that urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “shariah” in communications about the threats that we face….

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/homeland-security-report-calls-rejecting-terms-jihad-sharia/

This is nothing new. We have heard CIA director John Brennan reject the term “jihadist” and the State Department under Condoleezza Rice rejected the use of the term as well.

We have covered the damaging efforts by our enemies to prevent the actual correct use of the term “jihad” extensively here on Terror Trends Bulletin in the past…

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/01/13/cairs-new-disinformation-campaign-on-jihad/

But the effort to suppress even mere mention of the word “shariah” is actually much more damaging than the suppression of the word “jihad.” That’s because shariah is THE enemy threat doctrine.

To understand our enemies, their motivations, their intentions and their strategy, one must study shariah. Shariah is everything to the jihadists. It is the code that they follow and its full implementation is their goal.

Forbidding the use of the term shariah, much less suppressing study of shariah in the present conflict is the equivalent of forbidding intelligence agencies from studying Mein Kampf in World War II or the works and words of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao during the Cold War.

Anyone who would recommend that we avoid studying and talking about shariah simply must have a nefarious purpose.

By way of review, shariah is Islamic law. The terms shariah and Islamic law are completely interchangeable; they refer to exactly the same thing. Shariah is an immutable theo-political-legal-military code derived from the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, made up of the Quran, the Sirah (the biography of the prophet Mohammed) and the Hadith (traditions, sayings and stories compiled about the life of Mohammed).

Every single Jihadist terrorist group in the world–without exception–has as its stated goal the imposition of shariah: the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyah, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Al Shabaab–all of them.

So, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be carefully avoiding the use of the term shariah, our enemies have been using it quite commonly, frequently and prominently, as if to illustrate the absurdity of the DHS recommendation.

What follows is a compilation of quotes from jihadi leaders and Al Qaeda and Islamic State documents that reveal the central importance of shariah to their movement. This is why Americans must familiarize themselves with shariah.

SHARIAH ACCORDING TO THE JIHADISTS THEMSELVES

• The sharia has forbidden us from taking infidels as confidants, inducting them into our secrets.
• The sharia forbids us from appointing infidels to important posts.
• The sharia forbids us from adopting or praising the beliefs and views of the infidels.
• The sharia forbids us from assisting infidels against Muslims; even the one who is coerced has o excuse to fight under the banner of infidels.
• The sharia commands us to battle infidels—both original infidels and apostates, as well as hypocrites. As for waging jihad against the infidels who have usurped the lands of Islam, this is a duty considered second only to faith, by ulemaic consensus.
• The sharia does not accept the excuses made by hypocrites—that they befriend the infidels because they fear the vicissitudes of time.
• We are duty-bound by the sharia to help Muslims overcome the infidels.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser and purported successor Ayman al-Zawahiri during an interview in Afghanistan, Barack Obama

Democracy is based on the principle of the power of creatures over other creatures, and rejects the principle of God’s absolute power over all creatures; it is also based on the idea the men’s desires, whatever they may be, replace God absolutely, and on the refusal to obey God’s law. In Islam, when there is a disagreement or a difference of opinion, one refers to God, his Prophet, and the commands of sharia.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

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ISIS and AQ Intention to Act?

isisaqUnconstrained Analytics, By Stephen Coughlin, May 27, 2016:

This message is not being put out to raise alarm bells too loudly but simply to point out unfolding activities that call for heightened awareness.

It is highly relevant that both ISIS and AQ put out messages within days of each – May 20 and 21 –  other that provide possible indicators of near term intention to act. The ISIS broadcast occurred in the context of a Twitter build up that indicates the exercising of a C3 node that focused on Ramadan and/or events leading to Ramadan.

This year, Ramadan begins June 6. Al Qaeda released its most current edition, Issue 15, of Inspire MagazineInspire posted dates suggesting Memorial Day (30 May) or Independence Day (July 4) as possible attack dates. Memorial Day is one week in advance of Ramadan and qualifies as an event leading up to Ramadan.

This timing and closeness of release of these two activities should cause some measure of heightened awareness that something maybe up over the period of the next week starting with Memorial Day and leading through Ramadan. As the form of attacks that we’ve seen by ISIS over the recent past – Paris, Belgium, etc – line up with the types of jihad advocated by al-Qaeda in Inspire should raise awareness of some form of functional crossover.

A brief review is in order. Of note in this discussion, both al-Qeada and ISIS are self-identified Wahhabi entities and use similar language that uniquely identifies them as such. While not wanting to overly raise the alarm bells, I do think we have indicators of possible future activity that warrants increased vigilance.

Read more

Also see:

Al Qaeda’s Inspire Magazine May Answer Metrojet 9268 Questions

Hidden-bomb-article-display-bBy Brian Fairchild, Nov. 6, 2015:

There is currently much speculation as to whether Metrojet Flight 9268, downed over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015, was the victim of Islamic State terrorism, and if so, how the attack was conducted.  The Islamic State has claimed credit for the attack, and the US and UK governments report that there is reason to believe that the plane was destroyed by an on-board explosion.  The investigation appears to be focusing on the usual suspects, such as baggage handlers, catering company employees, or other back-room personnel.  Ironically, the Islamic State’s nemesis, al Qaeda, may well have provided the answer to these questions approximately 10 months ago when it published the thirteenth issue of Inspire magazine.

That issue, which went to press on Christmas day in 2014, provided step-by-step instructions on how to destroy passenger airliners by making a simple, yet powerful bomb in a private residence using readily available products from commercial stores.

All the products needed to build the bomb were painstakingly listed, and the authors provided detailed instructions, aided by photographs, text, and graphs, on how to extract the explosive chemicals from the commercial products, and then how to cobble them together to construct the main charge, the detonator, the quick burning fuse, and the explosive starter.

The section of the magazine dealing with the bomb was titled The Hidden Bomb, because the authors intended the device to be fashioned into a brassier, underwear, or hidden in male and/or female body cavities.  The device contains no metal parts and was specifically designed to defeat airport metal detectors, scent detectors (including dogs), and pat-downs by airport personnel.   The authors advised, however, that the bomb could be detected by body-imaging machines, and so warned jihadists to avoid airports that utilized this technology.

The al Qaeda bomb makers also advised jihadists to destroy the plane at the highest altitude, and to maximize the explosive properties of the bomb by detonating their devices over the wings where the gas tanks are located, or in the rear of the plane in order to destroy the tail section and the ability of the plane to be steered.

Thus far, the technical investigation of the incident indicates that the plane was destroyed at 31,000 feet in a sudden and catastrophic event.

Brian Fairchild was a career officer in CIA’s Clandestine Service.  He has served in Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, and Afghanistan.  Mr. Fairchild writes periodic intelligence analyses on topics of strategic importance.

The Terrorist Attack in Australia: Coming to a Theater Near You

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 15, 2014

1102This article originally was published by Foxnews.com.

The violent conclusion to the Australian hostage taking terrorist siege was inevitable. The terrorist  was killed as the Sydney police swat team stormed the café. Even though two hostages were killed, the Sydney police had no choice but to act. After a siege lasting nearly 17 hours, police had good reason to believe that the self-anointed “Sheik” Haron Monis was going to make good on his threat to detonate the bombs he claimed to have unless his demands were met.

There had been an open line between a police hostage negotiator with the terrorist for much of that time but with up to 10 hostages remaining captive, it was feared that the terrorist was going to become a suicide bomber and thus kill everyone in the café. The Sydney police are now involved in investigating and reconstructing the time line of entire incident. But there is no doubt that the Australian police saved the lives of many more hostages.

There should be no doubt that this was a pure act of Islamic terrorism despite ludicrous assertions by some commentators that his “motivations” were unknown. We will see all sorts of “explanations” that because his rap sheet included indictments for sexual assault and murder, he was not really an Islamic terrorist but someone who was simply mentally unstable. Well, the same rationale could be said for all terrorists. After all, who in their right mind would want to kill innocent civilians because of their religious beliefs?

Islamic extremists do. And to deny their radical Islamic motivation—as our own government has done repeatedly in refusing to classify Islamic terrorist attacks as such as in the case of the massacre carried out by Major Nidal Hassan—is a guarantee that such acts will continue to be perpetuated especially by lone wolf terrorists. Australian police are investigating to determine if Monis acted alone or whether he acted in concert with other Islamic extremists or even at the behest of ISIS itself.

Last month, Monis pledged his allegiance to ISIS and renounced his Shiite heritage in an online posting that since has been taken down. Our organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, retrieved the page and translated it. Monis wrote:

“Pledge of allegiance [to ISIS] of Sheikh Haron”

“Allegiance with Allah and His Messenger, and the Commander of the Faithful – I pledge allegiance to Allah and His Messenger and the Caliph of the Muslims”

“Praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions, and those who follow them and peace be upon the Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph of the Muslims, the Imam of our current era, and praise be to Allah, who made for us a Caliph of the Earth and an imam who summons us to Islam and holds fast to the Rope of Allah Almighty and praise be to Allah that I have had the honor to pledge allegiance to the Imam of our time. Those who swear allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims are just swearing allegiance to Allah and His Messenger….”

His website also contained rants against the Australian government for their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australian intelligence was aware of Monis early on and had an extensive file on him based on his prior radical Islamic activities in Australia and electronic surveillance of his communications with Islamic terrorists overseas.

The terrorist incident in Sydney certainly indicates parallels with the calls for individually driven terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals throughout the West. These calls grew in prominence with Inspire magazine, put out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) led by Anwar Al-Awlaki until he was killed by a U.S. drone. In calling for Muslims living in western countries to carry out lone wolf terrorist attacks, ISIS has copied the same playbook as AQAP in calling for local attacks whenever and where ever possible. These attacks are happening all over the world now, especially fueled beyond the Internet by the rise of social media which has pushed the message of Islamic terrorism virtually as fast as the speed of light. In the past two years alone, there have been more than 100 attempted or successful ISIS inspired Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe and the United State From Belgium to France to Oklahoma City, no place is immune from Islamic terrorism, whether it be from returning ISIS veterans or just those radical Muslims living in the West who are motivated to carry out attacks.

Moreover, it is a lethal mistake for western leaders to differentiate ISIS from other Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, Boko Haram, or Al Shabaab. Those Islamic terrorist groups are motivated by the same underlying motivations behind ISIS: to kill as many of their infidel enemies as possible and impose Islamic supremacy. The only difference is that ISIS has declared itself to be a global caliphate; the other groups are focused on becoming regional caliphates. But their genocidal agenda and tactics are no different than those of ISIS. The only reason Hamas has not been as successful as ISIS in killing its infidel enemies is that Israel has been able to stop Hamas from carrying out acts of mass murder, even though Hamas tried this past summer when it launched more than 6,000 rockets and missiles at Israel in an effort to kill as many civilians as possible. Nigeria on the other hand has been unable to stop the horrific successful attacks by Boko Haram in which more than 300 Nigerians have been slaughtered in the past year alone.

Australian intelligence agencies probably had the best handle on the domestic threat by Islamic extremists as evidenced by their successful interruption of major plots in the past year. Those plots included a plan to behead Australian civilians and a conspiracy to bomb Australian targets. But those were plots planned by conspiracies of multiple extremists. Today’s incident, however, shows the difficulties of stopping lone wolf attacks. What we are witnessing is not the rise of radical Islam. It is only an extension of the rise of radical Islam unleashed by the 9/11 attacks. The difference is that this phase is not directed by centralized organizations. Islamic terrorism has now become decentralized, creating a new challenge for western intelligence agencies. It creates extraordinary pressure to come up with new methods to monitor internal threats which are also a technical challenge as it means monitoring meta data of social media. But the most dangerous and counterproductive act would be to deny that Islamic terrorist attacks are what they are: Islamic terrorist attacks.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and the executive producer of a new documentary about the Muslim Brotherhood in America “Jihad in America: the Grand Deception.”