Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The latest spate of terror plots by Muslims -- each spate that erupts reflecting merely one of innumerable tips of a vast iceberg spreading its icy-hot tentacles in a glacial metastasis or (to mix metaphors) a global warming of Islamic revival -- shows not only the escalating danger they threaten, but also a feature I have noticed for many years: their international reach and cosmopolitan composition.
I guess I first noticed this back when the Bohemian atheist artist-cum-filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim: It turns out that this was no random lone-wolf crime, but an assassination, and that the assassin, Mohamed Bouyeri, was not at all acting alone, but was part of a Dutch network of Muslims given the designation the Hofstadgroep (the "Hofstad group", from their beginnings in The Hague, a city nicknamed "Hofstad") -- comprised of approximately 20 Muslims who hailed from, and were mobile in, various countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: including the Netherlands (including at least two white Dutch converts to Islam, one of whom had an American father and a Dutch mother), Morocco and Syria, and included members such as Samir Azzouz who was arrested in the Ukraine with a friend while on his way to participate in the military jihad in Chechnya. In addition, the Hofstadgroep was influenced by the Egyptian jihad movement Takfir wal Hijra -- a movement that began in the 1960s, dedicated to trying to Islamicize regions through violence and subterfuge, giving its members license to behave in un-Islamic ways the better to infiltrate the West (a tactic also condoned by al Qaeda).
The latest spate this week similarly reflects this cosmopolitan aspect of terrorism:
For example, we have Muslims arrested in Norway, plotting attacks in Denmark to mass murder people and destroy property in reaction to the Danish cartoons mocking Mohammed; and those Muslims included an Iraqi Kurd, an Uzbek, a Chechen, and an Uighur (you know the Uighurs -- those Muslims in China who are supposed to represent a more "moderate" strain of Islam). (According to authorities, the Chechen terrorist's attempt may have been unrelated to the coordination of the other Muslims.)
Meanwhile, recall the Somalian Muslim who broke into the house of the most famous cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard (who had his little granddaughter with him at the time), threatening to kill Westergaard with a knife and an ax (stock tools in the Islamic trade of stabbing, mutilating, gutting then beheading "enemies" of Islam) while Westergaard and his granddaughter hid in his locked safe room waiting for the police to arrive.
Then we have the plot by various German and British Muslims of Turkish and Uzbek provenance trained in Pakistan to attack places in France, Germany and the UK in the style of the Mumbai commando raid -- a style basically where Muslims run into a peaceful city in broad daylight and start mass-murdering innocent civilians willy-nilly by throwing bombs and machine-gunning whomever they see, combined with targeting specific individuals for extra special torture, mutilation and murder, such as the Jewish rabbi and his pregnant wife in a Jewish center in Mumbai. (Incidentally, the Mumbai terrorists, who were mostly Pakistani, specifically sought out Western tourists; and it was later learned that a Chicago Muslim, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, provided material support to the Mumbai terrorists.)
And finally, some or most of these latest jihadists-du-jour were affiliated with al Qaeda, which itself represents international membership and connections.
Islam is, and has always been, trans-national in membership due to its raison d'etre of a relentless expansionism -- attempted, sometimes spectacularly successful though ultimately doomed, in various conquests all over the world for its first millennium of existence from the 7th century A.D. to the 17th century -- in search of ever more Lebensraum, with the desideratum of total world domination.
Anywhere one looks at Islamic terrorism -- the successful attacks or the foiled attempts -- one sees this cosmopolitan make-up (and I don't just mean kohl eyeliner and henna highlights for the beards) in the locations of recruitment and training; in the provenance of the various strategists and their foot-soldiers; in the international networking of individuals and materiel; and in the various targets they wish to terrorize. I am confident that were one to research former plots and successful attacks, going back through this year, and further back year by year, one would for the most part find the same trans-national character of Islamic terrorism.
This cosmopolitan nature of the overall Jihad is one more facet out of many indicative of its uniqueness and, on the flip side, of its stark contrast to all other religions and ideologies today, none of which are terrorizing anyone -- while the handful of non-Islamic terrorist groups of the 20th century, such as the Basque ETA, the IRA and the Tamil Tigers have, with niggling exceptions, all mellowed out for practical purposes, and at any rate, never had an international capability or strategy or agenda of any significance.