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July 23, 2010

Jihadists among us

Topics: Political News and commentaries, Understanding Islam

Via ABC News, American-born Zachary Chesser, 20, is accused of trying to join Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based Islamist militant group suspected in the recent bombing attacks in Uganda that left 73 dead and dozens more injured as they watched the World Cup final.

As alarming as it is that yet another American has used Islamism as a stepping stone to terrorism, even more alarming is that in the same story we learn that "In the last six to nine months, the FBI has seen more domestic Islamist extremist activity than at any time since immediately right after 9/11." Interestingly, the report appears to blame the Internet emphasis added):

"Sources say this trend represents an unprecedented spike in homegrown terror and is an emerging threat that has them deeply concerned. What they consider to be most alarming is the fact that many of those charged were radicalized on the Internet, with thousands of Americans reportedly frequenting terror websites that espouse mass murder."
Let's repeat that last line again; "terror websites that espouse mass murder."

A couple of thoughts come to mind. How is it that in the face of Barack Obama's outreach to the Muslim world and his refusal to associate Islam with terrorism, radical Islamism is increasing, not decreasing? Thousands of "Terror websites espousing mass murder" indeed exist, but what is the common ideology behind them and what is it about that ideology that makes it so easy to convert an "all-American boy" to a radical mass murderer? After all, as Marisol notes over at Jihad Watch, it's quite a leap to go from being your garden-variety "disaffected," young person, to embracing a brutal supremacist ideology. And that doesn't explain the relatively well-to-do jihadists who otherwise had everything going for them.

In other words, there's something at work here and it can't be blamed on Presbyterianism. Dare I say we need only to look at Islam itself? And gee, by the way, that "outreach" thing isn't workin' out so good.

Posted by Abdul at July 23, 2010 1:50 PM

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