The Lone Wolf Myth, or Why There is no Such Thing as Self-Radicalization

After the Orlando shooting, the American establishment has, once again, came out with the now familiar line of “the perpetrator appeared to be a “self-radicalized” sympathiser.

The problem with this statement is that it is misleading and extremely damaging to the success of our fight against global terror.

Over the past few years, we’ve been getting more and more terrorist acts in USA, Australia, Europe and everywhere else, where the attacker was after-the-fact portrayed as “self-radicalized”.

It would’ve been right, if we were talking about 1 or 2 incidents. But when it stops being an isolated event and starts resembling an avalanche of attacks, it is time to stop, take it all in, and finally call a spade a spade.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

We have a much bigger issue here. Each of these so-called Lone Wolves has spoken to at least one ‘handler” or “recruiter”; visited at least one website promoting radical Islam. Once we accept this, we will realise that the numbers are starting to add up. It’s not only few dozens of individuals who performed actual attacks. It’s now also at least a few dozens of their handlers, plus hundreds of people involved in running all those hat-spewing websites, plus high level operatives coordinating the flow of poisonous ideas and information.

All of a sudden, it looks less like a couple of single, not connected to each other events, and begins to look very much like a well-coordinated attack against the Western civilisation and our way of life.

London lone wolf attack

London lone wolf attack

One of the ways to limit “lone-wolf” activism is to restrict access to the propaganda both online and locally. If a site is known to spew hatred, we should shut it down if it’s based in your given country. If the site is located in a different country, blacklist it, stop it from being accessible locally. Let the freedom of information and expression warriors scream and protest all they want. If it’s not an online site, but a local radical Islam activist who’s poisoning minds and recruiting terrorists, put handcuffs on him and hide him in a dark cell for a long time… forever would be a good idea. If he’s happen to be a dual national, even better – send him back to the country that created him.

What we need, is a change in the way we deal with this threat. We need to change the way law enforcement acts on these matters. We need to get more serious on a government level about monitoring enemy’s on-line activity. And make no mistake – we are talking about a real enemy here. An enemy who is dedicated to destroying us.

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2015 – The Year of Terror

As this year draws to a close, I look back and remember all the things that happened in a last 12 months. Unfortunately, the memories that come to the front are far from being pleasant.

I remember about thousands of people being murdered in terrorist attacks. I remember that over half of the population of the Earth live in countries exposed to terror. Countries where murder committed by terrorists is a daily occurrence. We tend to ignore the terror when it happens in “one of those places”. Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, or anywhere in Africa are of little consequence to the rest of us in a Western world and barely score a mention somewhere on page 9 of a daily newspaper.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

But this year it’s not just the “usual suspects”. This year we have seen terrorists blowing a Russian passenger jet out of the sky.We’ve seen terrorists killing a police employee on a streets of Sydney in Australia. We have seen them spilling blood in Ukraine. Exploding bombs in Paris. We’ve seen an ISIS-inspired execution in Japan. We’ve seen car bombs exploding in Aussies’ favorite holiday destination – Thailand. We have seen shootings in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve seen people being murdered on streets of United States.

They say numbers don’t lie. Well, here are the numbers. As at the time of writing this blog, we experienced 338 terrorist attacks. That’s 1 attack every day. No longer it’s something that only happens sometimes, a couple of times a year or maybe once a month. Terror is a daily occurrence in our lives.  Terrorists performed their heinous acts in 35 countries. Combined population of these countries is 4.2 billion people. That’s 59% of an entire world’s population living their lives exposed to terrorism.

Drug Cartels

Drug Cartels

 

On a side note, the only continent that didn’t really get affected by terrorism this past year was South America. Coincidently, we all know about how strong the drug cartels are in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Bolivia. I guess cartels are scarier than American Navy Seals, Australian SAS or French Foreign Legion? Maybe instead of spending millions of dollars by sending our troops in Syria or Iran, we can just ask Cartels to “take care of business”?

What is the cost of a human life?

What is the cost of a human life?

On a surface, it’s a simple enough question. After all, a human life is all we have, is the only thing we care about. I mean really care about. Human life is priceless, right?

Well, it depends. Depends on whose life it is. Over the past 5 years the world has seen lots and lots of people die. In Syria alone, 250,000 people died. What did the world do about it? Nothing.

Syrian  conflict - 250,000 people dead

Syrian conflict – 250,000 people dead

Sure, we sent some troops in, we dropped few bombs, we ran few news reports, but largely, this remained something that was happening to some random people in a part of the world where someone is always fighting someone else. So we really didn’t give a shit.

Not until terrorists killed 224 people on board of a Russian plane and 130 people in Paris attacks.

Suddenly, the whole world is outraged. Russia, France and the USA talk about tough measures to stop terror. They talk about retaliation. They talk about being at war. Things just got real.

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

And so now, we can try to answer our question about the cost of a human life.

One Russian life cost about 1,116 Syrian lives. One French life cost about 1,923 Syrian lives.

The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless if it happens in Middle East, Europe, Bali, or anywhere else in a world. The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless of a weapon being used. It can be a nervous gas, or a Kalashnikov, or a bomb, or a knife, or a rock. The victims of terrorist acts don’t care how they got killed.

The families of victims don’t care how their loved once got murdered. What they want, what they really care about is for us to get real and to stop the terror.

Who is providing support to ISIS terrorists?

Isn’t is ironic, that USA and UK are in top 10 countries from where the ISIS supporters are tweeting from?Infographic: Where are ISIS supporters tweeting from? | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Perharps America, England and all the other Western democracies should get real serious about cleaning up their own backyard?

Destroying Our History…. and Confederate Flags

For the past week America has been busy. Busy burning flags, editing them out of movies, removing references to Confederate flags, getting ready to demolish statues and rename the streets named after the Confederate leaders.

Why? It follows the tragedy of the shooting at Charleston church. The shooting suspect has been seen in a photo holding the Confederate flag.

Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism

Confederate battle flag

Is the Confederate flag a symbol of racism? Maybe. Does is have anything to do with the church shooting, or the murder of blacks in America that seems to be an everyday occurrence?  I doubt it.

In fact, of all blacks murdered in USA in 2013, over 90% were killed by other blacks. So we are not looking at wide-spread, racially motivated phenomenon here.

My first thought when I’ve heard about this idea of editing the flag out of history – “It’s just like Orwell’s 1984!” Not really surprising, considering the current political climate in America.

My second thought was – why is it, that displaying an ISIS flag, or a Hezbollah flag is perfectly fine, and Amazon selling ISIS flag, but removing Confederate flag is also fine with everyone – apparently it’s all about the “freedom of speech” and “freedom of expression”, but displaying a Confederate flag is suddenly an act of evil?

On emotional level I can understand the reaction. Innocent people dying is an ugly, horrifying event. An event that is sure to affect people’s ability to think rationally. However it should never result in us erasing our collective history. It’s amazing though, how often we engage in this kind of destruction of our history.

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

From the Tatars burning orthodox churches of Russia and Ukraine to the Communists destroying everything related to the Tsar family, to the current Ukrainian government destroying statues of Lenin and all things Commy, to the ISIS destroying mosques in Syria, to the Americans destroying their history of slavery, the story is always the same. Regardless of who’s holding the torch (or controls the demolition ball), from Golden Horde to the Communists, from Nazis to terrorists, from Whites to Blacks to Yellow, we are all engaged in one common action – destruction of the history of the humanity.

So maybe next time we stumble across something “offensive” or “undesirable” from our past, before we start looking for matches, I suggest we stop for a minute and think not about “here” and “now”, but about how erasing this particular part of our past will affect our future.

Our history, good or bad is what brought us here. Just like a tree cannot grow without its roots, the humanity cannot move forward without knowing its history.

The Cost of Doing Business With Terrorists

The internet news services these last few days were alive with all the stories about UK selling chemical weapons to Syria (AFTER) the civil war there had already started.

Now, I’m not a whinger, BUT……WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!!!

Are we really consumed by greed THAT much? Quick search on Google says “yes, we are”. Here are just some examples of international madness, or as some prefer to call it, business…

Attack Helicopter

We build deadly weapons. Sell them to the bad guy.

Russia sells nuclear technology and weapons to Iran. Threatens to sell offensive weapons to Syria’s Assad if European Union will supply weapons to the rebels. More on Russia’s trades: it’s key arms customers are reportedly Syria , Malaysia, Venezuela, Algeria, China and Vietnam.

But I guess, what can else can you expect from the big bad russkies, right? Surely, our democratic, progressive-thinking western governments are opposing this madness?

Hardly.

USA’s biggest arms buyer is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During the infighting between the forces of Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood, US delivered four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. The Pentagon is looking at sending $US2.7 billion in weapons to Iraq, despite the country being on the verge of civil war. The US and Britain sold Saddam Hussein the technology and materials Iraq needed to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Then they went to war with Saddam, looking for Weapons of Mass Disruption.

War is good for business

War is good for business

The UK Government has issued more than 3,000 export licences for military and intelligence equipment worth a total of £12.3bn to countries which are on its own official list for human rights abuses. In 2009 Britain sold £16.4m worth of arms to Egypt.

France selling to United Arab Emirates 700 million euro worth of two spy satellites. It’s not just satellites that have been sold, but also access to image processing software, the training of specialists in intelligence analysis, transmission systems and encryption .” It’s a well-known fact that French supported Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war.

As I was writing this post, I found an interesting tweet, alerting me to an article in the Examiner. Apparently, Syrian rebels admit that a gas attack was a result of mishandling chemical weapons. This is a perfect example of why this kind of weapons should NEVER be sold to any government or opposition in places like Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran…the list goes on and on. 

I know that selling weapons is a big business, bringing a lot of money to companies and governments selling them, but at what cost?

Maybe we should stop sometimes and think beyond our greed, beyond immediate profit, and try to do the right thing, act responsibly to assure our children’s future.