Category: General

What makes them tick?

Last time, I promised you that I would find out what makes a terrorist tick. No matter what religious affiliation, no matter what nationality, terrorists have a few things in common. They are ruthless. They have no respect for life or property. And, strangely enough, today’s terrorists were radicals before they became religious extremists, not the other way around. The difference is very important.

Before 9/11, it took years of religious indoctrination before someone became a jihadi. Now, it’s a matter of impulse. Before 9/11, a jihadi was almost 28 years old. Now, closer to 20. For instance, Osama bin Laden had political demands and a goal, knew what he wanted with his war. On the other hand, modern terrorists make no demands. They have no political agenda. They are pure impulse and violence, fulfilling some primal need for death and glory. As an example, a couple of well known, alcohol drinking, drug using jihadis picked up the books “Koran for Dummies” and “Islam for Dummies” on their way from Birmingham to Syria. The next we see these blokes, they’re bombing Paris. No background in religion, only a criminal background. No demands or explanation, or relationship to sharia or the afterlife. Just bombs and death and headline news.

An amazingly thorough study by Rik Coolsaet of Belgium, and writings of Olivier Roy of France, point out that the radicalization of the modern terrorist arises around the fantasy of heroism, death and violence. Not of sharia and utopia. They note that the Islamic State has become a gang, celebrating violence for its own sake.

But is it just Islamic extremists? Is it just Muslims who are out of control, or are they just getting the press? Our front running Republican presidential candidate would have us believe that Muslims are the root of all evil, banish them from American shores or at least tag and bag ‘em. Doesn’t it sort of remind you of what happened to the Japanese during WWII? Well, maybe that’s just me. If we do that, if we treat Muslims in America as anything other than equals, Osama bin Ladin reaches out from the grave and grins, because he wins.

Who Are They?

Sometimes I wonder just how terrorists plan out and execute their activities. It has been proposed, for instance, that you should only hire local contractors who do an extensive background check on all new hires. The kind of local folks who have low turnovers in their companies. Just as a safety precaution for yourself and others.

I mean, for instance, what if you needed a new roof? You’d hire a commercial roofer, right? What if there was a terrorist on the crew, who suddenly had access to the industrial mixers, etc. That person wouldn’t necessarily do something to a roof, but could contaminate the food supply (think an industrial vat full of cherry pie filling contaminated with poison). See where this is going?

Now, I realize that some people will think that someone has to be really paranoid to think that way. Then again, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Who could have predicted the tragedies of 9/11 before they happened? Yes, I know, there is some evidence that the government had “chatter” that indicated something was supposed to happen on that date. Just my point; maybe we have to be suspicious of everything and nothing. Just play it safe all of the time, and then we don’t have to worry about the anomalies. It might be easier than this trying to pick the right needle out of a hay stack salted with pins…. And maybe a needle.

And, it’s not like terrorists are necessarily foreign invaders. Hell, the people who blew up the Centennial Olympic Park in 1996 were red blooded American. Using a pipe bomb, our own, home grown, terrorist struck in the wee small hours of the morning during the Olympics in Atlanta and ended up killing 2 and injuring 111. So, we not only have terrorists from foreign soils to worry about, we have our own wack jobs, with their own agendas, which sound strangely like every other religious militant in the world. God save us from religious extremists!

How did this happen? Where did they all come from? Is it, like, a family business? Just for the interest, I’m going to do a little research and try to answer that question for you in the next installment. In the meantime, be careful who you hire. Use caution where you eat.  Know your friends. Prepare for the worst but expect the best. And, if you own a company, it might be best to hire local but still do an extensive background check. You just don’t know who you can trust and who you can’t these days.