Perhaps it is just a case of delirium and mental illness, but the fact that an employee in Oklahoma beheaded a female coworker who was refusing to convert to Islam, is heavily connected with these days’ atmosphere of fear, horror, and anxiety. Also, the man was recently fired, so he could actually have been in a particular mental state. The fact is that the beheading is not currently listed among nervous illnesses, while, unfortunately, it is among the political procedures ISIS wants to bend us to. Do we remember ISIS’ message issued on September, 13? It said: “Prepare car bombs and suicide belts, prepare to hit hard and break some heads”.
Their program for Europe and the United States was crystal clear: “We will break your crosses, and enslave your women”. Now, a dossier from the EU, disclosed by The Guardian on line, shows how, in Brussels’ control rooms, they think that “a major Islamist terror attack” in Europe is – just to quote The Guardian – “inevitable” as European jihadists return from Syria and Iraq. The name of the person who exposed the clear and existent risk for our cities is unknown, but he must not be so far from Gilles de Kerchove, the senior EU official coordinating the Union’s counter-terrorism policy, who said there will be a meeting on this issue also with executives from the social media providers, including Twitter, Facebook and Google.
They are by now the real vehicle of coordination of terror, the top source of propaganda, training and planning for ISIS and for all the other Islamist organizations. The Guardian reports that, once the US found out about the dossier, it asked Europe to commit in order to prevent an attack that, according to the same sources, “is confirmed by clear signals”, and that “it may already be too late”. The US does not seem pleased with the European response, not active enough. In addition, De Kerchove suggests that, for competitive reasons, Al Qaeda is engaged with ISIS in a noble race over our own heads.
The times when Al Qaeda used to recruit characters as Mohammed Atta in Hamburg, one of the protagonists of 9/11 attacks, have been outdone by the mass recruitment of second and third generation young people or converts joining ISIS.
De Kerchove says that “it is possible that al Qaeda may want to mount attacks to show that the organization is still relevant”. After all, confirmations come from the US that the Al Qaeda’s branch called Khorasan, led by Muhsin al Fadhli and bombed by the American forces, had a huge operation in the US among its projects. Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al Abadi, warns that the subway systems in the US and Paris are at immediate risk, though the news is still being assessed.
There is an evident concern and a great turmoil, and Angelino Alfano, the Italian Minister of Interior, said that “although there is not a specific threat, the level of alert is very high, and the attention for sensitive targets has been raised”. What does that mean? Of course, police forces and secret services, both in Europe and worldwide, are doing their best, and just yesterday eight people most probably tied to ISIS have been arrested in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco.
After Hervel Gourdel’s assassination, France is in arms. England is getting ready to engage in open war through parliamentary vote. But for ISIS, and for the other organizations enraptured by the foam of blood bringing them high on the international public opinion wave, it is essential to take action on the enemy’s ground, in order to show the coalition that its determination is not limited to the desert, but can actually reach us inside our homes.
It is clear that their plans are similar to those of Mehdi Nemmouche, the assassin who killed seven people, including three children, in the Jews Museum in Brussels, and who has been the jailer of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Nemmouche had also planned a terrorist attack to be carried out on the Champs-Elysées. In May, 2013, two soldiers have been assaulted in the heart of London and Paris.
The world of those cutthroats is swarming with symbols, they do not forget that, in 846, seventy of their ships moved up the Tiber river, nor that they conquered Constantinople in 1431… Islam wants to expand a power in which it intensely trusts, a power we should expect to see down in our own streets. The bombings are just a local strategy that, for this very reason, cannot be enough.
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 4, 2014)