Shia Altman

Lone Wolf Gunmen?

Last week two Islamic terrorists were killed after they drove to a free speech event in Garland, Texas with the intent to kill as many people as possible.  Texas police shot them dead before they could carry out their attack and thankfully, aside from the terrorists, no one was seriously injured.  Within hours the two were identified as were their allegiances.  One of them, an ISIS sympathizer, was known to the FBI, the other, his roommate, was not.

Then the designations of “lone wolf” and “gunmen” started making the media rounds and it got me thinking.

I have to tell you, I truly dislike this lone wolf designation and have for some time.  I am not saying it isn’t a somewhat accurate assessment of what those terrorists may be.  I just think this term entry into the lexicon of how we define these Muslim barbarians does two things.  In my opinion, it acts to attenuate and even minimize the threats they pose.  It also gives the media yet another reason to not call these Islamists what they really are.  They become gunmen, not terrorists.

The feeling I get when this reporting and analysis takes place is, “Hey, it was just a couple of guys on their own.  It’s not like it was Al-Qaeda or ISIS.”  Does it really matter?  Are these acting-alone Jihadist soldiers who idolize the scum of the earth any less lethal than if they had an active affiliation?  Do these radical Muslims, acting alone or not, homegrown or not, need an Al-Qaeda or ISIS membership card in their wallets, when they fire their weapons at innocents at some event or airport or school or wherever, before they can be called terrorists? Hell, they might still not be called terrorists even with a clear affiliation.

Because they act alone, or close to alone, should their actions and intentions be watered down?  And yes, I do think the lone wolf mantra can have that effect, not just in perception but even in reality. It’s bad enough President Obama can’t call Islamic terrorism what it is, and I think that hampers the war on terror – something else he can’t say.  But when we are constantly looking for ways to use language that softens what is painfully true, we contribute to letting our guard down, just as Obama has contributed to the unraveling of so much in the Middle East and elsewhere.

I am not even seeing the usual “militant” description in this latest – and we all know, more to happen here in the United States – terror occurrence.  Check it out yourself.  As the attack was occurring, and in the aftermath before everything was known, the word “gunmen” was used and it made sense.  A couple of guys with guns shooting at people.  But once the terrorists’ sympathies and inspirations became known, they stayed gunmen or shooters, not terrorists, not even militants, another terrorist-replacement word I hate.

It wasn’t just the liberal media doing this.  Oh, you may hear or see “terror attack,” but not “terrorist attack,” and so, the two Islamic extremists are coming across as a couple of mobsters.

What if they had knives? Would they be knife-men? I guess knife-wielding men would make the rounds. What if they had brought grenades and thrown them?  Grenade-wielding and grenade-tossing men, I figure. It’s nuts.

For many, and unfortunately I suspect, even for some in national law enforcement, terrorist groups carrying out an attack, or sleeper terrorist group affiliated cells planning and operating in the US, are easier to imagine and so, fear and try to deter, than the loner or loners blowing up people at a marathon.  I know it is harder to find and monitor these needle in a haystack crazies.  But it has been argued and I think with some legitimacy, that the FBI may have dropped the ball somewhat when it came to the Boston Marathon bombing, and now, with this attempt in Texas which could have been disastrous.

Speaking of the Boston Marathon bombing, there was actually a debate as to whether that horrific attack should be called an act of terror. Obama himself hemmed and hawed until he looked so foolish he finally had to use the words “terror” and “terrorism.”  Even as the trial of the surviving terrorist brother from the attack continues, the larger media sources use “bomber” exclusively.  Again, look for yourself.

Does this non-terrorist designation happen because these are “lone wolf” attacks? I am not referring to Obama; some may not admit it, but everyone is aware of his silliness. I mean with the media and others. I have my suspicions, but in the least, regardless of any stated description, I want to feel my country’s top law enforcement agency is on top of things and up to the task.

Look, much of the media may never do the right thing, and as long as the latest US president resides in the White House, my country may continue to abandon its responsibilities. But I am hoping the FBI will not take any weakness cues from the boss, and actually recognize Islamic terrorists for what they are and not simply as a bunch of unaffiliated disorganized guys with guns.

See, this whole seemingly unchecked global Islamic war on everyone not Islamic or the right Islamic has not only made me angry, it has made me a bit anxious. Because as Obama has withdrawn from the world stage and he and John Kerry continue with “Kumbaya” diplomacy and terminology, and as the media doesn’t tell it like it is, the cancer of Islamic extremism continues to metastasize within the United States.

Those who said, “We have to fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here,” were right.

Because they are here.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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