Sometimes, FBI Director James Comey leaves me SMDH, as the kids would say. After giving Hillary Clinton a clean bill of health on her egregious failure to secure highly classified information, he now says it wasn’t even a close call, because, you know, Hillary Clinton did not know she was sending classified information despite markings to the contrary and telling staff to strip classification from documents prior to emailing them. Now he’s out making an extraordinary statement about terrorism:
Eventual victory against the Islamic State could well lead to an uptick of terrorist attacks in the West, not a reduction in them, James B. Comey, the FBI director, said Wednesday.
“At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said at a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University. “Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield.”
Comey predicted that the military coalition would eventually succeed in crushing the Islamic State, but that “through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people and they are going to flow primarily to Western Europe.”
But some, he said, could well end up in the United States.
What’s so bad, you ask. At least one person in the Obama administration seems to be vaguely aware that there is a terrorist threat emanating from the ISIS conflict area. (This is where we stop and acknowledge Hillary Clinton’s singular role in creating and nurturing ISIS.) What is so bad is this. Comey place this danger in the future when ISIS has failed. He sees the seeding of the refugee stream coming out of the Islamist republic of Turkey… a nation that has supported ISIS consistently in its war against the Assad regime and its depredations against Turkish and Iraqi Kurds… as the byproduct of a defeat of ISIS and not as part of the strategy of an ISIS that is here to stay.
The immediate fallacy is Comey’s argument is that ISIS is probably with us for the foreseeable future. The military coalition arrayed against it is singularly flaccid and ineffectual and unable to organize as much as a two-car funeral procession. More and more evidence that Syria and Turkey have reached a modus vivendi with ISIS and the primary target of the “military coalition” in Syria are those fighters who are affiliated with the United States.
Comey seems to be admitting that it is impossible to screen out “Islamic State killers” from the refugee stream… because if screening was possible not of this could happen. And what Comey is clearly missing is that the real threat posed is not by “Islamic State killers,” but rather by your typical muslim who looks to ISIS as a fulfillment of some part of Islamic theology. These are the people who are heading into Western Europe in large numbers and whom Obama wants to bring into the United States.
During the battle for Aleppo, four years ago, we saw fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, flee, abandoning their weapons when President Bashar al-Assad’s tanks burst through the frontline. A year later we saw some of them, who have switched to the newly arrived Isis, take part in a futile, suicidal charge against regime forces. “They have become majnoon,” said my friend Yusuf, making circling motions with his finger next to his head, “stupid, but also dangerous”.
This week Yusuf, one of a dwindling band of relatively moderate Syrian rebels, telephoned me from Turkey while I was covering the killings in Munich. He observed: “I see the majnoon are truly in Europe now.” That is indeed the case, those supposedly majnoon – meaning ‘crazy’ in Arabic – have been held responsible for some of the most savage acts of extreme violence across the continent recently.
The psychological factor may camouflage other ones, but the fact remains that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, from Tunisia, who used a 19 tonne truck to murder 84 people in Nice, had received extensive psychological treatment: as had Ali David Sonboly, who shot dead nine in Munich: as had the Syrian Mohammed Daleel, who blew himself up injuring 15 in Ansbach. Adel Kermiche, of Algerian background, one of the two men who murdered 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel in Rouen, also had mental health problems: as did a Syrian refugee who killed a Polish woman in Reutlengen, near Stuttgart. Mohammed Riaz Ahmadzai, who carried out an axe attack on a train near Wurzberg, is not known to have a history of psychological illness, but then very little of the history of the asylum seeker, who claimed to be an Afghan, but was likely to be a Pakistani, is known. He was, however, said to be distraught due to the death of a relative when carrying out the attack.
Not all the attacks, which have taken place in just 12 days, have terrorist connections, although Isis, ever opportunistic, has laid claim to all of them. But it does show the trend of psychologically damaged people attempting to present religious justification to their acts of extreme violence – a twist to one of the most difficult threats already facing the security agencies, that of the lone wolves.
There have been instances of Islamists targeting and grooming the psychologically or emotionally damaged to carry out attacks. But that, say security officials, is not necessarily needed; the call to jihad on the internet often suffices. The appeal by Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, of Isis, for true believers to use whatever means are available to strike at the infidel, including vehicles, and the exhortation that the “smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would, if you were with us”, has gained massive traffic in Islamist social media since it was made last month.
Comey is carrying Obama’s water on this issue just as surely as he carried it in exonerating Hillary Clinton. Comey is trying to kick the can of terrorism as an integral part of the “Syrian refugee” problem into the future when ISIS has been defeated. This is false. The problem is WITH US NOW. We saw it in Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and Orlando. Europe is seeing it daily both in direct terror attacks and by the thousands of casual sexual assaults perpetrated upon European women who are perceived as the spoils due the victor. The fate of ISIS has nothing to do with the source or scope of the problem because both ISIS and the rampant terrorism by muslims in Europe have precisely the same source and inspiration.