Saturday, February 28, 2015

Phrase of the Day: “known wolves”

Almost every major terrorist attack on Western soil in the past fifteen years  has been committed by people who were already known to law enforcement.
-- The New Yorker, 27 Jan 2015

The expression lone wolf attacks has burst its way into the English vocabulary of late.    This followed a major media push by al-Qaeda a few years back:  stymied in their 9/11-style coordinated attacks (thanks to our watchful eyes in the sky), they launched a series of random, infra-theological, to-whom-it-may-concern appeals to Westerners to simply go out and slaughter people.   A few heeded the call.  Subsequently, ISIL began pushing the same thing -- though, crucially, only as a distant second-best to emigrating from the Dâr al-Kuffâr and making a new life in the Caliphate.  (In some ways, ISIL is more principled than is AQ.)

In French, the equivalent phrase is loup solitaire. (German, less zoomorphically: Einzeltäter.)  Fair enough;  but it is often used by the socialo appeasers  in a disinformational, self-protective way, implying that
(a)  Don’t blame us for not preventing this;  no-one could have foreseen it; the guy just came out of nowhere.
(b)  His attack was a purely individual act of madness, with no further motivations or connections, certainly not to [name of named confessional persuasion redacted]!   Ne faites surtout pas l’amalgame !

I did it ... *my* way

The New York Times this morning has a useful corrective to all that:

Brooklyn Arrests Highlight Challenges in Fighting of ISIS and ‘Known Wolves’

In Canada and Australia, young men inspired by the bloody, apocalyptic vision of the Islamic State were thwarted in their efforts to join the battle in Syria, so they took up arms in their homelands, staging small attacks that drew widespread attention.

In London, Mohammed Emwazi was known for years to be sympathetic to the message of Islamic extremists, and by 2013 he had joined the militants on the Islamic State in Syria. Now he is better known as “Jihadi John,” the black-masked figure who has appeared in numerous beheading videos.

[NDLR:  Many further cases could be added, of assassins antecedently well-known to the police for recidivism or violent crimes, from Denmark, France, etc. -- dbj]

In stark contrast, two young men in New York who were similarly enthralled by the Islamic State’s vision and who the government claims wanted nothing more than to join the fight, were arrested before they could make it to the killing fields in the desert.

In all of these cases, the suspects were known to the authorities. But only in New York were the suspects arrested, accused of pledging support for the Islamic State and trying to leave the country.

The decision to arrest the men highlights the evolving challenges confronting law enforcement as officials calculate whether and when to intervene in instances of what some have begun calling “known wolves.”
There are “lone wolves and known wolves,” said a law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation. “A lone wolf is someone who comes out of the woodwork; a known wolf is on your radar.”

Sidenote:    The same issue has a quite interesting article on one of the more influential Islamist provocateurs for Egypt.  His background might give some people pause, but not the tens of thousands who follow him on Facebook:

Bolsen was born a freckled redhead, named Shannon Morris, and baptized as a Catholic. He converted to Islam in his early 20s, and he adopted the middle name “King” after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his mother’s maiden name, Bolsen, to become Shahid King Bolsen.
The family’s life in Dubai came to an end three years later in a lurid scandal. Prosecutors later accused Mr. Bolsen of posting a picture of the family’s Ethiopian maid on the Internet in order to lure a German businessman, Martin Herbert Steiner, 48, with offers of sex.
They met at Mr. Bolsen’s home, and in the interview Mr. Bolsen said he had sought to convince Mr. Steiner to change his ways. “He was soliciting illicit sex with Muslim women in the United Arab Emirates, and I was trying to convince him that this was dangerous,” Mr. Bolsen said.
Mr. Steiner was drunk and tried to force himself on the maid, Mr. Bolsen said. “We fought and I unfortunately caused his death,” he said.
The cause of death was an overdose of chloroform, which Mr. Bolsen told the court he kept in the house to fight insomnia but had used to try to sedate Mr. Steiner. After the killing Mr. Bolsen stuffed the body in a suitcase, disposed of it by a desert highway, and was arrested as he tried to fly to Oman, he acknowledged.
Mr. Bolsen was initially convicted of murder and sentenced to death by an Emirati court.

Well, well, you take your imams where you find them, I guess.

Footnote:  For some reason, Shahid King (a.k.a. Jihadi Jerkoff) has an especial animus against Kentucky Fried Chicken;  after his incitements, several franchises in Egypt  were hit.  In this,  “King” follows in the footsteps of that other noted crusader for human gallinaeous rights, the shred guitarist Buckethead.

"You deserve a break today ♬"

[Appendix] Désabusé French commentary on the issue of what had been called “les électrons libres du jihadisme”:

Le loup solitaire n'existe plus. C'est un vestige de «l'époque» afghane, qui occulte les profonds changements survenus dans les mouvements islamistes radicaux depuis le début de la guerre en Syrie, et l'engouement des jeunes européens pour le jihad. Nous ne sommes plus face à une poignée de combattant venus d'une terre lointaine, mais à des milliers de jeunes volontaires immergés dans une nébuleuse salafiste qui contrôle désormais une grande partie des «cités» européennes.

Cheik Omar Bakri, une figure emblématique de l'Islam radical qui a endoctriné des dizaines de milliers d'européens, me confiait à Tripoli que «le jihad ne s'arrêtera que quand le drapeau de l'Islam flottera sur le balcon de l'Elysée et de la Maison Blanche».

Pour connaitre personnellement les membres de ces organisations, je puis vous affirmer que ces loups sont tout, sauf solitaires…


[NB: «cités»  means ‘public housing projects’.]

[Update 27 April 2015]
L'affaire Sid Ahmed Ghlam signe une fois pour toutes l'acte posthume de la théorie du «loup solitaire». Comme Merah en 2012 ou, plus récemment, Amedy Coulibaly en janvier dernier, l'étudiant algérien soupçonné d'avoir voulu perpétrer un attentat contre au moins une église de Villejuif pourrait être au cœur d'une nébuleuse qu'explorent les enquêteurs. Ces derniers sont persuadés que les quatre fusils d'assaut Kalachnikov, les pistolets, les gilets pare-balles, les brassards ainsi que les chasubles siglés «Police» retrouvés dans sa chambre et son véhicule représentent une panoplie trop importante pour un seul et unique assaillant.

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