ISIS “lone wolf” violence on global stage baffles Western authorities fighting terror
The US State Department said Friday, June 26, that there was no indication so far “on the tactical level” that “the attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France were coordinated.”
debkafile: That conventional prototype of Islamist terrorist operations is no longer applicable. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS has its own methods of inflicting widespread death which are hard to detect or predict. A decree sent from the top galvanized followers worldwide into initiating lasrgely solo operations. The result was: 211 people dead on Tunisian beaches, a decapitated victim – the first in Europe – at an US-owned French factory, and 27 Shiites killed at a Kuwaiti mosque.
The three outrages were perpetrated on three continents just two hours apart.
The second Friday of the Muslim festival month of Ramadan marked the first anniversary of the founding of the Muslim caliphate in Iraq and Syria under the rule of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and was therefore judged a fitting date for killing infidels and Shiites.
These atrocities, along with the mass-executions of Syrian Kurds in Kobani and attacks on Saudi Shiite mosques, were also designed to further inflame sectarian hostilities between Sunnis and Shiites and remind non-Sunni minorities, including Kurds and Druze, of the cruel punishment in store for them.
The latest operational mode of terror employed by the Islamic State is a special adaptation of the “lone wolf” method – which is nothing like the lone terrorist acting on impulse, such as Israel officials depict after a Palestinian crashes a vehicle into a crowd, or stabs a passerby. It rests on meticulous forward planning, according to all the evidence.
Most of the terrorists activated by ISIS are radical Muslims living or working outside Syria or Iraq, often in western Europe and the United States, who have pledged an oath of loyalty to the Islamic State and its caliph, or else Western converts who returned home from Middle East battlefields:
These extremists set up their own operations for acting alone, or in twos or threes at most. They choose their targets according to three yardsticks:
1. The highest number of victims they can kill.
2. The most gruesome atrocity, climaxing in beheading, for inspiring terror in a large community.
ISIS strategists have turned their backs on Osama bin Laden’s tactics. He employed 20 Saudi terrorists to hijack two commercial planes for murdering thousands of people in the horrific 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Fourteen years later, ISIS uses a single terrorist who is ready to die – or two at most – to execute a massacre. It took no more than one gunman, later identified as Abu Yahya al Qayrawani, firing his Kalashnikov non-stop, to mow down 39 mostly foreign holidaymakers on the beaches of the Tunisian resort of Sousse.
Disguised as a European holidaymaker, he sauntered out to the first hotel beach, his automatic rifle hidden in a large sun shade and opened deadly fire on the unsuspecting people lying there, swimming or heading for the hotel lobby. He then raced to the next hotel beach, firing as he went and killing people as they sought cover.
He was only stopped by police gunfire. A bomb belt was found tied to his body, meaning that the shooting was just stage one of the attack. A big explosion was to have followed.
This was no ordinary “lone wolf” terrorist. It was a highly competent terror machine on two feet.
The beheading of victims is another novel Islamic States method, compared with the classical Al Qaeda of yore. Its perpetrators are usually selected from a group of Muslim extremists with a history in the movement. The more gruesome the deed, the more valiant and honored is the perpetrator.
Many of the jihadis are known to Western security and intelligence agencies. In same places, especially Britain, France and Tunisia, they may even serve local Western security agencies as informants, a role they use as cover for secretly setting up their attacks. This makes their attacks virtually unpredictable.
The unfortunate truth is that many Western counter-terror bodies have been penetrated by these extremists who pretend to cooperate in the war on terror and instead keep their handlers confused.
President Barack Obama has avoided linking terrorism with the Muslim religion. Friday, British premier David Cameron responded to the latest round of ISIS attacks with horror, but he also said, “…this terrorism is not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” The killers, rather, “do it in the name of a twisted, perverted ideology.”
debkafile: Too many Muslims, even those who do not preach violence, don't see it in those terms.