The city of Berlin and the Jordanian Crusader town of Karaka are 3,000km apart, but the distance did not stop Islamic State killers from taking 26 lives, inuring 18 others, some very seriously,in the two countries, and causing the Israeli Dalia Elkayam to disappear.
In Berlin, German security is out in force to hunt the terrorist who rammed a hijacked Polish truck into a throng of Christmas gift seekers. They are trying to find a needle in a haystack with no clue as whether he operated alone or was part of a gang ready to strike again, a method of operation that recalls the multiple Paris atrocity which claimed 132 lives before it was over.
In Jordan, the terrorists followed up on their first shooting attack on police and the taking of tourists hostage by three days of gun battles with security forces in the alleys of Karak. Four soldiers were killed by ISIS terrorists barricaded in a building.
These episodes are not over and done with in Germany and the war against ISIS in southern Jordan has only just begun.
In both countries, they are seriously shaking the ruling establishments, however diverse their systems and geography: Chancellor Angela Merkel is standing for a fourth term in the coming election in the face of an outcry against her open-door immigration policy, while the throne of King Abdullah II is at risk if he fails to crush the Islamists.
Merkel’s policy has brought a million refugees to Germany, whereas Abdullah has given refuge to 650,000 distressed Syrians. Unlike the chancellor, the king has finally sealed his kingdom’s borders to further entry, with American and Israeli military and intelligence assistance.
The European and Middle East rulers find themselves in the same boat. They are exposed to an organized Islamic terror offensive with no notion of when and how the deadly strike will come.
This is nothing but a colossal failure of the global war on ISIS.
With no bars on its momentum, the Islamic State on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the same day as its outrages in Germany and Jordan, also hit two fronts in the Mosul region of Iraq – one to punish the pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi militia near Tal Afar and the other, Iraqi army forces holding some of the southern and eastern outskirts of Mosul.
The US-backed army offered little or no resistance.
Nonetheless, they Obama administration stuck to its standard refrain, refusing to credit ISIS with the attack in Berlin without corroboration, even after its claim of responsibility – meaning that US intelligence’s failure to identity the perpetrators exculpates ISIS. So Washington can continue to bury its head in the sand.
In Jerusalem, too, the government ignored the fighting against rampant Islamic terrorists raging for three days in southern Jordan, just 20km away from the Israeli border – as though it happened on another planet..
Indeed, Israel suddenly finds itself with a new strategic dilemma. Threatened with ISIS and other terrorist groups from its Golan border in the north and its Sinai border in the southwest, Israel is now beset from its southeastern border in Jordan.