Latest Jihadist Attack Shows Biden Bureaucratized Counterterrorism Apparatus is Out of Touch
On New Year’s Eve Two New York Police officers were stabbed in an apparent terrorist attack.
Their alleged assailant, 19-year-old Trevor Bickford, was identified as a recent convert to Islam. Armed with a kukri knife common to South Asian nations such as Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Bickford reportedly wounded two officers before being shot in the shoulder by another officer on the scene.
All the available evidence seems to suggest that Bickford carried out the attack as an act of jihad.
Fox News reported that a “high-level police source” stated that Bickford was being “watched by the FBI’s counterterrorism task force in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s attack.” According to media reports Bickford also left a message to family members prior to the attack, urging them to convert to Islam.
This is the first high profile attack reported in the US in some time and the law enforcement response and actions indicate that the nation remains largely in denial about the ongoing threat of jihadist violence.
For those who closely monitor such things, this attack was not a complete surprise. Over the past month, as the Islamic State (IS) named a new emir, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi, dozens of IS affiliates around the globe released videos pledging their allegiance. In the past the Islamic State has been able to inspire and/or direct individual acts of jihad like Bickford’s attack, something that other jihadist organizations, such as Al Qaeda, have had less success accomplishing.
The report that Bickford was known to the FBI and “on their radar” as a known “extremist” is unsurprising, another example of a long-standing trend of terror suspects “watched by the FBI’s counterterrorism task force” all the way up until they conduct their attacks. A significant number of those attackers were also jihadists.
One can also not help but wonder whether the FBI is taking its eye off the ball due to command influence from the Biden administration. For more than two years now President Biden has repeated the claim that the major terrorist threat in America is from “white supremacists” or right-wing extremists. This oft-repeated claim comes despite the fact that the FBI has not a single white supremacist on its most wanted terrorist lists—lists dominated by jihadist terrorists.
Just a few weeks ago the United Nations Security Council—hardly a sentinel for the security of freedom-loving peoples—issued a report warning that the threat from “terrorism” has increased and has spread around the globe.
The report specifically mentioned the regenerating threat from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and financing that is reaching them. The UN’s counterterrorism chief specifically mentioned the groups’ activities in Africa and Afghanistan.
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, acknowledged that there were “8,000 terrorist incidents across 65 countries, killing more than 23,000 people” last year.
Then she said something incomprehensible. She pointed to “hateful incidents here in our country” as proof no country is safe from the threat.
The overwhelming majority of the 8,000 terrorist incidents in 65 countries that Nuland referred to were acts of jihad. And most of them occurred in Africa. The “hateful incidents” in America she mentions, without reference or attribution, are presumably violations of hate crimes statues, in no way comparable to the threat from global jihad. Nuland’s comments reflect the profound ignorance that pervades this administration as well as a growing willingness to conflate terrorism with other, less lethal, issues.
As we head into 2023 we have more than a warning from the UN to alert us to the threat from jihadist terrorism. We have a new terrorist leader who has garnered pledges of allegiance from jihadists from Nigeria to Afghanistan to the Philippines. And now we have a jihadist terrorist attack on police officers on the streets of America.
Will the Biden administration be ready?
EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.
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