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The Danger of Lone Wolf Jihadis Among Us

The final weeks of October 2014 were devastating for America. We had lone wolf jihadis in Ottawa and Montreal killing and wounding Canada Forces service personnel. In New York we had a Muslim convert and former U.S. Navy serviceman shot dead in the midst of a deadly hatchet attack on two NYPD officers in Queens. All three appeared to be operating below the radar screen of surveillance  inspired by Islamic State jihadist social media imploring Salafist brethren in the West to mount attacks on uniformed military and law enforcement officers. These were  so-called ‘citizen jihadists’ wreaking havoc against any means of law enforcement stopping them from their spectacular  suicidal missions. There is a coming Detroit federal court trial on November 4, 2014 against a naturalized US citizen, Rasmieh Odeh. She was a member of a Palestinian terror group, who lied on her application about a prior conviction and incarceration in Israel for a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that killed two university students.

To answer questions about what drives lone wolf Jihadis undertaking such murderous acts, The Lisa Benson Show on Sunday, October 26, 2014 heard from three prominent experts. They  noted US terrorism expert Steven Emerson, executive director of Washington, DC-based, The Investigative Project, Ottawa-based David B. Harris Canadian consultant on Islamic terrorism and former official at Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service, and Dr. Michael Welner, founder of the Manhattan based, The Forensic Panel, a noted US Forensic Psychiatrist frequently called as an prosecution witness in mass killing and terrorist cases. Dr. Welner was joined by his mother, a holocaust survivor and trained gerontology nurse who presented her views noting their participation in the recent protest of the Met Opera production of The Death of Klinghoffer. This was more information for our listeners packed into 43 minutes of air time than many two hour cable TV documentaries.

Watch video of Attack on Ottawa Parliament, October 22, 2014.

The Odeh case

On Monday, October 27, 2014  Steve Emerson ‘s IPT released the first  in a five part series, “Spinning a Terrorist into a VictimRasmieh Odeh a Chicago area Palestinian activist is the subject that report. She was arrested by the FBI for not reporting on her application for US citizenship  her incarceration in Israel for her participation in a 1969 bombing by the terrorist group the  Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They bombed a supermarket in Jerusalem that killed two Hebrew University students, injuring several others. A second bomb planted at the British consulate did not explode. Odeh was sentenced by an Israeli military court in 1970 to life in prison for her participation in the bombing. Odeh was released in 1979 as part of a group of 76 PFLP terrorist prisoners in exchange for an IDF soldier captured in Lebanon. Odeh came to the US in 1994 from Jordan, settling in Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago. She received her US citizenship in 2004. Odeh was arrested on October 22, 2013 under a Federal indictment for not disclosing her prior Israeli conviction, sentencing and incarceration for the PFLP terror bombing. If convicted, Odeh, now 66, may face a 10 year sentence and deportation. Odeh has been vigorously defended by the Council on American Islamic Relations, Students for Justice in Palestine and other so-called human rights groups. Emerson pointed out that Odeh defended her misrepresentations on her application for citizenship on the grounds that she had been tortured while incarcerated in Israel. The IPT team, Emerson said, had interviewed a number of the relatives and friends of the students killed and injured in the PFLP bombing, many now in their 50’s and 60’s.

Canada’s exposure to Islamic terrorism

David B. Harris told about appearing before a US Congressional Committee with Steve Emerson in 1999. He told the Committee had Canada had perhaps the largest number of foreign terrorist groups in the West, surpassed only by the US. That is reflected in the rapid growth of Canada’s Muslim population, a reflection of the ruling governments’ multi-cultural agenda of aiding immigration. This conscious policy is reflected in the following figures he cited. In 1981 Canada had 98,000 Muslim citizens. By 2001, that had risen to about 580,000 and in 2017 projections are that the number will reach 1.4 million. In two decades it is reported that 1 in 13 Canadians will be Muslim and by 2031, 2.9 million Canadians will be Muslim. In 1981, Jews in Canada outnumbered Muslims by two or three to one. In less than sixteen years, Muslims in Canada will outnumber Jews by almost seven to one. Canada’s estimated  current Jewish population is 380,000. So we are seeing the result of laws and policies that have brought about a substantial liberalizing of immigration access, over the last three or four decades.

Against the backdrop of the mushrooming Muslim population, Harris cited a 2007 Environics poll showing that approximately 12 percent of Muslims in Canada would be willing to support a plot in Canada to undertake simultaneous mass casualty attacks. That could include bombing and invading certain government and media premises, including the parliament buildings of Canada. That would translate into at least 49,000 Canadians, which should  concern reasonable Muslim and non-Muslim Canadians alike.

Referring to the two Canadian lone wolf jihadis, he said that in the case of Martin Couture-Rouleau there is evidence the mosque he attended was frequented by an extremist Imam who cited Shariah law mandating both mutilation and beheading as appropriate punishments for alleged crimes under Sharia. In the instance of the late Michael Zehaf-Bibeau there are indications that he may have been applying for Libyan citizenship to supplant his Canadian passport that was withheld in view of his “high risk traveller” designation. Denial of passports may have been a motivating factor for both of these individuals coupled with the broadcast of ISIS social media calling for attacks on military and law enforcement in Canada.

A fascinating exchange referenced a long term outreach effort by the RCMP to Muslim groups and leaders tied to the Muslim Brotherhood that began in 2005 following the events of 9/11 in the US. On  September 29,  2014, two Canadian Muslim groups, Islamic Social Services, Inc. (ISS) and  the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), published a so-called de-radicalization manual, “United Against Terrorism: A Collaborative Effort towards a Secure, Inclusive Canada.” The manual was supposed to be a collaborative effort among the RCMP and the two Canadian Muslim groups. NCCM is the renamed Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim  Brotherhood Front and unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Dallas Federal Holy Land Foundation trial. The objective of the 21 page document was to dissuade Canadian Muslim youths from joining Islamists. Instead, the manual suggested that “terrorists were not Jihadists “and  Jihad was a  “Noble” cause. The RCMP immediately dropped it like the proverbial hot potato calling it “adversarial” and not distributing to its officers.

At the conclusion when prompted by a question on how vulnerable our Northern border is he commented that there are not enough agents to cover likely crossings. As one indication he cited the example of the Millennium plot by an Al Qaeda operative who came to Canada as a refugee and was caught by an inquisitive US border agent. Thus began the unraveling of the Millennium plot, an attempt by al Qaeda using sleeper cells in the US and Canada, to conduct an attack on the Los Angeles International Airport. For more comments about Canada’s Islamist threats, see our August 2012 New English Review interview with him, “A Self-Inflicted Injury: Immigration, Infiltration and Canada’s Growing Islamist Threat.

What motivates the Jihad of Lone Wolves?

Dr. Michael Welner addressed the question of whether there are so-called lone wolves who undertake actions influenced by, yet not part of terrorist groups. His research into mass killing and terrorist cases has evolved a paradigm as to how these should be viewed professionally. First are instances involving attacks directly planned and organized by designated terror groups like, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic State using specifically trained recruits for these missions. The second are attacks that are undertaken by foreign affiliates of terror group such Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Shabaab and Boko Haram. The third are what he termed “dead enders”, recent converts who are susceptible to undertaking spectacle planned attacks using weapons at their disposal to gain celebrity hood as jihadist terrorists. They may be motivated by doctrinal influences and social media exhortations to demonstrate fealty to their new found faith of Islam committing deadly jihad against innocent unbelievers.

That would explain a host of recent and historic Islamic extremist actions in America. The list would prominently include Maj. Nidal Hassan’s jihad against fellow US Army personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, the killing of US Army Private Andy Long at a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office by Muslim convert Carlos Bledsoe (Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad). See our October 2014 New English Review interview with Dr. Welner regarding the Oklahoma beheading by Alton Nolen or Jah’ Keem Israel.

Barbara Welner Comments

Barbara Welner’s appearance on the Lisa Benson show was an inspired emotional moment as a holocaust survivor who ran away from Nazi killer in a Polish ghetto and survived innumerable threats to the life until liberated.  Lisa Benson father was honored as a liberator of a Nazi  death camps during the last weeks of WWII. Ms. Welner is one of the few persons of her background who has recognized the threat of Islamic Jihadism to both Israel and the Jewish people. See my 2007 Israpundit post, “Moral Clarity from a Holocaust Survivor: Yom Ha Shoah comments of Barbara Welner”. Note this telling comment:

If the Holocaust and the sacrifice of the many millions of innocent lives are to have any meaning for future generations, then our immediate lesson should be to insure our resolve.

I recognize the same intense desire to dehumanize the Jews to utterly destroy them from all quarters of Arab and Muslim life today. The only difference between what I saw from the Nazis is that the Nazis were coy to the outside world about how much they wanted to kill the Jews. The Arabs are quite loudly and vocally advertising how they plan to annihilate Israel.

She recognized that the program provided vital information about a new danger among us here in America. She chastised the Met Opera for conveying a thoughtless production of the Klinghoffer Opera that, as her son said humanized the Palestinian terrorists who killed the defenseless wheelchair bound New York Jew, killing him in cold blood and dumping his body overboard the Italian Cruise vessel, the Achille Lauro. She couldn’t understand why more people in a liberal city like New York with millions of fellow Jews that more people like her son and she didn’t protest the Klinghoffer opera.

Conclusion

What this discussion illustrates is the fatal myopic mindset of counterterrorism  agencies in both Canada and the US reflecting  prevailing multi-culturalism.  In order to secure both countries, a revitalized effort has to be made to understand the threat of Islamic Jihad. Further this may require intrusive community and social media surveillance and targeting  of potential jihadists in our midst.

Listen to the October 26, 2014 Lisa Benson Show with Steve Emerson, David B. Harris, Dr. Michael Welner and his mother Barbara.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.