Can we really stop terrorist attacks?

The Daily Journalist community opinion.

The Paris attack and the Russian commercial airliner blown up by ISIS, appears to be the beginning of a new terrorist campaign initiated by a brutal new generation of jihadist fighters against the west. ISIS has got all the media attention, but Al-Qaeda in order to compete with their jihadist rival has to come up sooner or later with another massive terrorist attack to prove their worth.

No matter the terrorist threat, I believe it would be hard to stop and I am expecting something much worse. I am not a firm believer in national security. American homegrown terrorist David Coleman Headley ultimately confessed to the Bombay attacks when he was caught in Denmark. If he would have not confessed his involvement in Bombay, the NSA, DHS, CIA and other quasi-government intelligence agencies would have granted him a free vacation to the Bahamas.  

Ultimately, I am afraid one of these groups will bribe a former nuclear scientist and develop a dirty nuclear bomb. In the US, all they need is to bribe a cartel close to the Mexican border, and smuggle the bomb through a tunnel free from ICE. We don’t have enough human resources to stop drug smugglers. In Europe, it might be even relatively easier.

My question is.

  1. Realistically can we really stop a terrorist attack in Europe and the US? Is it based on luck or track and data collection only?
  2. Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

  3. If they detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US. Would we throw foreign diplomacy out the window and consider an extermination rampage including the expulsion of Muslims in western lands? Is this farfetched?

  4. Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?   

Dr. John Joseph RAY.

(He taught sociology at the University of New South Wales. His major research interests lays in psychological authoritarianism, conservatism, racism and achievement motivation.)

“A big one dropped on Raqqa would stop them.”



Mohsen Goudarzi.

(He is a PhD Candidate in Communication and Media Studies. Mohsen has worked for different Institutions and media as news secretary, producer, and researcher.)

“Terrorist attacks are not acceptable in France, but in other parts of the world such as Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon these are accepted.  The terrorists who attacked Paris are not Muslim. They were Arabian French citizens who have been discriminated by society.

Their wrath has been rooted in western government policies including the daily humiliation refugees suffer all over Europe. So, such attacks do not relate to Islam and its rules. Also, doing different security jobs such as data collection will not work if western politicians do not change their policy about supporting terrorists in Syria and Iraq.”



Themistocles Konstantinou.

(Present Military data Analyst. Hellenic National Defense General Staff, Athens Greece)

“As it is obvious the US was extremely lazy on the issue. NSA, CIA and other agencies had the opportunity to eliminate those terrorists years ago, but instead  eliminated European countries such as Greece with debt and chaos after Syria’s built war.

My opinion is that now the only solution is to send back all the muslims after a new crusade to eliminate all the radical islamists. All the people must be together on this plan. The western countries must eliminate ISIS and other movements like Al-Qaeda with a huge simultaneous attack on Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.

The idea is to stop any “Rescue Exit” from anybody who is inside Islamist fondamendalistic movements; not any other excuse for action.”



Johannes Nugroho.

(He is a political analyst as well as an author of fiction. He is currently a columnist at the English-language daily the Jakarta Globe)

“Prevention against terrorist attacks may be possible if any US or European government were prepared to fund more comprehensive intelligence agencies. Short of this, internet data intercept and any other electronic measures could only be supplementary to the good old intelligence gathering by real operatives.

One of the flaws in the current Western strategy is the tolerance given to Muslim countries that, by their virtue of their own societies, encourage the propagation of fundamentalist values, notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two states that subscribe to the Wahabbi theology.

As Russia’s President Putin recently said at the G20 summit, private donors from wealthy Muslim countries can channel their funds into terrorist organisations with impunity. It is time Western
government pressures states like Saudi Arabia into getting their own act together.

At present, there is no such thing as “moderate Muslim world”. Every Muslim society in the world has been infiltrated by Wahabbism. Even Indonesia, supposedly a moderate Muslim-majority country, isn’t immune
to it. Radical factions continue to act against minorities with cabal government elements covertly supporting them through inaction.”


Claude Nougat. 

(Passionate traveller (80 countries+) 25 years experience in United Nations: project evaluation specialist; FAO Director for Europe/Central Asia)

“1) Realistically can we really stop a terrorist attack in Europe and the US? Is it based on luck or track and data collection only?

Realistically, we can contain it. We have the technological means on both sides of the Atlantic and now, following the Paris attacks, the will to collaborate. And I mean contain – not “really stop”. Containing means that the world is allowed to function as before, with fear kept to a minimum and costs too. 

2) Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

Question is too technical and only concerned with US. I have no answers.

3) If they detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US. Would we throw foreign diplomacy out the window and consider an extermination rampage including the expulsion of Muslims in western lands? Is this farfetched?

Way too far-fetched on two grounds: one, the detonation of a nuclear bomb inside a major city is, while possible, highly unlikely; two, in the event it does occur, the reaction – “expulsion of Muslims in western lands”, while it might well be demanded by extremist right nationalistic leaders like Marine Le Pen or Donald Trump, is totally unlikely to happen for many reasons, the main one being that it is impossible to carry out – on what basis do you decide a Muslim is someone you expel? What about religious freedom? Anyone, even a born and bred blue-eyed American could decide to become a Muslim…And that is one of the major freedoms that make up our set of values. We can’t do without religious freedom.

4) Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?

The “moderate Muslim world” has done and is doing a lot in Europe and in America (for example, see ISCA,  the Islamic Supreme Council of America). They can only do an even better job if we, non-Muslims, help them to, give them space and support.  Incidentally, don’t misread me, I’m not a Muslim, I’m a practicing Catholic.”



Peter D. Rosenstein.

(He is a non-profit executive, journalist and Democratic and community activist. His background includes teaching; serving as Coordinator of Local Government for the City of New York; working in the Carter Administration; and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia)

1.      Realistically can we really stop a terrorist attack in Europe and the US? Is it based on luck or track and data collection only?  

We will never stop every attack particularly those where the attacker is willing to lose their life. We can stop some of them with better data collection and more cooperation among governments sharing information.

2.       Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

I think we need to use every available source to collect data and then have the people available who can decipher it properly. Just getting the data isn’t enough. We also need more people imbedded on the ground within terror networks. Nothing is as good as that to stop some of the attacks.

3.       If they detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US. Would we throw foreign diplomacy out the window and consider an extermination rampage including the expulsion of Muslims in western lands? Is this farfetched?  

Actually I think this is farfetched. We need to remember this isn’t about a religion but about fanatics.

4.       Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?   

I think we all need to do more to stop attacks and the moderate Muslim world must do it’s share. I think we need to get the Muslim nations to be part of the coalition to fight ISIS and once we do we need to share information with each other and coordinate responses and planning.”



Dale Yeager.

(He is the CEO of SERAPH and F.L.E.T.C trained Forensic Profiler and U.S. DOJ DOD Federal Law Enforcement SME / Instructor.)

“1.Realistically can we really stop a terrorist attack in Europe and the US? Is it based on luck or track and data collection only?

I am in this field and we do stop attacks every day through actionable intelligence and operations.

  1. Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

Human intelligence gathering on the ground is just as valuable. Ironically after 9/11 it was the intel from DEA that was most current for world terrorism because they were on the ground tracking narco-terrorist organizations.

  1. If they detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US. Would we throw foreign diplomacy out the window and consider an extermination rampage including the expulsion of Muslims in western lands? Is this farfetched?

Yes, while that would bring all out global war by the U.S. and our allies, the idea of a WWII / FDR illegal internment or exposition of Muslims would not happen.

  1. Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?

No they have not because the moderate Muslim world is made up of NGO and academic types who are out of touch with real working class Muslims who favor the idea of a caliphate. Also anti-Semitism is a serious issue to factor in among moderate Muslims.”



Sebastian Sarbu.

(He is a military analyst and vice-president of National Academy of Security and Defense Planning. Member of American Diplomatic Mission for International Relations)

“In the occident, ISIS has become a real threat for values, human rights culture and overall stability of the social system.

The big enemy fighting ISIS is Russia. Russia is trying to undermine the globalist order and impose its hegemonic interests.

At world level, the globalization process would generate peace, cooperation, cultural changes and economic interdependence among other statues, but this  interconnected world, paradoxically, has created more risks in the security and stability of Europe and indirectly encouraged the propagation of the false democratic values with extremist tendencies.

It is now clear that ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s international terrorist scheme have a common brain in the full function of mode operations worldwide.

International terrorism has nothing to do with religion or with nationality. It is a false illusion. Any terrorist group will try to recruit adepts no matter the country, religion or culture identity. ISIS has become a strong ideological enemy of the West and represents an occult interest into the final battle of the great world powers opting for supremacy.

The corruption and materialism of some European governments, the weakness of the international community leadership that should be united under a common voice, has generated more chaos, struggle and global insecurity.

Also the US is responsible for institutionalizing political control of new democratic and fragile political parties in Libya, Egypt, and Iraq among other Middle Eastern countries. The Arab spring generated important social changes, but the security system and corruption contamination represented a serious risk for political improvement. At this point, any solution is better than no action.

Data collection is not a solution, but if the political strategy does not change soon, the intelligence leadership won’t have a role in the matter of social networks with connection with terrorism links.

The hypothesis of nuclear bombs detonated by ISIS is one topic where Assad is no stranger. The nuclear issue, will be a determining factor to the mobilization of NATO engaging military options inclusive for Iran, not only Syria.

The war against counterterrorism now dominates France and the UE, which in reality is the preparation for a classic war. But the UE option will either be part of the solution, or will be in any case part of the problem.

Strategic solutions exist, but the world expects political decisions to be taken seriously because Russia is at the edge of new cold war.”


Igor Muradyan.

(Political analyst (Armenia) on the issues of regional security (Black Sea and Caucasus region, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, Central Asia) since 2008.)

“1) It is necessary to apply long-term and radical measures to restrict migration. Settlement of new immigrants with stiffer regulations should replace the current laws protecting radical migrants from the new member states of the European Union.

In Europe and the United States they should create a new police force to supervise migrants and radicalism. We must act now, it is time to leave policies that lead to liberalism at the side.

2) Any method of information processing is required and are not redundant.

3) No need to do stupid things, but obviously you need to evict people to their countries of origin, specially those who take part in the propagation of Muslim radicalism. These people know the problem very well, and you need to deal with them in this way in order to prevent the growth of new radicals.

They have no place in Europe and in the United States. Let them return to their countries. It will cover 10 – 20% of migrants and people who have received citizenship. It’s nothing that can’t be done.

4) Muslim communities and organized groups have an important responsibility for the actions of radicals. They should be able to solve many problems, if not all. Of course, Muslim organizations, first of all, need to do a better job with the prevention and elimination of radicalism.”


Ronald Bleier.

(Freelance journalist based in New York. His articles have appeared in Left Curve, In These Times, Middle East Labor Bulletin, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,  Lies of our Times, Middle East Policy, Between the Lines (Jerusalem) and The Link.)

“I’ve seen more than enough evidence to feel certain that 9/11, London 7/7, Oklahoma City, WTC ’93. Boston Marathon, Charlie Hebdo, were inside jobs, perpetrated by the U.S., UK, and French terror agencies under respective government approvals.

I’ve also seen evidence that the U.S. (along with other interested parties ) have been working to ensure the indefinite continuation of the  war in Syria (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan)  and the latest proxy  and pretext has been the emergence of ISIS.

Now Paris 11/13 has  spiraled us even further downward into our terrible new world where threats of superpower war are rife.

I suppose we can all agree: the bad guys are winning – and  the rest of us are losers.”



John D. Vernon Sr.

(He has proudly served the United States of America for over 37 years as a Military Officer, retiring at the rank of Colonel,later serving as a Department of Defense civilian, and finally as a Township Supervisor.In 2012, John ran as a Conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is the CEO, American Warrior Press.)

“As a bottom line up front the US simply by geographical location has a less likely possibility of being attacked by terrorists than Europe and Africa. It’s all about logistics and the fact that it’s easier to launch an attack outside the US than inside the US. However, that does not mean that we are not a target. In fact we are the prize. I do not think there is luck involved in preventing an attack.

The tactics employed by DHD, specifically bulk data collection cannot by itself prevent a terrorist attack. I believe that no one individual tactic can prevent a terrorist attack and in order to do so, must be combined with other tactics to be successfully prevent or stop a terrorist attack.

Regarding terrorists using a dirty bomb, which will eventually happen, I see NATO using every asset to defeat the terrorist state or cell responsible when this occurs. Use of such an asset will be the tipping point and in my view will work against terrorists. They know that, which is likely why they haven’t used them thus far. To think that they are not in possession of such weapons is sophomoric.

Personally, I do not believe that the moderate Muslim world has been vocal enough to prevent these attacks. Privately, they support the terrorists by financing them or giving them safe passage/sanctuary. Publicly, they issue an initial condemnation of the attack or are simply silent. Until the free world can mobilize the Muslim countries to fight against the extremist arm of Islam, we are all at risk and terrorism is running wild world wide.”



Dr. John Bruni.

(open source intelligence and security consultancy) based in Adelaide, South Australia, formerly served as Special Military Researcher Adviser at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR))

“1. Counter-terrorism is premised on both luck and good intelligence in equal measure. In any style of war, there is the problem of ‘fog’, when human systems break down for political, organisational or cultural reasons. No military power is perfect, no intelligence gathering system is perfect and no political environment is perfect. Proper counter-terrorism is based on acknowledging the existence of these imperfections and navigating the best way you can with what you have around known pitfalls. If you have an 80-85% strike rate at rolling up potential threats to the homeland, then a country can claim to be as safe as it can be. Improvements to this strike rate can only happen around the margins.

2. No. Intrusive data gathering means that there is too much information to sift through to look for one, minor but specific target. Unfortunately, for those who believe in a fair and non-discriminatory society,  the best way to prevent jihadist extremism within Western countries is to ensure that the full weight of intrusive data gathering is placed against domestic Muslim communities where the radicals are hiding. Sucking up the pension data or the personal profiles of mainstream individuals is both unnecessary and wasteful of time and resources, and a threat to the privacy of the loyal citizens. Jihadist threats are not normally found enmeshed within the mainstream, they are fringe dwellers living among co-religionists.

3. Yes, this is far-fetched. What isn’t far-fetched is rounding up Muslim minorities and interning them in camps just as happened to Germans, Austrians and Turks in World War I and Germans, Italians and Japanese in World War II (e.g. in Canada, Australia and the U.S.). Should a terrorist organisation acquire the means to detonate a dirty bomb or chemical or biological device in a major capital city of the U.S., the extreme public backlash, fuelled by the 24/7 media cycle, would demand politicians to react radically in the national interest. It is unclear whether this reaction would include an ‘extermination rampage’, though government authorities may turn a blind eye to anti-Muslim/anti-Arab violence in Western countries.

4. You can’t stop terrorist violence when the root cause is not being addressed. In the case of ISIL, the group is useful to the Saudis in their sectarian/geopolitical conflict with a rising Iran; it is useful to Iran since an ‘enemy at the gates’ gives the Mullahs something around which the Iranian people can rally in their;  and it is useful to corrupt Turkish officials profiteering from the sale and distribution of illicit ISIL oil trading. You need to break ISIL’s usefulness to regional actors before you can destroy it. Under current conditions, no Western state has the capacity or the will to do this so we will be stuck with the status quo for the medium term at least.”



David W. Kearn. Jr.

(He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at St. John’s University in New York. He was published by the RAND Corporation in 2012 after he concluded a year-long Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship in RAND’s Washington, DC office. His research interests include international relations theory, US foreign policy, military innovation, and arms control)

“1.Realistically can we really stop a terrorist attack in Europe and the US? Is it based on luck or track and data collection only?

“We” have – numbers of them.  In the United States, the coming of the year 2000 placed US agencies on alert (particularly after the attacks on the USS Cole and the 1998 embassy bombings) that an attack on the US was likely.  A plot to bomb targets in Los Angeles (including LAX) was foiled when a key operator was detained entering the country in Seattle.  The U.S. and Europeans have foiled a number of plots – from early planning stages to near execution—by various actors—from relatively novice to serious committed, trained actors—since 2001.

A huge part of the reflection in the United States after September 11, 2001 was that there seemed to be enough “dots” to connect in the summer of 2001 that if officials from different agencies (FBI, CIA, immigration, etc.) had better communications and coordination, some of the hijackers should have been arrested and (ideally) the majority of the plot broken up.   The unfortunate thing is that the upper echelon of the outgoing Clinton national security team really saw terrorism as a primary threat, whereas the incoming Bush administration did not seem to share the same views as to the gravity and likelihood of the problem.  This is not necessarily to place blame—it seems to be a real challenge for presidential transitions in the US—but coordination between agencies and ideally cooperation among nations is clearly a priority in effective counterterrorism.

2.Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

It has to be a multi-pronged approach.  Terrorists have clearly gotten much more sophisticated in terms of the employment of communications and social media.  Moreover, because many of this last wave of attacks (Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Toulouse, Boston Marathon, etc.) are “homegrown” in the sense that the actors are typically natives who have been radicalized outside of the country or via the internet, there simply is no substitute for good old fashioned police work.  Despite the importance of national efforts in the technology and coordination realm, I don’t think we can overstate the importance of local policing (and coordination between local and federal CT officials) in avoiding future attacks.

3.If they detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US. Would we throw foreign diplomacy out the window and consider an extermination rampage including the expulsion of Muslims in western lands? Is this farfetched?

This is such a nightmare scenario that it is really difficult to even consider the implications. What we must do, is make sure nuclear materials are secure on the “front” end.  So making sure Russian tactical weapons, Pakistani weapons and other potentially “at risk” materials are absolutely secure.  This takes time, funding, and concerted cooperative efforts.Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?

4.This is probably the easiest question to answer, and it is a clear, resounding and emphatic “NO!”  From active support to negligent indifference, much of the leadership of the Muslim world has been complicit in the global jihadist phenomenon.  Saudi Arabia, first and foremost, has played a dangerous double-game with jihadists since Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and it hasn’t ended.  ISIS is typically seen as having received key initial support from Saudi financiers, and Gulf money has supported radical Sunni elements in Syria since the beginning of the uprisings against Assad.

It’s incredibly frustrating that one of America’s “allies” has been so influential in initiating and sustaining the global jihadist movement, particularly when both bin-Laden and al-Baghdadi have called for the overthrow of the monarchy, but old diplomatic politics are difficult to change.  What is clear is that they haven’t done enough to stop the flow of money and have let other interests (the perceived rise of Iran, removing Assad from power, maintaining influence in the Gulf) take priority.

Clearly, Pakistan is another complicit regime, but given the fragility of Pakistani politics and divisions within the military, it has been difficult to address the cynical game they have played with Islamic terrorists (not to mention the Taliban).  And given their nuclear arsenal (to reference the nightmare you paint in Question 3) it has probably been wise to not “push too hard.”


Halyna Mokrushyna.

(Holds a doctorate in linguistics and MA degree in communication. She publishes in Counterpunch, Truthout, and  New Cold War on Ukrainian politics, history, and culture. She is also a contributing editor to the New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond and a founder of the Civic group for democracy in Ukraine)

“On November 23, President of Russia Vladimir Putin ratified the federal law which bans the recognition of sacred scriptures as extremist. Putin himself proposed the bill to the Russian Parliament on October 14 of this year as a reaction to a widely debated decision of a judge of South Sakhalin court. This judge declared extremist some quotations from Koran along with the opinions of the author of a book interpreting the significance and place of du’a (a prayer, an act of worship) in Islam. This decision provoked a harsh reaction of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, who appealed the decision of the judge. In Chechen Republic, or Chechnya, the majority of its 1, 2 million inhabitants adhere to the Sunni Islam. According to the 2012 national sociological survey and mapping of religious affiliation in Russia, published online under the title ARENA Atlas ( ) there are 9.4 million Muslims in Russia, or 6.5% of the population.

In the explanatory note accompanying the bill, it was stated that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are an integral part of the historical legacy of peoples of Russia and that in order to ensure an equal respect of world traditional religions, the content and quotations from the Bible, the Koran, the Tanakh (the canon of the Hebrew Bible), and Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Canon), which constitute the spiritual foundation of these religion, cannot be recognized as extremist. The concept of the bill was agreed upon with the representatives of the major religious organizations in Russia ( ).

I mentioned this law in support of my own opinion that any sacred text, which was written many centuries ago, cannot be interpreted literally or judged from the positions of modern norms, values and beliefs. The scriptures are eternal in the sense that they reflect some universal principles of the sanctity of human life, of love, of good. However, these texts were written in a certain historical time and therefore they reflect the level of spiritual maturity proper to that period.

We came a long way since Cain killed his brother Abel, apparently, out of jealousy and anger, because God accepted the offerings of Abel the shepherd, but rejected offerings of Cain, the tiller. By “we” I mean the Western world with its Judeo-Christian foundation. The Old Testament provides plenty of examples of human baseness, treachery, cruelty, misanthropy. We have made a remarkable progress since then, which is probably summarized the best in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This Declaration was criticized in 1982 by the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani because, as he stated, it reflected “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition” ( ) and contradicted Sharia Law. Saudi Arabia abstained from the ratification of the Declaration in 1948 also on the grounds that it violates Sharia law. In 1990 the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which proclaims that people have “freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah” (

What is the relevance of these two foundational documents to the question of terrorism? It shows the divergence of opinion that exists between the West and the Muslim world on the most profound level of values and norms. I cannot delve into a detailed comparative analysis of these two different approaches, but my point is the following: if a disagreement exists between the governments, which are the most moderate, neutral representatives of the population inhabiting a country these governments govern, the disagreement transforms itself into criticism, non-acceptance, rejection of the opposing point of view, and finally an act of defiance by various groups.

The war that ISIS is now waging in Iraq and Syria is such an act of defiance. ISIS is the direct product of the US non-sanctioned, ill-conceived, illegal war against Iraq. American detention centers became a training ground for anti-American Sunni commandos, future leaders of the ISIS ( ). ISIS is the product of the US amazing self-righteousness, arrogance, and self-confidence that they understand and can manage countries which have a complex and old culture and history, different from the Western world.

The technological superiority does not equal the superiority in mind and does not guarantee victory in war against terrorism. I can illustrate this point by the example taken from the same article in the Guardian ( In this article one of the senior commanders of the Islamic State recounts how he and other prisoners outsmarted Americans. While in prison, they wrote each other’s names on the elastics of their boxer shorts. After they were released from American prisons, they were able to reconnect with each other and start the fight against the American troops. Elastics of the boxer shorts against sophisticated high-tech surveillance equipment! Another example would be a simple note left on the table of a restaurant, indicating the place and time of an attack. How can you trace that?

Western intelligence and security services will always have hard time preventing terrorist attacks because they have two different logics of thinking and different motivations. Terrorists are ready to blow themselves to death in the name of Allah. What Westerner would be ready to do so in the name of God?

The West has become too rational and too humanistic to start an “extermination rampage”, as Jaime Ortega calls it. I think the West will prefer diplomacy to military action.

What is crucial for our common future in the globalized world is the genuine effort of the United States to understand the Other, to respect other countries’ right to have a different opinion, and to engage in a dialogue instead of imposing its own opinion by force.

Terrorism is the result of Western colonialism which was based on the erroneous approach to dealing with the Other from the position of superiority. The world has changed since then. We are all interconnected now and we cannot feel safe and protected 100 % just because we live in an apartment in Paris or a nice house in the suburbs of Toronto. In my opinion, the best way to ensure everyone’s safety and protection is by exchanging opinions, by establishing direct contacts between citizens of different countries, by holding our governments responsible for conducting a balanced foreign policy which reflects the view of the people, not the interests of political elites.

As for the “moderate” Muslims, I think this is faulty term. We should not throw into the same box culturally and ethnically different people who profess Islam. I am not an expert on Islam, but it seems to me that Islam as a code of beliefs, values, and norms is no more radical than Christianity is. As I said at the beginning, we should not take sacred scriptures as literal instructions for action. I have friends who are Muslims and who practice their religion without imposing it on others. I respect their difference and they respect mine. That is the way we should build relations between countries.”



Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi.

(His research interests focus on the international relations, particularly with reference to the EU’s affairs, the United Nations affairs, the US foreign policy and prevention of conflict-studies. He contributed to the publications to the Daily Dawn (a leading English newspaper) and the Pakistan Observer (an Islamabad-based English daily.)

“1-  The Paris attacks offered yet another opportunity to argue for taking prompt measures against the rising and expanding ties of terrorism both in the West and the Muslim world. The strategy of combating terrorism via data collection seems not working so fittingly. One thing that is very significant to be understood is that this is this ideological war combined with sectarian differences, which has taken the combatants to the hilt of lunacy. Such kind of differences provokes unidentified myths, which in turn take the people in an arena of unknown boundaries. This has happened in the Middle East, The sectarian differences have unleashed their brutalities from their origin to South Asia and now from South Asia to the frontiers of the Europe and America.

Now, this war has taken a turn in which the main actors are hidden, playing from the far flung areas and just moving the strings. The players are not the actual players and the masters of the game are not one. They are multi tempered with multi furious targets. Furthermore the players apparently seem to go out of control of their masters and now becoming threat for them. In view of this, The Saudi – Yemen crisis, The Kurd issue, removal of Assad, The Russian entry in the Middle East, the terror financing, all these issues have come to the point where this scenario appears to have become out of control. It is only because of this fact that the terror attacks appear to have threatened the whole world including Europe. Such attacks may be curbed or by having better surveillance or data tracking. But this is a short-term strategy. The actual removal of such threats lie in detailed examination of the root cause of such issues and the prevalence of the authority of state over the religion and sects.

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. One of the gunmen in the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, had been sent to prison for recruiting jihadist fighters. The other had reportedly studied in Yemen with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, who was arrested and interrogated by the F.B.I. in 2009. The leader of the 7/7 London suicide bombings, in 2005, had been observed by British intelligence meeting with a suspected terrorist, though MI5 later said that the bombers were “not on our radar.” The men who planned the Mumbai attacks, in 2008, were under electronic surveillance by the United States, the United Kingdom, and India, and one had been an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration. One of the brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon was the subject of an F.B.I. threat assessment and a warning from Russian intelligence.

This shows that merely data collection can no more enough to save us from the future attempts at terrorism. Yet to watch and observe the trends of violent extremism may somehow, be an imperative exigency in this regard .Some important steps the western governments must take (a) to conduct interfaith-inter cultural dialogue via the West- based Islamic centers and with the help of Christian mercenaries (b)to enhance the intelligence co-ordination(c)to contain the policies that may engulf the differences between the West and the Muslim world(d)to enhance the cross checking mechanism about those elements who are involved in promoting radical Islam.(e) to exclusively watch and monitor the activities of the violent extremists.

2- As far as the Homeland security of intercepting the internet servers is concerned, it may partially be helpful in getting the information of the terrorist networks’ activities ;yet practically speaking it cannot be an ideal measure to be taken to counter the terrorism. Computer and network surveillance programs are widespread today and almost all Internet traffic can be monitored for illegal activity.] DHS defines Domestic Terrorism as:  Any act of violence that is dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical infrastructure or key resources committed by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or its territories without direction or inspiration from a foreign terrorist group. The act is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state or other subdivision of the United States and appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping. A domestic terrorist differs from a homegrown violent extremist in that the former is not inspired by, and does not take direction from, a foreign terrorist group or other foreign power.

DHS defines a HVE as: A person of any citizenship who has lived or operated primarily in the United States or its territories who advocates, is engaged in, or is preparing to engage in ideologically-motivated terrorist activities (including providing material support to terrorism) in furtherance of political or social objectives promoted by a terrorist organization, but who is acting independently of direction by a terrorist organization.

Surveillance allows governments and other agencies to maintain social control, recognize and monitor threats, and prevent and investigate criminal activity. With the advent of programs such as the Total Information Awareness program, technologies such as high speed surveillance computers and biometrics software, and laws such as the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, governments now possess an unprecedented ability to monitor the activities of citizens.

However, many civil rights and privacy groups, such as Reporters Without Borders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union, have expressed concern that with increasing surveillance of citizens we will end up in or are even already in a mass surveillance society, with limited political and/or personal freedoms. Such fear has led to numerous lawsuits such as Hepting v. AT&T. The hacktivist group Anonymous has hacked into government websites in protest of what it considers “draconian surveillance”.

Top Terrorism Experts Say that Mass Spying Doesn’t Work to Prevent Terrorism

The fact that mass spying on Americans isn’t necessary to keep us safe is finally going mainstream.

The top counter-terrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush – Richard Clarke – says:

The argument that this sweeping search must be kept secret from the terrorists is laughable. Terrorists already assume this sort of thing is being done. Only law-abiding American citizens were blissfully ignorant of what their government was doing.

What is most important to understand about the revelations of massive message interception by the U.S. government is this:

In counterterrorist terms, it is a farce. Basically the NSA, as one of my readers suggested, is the digital equivalent of the TSA strip-searching an 80 year-old Minnesota grandmothers rather than profiling and focusing on the likely terrorists.


And isn’t it absurd that the United States can’t … stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. army who gives a power point presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nadal Hassan), can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing), or a dozen similar incidents must now collect every telephone call in the country? A system in which a photo shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists or brave passengers must jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?

And how about a country where terrorists and terrorist supporters visit the White House, hang out with the FBI, advise the U.S. government on counter-terrorist policy (even while, like CAIR) advising Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement…

Surely, the process of data collection is an important segment of the Homeland security, but to say that this could be an effective tool to curb terrorism seems a devious assessment.

3–So far as this hypothetical situation is concerned that   if the West becomes a victim of a nuclear terrorist attack by the Islamic radicals, what policy the west should adopt. By no means  an expulsion policy seems to be a practical measure since it would create multiple challenges regarding the application of human rights within the reference of the UN and the EU’s Conventions on it and the western claim about liberal social contract regardingt its policies of immigration. In sum, while the predominant view among the world’s Muslims, insofar as we can learn from the observed polls, rejects terrorism, a significant minority does not. If, on the whole, say, 20 percent of Muslims, a conservative estimate of the average of these numbers, support terror “often” or “sometimes,” that amounts to 300 million people; and if, say, another 15 percent support it “rarely,” then the total base of support for at least occasional terror acts comes to 500 million.

There is little comfort to be found in such figures. Foreign Diplomacy can never be, not in any case, be left behind as tool of crisis management. In case of any severe accident attempted by these lunatics, the immediate reaction from Europe is best known to them. It cannot be predicted, as the quantum of the casualties would like to determine the exact stream of reaction, however the second option is debatable. The expulsion of Muslims from the western lands may not be one of the solutions because it would not be in any case helpful to eradicate the actual problem. It would further provoke the reaction in the quarters of the extremists.

They have already failed to understand that such killings or bombings have made the lives of the Muslims more miserable than anyone else. It is because of their actions that Muslims are taking refuge and shelter in the European countries. They are being judged with the lens of prejudice and finally if they are expelled from there, that would aggravate the situation. The actual theme needs to be comprehended which is that that these extremists are not only danger for the Europeans or Americans,

They are the actual enemy of the Muslims who have deprived the natives from their own lands, properties and the right to exercise their sectarian freedom. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, all countries have suffered at their hands, So it is not the question of the Muslims or Muslims, rather it is the question of non human elements, non state actors which are being funded by the vested parties to derive their interest and secure their energy needs, the gulf countries loves to play at their hands.

They also make nonsense of the claim that it is unfair to speak of Islamic violence or terrorism and not of Christian or Jewish violence or terrorism, even though occasional terrible acts are committed in the names of the latter two faiths. The obvious answer is that there are no Christian or Jewish analogues to the Islamic State; the numbers of such outrages are an infinitesimal fraction of those committed by Muslims; and there is no equivalent base of support in the respective religious communities.

Terrorism puts our democracy and fundamental principles to a test. Muslims in general want to be seen as partners who have much at stake in ensuring community safety. Security measures are needed, but they must be weighed against their impact on all communities and their human rights implications. Policy responses for community cohesion and integration risk being based not on the promotion of equality and fundamental rights, but on the prevention of terrorism.

It is important that Muslim communities do become double victims – first of terror attacks and then of policy responses to these attacks.

There is a need for more dialogue, social inclusion and non-discrimination policies in support of minority groups, which will ultimately have benefits for the entire society. Many Muslims acknowledge that they themselves also need to do more to engage with wider society, to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that they face and to take greater responsibility for integration. However, engagement and participation need also encouragement and support from mainstream society that needs to do more to accommodate diversity and remove barriers to integration.

Political leaders and the institutions have a particular responsibility to send a clear message of respect to all communities and provide convincing answers. Now more than ever they must establish meaningful intercultural dialogue and promote practical initiatives to bring communities together and tackle prejudice, disaffection and marginalization. Policy responses need to acknowledge that Muslim communities in general have experienced long-standing discrimination, whether direct or indirect, which has impacted on employment opportunities, education standards and social marginalization.

Policy responses need to react to the diversity of Muslim communities and be complemented by supporting action in communication, awareness-raising, capacity building and outreach. It is imperative that all Member States of the European Union apply the anti-discrimination Directives and make fuller use of their potential and provisions to address discrimination and promote equality. Surely, the media can play an important role in enhancing mutual understanding between communities of different religions and beliefs, cultures and traditions. The media has much to gain from working more closely with civil society and faith-based organizations, to counter stereotyping. In this expanding era of globalization, the western governments can not afford to foster the policies of expulsion and the discriminatory immigration since it may not provide better and sustainable results.

4- As for the moderate Muslim states response to the rising terrorism, most of the Muslim countries have recently been Western colonies or protectorates (the most significant exceptions, Turkey and Persia -now Iran- also were under heavily hit). After their (sometimes bloody) independence, the West (including Israel) has been either:

A post-colonial power who deposed/imposed regimes at its wish, and supported friendly governments no matter how tyrannical or corrupt they became (Suez crisis, Mubarak, Rezah Pahlevi -last Shah of Persia-).

The west welcomed democracy in Algeria, but when the FIS won the elections, we looked the other way when the army staged a coup and started a civil war.

The US welcomed democracy in Egypt, but when the Islamists won the elections, the West looked the other way when the army (heavily subsidized by the USA) staged a coup and ended the democracy with a blood bath.

A convenient scapegoat for the failures for the Arab leaders -who mostly were dictatorship were more sensible voices would not be heard-. Do you criticize the government corruption? You are a Western/ Israeli agent. So, either deserving it or not, there is an important part of the population that sees the West as part of the powers that make their live miserable. And, in the middle of thousands or tens of thousands who shout “Death to the USA” as a way to vent out their anger and then go home, it is way harder to spot the one who actually plans to commit terrorist acts.

And of course, all of the people who want to kill (and which in the West would usually end making the news as “shot out in a school for random motives”) suddenly have a “socially sanctioned” reason to do so, and sooner and later can find others to help coordinate the attacks. To make moderate Muslims more effective against radical Muslims, it would be good to convince moderate Muslims that the West is not against Muslims in general and moderate Muslims in particular; due to a long series of “misunderstandings” (some caused by the West, some others not) it may be not as crystal-clear to some moderate Muslims as it is for most Westerners.

The moderate Muslim intelligentsia and their scholars have tried their level best to present the counter narrative in this regard. But the liberal scholars were threatened of their lives or some of them were brutally killed, therefore, there was no better option but to surrender. However, the moderate Islamic states have failed to exercise their authority over these segments of the society. Some of the Muslim governments do not want to annoy their Western allies in this regard as this is an open secret now that the sheikhdoms in the gulf along with their western allies are actually funding some of the factions to get rid of that Assad regime. On the other hand, Russia and Iran want to preserve the Assad regime.

The west’s relationship with Middle Eastern dictatorships that have played a pernicious role in the rise of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism. And no wonder: the west is militarily, economically and diplomatically allied with these often brutal regimes, and the western media all too often reflects the foreign policy objectives of the governments. ‘There is no doubt that extremist Muslims are a driving force behind terrorism in the Middle East and South Asia, but the problem is clearly a much wider one. Ignoring this fact is to jeopardize our ability to comprehensively tackle the scourge that is terrorism.

No doubt, the Muslim governments may play a better role by improving the non-formal education and its curriculum, education and better health facilities are the only answer to the solution. Muslims governments are required to bring their young in the mainstream of the modern world by providing them better facilities for interaction with the moderate forces.”



Nake M. Kamrany.

(Professor at USC. He  is an eminent Afghan-American development economist with superior experience in economic development who is held in high esteem by the international development community, Afghan leaders, scholars, the private sector and intellectuals. He has more than 20 publications on the political economy of Afghanistan)

“The recent tragic events in Paris and elsewhere is influencing a major shift in the world political economy toward war mentality on a global scale which is myopic, injurious and destructive.  Let us carefully exam the options before humanity and select an optimal course for peace and prosperity.  Since World War II to the tragedy of 9/11 the political economy of the world was dominated by a system of EXCHANGE in which mutual benefit was the outcome in peace and prosperity.

The event of 9/11 caused a major shift in thinking and behavior from the EXCHANGE SYSTEM to THE HREAT SYSTEM (use of MILITARY force).  However, evidence shows that the use of force is superfluous, it does not work as evidenced by the wars in Iraq, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.  And the current alignment of Russian, the U.S., France, and England is going to prolong the use of the THREAT (force) and is not going to work.  The U.S, sustained enormous damages in blood and wealth in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East without finishing the job or winning the wars.

There are several reasons.  The actions of the Western Powers have contributed to radicalization among the receiving countries.  The incessant bombing of the villages have inflicted manifold more damages upon the innocent inhabitants of the villagers – far greater than the insurgents retaliations upon the innocent people in western cities.  THz psychology of the insurgents has drastically changed.  Their retaliation has been coupled with changes in the technology of warfare including the internet, east of transportation, mixture of population, and a sense of fairness.  They seem to absorb the relative disadvantage and put up resistance than surrender and the marginal cost to the West has increased substantially.

What is the solution?  The West must rethink of revising its political economy construct from a THREAT system to an EXCHANGE system.  BECAUSE THE THREAT SYSTEM CANNOT BE LEGITIMIZED AND THEREFORE IT WILL NOT WORK.

The leader in all this is the United States.  As discussed below, he United States after being engaged in the THREAT  system is sustaining major domestic and foreign dissonance and     it is time to embark on a new vision of political economy and opt for peace and prosperity for itself and globally.

There is a growing disdain of the American public with the existing political and economic order. Stagnating domestic conditions and a counterproductive foreign policy have prompted the emergence of unconventional candidates who appeal to voter disenchantment. The next president should note that it is vital for the U.S. government to reduce its reliance on military engagement as a solution to world concerns and instead focus its resources on tackling domestic problems such as our prison and justice system failures, immigration, and the burden of college debt. Moral arguments aside, economic strategy necessitates that we get the hundreds of thousands of non-violent incarcerated Americans out of the prison pipeline and back into the workforce in addition to enfranchising the 11 million immigrants who could further contribute to our tax base. Crippling college debt will also have rippling effects across our economy. In essence, issues of equality and opportunity will help define the upcoming election.

U.S. Must Reduce Military Engagement in Foreign Affairs

For the last four decades, U.S. hyper-reactive interventionist foreign policy has been costly and counterproductive, leaving some of the American public with a feeling of government failure. Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have demonstrated that despite the loss of blood and wealth, the U.S. essentially left all theaters without improving our national security. During the Vietnam War, it was argued that if we did not defeat the communists in Vietnam they would eventually arrive on the shores of California. The North Vietnamese took over the U.S. embassy in Saigon but none showed up on the shores of California. Likewise with respect to Iraq, it was argued that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and if we did not secure them, imminent atomic danger lurked off our shores. None were found. When we did finally pull out of Iraq, we ended up just turning over enormous influence to Iran, which was hardly a boon to our security. In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime was changed to our installed puppet governments who could neither defeat the Taliban nor create a stable democratic system. In the process, billions of American taxpayer dollars disappeared and thousands of lives were lost. Our current involvement in Syria, Libya, and a few places in Africa have pitted us in sectarian wars and ethnic discourses in which we have no clearly defined mission. It is now very obvious to the U.S. public that such military involvement has been more or less a catastrophe. Our interventions have resulted in the deaths of thousands of American troops and innocent civilians without concrete results . Our approach has been short sighted and arguably immoral given the repeated nature of our failures. Our policy in the Middle East essentially represents Bin Laden phobia, which ironically undermines our national security by fostering more radicalization and resentment towards the U.S.

The U.S. faces Major Domestic Policy Issues

While the U.S. government spends its treasure and time attempting to micromanage Middle Eastern affairs, on the domestic front, high and discriminatory incarceration, an unresolved immigration crisis, and mounting college debt are drawing public attention. The U.S. rate of incarceration is a disgrace. America incarcerates 753 per 100,000 , while comparable European incarceration rates per 100,000 are 153 for England, 96 for France, 92 for Italy, 66 for Denmark and 90 for Germany. This is largely due to our ineffective criminal system where prosecutors and judges are incentivized to incarcerate rather than cure. Nonviolent criminals should not clog our justice system, consume our tax payer dollars, and have their humanity and economic productivity stripped from them. It’s more expensive to incarcerate than to pursue other alternative forms of punishment or treatment. In particular, drugs addicts should be treated in clinics as they are in Europe instead of being jailed and provoked into becoming violent criminals. Moreover, the criminal justice system seems to overly convict and punish minorities, especially black men. The recent string of police shootings of unarmed black men reminds us of the pressing need to reform law enforcement protocols and rewrite our codes.

Recent vitriolic remarks by republic presidential candidates denouncing undocumented workers underscore the need to finally address immigration. For those undocumented immigrants – some 11 + million – who are already residing in the United States, a policy should be devised to allow them to become U.S. citizens in the long run. It is essential that they join the U.S. society as citizens and become acculturated rather than remain outside the American system of opportunity. While some argue that it isn’t fair to other immigrants waiting in line and to American workers trying to find jobs, our perception needs to square with economic reality and must also recognize the struggle of the 11 million people already here. Given the circumstances, we contend that the best way forward is to provide a path to citizenship and encourage work, thereby increasing the tax base. Moreover, it is imperative that we continue to ensure immigrants’ children are given the education opportunities to advance in American society. Certainly many schools and government programs are already full and underfunded, but the consequence of neglecting 11 million people is both morally heinous and economically disastrous. Citizenship, and the enfranchisement that comes with it, must be present in an immigration solution. Any presidential hopeful should straighten up to this reality and put forth a policy that is inclusive and fair.

Another white elephant that has emerged in the U.S is the cost of college education. As compared to the European countries where there is little or no tuition, we have our students take a heavy mortgage type loans for their education, which puts them into long term debt ranging from 10 to 30 years of loans. The average annual student loan in 2015 for private college education has reached $31,231 while the total student borrowing bill has reached $1.19 trillion . The worst aspect of these loans is the annual interest rate that students are charged. In 2015, the average annual interest charges for private student loans has been increasing, with some of the highest reaching 11% , as compared to 14.9% for credit card , 3.8% for mortgage loans and 3.7% for auto loans. Student college costs have defied the distributional objectives of the nation and will contribute to keeping the poor out of college and the middle class saddled with debt.

It follows that the U.S. should seek a smarter path forward to rectify the above inequities and dissonances. Specifically, we should reduce our over reliance on military engagement. As long as we are able to maintain superior military technology, then we should be able to cut the military budget appropriately. With these newly available resources, we could re-allocate the budget from building prisons and military equipment to schools. We should revise the minimum wage law to a “living wage” so that it would support even costs including room and board, healthcare, and education. Education, wellness and greater earnings tend to drive down crime and promote greater economic activity.

All of the above indicators are currently being provided in many European countries. The United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world and it should lead the rest of the world in all of these indicators as well. The proposals contained herein have nothing to do with the issue of capitalism or socialism. It has to do with the right of each individual to receive basic needs as a matter of right from the cradle to the grave. These rights will be a key point in the next election, so we hope the candidates are listening.”



Allen Schmertzler.

(He is an award winning and published political artist specializing in figurative, narrative and caricatured interpretations of current events)

“For everyone that boldly states we must not give in to terrorists by living in fear, I agree. For every person that continues to move about in locations that draw crowds seeking leisure, companionship, and community with intent to stretch their middle finger in defiance to terror I applaud. For those that can do so without hesitation and without an occasional nod of insecurity to glance around to measure their fellow humanity within suicide belt reach I especially applaud. Unfortunately, this is not who I am. I am rightfully fearful and believe we have everything to fear including fear itself. There are heavily armed monsters next door that worship death, and too many shallow and clueless politicians who are vendors of fear.

Somehow our world has created and unleashed an epidemic of de-evolved “Frankenhuman” monster body snatchers electrified by an insane perverted religious imperative to slaughter the innocent. It is as if the darkest evil imagined in movies that were created to entertain us has escaped from behind the viewing screens to infiltrate and reside among us.

I fear there is no way for humanity to retain freedoms we cherish in open societies to destroy these monsters in the World War of Terror. I fear there is no way to completely eliminate the savages salivating to take human lives. I fear that at best, the governing class can only talk bold and deploy newsworthy measures in hopes to sooth the masses while in secrecy build the Biggest Brother infrastructure too frightening for prime time debate. I am fearful and fearful of that fear that the world we knew shifted on 9/11 and the world we know ended in Paris on November 14, 2015.

The short sightedness of the massively militarized jingoistic 20th century has caught up with humanity just fifteen years into what was heralded to be a new enlightened humanity, a world where a profound Star Trekian shift in consciousness would give the 21st century peace, prosperity, a world without hardened borders requiring passports, heavily armed patrols and calculators for evaluating monetary exchange rates. The world was supposed to shrink along with the distance between cultures as technology and social media would be a unifying, equalizing and assimilating dynamic. We could finally boldly go without fear.

Instead, we are a world destabilized, fractured, more competitive than ever, armed such as never before, with peoples having accessibility to information and resources to organize and coordinate attacks to wreak havoc on civilian populations. The prospect of some rogue group finally acquiring a weapon of significant destruction and using it feels inevitable. Folks everywhere know they are vulnerable everywhere.

Folks everywhere know there are more pain, terror, and body snatching from more Frankenhuman cells yet to pop up. Folks know they are at a jumping off point and their patience, humanity, and capacity to forgive and look bold and compassionately into the future are about to surrender to a raging vengeance. Folks everywhere are wishing for a political savior that cannot exist to free them from this dystopian world. Sadly, the current Republican presidential wannabes have nothing to offer except to feed this state of fear and loathing and anti-establishment.”



Jack Shaka.

(He is a Conflict, Security and Democratic Governance specialist currently based in Somalia and Kenya. He has over 13 years experience in the NGO sector in Africa and Europe.He has written opinion pieces on conflict, security and democracy for several newspapers,academic journals and magazines around the world.)

“It is true that some terrorist attacks in Europe and America can be prevented based on intelligence gathered but at the same time there are other attacks that may not be stopped. Actionable intelligence is crucial but it also depends on how timely that intelligence is. Since 9/11; the London bombings of 2005; Madrid bombings of 2004 and the recent Paris massacre among other terror events, the approach to terror has changed. Nations have became more militant in their terror fighting strategies.

Torture, arbitrary arrests, extraordinary renditions and disappearances have become the norm. Remember Abu Ghraib? Remember Bagram? What about Guantanamo? Human rights have ceased to exist. All in the name of fighting terror. Recent intensified bombings by France on ISIS strongholds in Syria after the Paris massacre is exactly what America did in the past with calamitous results. Maybe France and her allies in the Syrian onslaught should take a lesson from Sun Tzu in the Art of War to appear when not expected.

Like the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of civilian casualties in the Syria attacks is going to be huge. This trend gives credence to the Jihadists when recruiting children and youth to join their cause. It also makes them more militant and ready for martyrdom. Nations need to learn from the past and formulate new strategies. Otherwise the cycle will go on for centuries like the Crusades.

The arrests and disappearances have also brought in another conundrum. People with valuable intelligence are afraid of speaking up. They fear that they might ‘disappear’ or end up in a black site somewhere around the world. There are some incentives if one comes forward with information but people are still afraid. Fear remains an obstacle to saving lives.

Mass surveillance is becoming common despite the backlash it has received in Europe and America. The USA Freedom Act, which halted mass compilation of domestic phone data by the US government, did not however halt the compilation of other data, like emails and international phone calls. But electronic communication intercepts work in cases where the terrorist networks are using them as their primary mode of communication.

The rise of courier networks and other creative means for passing information among terrorists and other fundamentalists should be investigated. The key element is being ‘off radar.’ So, as the intelligence armies in Europe and America are busy intercepting electronic communication, they should be aware that terrorists are ‘off radar,’ and conducting counterintelligence. Like the nations, they have studied and learnt from their enemies.

The use of spy networks and undercover operatives should be well funded and developed by nations. They were instrumental during the cold war and continue to be so even today. Deception has been there for ages. A good spy network can be effective if well organized and coordinated. Information sharing among intelligence agencies should be encouraged and developed if terror is to be averted.

Hoarding crucial intelligence that could save lives is unacceptable or sharing the intelligence at the last hour when nothing can be done is also unacceptable. Going above the self to give critical intelligence key to saving human lives is laudable. Petty inter-nation rivalries should always be put aside when the future of humanity is at state.

The face of terror is changing. It is getting harder and harder to know or detect who a terrorist is. Just being a Christian or Muslim or Hindu does not make one a terrorist or fundamentalist. We are seeing youth from Europe and America joining the Jihadists or other radical fundamental groups. Home-grown terrorists are becoming the norm. It can be anyone sitting next to you on the train or bus or plane or that friendly person next to you in class or at the office.

The ordinary John or Jane. The guy next door. The case of Anders Behring Breivik of Norway is a solemn reminder that fundamentalists are with us whether we like it or not. Sun Tzu goes further to tell us that;


“…if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperilled

in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself,

you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not

know yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.”


There is need to understand before being understood. Otherwise, we will be imperiled in every single battle. Terrorists are adapting, and changing tactics much faster than the intelligence armies of the nations. This is a worrying trend considering that nations have more resources and manpower. Nations need new strategies in fighting terror. The strategies formulated after 9/11 have become irrelevant since the enemy has adapted and changed its own strategies.

If a nuclear bomb is to be detonated in America, then I fear for the worst if lessons from the recent past are anything to go by. The US led invasions after 9/11 has had tragic consequences around the world. In March 2015, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) published a study of the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks.

The Washington DC-based organization puts the death toll at around 1.3 million but could be as high as two million. You can download and read their report to further understand the figures. You can imagine what the death toll will be, if a nuclear bomb is to detonate in America. Civilizations in ‘countries hosting terrorists’ will cease to exist.

Tens of millions will die. Foreign policy will be disregarded. Statements like, ‘that is an act of war against the United States. We must act,’ will be floated and generously used to fuel further invasions that will result in mass extermination of people.

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki? When America is hit, it hits back even harder! The expulsions, arbitrary arrests and detentions of Muslims began right after 9/11. And it is still going on as America and her European allies continue to fight terror. Europe is facing a defining moment with immigration after the Paris massacre. Fundamentalists are coming to Europe as refugees, and screening to know who is a genuine refugee, and who is not is an arduous task.

Will European borders be shut? That is what everyone wants to know now. Terrorism is a global problem not just in Europe and America. As the Paris massacre in France took place, there was an attack in Beirut, Lebanon. Followed by several other bombings in Nigeria before all that, there was the Garissa University massacre in Kenya where 147 people lost their lives. Terror affects us all, and nations must come together to fight terrorism by coming up with preventive strategies early enough.”



Jon Kofas.

(Retired Indiana University university professor. Academic Writing. International Political Economy – Fiction.)

“Governments, politicians, the media, and academics define the term “terrorism” in accordance with their political aims. Similarly, those engaged in unconventional methods of warfare (guerrilla war) have their own definition of their activities that they would define as “freedom struggle” from some oppressor (s).  Although the term “terror” became popular during the French Revolution when Maximilen Robespierre and Saint-Just (September 1793 until July 1794) unleashed a campaign known as “The Reign of Terror”, it was the activities of late19th century anarchists in Russia and Europe that targeted public officials for assassination as a political statement about the need for political and social change.

Acts of violence against innocent civilians – not public officials – either as collateral damage or deliberately accelerated in the 20th century by non-state sponsored groups ranging from the extreme right to the extreme left with the intention of making a political statement.  One could argue that the Ku Klux Klan clearly carried out acts of terror with the cooperation of the criminal justice system (from the sheriff to the courts and Department of Justice). Similarly, acts of terror have been sponsored overtly and covertly by states, and if one considers that the vast majority of people killed in wars are indeed civilians, the biggest sponsor of terror is the state simply because it has at its disposal the means for organized mass destruction that small groups simply do not have. For example, the Third Reich carried out the holocaust because it has the means to so, as it had the means to engage all of Europe, Russia and US in a global war. Yet, politicians, media and academics attribute “legitimacy” to mass killings and express rage at small scale individual assassinations by terrorists.

The topic of “terrorism” has been analyzed to the point of absurdity. Yet, despite such plethora of literature, European and US politicians promise to bring yet another plan to “end terrorism” which has been rising ever since the US launched war on terror in October 2001. A Google search with terms “terrorism” yields almost 100 million results; “fighting terrorism” yields 720,000 results; and “ending terrorism” yields close to 45,000 results. An Amazon book search with the word “terrorism” yields 39,640 results on the topic, while “fighting terrorism” yields 574 results and “ending terrorism” 21. These do not include the confidential studies by various agencies of governments and consulting firms working for fees to provide yet another solution to a problem that only grows as time passes and will continue to grow in what has become a thriving industry parallel to police and military operations.

Why is terrorism, as the US and its EU allies define it, namely Islamic-inspired groups organized in a fight to combat what they regard as evil regimes in the Middle East, the West, Africa and Asia, so prominent since the end of the Cold War? After looking at some of the literature on the subject, one could argue that the underlying cause is ideological, religious dogmatism and cultural owing to a “clash of civilizations” to borrow that favorite conservative and liberal Western cliché with underlying racist themes not by the author Samuel Huntington who came up with the concept but on the part of those interpreting it. The conservatives of the late 18th and early 19th century argued precisely along the same lines as modern conservatives blaming ideology when they tried to explain why the French Revolution took place. Similarly, conservative and liberals of the 20th century argued that ideological poisoning of the minds of rebels drove Russians to back the Bolsheviks, the Chinese to back Mao and the Cubans to support Fidel.

If you are conservative, the only motivation of leftist rebels or jihadist terrorists at the other end of the ideological spectrum is ideological, devoid of oppressive social, economic and political conditions, devoid of a sense that foreign powers compromise homeland’s national sovereignty. All one has to do to become a Jihadist terrorist or for that matter a Marxist rebel is to have ideological exposure and that would suffice to pick up a weapon and fight for the cause because a religious or secular ideology calls for change in the status quo.

Clearly, this naïve perspective flies in the face of empirical reality when we examine that the people who join a jihadist struggle do so because they are driven by desperation of their lives caused by their government and social elites (as is the case in much of sub-Sahara Africa), by a foreign government (s) and foreign corporations, or instigated and supported by counter-insurgency operations of foreign governments (as has been the case in Syria).

Religious dogma, ideology, and culture play a role in so far as they justify their position and provide a coherent way to articulate the cause and place it into a larger perspective. Otherwise they would merely be sharp shooters on the hunt to take down innocent people to prove a political point. Socioeconomic and political domestic conditions and external intervention intended to control through local the country through local elites are at the root of the problem driving people to rebels and unless these are addressed, terrorism will continue to evolve and expand from one group to the next. When Pope Francis announced that people join terrorists is the result of absence of social justice, many in the West took it as criticism that lacks basis in empirical reality. However, this is something well established long before the Pope’s announcement.  Listening to Western politicians one would assume that they want to end terrorism, although everything they have been doing, not saying, points that they want even more terrorism.

There are two main reasons why terrorism serves the status quo of the countries ostensibly undertaking anti-terror policies, although in reality they are promoting terrorism; one has to do with domestic affairs and the second with foreign policy.


  1. A culture of fear cultivated by politicians, the media, and businesses to engender conformity to the institutional structure is one of the reasons that terrorism is constantly presented as an “existential threat” when in reality the average person has a much greater chance of dying in a car accident or by gun-violence in the streets of the US or Europe. If people accept terrorism as the “real national security issue” rather than social justice, civil rights, extreme socioeconomic inequality, and a political system inclusive of all people and just the top ten percent of the wealthiest to the detriment of the majority, then the social contract and status quo remain unchanged.


  1. Policies of militarism and covert operations to destabilize regimes for the purpose of gaining geopolitical advantage and economic imperialism is another reason to use terrorism as the pretext, and in fact to create and perpetuate it. During the Cold War, the US used Communism as an ‘existential threat’ to impose its role as the world’s policeman and expand economically, while engendering conformity at home amid a quasi-apartheid regime that kept minorities on the margins of society. The Cold War is over and terrorism simply took its place, especially since the US-EU efforts to recreate the Cold War with Russia over the Ukraine have turned out a dismal failure in the last two years. Not that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan aimed to end terrorism worked much better, and we must judge policy by results alone and not populist rhetoric and excuses. In the last analysis a foreign policy rooted in imperialism cannot be justified unless it has an “EVIL” enemy to blame and for the public to fear and this is where terrorism fits in so well. 

Human Nature and Terrorism

People are not born “terrorists” any more than they are imperialists advocating economic, political and strategic hegemony that violates national sovereignty with the intent to subjugate and exploit. Institutional structures create terrorism as much as imperialism and the two are intertwined in modern history, at least from the late 19th century when European imperialists were using conventional military force to perpetuate their subjugation over the people of Africa and Asia (India, China, Sudan, South Africa, Philippines, to mention just a few).

In the aftermath of the Irish famine in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848, the Irish struggle for independence through various organizations Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood is indicative of militants employing unconventional means to fight against British imperialists. Similarly, there were armed anti-colonial struggles that the British labeled terrorist in the Sudan and Egypt (1880s-1890s) as well as Southern Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. Parallel to the anti-imperialist struggles in the non-Western World, there were also terrorist activities within the West, from Russia to Europe and US undertaken primarily by anarchists who believed that targeted attacks on high-profile public officials would publicize their cause for social justice and bring about systemic change.

Granted it takes a certain type of personality to engage in unconventional warfare, but the average person is not by nature prone to killing innocent civilians for the sake of revenge and publicity any more than they are interested in mass killings through the lawful cover of a government air force or army. Human beings within the context of an institutional structure can become part of a mass killing machine (armed forces), as they can just as easily become involved in “terrorism”, which is merely an unconventional form of war but lacking legitimacy. Just as many of those engaged in conventional war combat are mentally unstable if not sociopaths as there are terrorists who are just as mentally unbalanced. However, after the Paris bombing, one of the ISIS or ISIL operatives that defected explained to the authorities the reasons people at the grassroots gravitate toward the jihadist organization is mainly endemic poverty in Syria that did not exist before the US, Western and Turkish-Arab-backed rebel movement.

Even with all the deaths and injuries that terrorism has created, it is estimated that in the 20th century between 165 million and 175 million people were killed in conventional wars where most of the victims are indeed civilians. How many were killed by terrorism in the last 100 years? There are no precise statistics, but they number into the tens of thousands and not hundreds of millions. Even President Obama pointed out in one of his speeches that terrorism has killed a few thousand Americans in the last two decades, whereas gun violence has eliminated close to 350,000.

In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation:  “From 1969 to 2009, almost 5,600 people lost their lives and more than 16,300 people suffered injuries due to international terrorism directed at the United States.” ( According to the New York Times, from 1968 to the present, more Americans have been killed by gun violence than in all US wars combined. (

Despite these statistics, the US media, politicians and pundits incessantly perpetuate a culture of fear, projecting the impression that the average citizen is threatened by terrorism when in fact the average citizen is likely to die by gun violence in the hands of some mentally ill or enraged individual. Moreover, the media, pundits and politicians never point out that conventional wars kill on a massive scale, that gun violence is a real existential threat,  while terrorism activities, as reprehensible and loathsome as they are, kill very few by comparison because of the nature of the operations. Nor do they ever address the underlying causes of terrorism, preferring instead to cultivate racist attitudes that a segment of the public entertains about Muslims no matter who they are.

There are outlets that try to provide a more rational approach to these issues, avd occasionally there are voices of reason even within the mainstreal media. However, self-censorship is what rules the day when it comes to conformity with government and business, otherwise people lose their jobs. For example, on 19 November 2015, CNN foreign affairs correspondent Elise Labott, had to apologize after her network suspended her merely because she wrote in TWITTER  House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.

If this innocuous comment was sufficient for CNN to suspend this mainstream reporter, what would they do if the reporter dared ask who had been providing funding, technical training, intelligence and other support to Syrian rebels fighting against Assad but then turning against the West that had been supporting them in the first place?  Given the reality of survival that comes first in peoples’ lives, they will not express their opinion freely – in government, media, academia, business, and even social circles – because they know self-censorship is the way to put food on the table.

Realistically, is it possible to stop terrorist attacks in Europe and the US, using modern intelligence and police methods?

If it were possible to stop terrorist attacks, why has it not happened since 9/11, especially with the institutionalization of an anti-terrorism virtual police state in the US that shares intelligence with its allies?  It is completely understandable that the average person cries out for the government to just stop terrorism, just as they cried out in the 1980s “Say No to Drugs” and the government declared “war on drugs”. Has the US “won” the war on drugs, a war through which many banks were making immense profits laundering drug money? According to Huffington: Bank of America, Western Union, and JP Morgan, are among the institutions allegedly involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, HSBC has admitted its laundering role, and evaded criminal prosecution by paying a fine of almost $2 billion. The lack of imprisonment of any bankers involved is indicative of the hypocritical nature of the drug war.”

Unlike conventional wars between countries with specific targets and through conventional means, terrorism is dispersed throughout the planet in more than one-third of the countries. Immediately after the Paris bombing, came a hit in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram, the militant Islamic group active in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Although the media hardly devoted any coverage to it because the victims were not Westerners, the organization has been active since 2002. Is the war on terror going to eliminate Boko Haram as well as Northern Mali where pro-al-Qaeda Islamic rebels took hostages on 20 November 2015 just as the West making promises to end terrorism? If there are an estimate 41 countries with Islamic rebels as some reports indicate, where exactly would the US and its allies begin to end terrorism on a world scale with more than one-and-a-half billion Muslims and growing at much faster rates than any other religious group?

Immediately after the Paris bombing, China asked for political support to crush its own militant Muslims, just as Russia demanded that its anti-jihadist campaign is justified.  Besides going after Muslims in southern Xinjiang, spreading fear, repression, and violence, the Chinese government also has been fighting the Uyghur militants in the western region who want to create an independent East Turkestan. Are the Chinese repressing the minorities of their country and ignoring human rights, or are they fighting terrorism? Is the US interested in helping China fight its domestic terrorists, or is it only interesting in China backing US efforts to dethrone the pro-Russian Assad in Syria and fight against select jihadists in Syria and Iraq?

Where does this absurd game of the war on terror begin and where does it end in the 41 countries with Islamic militants? Does the Western war on terror stay focused on what the US and EU want, does it include what Russia and China want, does it go farther to include Africa and India? Who decides, who carries out these costly campaigns and where does it stop considering the nature of terrorism is unconventional and the next door neighbor could be one do carry out an act despite Russian, US, and French planes bombing specific targets. One reason that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ruled out troops on the ground in Syria (19 November 2015) is because she knows it will end in political, military and economic failure for the US, while alienating if not radicalizing Muslims across the world.

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, president Obama asked the American people to support his war on ISIS operating in parts of Syria and Iraq. If we look at the rebel groups operating in Syria against Assad just two years ago, there were more than 1000 and numbered roughly 100,000. Broken down, however, we are struck that they are either ISIS, al-Qaeda, pro-ISIS or pro-al-Qaeda (al-Nusra Front), with very few that are with neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda. In other words, where are the elements for establishing a pro-West moderate democratic regime in this country? Even if a few of them amid their struggle profess pro-US, pro-West leanings, what guarantees are there that they will not turn on the West just as did al-Qaeda that the US assisted in the 1980s during the war against the USSR in Afghanistan, or more recently ISIS in the war against Syria.

In his speech on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, Obama stated: “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.” What he had in mind was drone warfare that many organizations and governments have condemned as causing indiscriminate damage and killing far more innocent civilians than rebels in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries. For this kind of war that has proved controversial, if not a war crime, Obama is asking the support of the people, knowing full well very few would dare to criticize any kind of war against terrorism. Clinton supports this as well and many Republicans would have the marines land in Syria because the record shows that things worked out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan!

The Obama policy is in essence a rehashed Bush policy with drones and covert operations through various local agents. Will this achieve its goal, or create more terrorism which is the unspoken goal because it serves the political, economic and diplomatic (balance of power) interests of the US? The only thing that matters is that the president and the government project an image of strength identified with military action that makes Americans feel safer at home and perhaps put the fear of God in America’s enemies. Right wingers and of course Israel and its American supporters believe that America must do more militarily to teach terrorists a lesson – no doubt a lesson that would only create more terrorism as it has in the last fifteen years. Reality is not important for these people driven by ideology, racism, political opportunism, and defense industry lobbying influence. The image projected through the media that they are “fighting terrorism” is the only thing that matters.

Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

It is incumbent upon any government to protect its citizens from threats domestic and foreign, while working within the constitutional and legal framework. The establishment of Homeland Security has violated the constitutional (Fourth Amendment – prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause) and legal framework (open records law) as we now know as a result of the Edward Snowden revelations, while it has not deterred terrorism on a global scale, although it has helped to deter it up to a degree domestically. Homeland Security projects the image that it is the solution to a problem. Moreover, Homeland Security is in essence a pretext to strengthen the police state that the US has become so that it can justify the continuation of the dying Pax Americana and neoliberal policies that continue to weaken the social fabric at home.

The key question is whether there has been an increase or decrease of terrorism in the last thirteen years that the US has been engaged in this global campaign at an enormous cost to the US taxpayers by creating Homeland Security. According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) (University of Maryland), terrorism increased in Asia, Africa, Middle East and on a global scale. Many have reached the conclusion that the war on terror feeds terrorism and its increase throughout the world. Others note that the US and its allies engaged in formal war against terrorism killing thousands of innocent civilians, injuring and many more millions of displaced and impoverished people that have become refugees.

The Homeland Security “fix” is in large measure an extension of the military-industrial complex intended to dish out contracts to private companies and to maintain the US a quasi-police state. The idea that more and better technology is the solution is itself an extension of such thinking to dish out billions of taxpayer dollars to high tech companies so that government could then argue that it provides security when in fact it is working hard to create insecurities and stimulate even more terrorism than we now have around the world. On the surface, this may indeed seem absurd, but it makes sense if examined from the perspective of the very influential corporate interests that have a role in policymaking and want nothing better than more government contracts for their companies and the public’s focus on terrorism rather than raising the minimum wage and raising living standards.

Homeland Security plays into the hands of right wing ideologues, racists and xenophobes what want strict immigration laws, applied in a discriminatory manner, all in the name of national security. Even Obama ridiculed the idea that a three-year Syrian orphan poses a threat to rightwing xenophobes who do not want Muslims coming to the US. France has already decided not to cave to right wing pressures on this issue and to accept 30,000 refugees in the next two years as agreed with Germany and its EU partners. The French government did not cave to the neo-Fascist National Front Party led by Marine. “Migrants bring filth, crime, poverty and Islamic terrorism, Ms. Le Pen has suggested in recent weeks; a dead migrant child’s photo was simply a ploy to manipulate European feelings of guilt. France is about to be “submerged” in a “terrifying” wave of migrants who represent only a “burden.”

Led by the populist billionaire Trump, the US Republican presidential candidates have taken a hard line on immigrants to win the right wing vote. That the Republican-led US House of Representatives passed xenophobic immigration reform blatantly racist a few days after the Paris bombing is indicative of the direction that a segment of the political elites are taking the public. People are looking for a scapegoat in the tragedy of Syrian migrants that the US and its allies caused in the first place by destabilizing Assad. Having absolutely nothing to show for US direct and indirect operations in Syria, largely because Russia, China and Iran would not cave in to US pressures, the solution is racist and xenophobic legislation against the victims of the war the US and its allies caused.

If terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US, would governments consider an extermination rampage, including the expulsion of Muslims in western countries?

Terrorists can only obtain nuclear weapons from governments, whereas conventional weapons are sold by commercial vendors for the right price. According to the UK paper The Daily Mail: “Isis are using ‘significant quantities’ of US-made weapons to spread their reign of terror across the Middle East, according to a new report. This finding came from London-based research group Conflict Armament Research (CAR) after it conducted on-the-ground investigations in Iraq and Syria. It’s been known for a while that Isis has been using U.S military hardware, but CAR’s study is the first by a non-government body to try and document in detail what hardware the terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State (IS), is deploying.”

Just as terrorists today obtain arms, trucks, and all kinds of supplies as well as money from governments and businessmen, similarly the only way to secure a nuclear weapon would be from one of the “nuclear club” states. Just as ISIS had been receiving direct and indirect support of various kinds from the countries I mentioned above, including the US and UK largely responsible for its growth and expansion, similarly future terrorist organizations would enjoy the same privilege. If Israel, Pakistan, India, France, UK or the US wants to create havoc in the Middle East, giving jihadists a nuclear bomb would achieve the goal. However, the root cause of the problem would be the government that provided the nuclear weapon.

This is extremely unlikely and only a scenario of rightwing propaganda we have come to expect not just from FOXNEWS that ISIS particularly enjoys because it serves its goals to recruit and retain rebels and supporters, but mainstream media propaganda intended to cultivate the culture of fear among the public. It is just another in a series of myths so that people are not focused on their immediate lives, on repaying the college debt, having government raise the minimum wage above the poverty line, providing affordable housing, cops killing black teenagers every day and justifying on the basis of law and order. Nuclear bomb threats can only come from the “nuclear club” that has them and only if one of the club members wishes to sink the world into chaos would we see a nuclear bomb in the hands of rebel groups.

Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?   

What is “the moderate Muslim World” and who exactly determines the criteria? Is it Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States that have a history of financing militant jihadists, including ISIS while closely allying themselves with the US? Is it pro-US Egypt that failed to protect the Russian plane from an ISIS bomb? Is it Pakistan that has been a US strategic satellite under the gun and all along playing all sides from the Chinese to the Taliban? Is it Iraq and Libya that the US and its allies left in shambles and caused the refugee problem?

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the anti-Islamist Egyptian government constitutes “moderate” because US the Arab dictatorships in the Gulf and Israel favor it. Why was ISIS able to plant a simple soda pop-bomb to bring down the Russian plane and kill 224 passengers?  In the absence of cooperation on the ground, terrorist attacks are not possible at an airport, and cooperation on the ground means that there are enough people sympathetic to the jihadist cause.

Considering that the only stable and strong Middle East Islamic regime is Iran, which has been willing to cooperate with the US to contain Sunni jihadists, does Washington want Iran to play the preeminent role in the regional balance of power? Does Iran fit in with Washington’s broader goals of perpetually destabilizing the Middle East and using Israel to help out?

Considering the waning influence of the US in the region against the reality of China’s rising economic role in the world, Russia’s historic ties with certain countries like Syria, Iran’s dominant regional role, why would destabilization not make sense since Israel wants the exact same thing as the Washington?

Why would Muslim governments take comfort from US policy of destabilizing and overthrowing Middle East-North African regimes so that it could exert preeminent economic, military and strategic influence when in the process chaos is the only result? Even if Muslims want to support the US war against ISIS, how can they do so when the US has a long history of “a crusading foreign policy” toward Muslim countries, exempting the more authoritarian Saudi Arabia and Gulf States that have been funding ISIS, while striking selectively at regimes that the US wants replaced. Even after the Paris tragedy, the US goal remains to overthrow Assad and replace him with a pro-US puppet instead of one beholden to Russia and Iran.

Assuming there is 100% popular and political support for Obama’s version of the Bush anti-terrorism policy, or even the Republican version of revisiting the Iraq model of war and occupation in Syria, can this bring the desired goal into fruition, or is it merely another public relations ploy on the part of both Democrat and Republican politicians who cannot deal effectively with domestic problems like a declining middle class and a massive public debt?


Do US policies increase terrorism rather than decreasing it as the government claims? We must assume that policymakers are very smart people with experience who also rely on outside consultants to formulate policy. While this would be a safe assumption, it is not as safe to vouch for their mental stability, their blinding ideological frame of mind, and career-based opportunism that take precedence over everything else from human rights to social justice.

It is safe to assume that those in policymaking, politicians, pundits, and the media believe the same formula that worked in bringing down the Communist bloc would work on ending terrorism, regardless of the reality that Communists were organized in states and employed conventional methods just as those opposing them.  Finally, it is safe to assume that the more astute apologists of the bogus “anti-terrorism” industry that the US has created realize it is doomed to fail and in fact to bring about an increase in terrorism.

The Turkish downing of a Russian jet fighter on 24 November 2015 and Putin ’s reaction that the government in Ankara is in essence an accomplice of ISIS and terrorism profiting from its operations going through the country are the latest and clearest evidence of a NATO member obstructing anti-ISIS operations.  There are several issues here. First, Turkish air space is legitimate if it were not for the fact that Turkey repeatedly violates the airspace of all its neighbors without them shooting down Turkish war planes.

At the start of the foreign-instigated civil war in Syria, Syrian forces shut down a Turkish reconnaissance plane (June 2012). Unlike Turkey refusing to apologize to Russia for downing the Russian plane, Syria apologized for the incident and called for cordial relations with its neighbor.  Second, ISIS oil does in fact go through Turkey and it is sold on the black market to the tune of $1.5 million per day. Amazingly, Erdogan argued that ISIS and Assad are collaborators because ISIS in fact sells its oil to Assad, the president they are trying to overthrow!

Third, Turkey as a NATO member most likely consulted with the US and probably NATO before it shot down the Russian plane, considering that the Russians had been violating Turkish air space for at least a month.  Without US giving the green light, Ankara would never carry out such an act that would only cause a series of retaliatory measures from Moscow.  Fourth, the shooting down of the Russian plane exposes the farce about the war on terror that is in fact a war to perpetuate terrorism, considering the message Turkey’s action and indirectly the US are sending to ISIS.  Fifth, judging by the reaction of the Western media regarding the shooting down of the Russian place, the US and its partners had no problem at all with Ankara’s action.  Russian intelligence did uncover that within the NATO alliance, some members were not happy with Turkey’s action, but the US position was to back Ankara.

I was hardly surprised to see a recent CNN report claiming that ISIS loves Western media because it plays into its propaganda goals. They are especially appreciative of FOXNEWS that constantly preaches war with Islam and “boots on the ground”, thus justifying the call of ISIS to recruit Muslims to defend their land and their faith. Absurdity’s limits do not stop with Jihadists that the West praises when they are involved in toppling a regime that the US opposes – Libya or Syria, for example – but baptizes terrorists when they carry out political acts of violence against Western or pro-Western targets.

Because of such blatant absurdities in US foreign policy reveal the ultimate in irrational, unconscionable sheer political opportunism and total absence of any moral foundation, Robert Ford, former US Ambassador to Syria, had warned that US policy assisting anti-Assad Islamic militants would result in the rise of terrorism that could potentially touch US interests. Ambassador Ford noted the example of Afghanistan in the 1980s when the US trained Jihadists that would eventually turn into al-Qaeda.  Similar contradictions as Ambassador Ford noted are blatant in the case of Ukraine where containment and encirclement US policies are bound to backfire in the absence of a political solution or ideological foundation rooted in democratic principles rather than political opportunism intended for short-term geopolitical and economic gains. Supporting neo-Nazis among other heterogeneous elements in the Ukraine against the Russian-backed separatist elements is not merely a manifestation of an incoherent foreign policy filled with contradictions and aimlessness for the ‘democratic’ West, it also reveals Washington’s desperate anachronistic Cold War solutions to 21st century problems amid the slow decline of the US in relationship to China.

One could argue that there is no greater machine of terror than the state that has at its disposal the massive means of the police and military to inflict massive damage, as I noted in the introduction. It is also noteworthy to point out that “terrorizing” an entire nation can be carried out by non-military mechanisms, such as the IMF representing finance capital has at its disposal when imposing austerity and impoverishes and bankrupts millions of people within a remarkably short period. Finally, there is also the phenomenon of “corporate terrorism”, most prominently demonstrated in Colombia where US-based corporations were hiring death squads to assassinate and intimidate the peasants.

According to the UN, and human rights organizations, left wing killings carried out in Colombia have accounted for 12% of clash-related fatalities, while right wing paramilitary deaths account for 80%, raising the question of who is behind right-wing death squads and for what purpose. Similarly, the vast majority of disappearances and kidnappings are attributed to right wing paramilitary groups that are at the core of human rights violations invariably ignored by the Colombian government and the US that has historically close ties with Colombia.  According to a number of pres reports and human rights organizations, Coca Cola Bottling, Chiquita Banana and Drummond mining operations are three companies that have in the past financed right wing paramilitary operations resulting in killings, disappearances and persecution of trade unionists, labor organizers and leftist activists. The German TV network Deutsche Wella recently ran a long documentary on this issue, focusing mostly on Drummond and its role in Colombia. This was taking place during the second term of the Bush administration and early years of Obama, years that coincided with US global campaign against Islamic terrorists, while turning a blind eye to US corporate-hired terrorists.

When the foreign minister of Sweden proposed that working toward a solution to the Palestinian Question could help contain terrorism, Israel and the Western press condemned such linkage. It is no secret to the entire world that Israel has been terrorizing the Palestinian people under apartheid conditions since 1948. It is also no secret that Palestinians are condemned as terrorists when they are fighting for a homeland while the Israeli armed forces killing them en masse is presented as “defending its security”. This type of hypocrisy is not lost on people, including many Jews all over the world.  It is naïve to assume that simply settling once and for all the Palestinian Question while pursuing imperialist policies toward Islamic countries would somehow end terrorism.”


Jaime Ortega-Simo.

(The Daily Journalist president and founder) 

“Not even at the early stages in the war on terror, when the US military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq hit a record peak in deployment, were the US nor Europe capable of stopping the bombings in Madrid and London. Al-Qaeda at that time was financially crippled because the US froze the financial assets of the terrorist cell by eradicating the trade of Poppy seeds in South Central Asia. Al-Qaeda at its weakest point still was capable of creating havoc worldwide with sleeper cells in the Maghreb – never mind now.

Al-Qaeda is ten times worse now and ISIL is the upgraded version of Bin Laden’s network. But rest assure that Al-Qaeda are more dangerous than before because now like ISIL they control land in Syria, which allows them to have a base plus optimum energy to sell in exchange for weapons without the need of fundraisers from Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. ISIL controls oil resources and sales it in the black market for cheaper prices than that of UAE to its neighbors Libya and Turkey. Also money laundry and children sex trade profit millions of dollars that fall into extremist pockets.

ISIS and Al-Nusra since 2014 are recruiting tens of thousands of children to fight a future jihad against the west. ISIS is already in Afghanistan training kids at a young age to become suicide bombers; note, that the province of Kunar and Gandahar, was once Taliban and Al-Qaeda territory, and both groups have been expelled from the area or have deserted to ISIL in less than one year. How are we going to stop a terrorist attack? We don’t even know 1/10 of the current refugees immigrating to Europe; EU and US can’t contact the blown up Syrian ministry of citizenship to confirm valid identification — its absurd!

Another problem is the sterilization of intelligence collection promoted by liberal pundits to not violate the privacy of individual rights when searching for possible terrorist suspects. 9-11 could have been prevented only if the Clinton administration would have allowed FBI special agent John O’Neill to search for evidence in Yemen that would of link the terrorist perpetrators to the twin tower attacks; instead, former US Ambassador of Yemen Barbara Bodine, a liberal known for advocating peace and coexistence, complained to the Clinton administration that an investigation would jeopardize America’s relationship with the Muslim world. The investigation was suspended and not long after, 9-11 hit.

The US administrative incapability filled with never ending paperwork to oversee which political party violates the 4th amendment first to be put accountable in front of the Supreme Court, is only another reason for the demise of serious intelligence collection in the US. Then we have human right activist who push Pro-US forces in Afghanistan (Northern Alliance) and Syria not to “torture people” to gather information. I find that just absolutely incredible. Torture is necessary to protect western interest; liberal utopias should not be acceptable under threatening events created by fundamental narcissist.

We cannot swallow the mixture of Liberal utopias, and radical Islamic integration in the western world; otherwise, we are heading for something very bad, and the Obama Administration, with its absurd foreign policy has created a menace that could engulf the Middle East into a full out sectarian war.

If the US and Europe were run by the military or the military acted independently without approval from the United Nations to conduct missions these would exercise military might on the sectors where radicalism thrives and finish the problem. They are more terrorist attacks in the 21th century, than when the British and the French colonized the Middle East. Why? Because liberal participation in politics deteriorates military strength sponsoring only foreign diplomacy, which is a complete utopia in the Middle East considering that the Freedom and Justice Party, Hamas and the General Nation Council won the elections not to reform civil rights, but to sponsor a congressional tribune that would constitutionalize the adoption of Sharia-Law.

Liberals also promoted the Arab Spring, and now half of the Middle East looks like a hornets’ nest plagued with terrorist extremist. And trust me, we might be capable of stopping some people from bombing the west, but when you have over 2.000 independent cells operating differently all around the world not even the most avid intercept technology can stop 1/3 of these, and the new generation of jihadist are now trained to use technology much more efficiently.

The US foreign policy in the Middle East is vehemently absurd, and Europe with its large Muslim population is even in worse conditions unless they start to drastically implement techniques used in medieval times that will secure the augmentation of terrorism. China and Russia now hold the key to use action over words, and they will execute without remorse to finish the problem — not that China and Russia, won’t be another headache to solve in the near future.

As for now, I am afraid that ISIL and Al-Qaeda might be already in Mexico ready to plot a bomb attack in the West Coast. A few senators have warned about this rumor, but the liberals have adverted from this issue once again claiming it is unconstitutional to launch a secret military operation in Mexico without evidence. Well are we going to trust the Cartels corrupting the weak Mexican government, that smuggle drugs into the US, or would it be a better idea to go for a peek inside Mexico to assure the protection of millions of Americans?

RAW, ISI, MSS, MIT, and former KGB scientist currently unemployed could get gracious offers from one of these terrorist cells; it is not a far fetch scenario. The Mexico-US border offers a great gateway to the US, to smuggle weapons and target a major city. South America and US relations are scrawny, and the coastal and sea borders in Central America are not guarded by the US Coastal Police. I only see a great opportunity to manufacture a bomb and enter US territory without need for tight security.

In the end, it is inevitable that something of epic proportions is going to strike either in Europe or the US — — no one is safe. And all these progressive politicians are going to realize that history is cyclical and not progressive. What the Mongols did in Bagdad in 1258, will be eventually repeat itself because until today, only Genghis Khan was capable of exterminating Jihad from its root. The Abbasid Caliphate was notoriously cruel torturing and displaying Kazaks, Mongols and Tajiks in public squares and the Mongol retribution was without remorse. It brought 200 years of peace in the region as a result of the barbaric siege.

They are so many Muslims that even if one percent of one billion were extremist you still have ten million radicals floating worldwide. Islam and politics don’t work. It is like mixing oil and water, ink and paint and camels with horses. A religious based faith overwrites national laws, so it’s extremely hard for Muslims to adjust to the west under religious principles. Politicians cannot guarantee souls eternal heaven; whereas, religion in Islam plays a crucial factor in the choices people make.

I don’t see this getting any better, and in my opinion unless we adopt medieval techniques I hardly doubt prevention is possible to a 7th century religion that lives in the past.”












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