The United States experienced a weekend of terror starting with an explosive device in a trash can in Seaside, New Jersey, as a Marine Corps charity prepared for its 5k run. By early Monday evening, social media heated up with messages about five suspicious devices found near the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The news moved so fast on Monday morning that by the time Americans were being bombarded with information about terrorist incidents in three states, one suspect had been captured. Amid the chaos, many Americans have forgotten a major terrorist has remained at large for more than two decades.
Many politicians are dithering, adopting an approach to these incidents similar to the ignorance about terrorism in the US dating to the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Six people were killed in that attack and more than 1,000 were injured.
Politicians took to the air waves on Monday to urge caution. Many of them stuck to leftist messaging stating no ties to international terrorism had been found. Most Americans outside the Washington establishment, however, know better.
The concept of jihad doesn’t require membership in any group. An individual can act alone or on behalf of other terrorists. Following the standard set by President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, media are working overtime to downplay the jihad aspect in these incidents. It is likely media would not do that for any other group considered to be a suspect or inspirer in violent acts.
The explosions aside, a man stabbed nine victims at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota on Saturday evening. ISIL has already taken credit for those stabbings. The alleged perpetrator was identified by his family as Dahir A. Adan, 22, who was born in Kenya but, according to his father, “grew up in the United States.” Some media have said Adan was Somali. An off duty police officer stopped the Minnesota attack by shooting the terrorist.
General Michael Flynn (US Army RET), didn’t mince words in an interview on Fox & Friends on Monday, saying now, “You’re just standing on a street corner looking at a trash can and wondering if the damned thing is gonna blow up!” Flynn has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for president.
As usual, Trump pegged what happened immediately while Dems’ nominee Hillary Clinton, greatly assisted by her supportive media like CNN, used ‘politi-speak’ to hedge her bets. Clinton, looking sleepy and tired, opened her statement by saying:
“I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota.”
The Daily Caller pointed out something many of us noticed—CNN omitted Mrs. Clinton’s first sentence in followup reports.
The response of those on the left is very similar to attitudes in place before the attacks of September 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission Report noted media’s role in duping Americans about terrorist threats in the homeland:
“[A] New York Times article in April, 1999 sought to debunk claims that Bin Laden was a terrorist leader…”
The Report also noted no National Intelligence Estimate had been prepared on terrorism between 1997 and 9/11. (print ed., pg. 343)
Osama bin Laden had publicly declared war on the US twice, in public interviews broadcast nationally on legacy media. The Report said Bin Laden wanted his followers to “follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, and bring the fighting to America.” (print ed., pg. 261)
More than 20 years have passed since the first World Trade Center attack under Bill Clinton, but a major suspect in that act of terror remains a fugitive. The US Government’s Rewards for Justice program “is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Abdul Rahman Yasin.”
On Monday, government authorities descended upon Rahami’s apartment in Elizabeth, “roughly one mile from the site where investigators found five suspicious devices.”
As this column was about to publish, WABC TV (NY) announced Ahmad Khan Rahami had been captured in Linden, NJ. Rahami was wanted in connection with the Seaside (NJ) bomb and the Chelsea bomb.
Despite security risks and challenges in vetting, the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton have vowed to continue to significantly increase admissions of refugees from countries harboring jihadists hostile to the US. Apparently, four terrorist incidents in a single weekend in the US are nothing out of the ordinary to the left.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 19, 2016)