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FALLOUT FROM BOSTON MARATHON MASSACRE

Boston Marathon Bombing. By "hahatango" account on twitter

The eyes of Israel focused on Boston and the two terrorists of Chechen background who terrorized the entire city for four days. How was it that two kids who were welcomed with open arms over ten years ago decided to blow their fellow Americans to smithereens? How did they start out on their heinous mission apparently in the name of Islam?


...they transformed the American dream into an American nightmare.

Sometimes it is mosques where Muslim shahid martyrs are venerated or in schools or even kindergartens where the Imam religious teachers preach Jihad and that it is even the duty of Muslims to hate Christians and Jews. Surely the two Tsarnaev brothers were not a 'sleeper' cell, having arrived in America with refugee status at the ages of nine and fifteen.  Moreover their Chechen relatives have fully assimilated in the U.S., proud to be Americans and roundly condemned their action. Apparently the two brothers got in deep with Islamist brainwashing on the Internet and through inflammatory books. It's still early days, but perhaps the Tsarnaevs wanted to show the world that despite the setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, radical Islam is still alive and kicking even in the heart of the Great Satan. Could they have been energized by the terror attack in Benghazi that murdered the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in September?

9/11 crash of the South tower

 This latest attack has added a new dimension to Islamic terrorism; it has paralyzed Boston, a metropolis of four million people, for more than four days. After 9/11 in 2001, the U.S. responded with strict security checks at its international airports and other points of entry and this had prevented another major strike in America. But now once again, U.S. security officials must face a new variant of Islamist terrorism, terrorists who grew up in America and are extremely hard to identify before they strike. Apparently on a tipoff from Russia, the FBI did question Tamerlan in 2011 but found no reason to keep him under surveillance. One year later Tamerlan visited Chechnya where he might have got in deep with Islamist terrorists. These are all questions that a full blown enquiry will put under a magnifying glass. One Israeli expert estimates that since 9/11, some 50 Islamic terror cells have been uncovered in Europe and America. In these cases, shortly before they acted the terrorists had spoken publicly about Islam living in 'peace and coexistence' with other religions. In so doing they masked their true intentions. This was also the case with the Tsarnaev brothers; no one had an inkling of what they were plotting. The elder, twenty-six year old Tamerlan, wrote in his Facebook about hoping to represent America on the Olympic boxing team; nineteen year old Dzhzokhar had received a scholarship to study. On the surface they appeared to have assimilated, but in reality something far more sinister was going on. They switched from peaceful American Muslims into hate-filled Islamists prepared to detonate pressure cooker bombs in their hometown of Boston. Within a few seconds, the time between the two explosions during the Boston Marathon, they transformed the American dream into an American nightmare. Who can tell how many more dormant cells exist in America and no less in Europe today?

Who can tell how many more dormant cells exist in America and no less in Europe today?

 The first step in coping with the problem is admitting that it exists. Alon Pincus, Israel's former consul in New York, disclosed that he once asked former Mayor Rudi Giuliani what would happen if terrorists chose to blow up bombs at a packed sports event inside Madison Square Garden where there are no security checks? Giuliani replied: "So far we've been lucky". America's luck ran out at the Boston Marathon and now the country will have to rethink how it goes about combatting not only terror from abroad but also terror from within. Peaceful American Muslims who have embraced the American dream must also take a harder look at what is going on in some of their mosques and communities at large. Long before 9/11, Dr. Daniel Pipes had warned about the threat of militant Islamists in the U.S. In his prophetic book 'Militant Islam Reaches America', Pipes described the dilemma so pressing today: "The paramount objective is to achieve two quite different goals simultaneously: safeguard Muslim civil rights and protect the society from militant Islam". These are some of his recommendations that apply more than ever after the Boston Marathon massacre:   

  • Islamists who are citizens enjoy the full protection of the law but they need to be watched.
  • Shut down Internet sites that promote violence, raise money for this purpose and recruit new members.      
  • Distinguish between Islam and militant Islam. It's obvious but it's also easy to forget. The former is the religion of Muslims, the latter is the ideology of Islamists.  
  • Focus on the prospect of militant Islamic 'sleepers'. These are individuals who go quietly about their business until one day they are called into action.
  • Reduce the broader climate of hatred and extremism among American Muslims, for this has led to terrorism. The Lebanese-born driver who killed a Hasidic boy on the Brooklyn Bridge, finds one analyst, "lived in a milieu that cultivated terrorism" and that "encouraged (him) to perpetrate violence". The government and other institutions need frankly to acknowledge the alienation among resident Muslims and to make it a priority to confront and diminish the antisocial forces at work in this community. 
  • Look to moderate (i.e., non-Islamist) Muslims for vital help in the struggle against militant Islam, for both tactical reasons (these are the people first injured by its excesses) and public relations ones (their presence makes the charge of "Islamophobia" much harder to sustain). Listen to their advice and look to them to help penetrate the clandestine militant Islamic organizations. 

 Whether or not Pipe's recommendations will now be implemented remains to be seen, for as President Barack Obama has stated, “There are still many unanswered questions". This includes Obama's own readiness to tackle the threat head-on.  

 As for Israel and other Western countries, officials should be stepping up internal security even higher. The four days of international hullabaloo over the Boston Marathon Massacre have obviously aroused the adulation of other would-be Islamists who will be motivated now to follow suit. In addition, there are hundreds of European Muslims who have flocked to Syria to join the rebels in the bloody guerrilla war against President Bashar Assad and what remains of his Syrian Army. After being trained and hardened in this vicious struggle they will eventually return home. This has to be a red light for many European security services.  

 

 Eilat: Apr.14- 9AM:

Israel-Egypt border fence. By "Idobi" user of Wikipedia

 Two rockets from Egyptian controlled Sinai slam into Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat, a popular tourist site. There were no casualties or damage. An Iron Dome anti-missile battery tracked the incoming rockets but did not launch, possibly because the rockets were headed for vacant areas. Islamist terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack. Later Egypt, the first Arab state to make peace with Israel, admitted the rockets had been fired from its territory. What was the motive for the rocketing? Israeli officials see it not only as a terror tactic to kill Israelis and disrupt the tourist trade but to also shatter the now fragile relations between Jerusalem and Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo. However the rocketing is definitely not in the national interest of Egypt that is now in dire need of American economic aid. Egypt is currently in the throes of a major domestic confrontation and is hard pressed to find the resources to maintain control of Sinai where Bedouin warlords and Islamists rule the roost. In one clash, sixteen Egyptian soldiers were killed by the Islamists. Nevertheless, the Egyptian Army maintains intelligence cooperation with Israel and has closed many of the tunnels into Gaza, which Hamas uses to smuggle in weapons and rockets. In any case, Jerusalem expects Cairo to step up its efforts to halt the rocketing from Sinai. (Israel recently completed a 220 kilometer security fence that has blocked cross border raids from Sinai into Israel.) At sea, the Egyptian navy did intercept a vessel that was carrying a cargo of arms and explosives destined for either Sinai or Gaza. Unlike Gaza, Israel cannot retaliate for terror attacks from Sinai for fear of jeopardizing the sensitive peace treaty with Egypt. The terrorists are trying to exploit this Israeli restraint. Eilat is situated close to the Egyptian border and this also limits Israel's ability to launch Iron Dome interceptors that could explode inadvertently in Egyptian air space or in Egyptian territory. But obviously the peace with Egypt, even though it is colder than ever, is an enormous strategic asset for Israel, and Jerusalem will do all it can to preserve it. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood regime of President Mohammed Morsi is inherently hostile toward the Jewish state, but the 'Arab Spring' has decimated the Egyptian economy to the extent that Cairo's top priority is feeding its burgeoning population and not publicly provoking Israel.       

David Essing

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