The Terrorist Next Door

By Alan Caruba

The June 16 news from NBC was headlined “Possible Al-Qaeda Hit List Targets Specific Americans.”

The list included the names and photos of “U.S. officials and business leaders” and the call was to kill them in their homes, all the better to spread their stock-in-trade, terror. The individuals have been notified by the FBI. The list includes Wall Street firms, political leaders, think tank influentials, and contractors who do business with the military.

While the U.S. government is now using its drone fleet to whack al-Qaeda folk in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen these days, according to Catherine Herridge, a Fox News correspondent, al-Qaeda has morphed from being a top-down organization to a more generalized movement and these days it is busy recruiting American-born Muslims to continue the jihad.

In her new book, “The Next Wave: On the Hunt for Al Qaeda’s American Recruits”, Herridge spells out a chilling scenario. To understand the next phase of terror, it should be the next book on your summer reading list.

Herridge knows the terrorism scene courtesy of reporting on it for years and having an extraordinary number of contacts within the U.S. counterterrorism network that was put together after al Qaeda’s wake-up call on 9/11. The flaws in the system that existed before then were exposed and steps were taken to get better coordination among the FBI, CIA, NSA, and its other elements.

These days the National Counterterrorism Center must process a daily volume of information “between eight thousand and ten thousand reports.” The threat made “sharing data a matter of survival,” says Herridge. They include “at least forty threats and distinct plots.”

Perhaps the worst part of what an army of intelligence analysts determined was that the jihad and the terrorist’s mind set was that “it’s not a generational issue, it’s a forever issue.”

What too many Americans have yet to come to grips with is that the inherent message and duty of Islam is a never-ending war on “infidels”—and in particular the West—is jihad. While Christianity seeks to convert by the power of its message, Islam seeks to convert by virtue of its ability to apply terror to populations that resist it. It seeks out those who feel alienated from American and Western values, recruiting them in the greater jihad—war—to dominate whole nations and peoples.

It is the antithesis of its claim that it is “a religion of peace.”

As one old CIA hand put it, jihad is “not a personal struggle for someone’s soul, but (is) a global movement.” Its primary target these days is America and its success is increasingly the use of the Internet to spread its message.

Constantly learning from its mistakes and constantly evolving, it should come as no surprise that one of its leading figures these days is Anwar al-Awlaki, American born and bred, and currently said to be hiding out in Yemen. With the elimination of Osama bin Laden his mastery of the Internet and his insider’s knowledge of American culture has elevated him.

He has been a major recruiter and one of his most famous was Major Nidal Halik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. If there is one thing that will get Americans killed it is the political correctness that permitted Major Hasan to remain in the Army despite clear, obvious indications that he was drifting into the jihadist’s orbit. His exchange of emails with al-Awlaki should have put him on a short list for interrogation and further action to sever him from military service.

Herridge rarely strays from straight reporting in her book, but it is also clear that she regards the Obama administration as a virtual facilitator of homeland terrorism, noting at one point that “It took the Obama administration nine weeks to publicly acknowledge the Fort Hood massacre as an act of terrorism.”

Her warning is clear. “In a growing number of cases, al Qaeda’s followers are just like us. They are educated here, sometimes born here. The radicalization process is compressed, An offbeat loner can reach out and become a dedicated killer in a matter of months.”

As one former weapons inspector put it, “Terrorism is like water. It takes the path of least resistance. You move one way and it moves another. It is a thinking enemy.”

It is inherent on everyone to be especially watchful and, sadly, to be less attached to traditional legal protections that prohibit law enforcement and counterterrorism personnel from infiltrating the many mosques throughout the nation until this cancer can be isolated and eradicated.

Americans have got to come to a fundamental conclusion and understanding that Islam is a religion of people who want to kill as many Americans as possible by way of destroying the nation and spreading this murderous cult worldwide.

One need only look at the way Muslim nations today are engaged in insurrections and conflicts that, as often as not, kill other Muslims. It is a very different “religion” than Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or Hinduism.

And now it has a list of American leaders it specifically wants to kill before it gets to you.

The Moral Lib­eral Fea­tured Writer, Alan Caruba, writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, busi­ness and sci­ence writer, he is the founder of The National Anx­i­ety Center. Copyright 2011 © Alan Caruba