The latest ‘Islamic Terrorist’ outrage in Nice may well not have been. It remains to be seen.
When a number of middle-class well-educated Arabs hijacked planes and perpetrated the 9/11 horror – that was, indeed, a clear-cut case of ‘Islamic Terrorism’: the perpetrators conspired together, motivated by a death-cult ideology associated with one of the strands of Islam. The same could be said of the UK’s 7/7 outrage though the perpetrators were of mixed social class and educational background. The major events in Paris involving a number of conspiring perpetrators – particularly at the Bataclan – were also clearly acts of Islamic Terrorism. It is the work of intelligence agencies to protect society against such events.
But ‘lone wolf’ actions (or even pairs-of-wolves) around the world are quite likely to have been copycat crimes in which the perpetrators may be classified as ‘pathetic losers’ or, more helpfully, people suffering from mental breakdown looking for an excuse to act out their suicidal-murderous rage. It is doubtful whether any intelligence agency can protect us from such activities.
In such cases protection can only come from friends, family, teachers, prisons, religious leaders, the criminal fraternity, mental health professionals and others who become aware that someone they know is talking or behaving suspiciously or erratically or dangerously. Such activities, whether allegedly Islamic-inspired or not, are no different from the murderous rampages committed from time-to-time at work, in schools, along a street, or elsewhere in any country (eg Tunisia, France, Canada, England, Tasmania, Scotland and especially the USA – to name some well-known places they have occurred) where Islam may or may not have been used as an excuse to act out murderous and suicidal rage.
For the President of France to keep using the term ‘act of terrorism’ for the Nice event is a knee-jerk response not helpful to anyone in France or elsewhere as it implies a failure of intelligence agencies had occurred, when this may well not have been the case. It could only be the case if there are grounds to believe an ideological or religious faction, group or party may have been involved in the planning or active priming of the perpetrator.
Seems I was wrong. This was a planned terrorist attack, according to the French prosecutor on the case. It was planned months in advance, he says, with 5 others involved in obtaining the weapons found.
So this was a profound failure of French intelligence services or their capacity.
But in the light of the latest Munich attack it occurs to me that, if they are not already doing so, intelligence services need to start employing the services of paid snitches within the criminal underworld, over the purchasing by the psychologically disturbed of the kind of weapons which can facilitate such mass-murderous attacks. Obviously no use in the USA where it’s legal to purchase these kinds of weapons. But there some kind of covert arrangement with gun salespeople might work?