Jihadist in the suburbs
The headlines can be macabre — “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” — and the stories (giving advice on how to pack when you leave for jihad) are in colloquial English. “Inspire” magazine is the work of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. But the editor behind this publication — which has encouraged would-be jihadists to open fire on lunch crowds in D.C., to take out some U.S. government employees — is a Pakistani-American. NPR has a long, unsettling report on that 24-year-old man, Samir Khan.
One point that caught my eye: While still living in his parents’ basement, here in the U.S., Khan published a pro-Al Qaeda website — but took pains, even hiring a lawyer to advise him, so as not to run afoul of the law. Someone who knew him tells NPR that that step defied Khan’s Islamist creed. “For him to take shade under the Constitution or to go to a disbelieving lawyer and ask for his help contradicts the entire ideological worldview that he has decided to live by.”
Really? Islamic totalitarian groups like Hamas have stooped to taking part in representative elections for government power — as a means of advancing their dictatorial agenda. Ditto for Hezbollah. Islamists have shown in the past that they’re quite happy to work “within the system” in order to subvert it. In Europe, there are Islamist activists who use lawful means — lobbying, special pleading, lawsuits — to impose their ideology on others. I touch on this topic in my book. The point here: it’s a myth that Islamists use only the tactic of terrorism in pursuit of their ideological goal — far from it.