Islamic Terror in an Age of Individual Jihad

by CLARE M. LOPEZ May 7, 2015

Anyone who thinks that what happened at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX on 3 May 2015, when two Muslim terrorists tried to attack a "Draw Muhammad" art contest, was an isolated incident, needs to think again. Although the two jihadist shooters, both affiliated with the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (a Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosque), were quickly shot dead by security at the site, it's their modus operandi that we need to understand. This is what the future jihad in America is going to look like. It is called ‘individual jihad' (fard ‘ayn) and it is not just doctrinally-authorized in Islam, but is aggressively being encouraged, even commanded, by the Islamic State (as the Caliphate) through its online magazine, ‘Dabiq,' as well as a flurry of other statements and videos by both IS and al-Qa'eda.

As the Center's Senior Fellow (and author of the newly-released "Catastrophic Failure"), Steve Coughlin, points out, 2015 is the final year of the "10 Year Programme of Action" for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The top action item for that decade has been criminalization of the criticism of Islam - that is, pushing for legal measures to bring U.S. and other Western societies into compliance with Islamic blasphemy and slander laws. Those laws impose the death penalty for anything considered ‘offensive' to a Muslim. Some think that just avoiding anything that might remotely be thought ‘offensive' to Muslims is the best way to deal with the situation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly did all she could during her tenure to collaborate with the OIC through the Istanbul Process and UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. But it's never enough and never going to be enough until all of humanity is subjugated to shariah; so now, in this final year of the ‘Programme,' we are beginning to see the physical enforcement of those Islamic speech codes across the Western world, including in our own homeland. That enforcement increasingly is taking the form of individual acts of jihad terrorism.

Prior to 9/11, as al-Qa'eda took aim at ‘the far enemy,' the key perpetrators-Usama bin Laden and other top leaders of AQ, Hizballah, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Taliban-met to plot, plan, and direct that attack. It was very much a top-directed operation. Today, the Global Islamic Movement is dispersed, institutionalized, and operationalized. Myriad jihad groups as well as unaffiliated individual jihadis seek to instill terror across the world, even as AQ and IS compete with Iran for leadership of the kinetic vanguard role. The OIC functions at the Islamic head-of-state institutional jihad level. And the Muslim Brotherhood provides the civilization jihad indoctrination, infiltration, and subversion operations within target governments and societies. 

These three jihad levels - kinetic vanguard, Islamic institution, and civilization jihad - work in synergistic tandem to undermine the West, sap our will to resist, and play the siren song of submission as the easiest, most reasonable way out of this nightmare. Violent jihad attacks by Muslim terrorists against Western free speech targets have proliferated throughout the first half of 2015. In early January 2015, two Muslim gunmen murdered twelve staff members of the French satirical magazine, ‘Charlie Hebdo.' Three police officers were executed as well and another four people were killed by a third jihadist shooter who targeted a Jewish deli market in Paris. Then, in February, a jihadist gunman attacked a Copenhagen event called "Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression" where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was speaking, killing one civilian and injuring two law enforcement officers (although Vilks himself escaped harm). And now they've taken aim at Pamela Geller, the courageous founder of Stop Islamization of America, also known as the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The body count is rising, but that's not really the objective: free speech is. Free society and free-thinking individuals governed by consent of the governed under rule of man-made law are. Simply by existing, such individuals and such societies block the forces of jihad from achieving their obligatory shariah objective, which is the global imposition of shariah. Free speech is the most important, first line of defense against that onslaught because shariah cannot reign unchallenged as long as free people may speak their minds.

Taking shape, then, is a concerted jihad campaign to instill terror among those who dare to resist shariah. Especially via online messaging and social media, the Islamic State has been urging faithful Muslims to make the hijrah to Middle East battlefields but specifically encourages those who cannot or choose not to, to wage individual jihad in place, wherever they live. Thanks to misguided federal refugee resettlement policies that are channeling thousands of all-too-often poorly-vetted Muslim immigrants into the U.S., combined with official refusal to recognize Muslim Brotherhood operatives, groups, and Islamic Centers as the jihadist threat they actually are, there is a now a ready pool of indoctrinated jihad recruits living among us, whose numbers the FBI admits it has no way to manage or even monitor. From this pool in coming weeks and months will emerge the individual jihadis, converted, inspired, and trained by Brotherhood imams and mosques who will answer the IS call to jihad issued by recruiters lying in wait for them all over the Internet.

Understanding and confronting this dynamic that is taking direct aim at the American right to free speech is imperative for both the engaged citizen and an informed law enforcement community. It is the only way to stay free.

c lopez 2013

 

 

       Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy


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