Lessons From French Massacre at Toulouse

Posted on March 27, 2012


Perhaps the most important lesson in the wake of the massacre in Toulouse, France has been the stark fact that there will be people – even people of watch and no-fly lists that will slip past autorities and create such henious crimes.  Reasons abound but sheer numbers tell the story.  The number of militants is growing not subsiding with the Arab awakening.

Sady, with fiscal problems raising havoc with western governments, cutbacks have meant less funding for anti-terrorist measures. In the United States, the job is even more daunting due to the unsecured Southern border with Mexico.  Radicalism and anti-Americanism is growing in Central and South America and who knows who has slipped into the country – just to buy guns at gun shows.

Here are a few more related points:

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle,” Gadahn said in a video posted last year.

Across Europe and in the United States, radicalization within rapidly growing North African and South Asian populations has stretched domestic intelligence services, especially given substantial traffic between western countries and places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Some previous terror cases – in Minneapolis, the United Kingdom and Germany — have shown second-generation immigrants to be less assimilated than their parents, and more conflicted about their surroundings. Certainly that was the case among the bombers who carried out the July 2005 subway attacks in Britain, and among young some 20 Somali-Americans who suddenly left to wage jihad with al Shabaab in 2008.

Those who are “self-radicalized,” who remain beyond any cell structure, who drift from one job or place of residence to another (as Merah did) are the most difficult to track. And counter-terrorism experts say a myriad of factors, many of them unpredictable, may be involved in pushing an individual from expressing militant views into committing bloody acts. Article is here.

In America we have the added worry of increasing racial tensions that play into the hands of foreign terror interests. Then there are the elements of the extreme right that are just as apt to use terror to make their points.  Witness Timothy McVeigh.  The job to keep the homeland safe is daunting and will remain so for many decades to come.