Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The otherwise excellent Counterterrorism Blog is spectacularly wrong on Taheri-azar

What do I mean by "spectacularly wrong"? Andrew Cochran writes:
The cable news networks and some of my favorites blogs are in danger of trivializing real terrorism by trumpeting the case of the University of North Carolina graduate student from Iran, who tried to run down students to "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world." One top blogger e-mailed me and justified the coverage as an effort to educate college students on the real thing. I suggest that instead of focusing on one nutcase who wasn't born here (and no real terrorist turns himself in on a 911 emergency call!!), try calling attention back to the 20-something Hamid Hayat's (in California) and Ahmed Omar Abu Ali's (across the Potomac from Washington) who were born here, raised here, brainwashed on radical Islamist propaganda in their communities here, and then went overseas to learn how to attack their fellow Americans. They aren't the only ones. If that doesn't scare a college kid, nothing will.
The argument, such as it is, occurs in the sentence beginning "I suggest," and the two main points seem to be that Taheri-azar was non-native and stupid/insane. I can't remember ever seeing a definition of terrorism that specifies that the terrorist must be intelligent and native-born. John Mohammed was another wacky free-lance, albeit native, terrorist, and he was quite lethal. And Taheri-azar's attack was also potentially quite lethal. Are you trying to tell me that you can't kill multiple people by running over them with a large SUV? I would call this a serious terrorist attack that, thank G-d, was not successful. And this sort of attack by a loner is not something that normal intelligence-gathering would ever anticipate. See Alphabet City.

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