The deadly combination of money, power and Islam.
The Westgate attack in Kenya with its accompanying butchery of every man, woman and child in a shopping mall who couldn't name Mohammed's mother is being met with baffled mutterings about "senseless violence."
But there's nothing senseless about the violence that took place.
Terrorists kill because it's what they do. Plumbers unclog toilets. Computer companies sell you software. Terrorist organizations kill people.
Al-Shabaab's real audience wasn't the Americans watching CNN and trying to make sense of the violence. It was the millionaires and billionaires in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who can turn any terrorist group from wannabes into RPG toting superstars racing through the desert on last year's model Toyota pickup trucks with crates full of night vision equipment.
You may think of the news as a collection of tragedies. To the dozens of Al-Qaeda franchises and assorted Islamist terrorist groups; it's American Idol. The CNN coverage of their attack is their audition on a worldwide reality show that shows off their skills and makes them famous.
Not every terrorist group is lucky enough to have its own Bin Laden; its Saudi sugar daddy with the cash and the cachet to get them the money they need in exchange for being the one to appear on camera and proclaim "Death to America". And the Jihadists in Afghanistan fighting over Osama at times nearly killed each other over access to their effete money man.
Terrorists kill people "senselessly" because a spectacular terrorist attack gets them noticed. It sets them apart from every other Islamist terrorist group that throws together a name and waves a flag with a bunch of swords on it while vowing to drive out all the infidels. The 12 PM CNN audience may not applaud, but the Al Jazeera audience does. And it's the one that matters.
Muslim terrorist organizations fight to impose Islamic law. But what does that really mean, aside from the little girls wearing Burkas and the demolished churches?
Think of the letters of marque that allowed privateers to prey on enemy shipping during wartime. The difference between a privateer and a pirate was the letters of marque. The difference between a warlord, a bandit, a rapist and a Muslim terrorist is the Koran and the Fatwa based on it that acts as his letter of marque.
Muslim terrorism is in no small part legalized banditry with each terrorist group leader hoping to set up shop as the Emir of his own little territory while fighting for the Caliphate.
Get some thugs together, form a terrorist group waving a black flag and stake a claim on some territory. Kill enough people and you'll get weapons and training from terrorist networks and money from Gulf billionaires eager to impress their friends by sponsoring their very own terrorist attack. "Abdul, You know the Westgate attack? That was my money."
Kill even more people and foreign governments will come to you hat in hand, offering you foreign aid and pressuring your government to give you autonomy. So why not be a terrorist?
Israel has been hailed as the Start-Up Nation for its dot com companies, but more Middle Eastern youth are joining a different kind of start-up.
Put a website. Set up a Twitter account. Upload YouTube videos of your men shooting at things. Recruit idiot British converts to Islam who traded in Billy and John for Rasheed and Mahmoud. Use your brother-in-law's mosque contacts to recruit Muslims born in America, Canada or Australia who have no clue what life is really like back in Somalia or Pakistan, but are enthusiastic about overcoming their cultural inferiority complex by being part of the Jihad.
Atrocities get you noticed. If Mohammed in the Islamic Army for a Free Syria ate a lung, get one of your men in the Jihad Against Chess and Kites for Justice and Freedom brigade to eat a heart. If they kill a three-year-old, you kill a two-year-old. If they fire a chemical weapon, get your hands on a nuke.
It's all about who gets the most attention with the worst atrocities and nothing is over the top.
The most successful Al-Qaeda franchise is its Iraqi branch which was considered psychotic by the original Al-Qaeda leadership. Its tactics were described as completely deranged, senseless and bound to accomplish nothing. Now its splinter groups are in line to take over Syria. It may have taken a decade of horrifying murders of innocent people, but they are finally within sight of someone else's promised land.
What of the men, the plodding goons getting pumped on Jihadi music videos full of black flags, reciting Koran verses, taking hits of cocaine and dreaming of virgins in paradise before rushing into a sniper's line of fire; what's in it for them?
Some join terrorist groups for the same reason that young men in Chicago or Oakland join gangs. It's a brotherhood of crime. And the Muslim version comes with a pardon from Allah and the promise of a paradise full of virgins to rape when that Syrian sniper spills all the Koranic quotes in that quivering mass of Hashish-addled grey matter onto a pockmarked street at 200 yards.
Islam provides the structure for these murderous recreations of Mohammed's conquests with Japanese pickup trucks instead of mules and camels, and machine guns instead of spears and swords.
It tells the Muslim idealist that killing for Allah is the only thing that will bring about a just world. It tells the Muslim criminal that his crimes can be virtues. It tells the ambitious Muslim that he can have his own Emirate. It tells the embittered Muslim that nothing will be right until he kills the non-Muslims who are causing all the trouble.
It tells each man what he needs to hear to kill.
Guns don't kill people. Ideas do. Islam, like Nazism or Communism, is a set of weaponized ideas.
Islam is the world within the heads of Muslim terrorists and it's sensible if you're a fat old Saudi billionaire impressing your friends with piles of African corpses, the third son of some backwater farmer with a worthless clan trying to move up from drug smuggling or a Chechen kid in Boston trying to find the glory of your own people while comparing the promises of the Koran to the dingy reality of your family grubbing off welfare while talking up the good old days back home.
Islam doesn’t just promote killing, it incentivizes it. It’s not just a motive; it’s also a rewards program. Its history demands war. Its nature compels killing. Even the most well-meaning Muslim cannot escape the vortex of Jihad at its center. Even if he does not support it in any way; it is always there tugging at him in a hundred different ways.
Islam is the chronicle and blueprint of an unfinished conquest. Its existence inevitably tempts its followers to try and complete Mohammed's unfinished business.
Don't miss Jamie Glazov's video interview with author Raymond Ibrahim about Islam's war on Christians:
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