In lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, a Muslim named Sayfullo Saipov, screaming “Allah akbar,” drove a rented truck along a bicycle path, killing at least eight people and injuring numerous others. According to Al Arabiya, “New York state governor Andrew Cuomo told media that there is no evidence to suggest wider plot or wider scheme.” And Time.com reported that Cuomo said that there was no “evidence of an ongoing threat or any additional threat.”
No evidence to suggest a wider plot or an ongoing threat? Really, Governor? Here’s some: last June, the Islamic State published a poster depicting an SUV driving over a heap of skulls and bearing the legend “Run Over Them Without Mercy.”
Also, the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014:
So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him….
Many Muslims in the West have heeded this call. Last August, there was a vehicular jihad attack in Barcelona. The week before that in France, a Muslim named Hamou Bachir hit six French soldiers with his car in Levallois-Perret, where the headquarters of the DGSI (General Directorate for Internal Security), the country’s primary counter-terrorism intelligence agency, are located. In June, a Muslim drove his car into a crowd on the London Bridge and then jumped out and started stabbing people. We have seen several other vehicular jihadis get out of the car after they plowed into pedestrians, and start stabbing people. In June 2015, a Muslim in Austria drove his car into a crowd, killing three, and then got out and stabbed passersby. Then in November 2016, a Muslim student at Ohio State University named Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his car into a crowd, then got out and stabbed several others.
There have been many others in 2016 and this year: in Nice, in Berlin, in Jerusalem, in Paris, and elsewhere. Yet Andrew Cuomo and others among the political elites resolutely refuse to connect the dots between these jihad attacks, which have an obvious connection with one another in sharing the same motivating ideology and the same goal.
Saipov, meanwhile, has been identified as a native of Uzbekistan. It has not yet been revealed under what circumstances Saipov entered the United States, but however he came here, his actions today indicate the crying need for immigration reform, and the correctness of the underlying principle behind President Trump’s much-maligned travel bans.
No doubt when Saipov came here, he was deemed a “moderate.” The current immigration and refugee apparatuses do not even make any serious attempt to determine whether or not a Muslim entering the United States has jihad sentiments – an enterprise which would be essentially impossible in any case. The unpleasant fact remains that it is impossible to distinguish jihadis from peaceful Muslim refugees. If, however, President Trump tries to use this incident in order to broaden his travel ban, the response will be the familiar cries of “bigotry” and “Islamophobia,” and the Hate-America Left will go into high gear again to stop his action in the courts.
And so it goes in the daily life of the contemporary West: another jihad massacre, and more denial and willful ignorance.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. Coming in November is his new book Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.