The world’s attention has moved on to COVID and China and Kevin McCarthy, but our authorities remain vigilant and as focused as ever on the real issues, foremost among which is making sure that nobody thinks ill of the religion of Islam. Thomas Galati, the New York Police Department’s chief of intelligence and counterterrorism, on Tuesday offered details of the New Year’s Eve attack in Times Square, in which a 19-year-old from Maine, Trevor Bickford, stabbed two NYPD officers. Galati, however, seemed more interested in exonerating the Islamic religion (Bickford is a convert to Islam, as he made abundantly clear in his manifesto) than in actually illuminating what Bickford thought he was accomplishing.
Galati, who has the classic look and sound of an NYPD cop straight out of central casting, looked massively uncomfortable as he admitted:
He knew what he was doing, he knew why he was doing it, he thought that he probably would die as a result of carrying out this attack. Um, y’know, during the attack he did yell out “Allah akbar,” um, you know, and, um, you know, I – I believe he thought that this would be, um, you know, k–, suicide by cop, uh, basically, at the end of this attack. This is a distorted, uh, you know, um, uh, uh, version of him being radicalized and thinking that what he’s doing is right, um, you know, just, uh, want to make sure that that’s clear, he’s not representing, you know, uh, the Islamic religion, but rather, you know, a very, very small percentage of people that get radicalized.
Thomas Galati is repeating the same blather that officials all over the West have repeated for years after every jihad attack that they couldn’t explain away as “mental illness” or something else. Usually authorities say these things without Galati’s level of fumbling, embarrassment, and hesitation, but still, we hear this kind of statement after every incident of Islamic jihad violence. And that is extraordinary in itself. Does any other group have people who aren’t members of it so anxious to do public relations for it? Does any other group have so many people committing violence in its name, with people who aren’t in the group at all then rushing to make sure you don’t think anything negative about the group, or get the idea that the people doing violence are representative of this group?
If he had an ounce of actual concern for New Yorkers and not just concern for not offending Muslims, Thomas Galati would be publicly asking today how it is that Trevor Bickford and so many other converts to Islam somehow get their new, peaceful religion all wrong, and what Muslim leaders are doing to prevent this. But no one ever dares to ask that.
Galati actually came close to providing some helpful information about the attack when he explained that Bickford hoped to die during it, but he did not get close to explaining why Bickford wanted to die in the first place. Was Bickford depressed to the point of suicide, but unable to summon the self-destructiveness necessary to kill himself, and so was trying to provoke a police officer into killing him? That’s the usual “suicide by cop” scenario. There are, however, no indications whatsoever that Bickford was in the pit of despair and wanted to end his life as a result. Rather, the attacker believed in the Qur’an’s guarantee of a place in paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111). He went to Times Square hoping to murder the police officers he attacked and then to be killed himself as a result, so that he would be assured of entering the heavenly realms. Aside from that Qur’anic passage, there is no guarantee of paradise in the Islamic holy book; for true believers such as Trevor Bickford, this is a powerful motivation to commit an act of violence: it’s the surest way to be certain that one will avoid hellfire.
Thomas Galati cannot and will not tell the world that, because it has to do with Islam, and he is dogmatically committed to the proposition that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. But in characterizing Bickford’s attack as an attempt at “suicide by cop,” he is actively misleading the public about why the attack took place at all. In his anxiousness to cover for Islam, he is giving people an actively wrong impression of what motivated the attack. In doing so, he is only ensuring that nothing will be done to prevent more attacks of this kind. And so there will be more. Many more.