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The Tsarnaevs’ Facilitators

Who inspired the alleged Boston marathon bombers to find meaning in the most violent forms of madness?

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An exterior view of the Islamic Society of Boston Mosque on April 26, 2013, in Cambridge, Mass. The mosque was attended by the alleged Boston bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Mosque leaders there have publicly condemned the violence; they held inter-faith prayer service Friday to mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks. (Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
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Why would Tamerlan Tsarnaev have bombed the Boston marathon? Who would have inspired him, or what provoked him?

The prevailing explanation is that he was “self-radicalized,” as President Barack Obama said in White House press conference Tuesday. The New York Times suggests that Tamerlan’s exclusion from a Golden Gloves tournament on the grounds that he was not an American citizen impelled him to commit an act of horrific violence against the country that had taken in him and his family. In reaction, he apparently then began a process of “self-radicalization”—watching YouTube videos alone in his room in Cambridge, Mass., more a model of liberal, multicultural tolerance than most other places in America. He felt angry and alone.

And, according to the emerging picture, this angry, lonely self-radicalizer had help. It may have come in the form of the mysterious Armenian convert to Islam named Misha. It was he, said the brothers’ uncle Raslan, who sank his claws into Tamerlan and turned him into a violent extremist. This theory was complicated somewhat by an anodyne New York Review of Books interview with “Misha” in his elderly parents’ house in New England, which portrayed him as an immigrant who loves his new country and would never, ever dream of doing what he’s been accused of. “I wasn’t his teacher,” Misha, i.e., Mikhail Allakhverdov, said of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. “If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this.” The FBI has all but cleared him of having any connection to the bombings. “I’ve been cooperating entirely with the FBI,” said Allahkverdov. “I gave them my computer and my phone and everything, I wanted to show I haven’t done anything.” But no matter. If it wasn’t Misha, it was someone else. The FBI, says Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, seems convinced that the Tsarnaev brothers were trained. The pressure-cooker used as an improvised explosive device, says McCaul, points to Afghanistan.

The problem here is there’s a new mode of jihadist warfare, but Western reporters and politicians seem to have little understanding of it.

But a clue can be seen in the reported claim made by the surviving Tsarnaev brother, Dzhokhar, that the brothers were influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. Awlaki in turn was significantly influenced by a man named Abu Musab al-Suri, who should be understood as the theoretician behind the new war of attrition being waged by jihadists against the West. Suri, a Syrian-born veteran of various jihadist campaigns of the 1980s and ’90s, described a model of terror very different from that of his late colleague, and intellectual adversary, Osama Bin Laden.

Suri thought that the spectacular attacks favored by Bin Laden were foolish, because they allowed the West to identify and kill large numbers of the jihadist elite. After watching Western armies and intelligence services dismantle al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Iraq, he urged jihadists to play against the West’s weaknesses rather than its strengths. Instead of elaborate plots that could be penetrated and disrupted, Suri believed that the future of Islamic terror lay in attacks by individuals and small groups who carried out their own plans. These budding jihadists would in turn be nurtured by online teachers, then further influenced and trained in jihadist-dominated areas like Waziristan and Dagestan. As their plots ripened, they would be supported materially, psychologically, and spiritually by shadowy facilitators and handlers, like Awlaki.

Western intelligence agencies and police forces believe that Suri was responsible in some part for the 2004 bombing of a Madrid train and London’s July 7, 2005, attacks. Released from a Syrian prison at the beginning of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Suri may have had a hand in dozens of subsequent attacks, or simply inspired them with his model of a leaderless jihad nurtured by a kind of jihadist clandestine service, whose agents would effectively function as malign therapists who would encourage their psychologically damaged and needy clients to commit acts of terror.

Which brings us back to Tamerlan. This Misha might be entirely innocent, or he might not be. Regardless, it’s unlikely that American law-enforcement officials are going to find any hard evidence incriminating him or anyone else who might have served as a facilitator, even if they planned the Boston Marathon attacks themselves. What the FBI and American police departments do well is gather and document evidence that that can be proven in court. But the help given by Suri’s new facilitators is not the kind of help that would produce evidence. It’s emotional and psychological. Which is why the New York Times’ armchair psychologizing about the importance of Tamerlan’s boxing failure is so misguided. If Tsarnaev had been serious about boxing, he could have responded to exclusion from an amateur boxing tournament by turning pro. The problem, as his trainer pointed out, was that he lacked discipline—just like large numbers of talented and undisciplined young fighters who channel their street skills and nerve into all forms of crime.

But Tsarnaev’s alleged turn to violent crime is hardly extraordinary—the particular form of crime he chose is worthy of closer and more nuanced attention than the press seems capable of giving it. No one becomes a jihadist terrorist in a vacuum, any more than one finds oneself in a U.S. Army uniform shooting at Taliban fighters in a vacuum; recruits may have all kinds of personal reasons for signing up, but there’s a pre-existing structure that then welcomes and shapes them and directs their actions toward a larger strategic purpose.

And so the big problem with the concept of “self-radicalization,” then, is that it suggests that these damaged men act either at the direct behest of an entity with an address or that they behave alone. but the case is increasingly neither. They are instead, horrifyingly, acting in deliberate concert with the beliefs of tens of millions of people, to whom they are heroes. These attacks are not accidents of individual psychology or humiliation. They are part of a larger plan shaped by some very smart sociopaths to use such people for horrific ends.

The problem then isn’t Islam, but the fact that the United States has an ample supply of drifters and losers who are ready to find meaning in even the most violent and sociopathic forms of madness. America has become a retail outlet of damaged human goods that are endlessly attractive to Suri’s facilitators—the new point men in an endless war of attrition against the West.


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SDN says:

“The problem then isn’t Islam”

You’re suffering the same delusions that led to Auschwitz. When a religion’s fundamental tenet is that the world divides into the House of Islam and the House of War, whose non-believing members are lawful prey unless they convert, the problem is EXACTLY that religion.

    Sarah G. says:

    The fundamental tenet also shelters people of the book, Jews and Christians. What then do you have to say? And don’t be silly, translate fully- it’s the House of Peace and the House of War.

      Habbgun says:

      If sheltering means live under Islam or else suffer violence that isn’t shelter it is instead intimidation, repression and a religiously justified protection racket.

      zarith z says:

      Always funny when people hold up dhimmitude as an example of Islam’s tolerance. Try again.

        Sarah G. says:

        Both of you make vast sweeping generalizations about Islam. It’s sad to see.

          zarith z says:

          No, what’s sad is when “vast sweeping generalizations” bother someone more than a religion whose core texts sanction and promote deeply immoral actions.

          Sarah G. says:

          So you’re condemning Christianity and Judaism too, no? The Torah is fairly violent and polemical.

          zarith z says:

          It is, but there’s stories about violence (yes, “ordered by God”) that happened against a particular people at a particular time, and then there’s open-ended directives to followers at all places and times to kill / wage war against those who reject the faith (for example).

          The Old Testament has a lot of the former (stuff like “kill the Midianites”), Islamic sources have a lot of the latter (“fight those who believe not in Allah or in the last day”).

          Then of course there’s the death penalty for leaving Islam, described in Bukhari 9.84.57 “whoever changes his Islamic faith, then kill him.” Can you honestly draw parallels between Islam and any other religion based on stuff like this? I don’t see any comparison whatsoever.

          I’m an atheist, and I think there’s no shortage of religions that prescribe horrible things, but Islam seems to be king of the hill on this count, just taking what’s taught in the sources at face value, which is what I think you have to do.

          Luckily there’s a ton of Muslims that know that this kind of crap has no place in the modern world, and they deserve credit. But there’s apparently enough that take it literally that it’s still a huge problem.

          ednastvincent says:

          Apparently, you have never heard of Meir Kahane nor of any of the radical right rabbis who don’t believe in peace or tolerance. Islam has plenty of catching up to do in order to rival Christianity and we just haven’t had the opportunities we deserve to engage in the same behaviors. We are doing our best to make up for lost time. As an atheist, you should have an objective attitude toward religion — look harder at religious history and at the current religious nationalist situation in Israel and you will see that Islam is not an outlier.

          SDN says:

          And each of those Christians and Jews was committing a SIN against God’s commandments, not fulfilling their faith. Again, you can’t rationalize away Islam or Prey as the central tenet.

          Habbgun says:

          The Torah is fairly violent and polemical. That is not a sweeping generalization?

          Obviously you don’t understand the Torah. You certainly couldn’t use it to justify a pressure cooker bomb.

          Yechiel Gordon says:

          Yes, Hashem does not specify the particular weapons to be used in exterminating entire peoples. He tells us to make sure to include “women and children” when we kill, but leaves to the individual performer of this important mitzvah the task of deciding upon his particular weapons.

          ednastvincent says:

          No, only to justify assassinating an elected prime minister, killing Muslims at prayer, killing Arab girls on their way to school and blowing up the Dome of the Rock — four plots by Jewish religious terrorists, two fortunately stopped by Israeli forces. The Torah is vast — it can be used to justify everything and our own fundamentalists are getting more creative ever day.

      SDN says:

      Ah, another Sonderkommando heard from.

      IT SHIELDS NO ONE. You are a Muslim, a slave, or dead. And you know it.

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    Papa493 says:

    “Drifters and Losers”? The ranks of jihadis are full of men born into privilege, like some (all?) of the 9/11 terrorists, millionaires like bin Laden and popular students like the younger Tsarnaev.

      Loserhood is in the heart and the head, not the parents nor the pocketbook. Normlessness is not having values, but wishing to have them. These losers are looking for an emotional home, and there are plenty of exploiters looking to supply one.

    Ibrahim Siddiqui says:

    You need to take a few classes

Kevin O'Kelley says:

RE: “Who inspired the alleged Boston marathon bombers to find meaning in the most violent forms of madness?”

Pretty much most people in Cambridge, MA, a place filled with violent anti-American ideology.

PhillipNagle says:

The problem is Islam. Our problem is we refuse to recognize Islam as the problem.

ronnor says:

“The problem then isn’t Islam, but the fact that the United States has an ample supply of drifters and losers who are ready to find meaning in even the most violent and sociopathic forms of madness.” The problem is Islam, no other ‘religion’ like Islam [or communism as a religion] takes drifters and losers and turns them into killers and homicidal maniacs, the authors political correctness is clouding his sensibilities.

    LinkMan says:

    Radical Islam and communism are far from alone. Other extremist ideologies including Nazism, Kahanism, anarchism, even radical Hinduism have turned losers into terrorists, too. And the Tsarnaevs probably have more in common (in terms of how they came to be terrorists) with Tim McVeigh than with the perpetrators of 9/11 or a Palestinian suicide bomber.

    Which isn’t to say that Islam is free from blame. If I suspected one of my Kahanist friends or relatives was crossing the line from being a racist asshole to actually advocating violence against Arabs, I would feel an obligation to do something about it. I expect my Muslim friends to do the same about pro-terrorist elements in their communities. From what I understand, the vast majority of Muslim communities in North America are actually very good about shutting down and countering terrorist rhetoric. But globally, Islam has a lot of work to do.

      mesocyclone says:

      Let us not forget radical leftism. Those of us alive during the ’70s saw plenty of acts of terrorism by these folks, some of them deadly. And leftist terrorism, as its softer cousin – leftism, doesn’t require losers, just zealots.

      The difference is that three of these terrorists are now “respected” educators at major universities, including one who spent time in prison for the murder of policemen and a plan to detonate a shrapnel filled bomb at a dance.

        LinkMan says:

        Communism and anarchism were intended to cover the basic leftist bases, but yes, leftist extremism certainly spawns terrorists just like rightist extremism. Extreme zealotry is bad no matter its origins on the left/right spectrum.

        But what exactly is wrong with reformed terrorists becoming respected educators? If a one-time advocate of terrorism recants his ways, serves his time in prison, and goes on to become a respected member of society, isn’t that a GOOD thing?

          mesocyclone says:

          The three I mentioned have never renounced their support of terrorism as far as I know. Kathy Boudin, convicted of participating in the killings of a Brinks guard and two policemen, was paroled eventually, but is hardly a “reformed terrorist.” She got her parole because she plea bargained, not because she deserved anything less than the death penalty.

          LinkMan says:

          This seems like a pretty clear renunciation of violent activism:

          I can certainly understand the controversy, though.

          mesocyclone says:

          To me, it’s an very weak apology, and an apparent lie. She says she was just the driver of the getaway car. But according to reports, when the car was stopped by police, she got out and fooled them into thinking they had control, at which point several others, armed with automatic weapons (sub-machine guns) , jumped out and murdered the two policemen. You don’t drive around people with armed with machine guns, who have *already* murdered one person in your presence, and get *any* claim of innocence of anything.

          I see no apology to the families of the policemen, just a statement that she apologized at the trial. I see no clear acknowledgement of her very obvious guilt. I see no apology for planning to bomb a dance at a military base. She doesn’t mention her lightened sentence because of her plea bargain.

          What I see, instead, is a long article filled with self praise about her charitable work.

          In other words, the “apology” is a self serving piece of narcissistic excuses and self-praise.

The article ends with the conclusion that America’s ample supply of drifters and losers is the problem, but that theory is totally undeveloped. More drifters and losers than it used to? More than other developed countries? More than other undeveloped countries? Or just over the tipping point and this is the result? It doesn’t seem that the author really has enough data points to generalize in this way. He mentions 9/11, says there’s a new model, mentions a Madrid 2005 train bombing, and then Boston 2013. I’m not sure these suspects fall so easily into the drifter/loser category anyway, son-in-law of a doctor and college student?

CKF says:

The picture that you posted with this article, while properly captioned, implies that this mosque is what radicalized the man who did these terrible acts of violence on Marathon Monday. This mosque and its congregants have expressed their sorrow and horror at the bombings. Would you like to see a picture of your synagogue connected to a story about a criminal who happened to come to your community from time to time? It is not the mosque or the religion who is culpable here and certainly not the city of Cambridge. What influenced these men is unknown as of now and speculation here is folly. Readers, do you take personal responsibility for all those Jews who do criminal acts? If not, do not paint all Moslems and their houses of worship with a single brush.

    Now… how many are killed by mohammedan bombers a year?
    You Sir, should get real; only the mohammedan bombers are any threat.

    CKF, thank you for the comment, but the implication you attribute to Tablet is your own. As the caption clearly states, the Mosque’s only connection to the alleged bombers is their attendance there, and the caption further makes a point of mentioning the very thing you point out: the congregation’s sorrow and horror and public condemnation of the violence. The answer to the question posed in the subtitle is in the text, not the image: the conclusion you jump to is precisely the sort of thing the article is advocating against. Discussions of news events that took place in Cambridge are rightly illustrated with images from Cambridge — there was no intention beyond that.

    mesocyclone says:

    The Cambridge mosque reportedly has a history of inviting radical Islamist speakers. It may express its horror, but look at its actions, not its self serving words.

    lilflourocheezits says:

    The Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties

    Oren Dorell, USA TODAY April 25, 2013

    Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including a conviction of the mosque’s first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in connection with an assassination plot against a Saudi prince.

    Its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terrorism suspects. A former trustee appears in a series of videos in which he advocates treating gays as criminals, says husbands should sometimes beat their wives and calls on Allah (God) to kill Zionists and Jews, according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that has investigated the mosques.

    The head of the group is among critics who say the two mosques teach a brand of Islamic thought that encourages grievances against the West, distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western forms of government, dress and social values.

      Bernard Clark says:

      If a Catholic or a Southern Baptist had done this bombing, Obama-the-Muslim-Racist would have close all the churches, cathedrals & sent a Seal Team for the Pope.

      CKF & others on here are enemy sympathizers, un-American, & un-patriotic.

Robert Neiman says:

The analysis is quite astute, but abruptly ends with “the problem then isn’t Islam”, which has not even been addressed. Or as one comment posits, it is not an either/or situation. I would ask Lee Smith to think through and then write the second half.

Robert Neiman says:

In fact, Smith’s own analysis of Suri’s model for terrorism, which fits the Tsarnaev’s, identifies Islam as the problem. Ne’s pas, Mr. Smith?

Althelion says:

If Islam isn’t the problem, than why do it’s religious beliefs produce “the most violent and sociopathic forms of madness” that result in terror, destruction, and death? No, Mr. Smith, you can’t analyze the motivations of the Tsarnaev brothers to blow up bombs at the Boston Marathon without concluding that they were primarily driven by a vision of Islamic jihad. People who feel that they are losers are no more attracted to radical Islam than they are to a variety of other religions, social organizations, cults, and fringe groups. The difference is that those other havens for people you call “damaged human goods” don’t inspire them to be psychopathic killers.

    Miltonb says:

    What part of Islam’s “religious beliefs” produce what you say? Is that true of Christianity as well? After all the Nazi’s were “good Christian Germans.”

      mesocyclone says:

      No, the Nazi’s were *not* “good Christian Germans.” The National Socialists had their own religion, which mixed various sorts of occult mysticism with their idea of old Norse warlike religion. Many, many Christians died in their concentration camps.

        LinkMan says:

        Radical Islamists are not good Muslims according to many, many Muslims. And far more Muslims have died at the hands of Muslim terrorists than non-Muslims.

          zarith z says:

          The problem is that it’s really hard for them to explain why Muslims who resort to violence “aren’t good Muslims”, because you have to basically ignore a lot of what’s in the Quran/Hadith if you want to believe this.

          Which is also why so many are often reluctant to speak out against violence in the name of Islam, because you’re basically saying the Quran is just flat out not true in places, which, depending on where you live, can get you in an awful lot of trouble.

          Jose says:

          Maybe the Quran needs a revision, kind of like like the Old Testament needed one.

      Habbgun says:

      Hmmmmm……Maybe that they are told they will go to paradise and meet their 72 virgins (I guess 73 virgins is too much trouble). Also the fact that the families of suicide bombers are well cared for by supporters, that in Moslem neighborhoods, their portraits are painted on walls portraying them as “martyrs, that there are extremist Islamic websites and chatrooms that support this kind of thing. Other than that they aren’t much different than other religions….LOL

        Jock Stein says:

        Hmmmm….celebrated like most other fighters; whether they be from a guerrilla army or a conventional set-up. You should go see some of the various other neighborhoods around the world…LA, NY, Mexico, S America, Italy, Zimbabwe perhaps….?? You’ll be even more shocked.

          Habbgun says:

          This coming from the genius who thinks Pol Pot and Mao were Buddists…..

      Althelion says:

      It is the part of Islam’s religious beliefs that are interpreted by millions of followers to mean that non-believers should be dominated and/or killed. Are there peaceful Muslims? Sure, but they are in a minority and virtually never influence the majority of “death to America; death to Israel” jihadists.

      Also, the nazis were not “good Christian Germans.”

        Jock Stein says:

        So you interpret “death to America; death to Israel” to mean all ‘non-believers should be dominated and/or killed’. What high levels of arrogance you have. I’m far more worried about our righty-right-wings currently occupying the Knesset and the political system in the US. I’m worried about Langley and m.i.6. attempts to dissolve Islam due to our religious zionist nut-jobs.

          Mike Shapiro says:

          Actually, the Quran & the Hadiths say exactly that: “All non-believers should be killed if they don’t agree to be dominated”. Jock, you really need to check your sources.

          Mike Shapiro says:

          Actually, the Quran & the Hadiths say exactly that: “All non-believers should be killed if they don’t agree to be dominated”. Jock, you really need to check your sources.

          yestradamous says:

          Death to America and Fatahs charter that specifically calls out killing every last Jew. Those are just bluster? Just metaphors?

          SDN says:

          Funny, that’s what Germany’s Jews said about Mein Kampf.

          Lynne T says:

          “religious Zionist nut-jobs currently occupying the Knesset” worry you, but not the 40% of Palestinian respondents who advised the Pew poll of Muslim that they believed that suicide bombing was justifiably under certain situations — more than double the rate for Muslims in the other 50 odd majority Muslim countries and heaven knows how that response corresponds to, say Tibetan Budhists who have endured far, far worse at the hands of the Chinese Communists.

          Tell me Jock, do you think the PA and HAMAS pump the amount of effort they do into radicalization for the hell of it or because they understand that promoting insane anti-Semetic smears as necessary tools to recruit terrorists ready to die themselves if it means they can take a few Jews with them?

      The Nazis were NOT Christians though they pretended to be Catholics. They were occultists, devil worshippers. Hitler channeled demons, which is how he got hypnotic power over people who listened to him preach. When he screamed, the demons transmitted to those there. Demons transmit like germs, all the time They are the cause of all diseases, mental and physical. Demonic spirits have ‘assignments’ that are the names of those diseases. Jesus rebuked them and gave his followers authority to do it. Jesus healed as a testimony he was the savior and God heals today for the same purpose. I have rebuked cancer, asthma-, depress. The devil and his followers infiltrate EVERY RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL MOVEMENT TO DISCREDIT IT. The bible warned us that this would happen. The devil is a liar and his biggest m.o. is deception. a lot of supposed Christians who have done evil were plants, basically. A lot of the pedophiles in catholic churches are fake Christians, plants, to discredit it. THey are really occultists. This is what they do. They admit it in their own writings.

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      lilflourocheezits says:

      Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” The historical context of this passage isnot defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did).

      How do you think there got to be so many Muslims in the world? Do you think it was by advertising free goats? The small band of Arabs took over one area after another by force. They killed anyone who would not join them. They learned from the Romans how to build an empire. They learned from the Christianized Romans that keeping an empire depends on co-opting the beliefs of the conquered. Then you don’t need such a big army.

    Jock Stein says:

    Good point. But then how about the era of Pol-Pot or Mao? Does that make Buddhism an extremely violent ideology, going by the millions who perished under their rule? And then there’s Christianity. How many holocausts/ crusades/ inquisitions have taken place since the dawn of the Holy Roman Empire? And how many people killed since the ‘age of enlightenment’ and the subsequent days of imperialism? The forced conversions? Rural land degradation in Africa? The ‘wars to end all wars’ took place right in the back-yard of Christendom, and spread its wings throughout the world leaving a trail of death and destruction. Let’s take some of the most violent men and nations in recent history: Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol-Pot, Mussolini, Great Britain, Germany, USA, Spain, Japan, Italy etc….are any of above Islamic? No. Does it make ALL the people of their countries and beliefs violent, sociopathic, and mad? NO.

    Perhaps if the Anglo-American contingent ceased to antagonize the Midde-East, plunder the regions resources, and dismantled the many military garrisons in the area, then perhaps the vision of Islamic Jihad would cease to exist.

    I do think that your anti-islamic feeling stems from the present Israeli/Palestinian situation, est. since 1948 by the good old Brit, Lord Balfour. What is your opinion on Yitzhak Shamir and the Stern Gang? Was their motivation perhaps driven by a vision of ‘Jewish Jihad’ as well, kinda like an offshoot of radical Islam?

      zarith z says:

      You seem to be confusing what various people do with what various religious sources teach.

      I don’t know many people who would claim that Buddhism teaches violence, even in light of the fact that there exist Buddhists who engage in violence.

      There is a difference between questions like “what does Christianity teach” versus “what do some Christians do”, a difference which is apparently lost on many people, including yourself.

      Also, the “vision of Islamic jihad” has been around for a lot longer than you apparently think. It didn’t start in 1948, it started in the 600s.

      The supposition that it’s all caused by us and if we just ceased all interactions with the Islamic world all problems would end is just flat out wishful thinking, and is provably false by the various non-Western countries which are gripped by islamic violence such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

      What Stalin, Hitler, and Mao believed is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not Islamic texts teach/permit/require violence and offensive jihad (here’s a hint: they do).

        There wasn’t radical islam until the Afghanistan war.

        This all started after that. It’s so naive to think muslims only read Koran, when they act just like any European radical separatist and lefty movements in the 70s and 80s.

        Actually, the crisis between islam and the west started out as an independence movement / war towards the CCCP, then little by little got empowered and enriched by the religion and many new clerks. Then as such, the new-born islamists fought against US.

        Now it’s become a stigma, we only keep forgetting the roots.

        What comes to the justifying wars, the Christians also have a very long tradition; the holy wars, the genocides and humility made since the Middle Ages until 20th century – towards aboriginals in Australia, America, Africa, all over the Europe. Not to forget the painful scars of slavery still prevail in the American societies.
        I wouldn’t call them losers, as the blogist does…

        But are we arguing here which one is the most evil ? Ridiculous. There’ll be ever no answer to that question.

They whole thing has a petulant, pissed-off “I’ll show them!” vibe to it. Thus the lack of any purposeful statement, and the clueless lack of planning. Seems to be just more disaffected young men, just like at Columbine and Sandy Hook. Those killers found motives and methods in keeping with their own culture; so did these guys.

Metatrona says:

Allah radicalized them. Unfortunately, Allah loves death and destruction.

RAM says:

What type of parents would have named their son Tamerlan after a Muslim mass-murderer?

    Jock Stein says:

    Same type as the parents who named their sons ‘Alexander’. Or ‘Julius’. Etc…

    Verbalizer says:

    “What type of parents would have named their son Tamerlan after a Muslim mass-murderer?”
    Muslim parents.

Yes, you indeed got a few good points there; we, in the west, are facing some serious problems fighting these “self-radicalized” bombers.
Actually, not only in the west, but in the mohammedan countries as well.

Beatrix17 says:

The problem wasn’t Germany, it was Nazism. the problem wasn’t Russia, it was Communism. The problem isn’t Islam, it’s Jihadists. These losers need a cause to latch onto and right now radical Islam is the attraction. This doesn’t mean that your local polician who is Islamic is going to foment a revolution. It means you don’t want to emulate the Americans in WW1 who hanged German Americans because we were at war with Germany.

Habbgun says:

It is becoming clear the left is a facilitator and not just an apologist. What would they say if violent self-proclaimed McCarthyites bombed a Marxist organization’s headquarters. I think they wouldn’t be all that worried who radicalized them. They’d be looking for some serious police action.

herbcaen says:

If I believed everything I read in the New York Times and the mainstream media, I would hate America too. The narrative promoted by our mainstream media is that the US is the worst country in history, and Israel is the second worst. According to the narrative, the crimes of Hitler, Stalin and genghis Kahn were hiccups compared to the evil done by America. It is a testament to the solid nature of the American people that more have not been radicalized by our media

    Verbalizer says:

    “If I believed everything I read in the New York Times and the mainstream media, I would hate America too.”
    How do you know that? Are you a Muslim?

      herbcaen says:

      I am not a Muslim. I am saying that our anti-American and anti-Jewish media promotes radicalization. This is the only way how people who grew up in America could discount their positive experiences in favor of terrorism

Mike Shapiro says:

Just a few notes:

1. Islam isn’t really the problem. It is, however, the facilitator. It is a religion/philosophy which was developed in violence and tends to promote its most violent pieces. The history of violence in Islam goes back to Mohamed. It had its violent expressions in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. Yes, the Christians provided the Crusades, but the followers of Mohamed were in a conquering and threatening mode. The Mahdi certainly exploited this tendency in the late 19th century.

2. The concept of small, self contained groups of Jihadists was predicted years ago, as Al-Qaeda became less and less unified.

3. The specific individuals were not part of the American losers and drifters club. In fact, if you look at the background of those involved, their profile fits, very neatly, into what many of us feared two decades ago, our kids getting involved in a cult. They exist throughout the world. They just seem to get more publicity in the US than almost anywhere else (Twitter, Facebook, etc., anyone?).

4. Even after 9/11, many Americans (and probably more Europeans) have a hard time getting their arms around the concept of non-governmental terrorism. Somehow, there is a picture of a few “nutjobs” (i.e. the Guy Fawkes plotters, the Anarchists running around European capitals, carrying bowling ball shaped bombs, with lit fuses). We forget the damage that can be done by a few semi-organized plotters, such as the Booth conspiracy (how different would reconstruction have been with Lincoln, not Johnson as POTUS) or the shot that killed Franz Ferdinand not been fired?

Leslie78 says:

“America has become…”? You do realize that bombings are much more common in just about every other country in the world. There is a distinct LACK of random political or religiously motivated violence in this country.

cruiszn says:

They were raised by A VILLAGE, and not by parents. What more needs to be said???

It was a perfect storm of disaffected youths, Islam and anti-American leftism in Cambridge, Mass.

I take a lot from the interview of one of their associates who said that sure he had heard tons of anti-American rants and ravings from the killers, but you hear that from virtually everywhere in Cambridge.

They might have stood a chance in the a more pro-American locale which could have influenced them on the unbelievable goodness of this country and most certainly they might have been outed long before setting off bombs in such communities for their radicalism, but when everyone is a wannabe freedom-fighting leftist vs America who can tell which of the nuts at the coffee house are just blowing smoke and who is really going to set off a bomb? Add this to the fact that none of the Cambridge leftists would ever want be thought of judgemental toward a misunderstood Islamist, they were never going to be caught beforehand.

wraith67 says:

The source of the two boys radicalization is no further than their parents. His mother saying “…I don’t care if you kill my son, I will still say Allahu Akbar…” has been repeated hundreds of times in Jihadi propaganda videos.

    Lynne T says:

    The mother is certainly a piece of work, which is why the father dumped her.

zarith z says:

The core texts of Islam teach violence, supremacism, and subjugation of non-Muslims. Regardless of whether or not these teachings are acted upon, they are there nonetheless. Don’t take my word for it, study them for yourself.

Shame such an otherwise well-written article had to wuss out at the very end.

yestradamous says:

Yeah, I was with you until you said the problem isn’t Islam.

yestradamous says:

So the real problem is drifters and losers looking for meaning in life. Okay, just how many such people do we have as a candidate pool who ALSO grew up Muslim and have a batshit crazy jihadi mother, etc. Narrows the pool considerably, doesn’t it.

ajweberman says:

Misha? You morons it was Allah. The infr on Misha came from terrorist parents

rasqual says:

The “problem … isn’t Islam.” I understand the remark, but in another sense it’s false. Islam attracts more sociopaths and psychopaths than Christianity or Judaism — by far. A “Christian bomber” would have had to first conclude that Jesus was a chump, before reaching that point.

The most zealous, fanatical and violent Muslims are not, I think, in some sense more sincere and devoted Muslims. They’re sincere and devoted misanthropes who’ve found, oddly, hooks for their hatred in the religion of Muhammad. They’re not devoted to Allah. They’re sublimating their lunacy, finding something corresponding in Islam, and living out what they think is Allah’s highest calling — the death of innocence to destroy the West and usher in a caliphate.

Common thugs — no, strike that — uncommonly vicious thugs shouldn’t be treated as religious devotees to whom deference is given in terms of religious motivation. No. Religion is just how they discovered a way to justify their alienation, hate, or whatever.

excellent food for thought, thank you.

Natan79 says:

Excellent analysis. Except the end. Islam subjugated half of Europe for hundreds of years, in Spain and in the Balkans. Islamic imperialists openly say they want these back.

Ian Boardman says:

Its not often that anyone paints a picture more depressing than the one I already had about the future of this nation. Go, Lee.

    Verbalizer says:

    “The problem then isn’t Islam…”
    Boardman,I can see why you’re depressed. But Lee Smith and other “intellectuals” in denial are going to make matters worse.

Jay Gertzman says:

“Terrorists instead, horrifyingly, acting in
deliberate concert with the beliefs of tens of millions of people, to
whom they are heroes.”

How do you know that. Begging the Question is a tactic of those who are sure that are correct, so no use confusing them with facts–such as the indifference of millions who do not care about creating 3 million refugees, sanctions, and years of violence against people who happen to live in countries must be subdued to our oil-driven middle east policies.

“These attacks are not accidents of individual
psychology or humiliation. They are part of a larger plan shaped by some
very smart sociopaths to use such people for horrific ends.”

Sociopaths who assume that killing as many people as possible will win wars of occupation through the intimidation of native populations. Sociopaths who order torture, extraordinary renditions, and collateral murders but who consider themselves superior to the disaffected foolish youth who see no other recourse than to kill those who support leaders responsible for killing citizens of their own country. But hey, our god is superior to their god.

It is grossly unfair to put a picture of the Cambridge Mosque on this article. The younger brother went there ONCE. The elder brother was asked to leave when he started shouting at the Imam for quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am not a Muslim but a Jew, and you as Jews should know what violence can happen in response to false rumors, or just in response to stupidity and prejudice. Remember KRISTALLNACH? You owe the peaceful members of this mosque an apology.

What a crock of pointless bullshit, yours and every other “pundit’s” trying to explain reality. Two bright young disaffected angry lonely boys made and ignited a bomb, inspired – so they say or think – by the deluded sick thinking of a bunch of Islamic ideologues. But noone knows how thinking is inspired or progresses o develops. There’s no way to stop thinking, wrong or right, or prevent it, secure it. We do what we can. We’re OK. We’re sane in this country. No society is worth sacrificing freedom and privacy. All religions breed ideology, and all monotheism is pathetically stupid and sick. Too FEW bright immigrants come here: these didn’t work out. These kids did what 1000s of other losers dream of doing, here and abroad. That they did it proves nothing whatever. The desired end result of all your punditry is to end free speech and movement. Go pedal your analyses somewhere else.

ajweberman says:

Forget Misha, the leads came from Tamerlan’s moms – a lying member of Islamic Caucus Emirate

bartmartin says:

This article is ridiculously shallow and naive.They chose an international sporting event to get maximum attention .They killed in the name of Allah which unfortunately has much support in the Koran.That´s the basics.In Madrid, it was the same.And in London and many more places also.The Islamist terrorists,like the narco mass murderers in Mexico, know exactly what they are about.All government.secret services and militaries better know what they are about too. Isalmic terrorists groups brainwash their followers in the same way the Nazis did,and probably similiar to the finatics in North Korea.After all the massacres and massive bombings,how can there be any doubt?

mischling3rd says:

Young males who believe they are inherently inferior to the people they envy will often strike out in violence. They know that they can’t equal or surpass the people they resent, so destroying lives is the only “talent” they feel they possess.

>>>>>> the United States has an ample supply of drifters and losers who are ready to find meaning in even the most violent >>>>>>>>>

I find your analysis critical in many points.
Here, it’s of course easy to see they were losers as they lost their local little war, were killed and put to jail. But until those people have not YET gone that far, how would you call them then? How would you distinguish them? We know thru many researches that a student who’s being appreciated and expected in a positive way, will execute those positive expectations put on him – while the one being stamped “loser” or just left alone (or “terrorist”, like some guys at the gym have called Tamerlan according to his trainer J. Allen), most likely won’t find their positive productive ways too easy in a society.

Also, I’d like to shortly point that as such, Your analysis may be a way to a much worse society, the one with ultimate control that will lead to genetic modification. There’s no way to lock ourselves safe, when the society produces its violence and its actors itself. How could we sort the violence out, since we all take part to its production ?

They killed 3 kike rats in 2011 so they did something good.

Ibrahim Siddiqui says:

Get out of Islamic countries (military), stop drone attacks (on innocent civilians, release innocent from Gitmo


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