Is this the reason why there is reluctance to call lone wolves terrorists?

Before entering the Lindt Chocolat Cafe last week, Man Haron Monis was dismissed as a loner with a large ego, a religious ideologue rejected by fellow Muslims.

In the past, the Iranian-born 50-year-old had often picked up a pen to express himself, writing countless letters seen as threatening by recipients ranging from Qantas airlines to grief-torn families of Australian soldiers who had died in Afghanistan. The belligerent missives had resulted in criminal charges, which a court had just refused to dismiss.

At the cafe, Monis carried a firearm instead of a pen. And by the time that the hostage-taking drama had concluded, two cafe-goers were dead along with the self-declared cleric, who had donned a black headband indicating he was a “soldier of Muhammad”.

“He would rather die than go to prison,” said his former lawyer, Manny Conditsis. “He felt he had nothing to lose. I have got no doubt that when he went into that building (the cafe), he knew he was not going to come out alive.”

In the days since the deadly attack, debate has swirled across Australia about whether to term it an act of religious-inspired political terrorism or an aberrant action by a lunatic with a giant thirst for attention.

The discussion has hinged, for some, on fears of reprisals against Muslims.

The British have made this iconic poster during WWII:  Keep calk and carry on.  The first thing that Australian PM Tony Abbot said was for people to go about their normal day.  You should see the Israelis too – apart from ducking when Hamas is chucking their rockets over, they live life to the full.  

You can’t let terrorists change the way you live.  If you do, they win.

But it appears there is another reason why clear acts of terrorism are being played down.

“Terrorism is violence perpetrated for political purposes, and despite any personal, legal or mental problems Monis might have faced, he clearly intended this incident to be an act of terrorist theatre,” said security analyst Scott Stewart of Stratfor, a Texas-based security analysis group. “Just because Monis was more of a bumbling Kramer than a deadly Carlos the Jackal does not mean he was not a grass-roots terrorist operative. Indeed … most grass-roots operatives tend to be more like stray mutts than lone wolves.”

Security analyst Neil Fergus said in the Sydney Morning Herald that classifying the attack as terrorism “would only be feeding the propaganda machine” of Islamic State and other terrorist groups

They want and need, more than anything, to terrorise.  And to do that they need people to know what they’ve done.  Every act of terrorism adds to the pressure normal people feel that they are in real danger.

And this is why, somewhat incongruously to most, we have clear acts of terrorism such as the one in Australia written off as some guy who is a few nuts short of a muesli bar.  These are attempts to deny the terrorists their “win”.


– Robyn Dixon, MCT


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  • Wendy

    Those were exactly my thoughts.

    I wouldn’t give people like this the satisfaction of giving them what they want…to be identified as part of a terrorist group working to advance his ideals.

    Instead they should be ignored, starved of oxygen and attention, ridiculed rather than recognized as anything other than an idiot.

    • Nechtan

      Pretty much they’re all idiots.

  • dgrogan

    I see what you did there. A bit of reverse psychology. Very smart.

  • So your advocating treating these guys not as terrorists but as criminals on the scale of Aramoana or that nutbar surfer in Tasmania? And the fact that those of Middle Eastern origin, who just happen to occur in crime statistics more than their population would suggest, would be akin to maori? We haven’t found an effective solution to Maoris over representation in Crime statistics yet, why would we add another demographic we need to study in order to solve that dilema? Better in my opinion to treat them as terrorists and flood the internet & airwaves with stories of their mothers tears and those of his victims rather than the drama and destruction of their attacks.

    • Nechtan

      A double edged sword, if they are treated as terrorists then they may get longer sentences under existing legislation , but it may add to their cause (publicity). After 1976 The British government didn’t treat IRA prisoners as terrorists, rather as criminals. Thereby (hopefully) removing any hint of political gain the IRA were hoping for. Its the publicity to the cause that matters, if they are dealt with as murderers (ie criminals) then it takes that away, no mention of any Islamic terror group connection.

      • Any an effective strategy it was too, but it took 15 years to remove the threat. Thats why i’m advocating the pain and tears it causes the terrorists mother, their friends and family etc rather than the drama and destruction caused. Get the asshats mothers, wifes etc to pull these clowns into line before they start hunting the attention that terrorism causes. What I’m advocating is an extention of that same policy used against the IRA.

        • Nechtan

          Take away any possible political gain. Let the cause wither. A counter terrorist campaign is by definition a long one there is no in and out, job done.

        • willtin

          Are you suggesting the creeps who perpetrate terrorism value A Woman’s opinion?

  • JC

    And every time you write off an act of Islamic terrorism as just a lone wolf, a workplace accident (US) or a nutter you excuse Muslims from any form of reformation of their religion to bring it into the modern world.. you allow them to perpetuate their hateful dogma of killing all non Muslims wherever and whenever possible.

    ISIS and the other jihadi terrorist groups aren’t outliers, nutters or loners.. they are faithful followers of the central tenets of Islam. They cost the world a substantial part of its GDP in extra security, cause us to lose some of our personal freedoms and because we don’t call a spade a spade we allow them to continue to migrate to the West where they are forming an ever growing threat to the lives and happiness of non Muslims.

    Its true that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and assets to their host countries but just 2% of a million is 20,000 renegades bent on death and destruction and right now in the UK there are more Muslims on jihad in the ME than are present in the UK military. That tiny percentage of renegades can create tens of thousands of acts of terrorism if there is not a vast security force of police, military and spy networks and the ones that slip through the net are “random acts of violence” or some other euphemism?

    We *should* call these random acts terrorism.. only then will we start making sense of migration policies, reduce debilitating political correctness and put on notice the political terrorist enablers in our midst.


    • You raised an interesting point there. If I remember back to last year when i was off sick and watched a lot of Time Team on TV, the old Roman Empire used to give full citizenship to immigrants after serving time in the Roman Army. How would such a system work today? Your going to have me thinking about that tonight instead of wrapping presents. (You B*****D)

      • JC

        The US was doing it for Hispanics.. pretty successfully too I think.

        I think that as soon as you start importing migrants just to do the work that citizens don’t wont to do eg, rubbish collection.. thats the day you create an underclass that will eventually turn on you if you don’t do everything you can to give them opportunities to become wealthy and add intellectual capital. NZ does that pretty well but Europe has ballsed it up.


      • Rick H

        Waste of time wrapping the things. The kids will have the paper torn off in a jiffy.
        Just a plain paper bag is good enough I reckon.

    • david

      I think it is the same as the way you treat hostage takers, blackmailers etc. You say one thing and do the opposite. In this case you publicly dismiss them as nutters and criminals, but deal with them and their supporters as terrorists.

  • Dairy_Flat

    They should really just be termed Islamic Murderers. That is precisely what they are and both their mates and Islamics in general would hate the terminology. Removes the “glory ” of them being terrorists too.

  • Citizen

    Here in France there have been numerous attacks over the last few days. Journalists have been told by the govt to report these as attacks by mentally deranged people, I believe this is in order to deny the jihadists the publicity they want, and to prevent the seeding of the idea to a larger audience.