The New York Times are dancing on the head of a pin about terrorism in France


First, let’s look at the facts:

  • It was not a man named Bruce who, in an act of terrorism, mowed down women and children at a family celebration in France. It was a man named Mohamed.
  • It was not the first ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in France nor will it be the last.
  • All the terrorist attacks in France this decade have been committed by radicalised Muslim jihadis. Every single one.
  •  France is not the only European country to experience a terrorist attack committed by a radicalised Muslim jihadi.

Despite all these facts the New York Times has seen fit to defy logic. Not only do they question the involvement of ISIS and the radicalisation of the terrorist, they question whether the terrorist was even Muslim.

If I was a detective and on a crime show I would be talking about motive. What motive would a non-radicalised person have for committing a terrorist act against innocent civilians?

I would ask, is it likely that the terrorist acted alone if the available evidence is that the truck contained weapons and grenades? I would ask, is it likely that the terrorist act was not religiously motivated when people in the crowd heard the driver calling out allahu akbar?

NICE, France — The Islamic State claimed on Saturday that the man who attacked the seaside city of Nice was one of the group’s “soldiers.” France’s defense minister promptly blamed the terrorist network for inspiring the assault, while its top law enforcement official said the attacker, who was not previously known to intelligence agencies, may have “radicalized himself very quickly.”

The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, carried out the assault on Thursday evening using a 19-ton refrigerated truck and an automatic pistol. The death toll remained at 84, but the number of injured rose to 303, of whom 121 were in hospitals, 26 of them in intensive care.

France, traumatized by three major terrorist assaults in 19 months, began three days of national mourning on Saturday.

The Islamic State had kept silent on the Nice attack until Saturday morning, when it declared, in a bulletin issued in Arabic and in English on its Amaq News Agency channel: “Executor of the deadly operation in Nice, France, was a soldier of the Islamic State. He executed the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations, which fight the Islamic State.”

The claim must be greeted with caution, because there was yet no evidence suggesting that the driver was radicalized, or had even been exposed to the Islamic State’s propaganda.

After a husband and wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December, the Amaq News Agency described them as “two supporters,” making it clear that the Islamic State had not directed their actions. But after a gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, last month, having pledged loyalty to the group, it called him a “fighter.”

In a statement on Saturday on its radio station, the Islamic State referred to Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel as “a soldier” who had responded to the group’s call “to target states participating in the crusader coalition that fights the caliphate.”

In 2014, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, called on the group’s followers to attack Westerners in retaliation for strikes by the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He has repeatedly singled out France, which is part of the coalition, as a main enemy.
No evidence has emerged that Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel got training or orders from the Islamic State, unlike the perpetrators of attacks in and around Paris on Nov. 13 and Brussels on March 22. The Islamic State has blurred the line between operations planned and carried out by its core fighters and those carried out by sympathizers inspired, only at a distance, to commit violence.

The New York Times are dancing on the  head of a pin with  this hair-splitting division between a direct line of communication with ISIS headquarters and heeding the call to all  ISIS followers/sympathisers to attack Westerners, in particular the citizens of France. All current evidence, plus the history of previous terrorist attacks in both Europe and France, points to a Muslim terrorist radicalised by ISIS to slaughter westerners.

But on Saturday, France’s defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said: “I remind you that Daesh’s ideologue, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, has for several weeks repeated calls to attack directly, even individually, Frenchmen, in particular, or Americans, wherever they are, by any means necessary.” Daesh is an Arabic name for the Islamic State.

“It is murder, and Daesh’s claim of responsibility comes later, as has happened in other recent events,” Mr. Le Drian added. “Even if Daesh doesn’t do the organizing, Daesh inspires this terrorist spirit, against which we are fighting.”

Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a native of Tunisia, had a history of petty crime going back to 2010. He received a six-month suspended sentence this year for assaulting a motorist, but was not on the radar of French intelligence agencies. Indeed, he seemed more like a surly misfit — he beat his wife, until she threw him out — than a prospective terrorist.

The New York Times reporter here shows ignorance of sharia law. Beating your wife is a husband’s right. Moderate Moslems adapt the religious rule by stating that the wife should be beaten with a small twig or a handkerchief to lessen the severity but that does not take away the fact that it is sanctioned by Islam.

…In Msaken, Tunisia, the attacker’s father, Mohamed Mondher Lahouaiej Bouhlel, told Agence France-Presse on Friday night that his son had depression, and that he “had almost no links to religion.”

“He didn’t pray,” the father continued. “He didn’t fast. He drank alcohol, and even used drugs.”

As moderate Muslims have pointed out in discussions before, ISIS members drink alcohol and use drugs despite claiming to be Muslim.  The fact that this terrorist used alcohol and drugs does not lessen the probability that he was radicalised by ISIS at all. The terrorist’s sister tells a different story to the father but, yet again, we hear the excuse that the terrorist was not stable psychologically and mentally. In fact, history shows us that unstable people are most susceptible to radicalisation by extreme organisations. Additionally, not one ISIS member is stable psychologically and mentally. The atrocities ISIS have committed make that very obvious.

The Huffington Post quoted Rabab Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a sister of the attacker, as saying her brother “did not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, but he also did not pray and never entered a mosque in his life.” She added: “He was just not stable psychologically and mentally. His wife and her mother both complained about his violent behavior toward her.”

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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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