Author Topic: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition  (Read 12285 times)

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Offline Brihard

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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #100 on: June 20, 2017, 19:55:33 »
My loose working definition of "terrorism" has always been "criminal violence to effect political pressure (in service of political ends)".
Terrorism is a term used in its broadest sense to describe the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim.

Source: Wikipedia

Both useful ways to see it, and both are more or less on the mark, though we could haggle a bit over what we mean by 'indiscriminate'. I view 'indiscriminate' as a failure to discriminate, e.g. a carpet bombing in a military campaign that goes after military targets but wilfully disregards the disproportionate presence of civilians in the effected area. Conversely, a lot of terrorist operations are very discriminate indeed. They don't care which particular civilians they kill or harm, but they ARE specifically targeting civilian targets in general in order to achieve the desired political effect of their fires.

The terrorists of the sixties, seventies and eighties were motivated more by political beliefs of the far left variety rather than religion. Many had cut their teeth on liberation ideology and had a "radical chic" upper middle class background. While some of the modern genre's western recruits also were from the same social base, their motivation and that of their hosts/sponsors was much more religious than political.

Perhaps that makes it more difficult to deprogram the modern variety. On the other hand, the home grown variety tend towards ideology rather than religion as a motivator. In some cases is is difficult to draw the line between criminal and terrorist.

Terrorism will almost always be also inherently criminal; I struggle to think of where those would not overlap. It is that intent to exert political/ideological/economic influence through that unlawful use of force that pushes acts that are criminal anyway into the more narrow criminal realm of terrorism. As for the home-grown ones, it's hard to tell where religion and ideology start and end and blend in to each other... A lot of discussions could be had about the doctrinal legitimacy of religious justifications for violence/terror; that's outside I think almost all of our arcs here- I'm not aware of anyone on the site who professes theological expertise sufficient to this. Suffice to say a lot of lines are blurred.

It has been my observation both from what has made the news and from what I see at work that many of our 'home growns' do not come from backgrounds that necessarily lend themselves obviously to radicalization. Aaron Driver, the Ontario suicide bomber last year, was the son of an RCAF member. Tevis Gonyou-McLean, who has been in the public eye here in Ottawa as the subject of a terrorist peace bond, is another red headed white kid. who seems to have descended into a combination of drug abuse/mental illness, and then at some point in recent years slid into self-radicalization online. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (Parliament shooter) was the son of a Canadian bureaucrat and a Libyan businessman, and was Roman Catholic for 22 years before converting and subsequently radicalizing. Martin Couture-Rouleau (St. Jean attack that killed WO Vincent) was a young adult, had recently failed in small business and undergone a religious conversion and brisk self-radicalization.

There are plenty of others who have been reported on, and many more who have not. A lot of them would very easily slip into the current on any major city's streets- living out of the shelters, in and out of drug abuse, uttering paranoid / anti-government rantings that seem more attributable to mental illness than anything. Most will never present a genuine security threat, but of course that cannot necessarily be known at the point of risk assessment. And that switch may flip abruptly and with little warning. We were lucky Aaron driver was an idiot and posted a YouTube video that got the U.S. to alert Canadian authorities. Several of the others, obviously, we did not learn about sufficiently until they acted.

So is there a clear line between criminality, ideology, mental illness, and terrorism? No. I would contend that while mental illness is not a necessary cause i acts of individualized terrorism, it is often present. The ideology in such terrorism is usually linked to at least the perpetrators interpretation of a religion, usually Islam- though this is not always the case; Anders Breivik comes to mind, and the most recent ramming in London looks initially to have been an attack against a religious population but not likely motivated by the attacker's own religious beliefs.

How useful is it truly to have a working definition of terrorism? I would say very, and this is for pragmatic purposes- it gives police and intelligence agencies something to hang their hat on with regards to identified potential threats to the state/society that exist outside the normal rationality of criminal behaviour. I believe there *is* something distinct about someone or a group who want to specifically harm our society, vice those who act criminally for acquisitive purposes, or due to more run of the mill human idiocy- those who target individuals, or satisfy their own sick urges, versus those who deliberately attack the social fabric itself. I believe more steps are justified on the part of the state to combat the latter, and we see that in certain investigative and enforcement powers that put a bit more weight against terrorism offences.

I do not believe we can have a perfect operational definition of terrorism that will be both inclusive and exclusive flawlessly and precisely. I believe we have erred on the side of not including things in terrorism, versus erring on the side of including things that we shouldn't. I believe this is the correct decision to err, because there is still quite a bit that can be done once a risk is identified, even if they don't outright commit terrorist offences. However the legitimacy of such an enhanced security approach rests on us being cautious in its application. I think we mostly get it right.

I believe, unfortunately, that there is no way we can get this 100% right, and that as a result we (the collective Western 'we', inclusive of Canada) will take the odd hit and will suffer losses. Canada has barely seen this yet- we will eventually have major attacks on our soil that will test our resolve and probably make my week very crappy. There is a diminishing rate of return on added security measures, and I think other than certain target hardening there's not a great deal more we can achieve simply by putting more police on the streets (or troops, for that matter, if it came to it). Though I am cognizant that in the past couple of days police and soldiers have interrupted attempted attacks in both Paris and Brussels, resulting in the deaths of two separate suicide bombers who both launched their attacks poorly. So I don't dismiss the utility of the 'boots on the ground' approach in major urban centres at all. Some target areas are reasonably predictable. But that's a decision well above my level.

I don't see a way out of this. We will simply have to keep doing the best we can to be vigilant, flexible, adaptable, and at times promptly ruthless when an imminent threat is identified. And we will have to keep learning from each new attack. I can assure you that a lot of information and training is now flowing to those of us on the front lines in our communities. We'll do our best.

Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2017, 14:00:00 »
Can we all at least agree that it was a hate crime?
if he was targeting Muslims for the sake of being Muslims then I think that would fall under the definition of hate crime for sure.

It's essentially an attack committed by an identifiable group right?

Let me ask you this. Should we consider attacks against non-Muslims by Muslims hate crimes? An almost crate-Blanche if you will?  The term Muslim denotes someone who is a devout follower of Islam. I'd say the Quran has some pretty clear cut views on what to do with non-Muslims. So anyone who identifies as a follower of Islam falls under hate crime laws when committing any violent act against a non-Muslim/s?

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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2017, 17:08:03 »
A few more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle from the U.S. ...
Quote
Domestic extremists tend to be much older, better educated, more affluent, more religious, and are more likely to be white than street gang members, according to a sweeping new University of Colorado Boulder study that systematically compares the groups for the first time.

The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and published in the journal Justice Quarterly, also found that contrary to popular belief, U.S. gang members seldom go on to become radicalized and commit acts of terrorism.

The findings come as the Trump administration has named the large U.S. street gang MS 13 “one of the gravest threats to American public safety,” and ideologically motivated extremism remains a national concern. The authors hope the paper, and related studies, will be used to help inform policies to counter both domestic terrorism and gang participation.

"Both criminal gangs, like MS-13, and domestic extremist groups, like neo-Nazis, pose great risks for crime and violence in the United States,” said lead author David Pyrooz, an assistant professor of sociology. “This study gives us a much better statistical portrait of what such groups look like in relation to each other.”

(...)

In all, the groups showed similarities in only 10 out of 27 measures.

“Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that, on an individual level, policies and programs designed to prevent and intervene in gang membership might not translate very well to domestic extremism,” Pyrooz said. “The jury is still out for group- and community-level approaches.”

That said, the researchers did find a few compelling commonalities that draw people to both types of groups, including strong attachments to like-minded peers and poor employment history ...
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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #103 on: July 06, 2017, 06:36:05 »
Only just spotted this from the NJ Department of Homeland Security & Prearedness - also attached if link doesn't work for you...
Quote
Anarchist Extremists: Antifa

Anti-fascist groups, or “Antifa,” are a subset of the anarchist movement and focus on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices.

    Self-described Antifa groups have been established across the United States and in several major cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. A majority of New Jersey-based anarchist groups are affiliated with the Antifa movement and are opposed to “fascism,” racism, and law enforcement. Antifa groups coordinate regionally and have participated in protests in New York City and Philadelphia. There are three loosely organized chapters in New Jersey, known as the North Jersey Antifa, the South Jersey Antifa, and the HubCity Antifa New Brunswick (Middlesex County).
     
    In December 2016, a group known as the Antifascist Action-Nebraska engaged in a doxing campaign against a prominent member of American Vanguard, a white supremacist organization. The group published his personal information on several social media platforms and posted fliers on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus, calling for his expulsion ...
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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #104 on: August 15, 2017, 11:58:45 »
This from the U.S. justice department ...
Quote
Man Arrested for Trying to Detonate What He Thought was a Vehicle Bomb at Downtown Oklahoma City Bank
Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Oklahoma, Monday, August 14, 2017

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, of Sayre, Oklahoma, was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at BancFirst, 101 N. Broadway, in downtown Oklahoma City, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the Western District of Oklahoma yesterday, the FBI arrested Varnell at approximately 1:00 am on August 12, 2017, after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van he had parked in an alley next to BancFirst. The complaint alleges that Varnell initially wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., with a device similar to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing because he was upset with the government.

The complaint explains that after Varnell’s intentions came to the attention of law enforcement, an undercover FBI agent posed as a person who could assist him. According to the complaint, Varnell took a series of actions to advance his plot. He identified BancFirst as the target, prepared a statement to be posted on social media after the explosion, helped assemble the device, helped load it into what he believed was a stolen van, drove the van by himself from El Reno to BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City, and dialed a number on a cellular telephone that he believed would trigger the explosion.

Varnell is charged with attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce. If convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Oklahoma City today (14 Aug 2017) at 3:00 pm.

This arrest is the culmination of a long-term domestic terrorism investigation involving an undercover operation, during which Varnell had been monitored closely for months as the alleged bomb plot developed. The device was actually inert, and the public was not in danger. "There was never a concern that our community’s safety or security was at risk during this investigation," said Kathryn Peterson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oklahoma. "I can assure the public, without hesitation, that we had Varnell’s actions monitored every step of the way."

U.S. Attorney Yancey said: "I commend the devoted work of the FBI and our state law enforcement partners in ensuring that violent plots of this kind never succeed."

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, including members from the Oklahoma City FBI; Homeland Security Investigations, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Oklahoma City Police Department; the Edmond Police Department; the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs; and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The FBI worked in conjunction with BancFirst during the investigation. Oklahoma District Attorney Angela Marsee, of District 2, also provided assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Dillon, with assistance from the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section.

Reference is made to court records for further information. The public is reminded that this complaint is only an allegation and that Varnell is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
More here (FOX News), here (Breitbart), here (Toronto Sun), here (PDF of criminal complaint filed via scribd.com) and here (Google News "Jerry Varnell FBI").
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #105 on: August 15, 2017, 12:07:35 »
I hope he doesn't see the sun and sky outside of an jail exercise yard for many, many decades.

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Religious/Extremist Terrorism: Non-Muslim edition
« Reply #106 on: August 15, 2017, 14:02:56 »
Only just spotted this from the NJ Department of Homeland Security & Prearedness - also attached if link doesn't work for you...
Quote
Anarchist Extremists: Antifa

Anti-fascist groups, or “Antifa,” are a subset of the anarchist movement and focus on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices ...
And now, for the other side of the coin, also from NJ DHS - copy also attached in case link doesn't work for you ...
Quote
The Face of White Supremacy in 2017
Traditional White Supremacist Organizations Attempt to “Rebrand”

To appeal to new audiences susceptible to its radical messaging, the national white supremacist movement has tried to deemphasize hate symbols and attacks against non-white communities. These organizations have “rebranded” since at least last year, when they took a more high-profile role with conferences and rallies, official statements, and recruitment efforts ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter