One of the issues I believe we’ve truly blown is this whole idea of a “global war on terror.” Terrorism is a tactic, and a nation cannot go to war against a tactic. It would be as if we’d had a “war on blitzkrieg” or a “war on kamikaze.” A nation battles strategically against an ideology that is a threat to the safety, security and existence of civil society.
And this is why we should better term this current conflagration, for which we have labored since 9-11, as a war against Islamic jihadism — just as we have fought against Nazism, fascism, Japanese imperialism, and communism. These were identifiable ideologies that fueled an opposing national military strategy of conquest. Islamic jihadism is no different and it is a global movement fueling a militant strategy executed by the tactic of Islamic terrorism by non-state, non-uniform belligerents.
We have been at this for, let’s be honest, since 1983 with the Iranian-supported Hezbollah attack against our Marines in Beirut, Lebanon. And what’s been most confusing is we tend to see this at times more as a law enforcement endeavor than a true combat operation. We’ve struggled with our rules of engagement overseas — which we’ve finally rectified — that enabled the enemy to gain advantage and initiative over our men and women in these combat theaters of operation. And that leads to another point. We must stop seeing this as separate “wars” in respective regions. Remember we had a World War II, but two combat theaters of operation — European and Pacific.
However, there’s also another combat theater of operation in this current conflagration…our homeland. The global Islamic jihad hit us hard on 9-11, and continues to do so. And just as we’ve refined our rules of engagement overseas, we must do so here — and we must cast aside the political correctness that hamstrings our respective domestic law enforcement agencies on our soil.
One of the key aspects of this confrontation with homegrown Islamic jihadism is how we manage these individuals from a legal perspective.
During World War II, in the summer of 1942, we captured eight German saboteurs. Operation Pastorius was their plan and the mission was to attack infrastructure targets. Two of the saboteurs provided information against the other six to our FBI and other law enforcement agencies. All were tried in a military tribunal of seven generals, six were executed, and two collaborators were imprisoned. The two collaborators were given 30 years and life, but in 1948 were freed by order of President Harry Truman, and they returned to Germany.
Where did this episode unfold? The Nazis landed via German submarine near Amagansett, Long Island…they were hunted down in New York City. As well, a second team of German saboteurs landed at Ponte Vedra, Florida; they were also captured due to the information provided by the two collaborators.
What does that have to do with today? We need to have clear rules of engagement when it comes to acts of Islamic jihadism here in the United States. There are three levels we need to consider: acts of terrorism committed by U.S. citizens, those committed by naturalized U.S. citizens, and those committed by foreign nationals on U.S. soil.
Why, here’s a recent glaring example of why we need to develop rules of engagement for our homeland.
As reported by IPT (Investigative Project on Terrorism) News, “My judge is a kaffir, my lawyer is a kaffir, my prose[c]utor is a kaffir, and my jury are all kaffirs…” With those words, convicted Islamic terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahimi revealed both his disdain for the American criminal justice system and his lack of remorse for the evil acts he committed.
Rahimi, better known as the Chelsea Bomber, was convicted in federal court on a number of charges including using weapons of mass destruction. Rahimi set off a series of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the New York/New Jersey area in September 2016 which wounded as many as 30 people. He also was involved in a shootout with police before being captured. Rahimi has claimed to be a holy warrior following the path of a jihadist. He sits in a cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan awaiting a Feb. 13 sentencing hearing where he could face life in prison.”
I hope y’all know that “kaffir” is not exactly a term of endearment. Ok, so now that you know who Rahimi is, but here’s the real kicker.
“His current confinement has not slowed him down. Quite the opposite. The U.S. Attorney’s office recently discovered that Rahimi was radicalizing other inmates in MCC. He shared sermons by the late American-born al-Qaida ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki with his fellow Muslim inmates during Jummah services, along with copies of al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine and other jihadist literature which contained instructions for making IEDs. This egregious breakdown in security procedures by BOP staff not only encourages jailed jihadists, but it is the antithesis of the FBI Correctional Intelligence Initiative’s stated goal to “detect, deter, and disrupt efforts by terrorist and extremist groups to radicalize or recruit within all federal, state, territorial, tribal and local prison populations.”
What level of stupid does this fall into? Yep, YGBSM stupid. Why is this convicted Islamic jihadist being allowed to attend Jummah services? Why isn’t he being kept separate from any others, especially other confined Muslims? And lastly, who made the decision to allow this jihadist to be able to acquire jihadist literature – in fact, why does anyone in prison have access to jihadist literature?
Dang, could you imagine that back in 1942 we allowed the Nazi saboteurs to listen to speeches from Adolf Hitler? My concern, and it appears to be rather warranted, is how much Islamic jihadist radicalization is occurring in our prison system, funded by taxpayer dollars? I find it unconscionable that we’re allowing a convicted Islamic jihadist to have contact with others with whom he could present ideas of radicalization.
We’re so concerned with this happening throughout our country, but it sure as heck shouldn’t be happening in our prisons and jails. That means no materials or imams, clerics, and mullahs coming in and proselytizing for the subversion of our nation.
This is why we need legal rules of engagement and I would offer that someone like Rahimi once convicted should fall into a category that would send him off to GITMO. Hear me out here, Rahimi was Afghan born, but a naturalized U.S. citizen — wonder what type of visa he got? I truly believe those here in America who were born in a country listed on our terror list should be tried in our courts, but not jailed here. They should be sent to GITMO. And upon conviction, their citizenship should be revoked. If you’re a foreign national who commits an act of terrorism in America, you should face a military tribunal and find yourself off to GITMO or executed, if your actions resulted in deaths of Americans. U.S. citizens born in America who commit acts of terrorism should be tried and jailed here in America, but kept separate from anyone they could radicalize.
If you’re an American citizen captured overseas in a combat theater of operation conducting actions/engaging against American forces, your citizenship should be automatically revoked, and you should be categorized as a foreign national fighter.
Lastly, in our prisons, there should be no access to Islamic jihadist materials or speakers, and all “services” should be monitored.
We need clarity; clearly it’s lacking. We had clarity in the summer of 1942 because we defined the conflagration in which we were embroiled. And it was clear what would have happened to anyone acting as a combatant who was not wearing a uniform.
I’m quite sure there are those who would disagree…then what is your solution? As long as there’s a war against the global Islamic jihad, we should keep locking them up — and executing them when appropriate.
Just think about this, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is welcoming back ISIS fighters. That is truly “stuck on stupid.”
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]