2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Their own private jihad?

Reader comment on item: The Snipers: Crazy or Jihadis?

Submitted by Joshua Truax (United States), Oct 29, 2002 at 23:10

Although I had my doubts that the snipers were bona fide al-Qaeda terrorists, I suspected all along that they might at least be al-Qaeda "wannabes". With the revelation that Mr. Muhammad apparently sympathized with the 9/11/2001 hijackers, it seems I may be right.

Still, the sniper attacks have disturbing implications for America's war against militant Islam. For one, if these are indeed al-Qaeda wannabes, that confirms that America now must deal not only with organized terrorists but also with self-styled jihadists acting of their own accord. This situation not only complicates the war against terrorists, but provides great propaganda for the Islamists who can now point to the free-lancers as exemplars of a spontaneous uprising by U.S. Muslims against American society, independent of Osama bin Laden and his minions.

For another, the sniper attacks, regardless of the motive behind them, provide an excellent blueprint for a future attack by bona fide terrorists. These snipers, as it turned out, weren't nearly as bright or skilled as they once appeared, yet they still left an appalling trail of dead and wounded, and terrorized a whole region of the United States for weeks. Imagine what a cell of al-Qaeda sleeper terrorists, far better-trained at distance shooting and evading detection and capture than these two amateur snipers, could accomplish with a similar killing spree, and then multiply that by dozens. (Having already demonstrated the ability to carry out simultaneous coordinated attacks, were al-Qaeda to adopt this tactic we would probably not see just one team of snipers, but rather many of them, carrying out their attacks throughout the country at once.)

The bottom line: The sniper attacks may pale in comparison to 9/11/2001, and they may not have even been the handiwork of al Qaeda, but make no mistake, they were still the latest battle in the war for the American way of life, and a telling one at that.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Their own private jihad? by Joshua Truax

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)