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A rather simple explanation

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

Submitted by Curtis Brown (United States), Oct 31, 2002 at 00:24

Dear Mr. Pipes,

There is one explanation which you haven't considered for why the major media have "shut their eyes" to a possible jihadi or terrorist motive for the Washington sniper case: the killers' own explicitly announced objectives.

There were several communications: the snipers wanted money, and they said so in no uncertain terms. As an expert on terrorism, surely you'll agree that it would be highly anomalous for political terrorism to disguise its real motives or allegiances, meanwhile inventing other ones as red herrings. It's not detective work that's at issue here, but a simple definitional matter: the point of political terrorism is to use fear to get people to give in on some issue.

If there are no political demands made, no political motivations or symbolism communicated ("I am God" can't be interpreted as Islamist), then by definition it isn't political terrorism. Period. If I'm getting something wrong with this basic truism, please explain it to me.

Yours,
Curtis Brown
Submitting....

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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".

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