Two days ago I wrote about the findings that were made in the reports into the Lindt Café terrorist attack. I followed that up yesterday with the findings that should have been made about the multiple system failure across the apparatus of state that allowed Monis to roam free.
But this is all pointless unless we take action.
Where to from here? This is the question that everyone is asking after the Lindt Café reports and the latest attack in Manchester.
Well, the ‘experts’ reckon that we need to focus on ‘human intelligence’. This is from Greg Barton two days ago in The Australian:
“With any of these actors, intelligence remains the first line of defence, and human intelligence rather than communications intercepts is more important than ever.
British Prime Minister Theresa May needs to respond wisely, and avoid ill-considered rhetoric and reliance on “hard measures”, if she is to give British authorities their best conditions for strengthening human intelligence.”
For those who don’t know, human intelligence involves getting into networks and seeing what they’re up to face to face.
And don’t get me wrong, human intelligence is important. But it’s not going to stop the problem. Barton’s strategy forward revolves around accepting that we can’t stop the problem. He advocates doing our best to live with it.
Essentially, Greg Barton is arguing that we should be nice to the community that hosts the terrorists in the hope that they’ll throw us a bone every now and again. It’s a pretty bum deal, I say.
And he confirms his inability to deal with the problem in the title of his piece – he labels the threat ‘nebulous’.
It’s not nebulous. It’s as obvious as a bomb at a stadium: the threat is Islamic.
That’s my analysis. I’ll leave others to judge whether it’s ‘expert’, but it is based on my considerable career as an Army intelligence officer with three deployments to Iraq, including one that involved managing multiple teams and dozens of analysts in the Combined Intelligence Operations Centre – Iraq and personally briefing the war’s commanding general.
If Barton’s plan is the best the ‘experts’ can come up with, then we should not expect to see great outcomes. The Australian’s Greg Sheridan wrote an article the same day as Barton and it clearly points out why:
“Across the other side of Westminster, Hannah Stuart of Policy Exchange, the leading conservative think tank in Britain, has an equally sombre take on the terror threat in Britain.
She recently authored a report that analyses all the jihadist terror convictions and suicide attacks in Britain.
It found that 93 per cent of offenders were male and just 7 per cent female. About 72 per cent were British nationals and 55 per cent lived with their own family or at the family home.
Almost half were in employment or education, and about 16 per cent were converts to Islam. The most common age at the time of arrest was 22.
Only a quarter had a previous criminal conviction, although, three-quarters were previously known to authorities.”
The vast majority of terrorist attacks are not carried out by unknown lone wolves. They are carried out by people that ‘were known to authorities’. And, as Manchester is demonstrating once again, they also happen to be just one small part of what can best be described as a multi-generational ‘sleeper cell’ that is also already known to the authorities.
All of this means that the intel is already available to prevent attacks. It is simply not acted on.
Why? Because we are involved in a shooting war and Western governments are attempting to win it with peace-time policing.
It is so obvious that it cannot be said these days, but a great way of resolving the tension that fosters Islamic terrorist attacks would be for a general recognition that Islamic people should live in Islamic nations.
In other words, if the Islamic community in Australia returned to the nations from whence it came, Australia would be a much safer place. No one can deny this.
Unfortunately, for all sorts of reasons primarily relating to our own inability to understand the growing long-term threat (including from retaliatory vigilantes), that will not happen.
However, the ongoing drum-roll of bomb blasts around the Western world is forcing governments to do more than just hope for better human intelligence.
There needs to be a general threat assessment of the entire Islamic community in the West. It would identify two key things:
- A large proportion of that community is engaged in a political war with the West, intent on establishing Islamic rule by peaceful means.
- A small proportion of that community wants to do it with guns and shrapnel at music gigs.
This is hardly surprising. As the famous German strategist Clausewitz noted, war is a mere continuation of politics by other means.
Both Islamic strategies are working towards the same end and both represent a serious threat to safety and cohesion in Western nations. And, for those who don’t know, both strategies are completely in accordance with Islamic doctrine and Mohammad’s example.
Another way of understanding the reality of the type of war that we are facing is to contrast Islamic terrorism with that conducted by groups like the IRA and Basque separatists in Spain.
The attacks of the latter groups were carried out in the hope of establishing a nation in a specific location. If the British had decided one day to withdraw from Northern Ireland, the IRA’s attacks would have stopped. And they did stop after agreements were struck that established a process for a possible democratic vote on the reunification of Ireland. The IRA had no intention of expanding outwards, capturing London and making it part of a wider Irish empire. The same goes for the Basque separatists and a myriad of other terrorist organisations.
In stark contrast, Islamic terrorist attacks are not primarily about removing Western influence from the Middle East. They send a message that the Middle East is coming to the West. And there are no possible agreements that could be struck to stop the violence short of an acknowledgement of submission to a caliph agreed upon by the general Islamic world.
Essentially, we are not looking at a localised nationalist movement. We are dealing with a global Islamic insurgency, even if it is riven internally due to the inherent nature of division within Islam. This situation is entirely consistent with historical relations between Islam and the West, with the exception that this time around Islam has managed to establish large pockets of itself in Western nations via lax immigration policies.
If governments recognised these facts, they’d be able to start taking action to protect their populations.
Islamic immigration would cease immediately. And a different approach would be taken to the intelligence that is already identifying enemy combatants before they go to war.
A legal, moral and entirely justifiable process could be established to detain people like Man Haron Monis and Salman Abedi from the moment they are ascertained as a security risk. As a wild guess, this may be when they express support for suicide attacks, as Monis and Abedi both did more than five years before their attacks. And they could be detained for as long as they posed a risk in this time of war.
It’s time to open the internment camps.
If the Islamic community that hosts these terrorist doesn’t like it, it can always seek political asylum in Saudi Arabia.