SHORT AND SHARP: Orlando between disbelief, disconnect and déjà vu …

By Patrick Bahzad

Capture - CopyWho would have thought? Who could have imagined something of this magnitude happening in the US, six months only after the terrible Paris attacks? Back then, in November 2015, events in the French capital looked like the distant reflection of a nightmare scenario that the US would most definitely escape, thanks in part to the many differences in the countries’ social fabric, but also because of the vastly superior security and intelligence apparatus the US had managed to string together after the disaster – of a totally different dimension – that was 9/11. 

Let’s be honest though: reality is a bitch. You may be in denial but there is no escaping it. And yesterday, reality came home to Orlando: terrorism in its Islamist 2.0 version showed its ugly mug, that of a US born citizen of foreign descent, who murdered 49 compatriots for no other reason than his twisted ideological and religious hatred. Watching major news channels and TV networks felt like a very bizarre experience yesterday. It was almost like being confronted with the much talked about European terror scenarios unfolding on the US homeland.

Disbelief at the scale of the carnage seemed to be the prevailing feeling. When the mayor of Orlando announced the death toll having reached 50, instead of the initial 20, everyone – from the reporters at the Press Conference to the millions of viewers in their homes – realized that this was no ordinary mass casualty shooting, not even for a "domestic terrorism" case. This was something maybe not on the same level as Paris in November, but definitely somewhere up there.

And suddenly, that false sense of safety that had prompted so many people in the US into dismissing the actual threat vanished into thin air. The homeland looked distinctly more vulnerable than many so-called "experts" had stated. True, from a cynical point of view, one more mass shooting, in a country where such incidents are an almost daily occurrence, doesn't make much of a difference. But this one was off the scales in many regards, and the mood in the country surely was an indicator of its unique character. The feeling that this attack was an almost "perfect" replica to the Paris concert hall massacre of November 13th 2015 did not escape the collective mind and public opinion, even though very few observers openly noticed the striking similarities.

But what mostly explains the sense of disbelief millions of Americans must have felt, is that nobody among the larger public considered such an attack to be a realistic possibility, not three months after Brussels, or six months after Paris. Home grown Islamists killing their fellow countrymen were a feature of Old Europe, with its disgruntled and disenfranchised Muslim minorities sending their sons and daughters by the thousands to the Middle-East, to fight Jihad in the name of the "Islamic State", or sometimes Al-Qaeda. The situation in the US, especially that of its well integrated Muslim community, was totally different. Nothing the likes of Paris or Brussels would be possible, surely, back home.

And yet, a single man, Omar Siddique Mateen, born in the US in 1986 to Afghan parents, drove to “Pulse Club” in Orlando on the night of June 11th 2016, actually June 12th considering he opened fire on the crowd inside the club at around 2 a.m., and murdered scores of people before being shot by local SWAT in a final standoff, some three hours later. I wrote extensively about the "mistaken sense of security" prevailing in the US when it comes to the Jihadi threat potential in this country. For those with an interest for that kind of bleak warnings, you're welcome to (re-)read the most relevant pieces in this regard: "The Many Faces of Jihad" (July 2015), "Writing on the Wall" (August 2015) or "Read it and Weep" (December 2015). These pieces give an overview of past and present trends, as well as a description of the factors explaining the lack of awareness and the disconnect with actual reality, as compared to sometimes hyped-up reports about the devastatingly grim situation of Europe. In short, there are five identified areas which make up for the often misunderstood situation on both sides of the Atlantic, namely:

  • The threat differential in North America and Europe in general,
  • The mistaken sense of relative safety in the US,
  • The specifics of domestic Jihadism,
  • The number of nationals joining IS as a misleading benchmark and
  • Conversion and converts, as an upcoming trend in America.

As surprising as it may be, the United States were targeted four times by Islamic radicals in the last year or so, as opposed to one attack only over the same period in France (admittedly with a higher death toll), and one in Belgium as well. Four attacks, how many of you realized it was that many? The figure is correct though: there was Garland (Texas) in May 2015, an attack fully endorsed by the "Islamic State" (fortunately foiled by law enforcement), Chattanooga (Tennessee) in July 2015, when Muhammad Youssuf Abdulazeez went on a killing spree against armed forces recruitment centres (6 fatalities), San Bernardino of course, in December 2015 with 14 people shot dead, and now Orlando, with its 50 fatalities (and counting). Taken together that's already 70 casualties, as opposed to the 129 in France and 34 in Belgium.

To be honest, the US are no way near the situation France is in, with hundreds of nationals somewhere between Raqqa and Mosul, fighting for IS, and a few more doing the same within Nusra's ranks in Syria. There are no constituted cells and networks the kind of which we saw in Belgium and France, with dozens of members assigned to a specific task by central IS "Command and control". But the thing is, you don't need that kind of human infrastructure to wreak havoc in the US. There are other elements that need to be factored into the equation to give an accurate account of what the threat really looks like in this country.

Whether you like it or not, military grade weapons are much easier to come by in the US. I'm not going to discuss gun control. This is not my issue here. I just want to point to a significant difference with Europe. The fact that the number of potential "terrorists" in the US is much smaller than France, for example, needs to be correlated with ease of access to firearms. You may argue that the IS terrorists who struck at Paris and Brussels managed to find weapons fairly quickly on the black market. They also produced a certain amount of TATP explosives from raw materials you can buy at your local drugstore. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that these people had to go through complex weapon delivery channels to get those weapons and that – regardless of what the MSM are saying – this is not as easy as it sounds, when you want to avoid detection.

Not so in the US, for better or for worse. In a country where every disgruntled employee can turn up to his former work place and start lighting it up, you can bet your shirt, any wannabe “Soldier of the Caliphate” can do the same. Does this necessarily call for stricter gun laws? Not sure it does, but it definitely changes the terms of the comparison, when you only look at comparative figures regarding radicalized individuals both here and in Europe.

In that regard, yesterday’s tragedy was a sobering reminder of the fact that social and material issues only matter up to a certain degree in matters of radicalization. Omar Siddique Mateen came from a wealthy family. He had a job, wanted to join the NYPD and had basically the same chances any US citizen gets at living the American dream. And yet, he chose a different path.

I know. People are going to bring up the question of his mental health. Of his family and upbringing. Possibly of his difficulties to blend in at some point or another. I’ve heard it all before. Just go and check the reports about the Chattanooga shooter, Muhammad Abdulazeez, switch the name for Omar Mateen, and you’ll realize the excuses are almost identical. That debate is getting us nowhere. From a legal point of view, sure, Mateen’s diminished responsibility may be relevant, but since when is a well balanced mental state a basic requirement for being considered a terrorist? Most violent offenders could boast about similar issues, whether it be childhood abuse, substance issues or else.

Omar Mateen is more significant and relevant in another regard however. He was raised in this country. But he was not just a legal alien, he was a US born citizen. He might have been your next door neighbour actually. That is what is most striking about him. People thought the “home grown” terrorist breed to be a European feature. Turns out he isn't …

To make matters worse, Mateen was on the FBI’s radar for quite a while, was interviewed twice and had his name mentioned in connection with the first ever US citizen to blow himself up in a suicide bombing in Syria. It was the exact same kind of scenario we have heard about so often in Europe before. On law enforcement’s radar, interviewed and/or on watch list, but slipped through.

Even looking at Mateen’s MO, one cannot but wonder at the many similarities with the way things played out at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015. We will look into this in our next piece about Orlando. There is still plenty to discuss in relation with this case, in particular Mateen’s path towards radicalization – which may still hold a few surprises – or the "allegiance" he pledged to IS.

Shortly after the San Bernardino shooting in December of last year, the local police chief stated his bewilderment at the (soft) target chosen by the shooters, i.e. a public health: Chief Burguan stated in no uncertain terms that this was not “terrorism in the traditional sense”. What was true of San Bernardino in that regard is true also of Orlando. Therefore I’ll finish this piece with the exact same words I used back in December 2015:

What is terrorism 'in the traditional sense' though ? Does it even make sense to talk about terrorism in these terms ? By the same rationale, walking into a concert hall packed with people and shooting indiscriminately into the crowd is not terrorism in the traditional sense either. But it is definitely terrorism.

The simple truth is, terrorism in the traditional sense – if it ever existed – can no longer be used as the benchmark for what might be coming our way. Instead, we need to brace ourselves for the new world of entrepreuneurial terrorism 2.0

(to be continued)

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171 Responses to SHORT AND SHARP: Orlando between disbelief, disconnect and déjà vu …

  1. Degringolade says:

    Well thought out, well written.
    Thank you

  2. BraveNewWorld says:

    I take an old school view to the term terrorism. If your intent is to terrorize then you are a terrorist.
    On day 2 we know more about the shooter. I read some where that he has pledged allegiance to Hezbolah, Daesh and AQ over the last couple of years. The people here will understand how weird that is.
    He has also been shown to be not just a homophobe but just an all around prick and had been for years. If this was an act of terrorism it would appear to be one against the gay community rather than the state. In any case the guy was for sure a sociopath. Daesh must think they won the lottery in this guy contacting them to pledge allegiance.
    Lots of questions to be answered for sure, but probably my biggest one is “Does G4S not do any screening what so ever on their employees?”.
    But back to the original equation about what is terrorism? It is a very good question in this day and age when people label every thing terrorism. We need to push back against the misuse of the term. Is mass muderer enough? Sociopath? I don’t know.

  3. Brunswick says:
    So far, from what has been said, He was “investigated” by the FBI for claiming a connection to the Boston Bombers, a peripheral connection to an American ISIS suicide bomber in Syria, and claims to co-workers that he was “connected” to alQuida, ISIS and Hezboallah, which lsat time I checked, were mutually exclusive claims.
    At what point in time, does it go from being a case of a disturbed lone gunman going on a rampage, go from the all too common “mass shooting event”, to terrorism?

  4. Stu Wood says:

    Persons with screwed up minds or values will continue to inflict horrible deaths on innocent persons whether they are jihadies, those mentally off their rocker like the Conn. killer of school children or someone going postal due to perceived slights or being fired from their job. One thing that connects them all is the easy availability of high capacity firearms, especially assault rifles like the AR-15 used in Conn., San Bernadino, and Orlando. As someone who owns many guns: mainly WWII era bolt action rifles, shotguns, .22 rifles, black powder muzzle loaders, and revolvers, I can not fathom why anyone would own an assault rifle designed for use as a “spray and pray” military piece. I sometimes hear the reason as a hunting weapon but most states I know do not allow that small of a caliber to be used in deer hunting and a lot of states only allow shotguns with slugs for deer hunting as they cannot carry for over a mile and kill someone. Besides, if you can’t kill the deer or whatever else you are hunting in the first one or two shots you should not be hunting. If the reason is home defense a shotgun would be a more effective weapon. Before 1934 machine guns (think Thompson machine gun in the gangster movies) were legal. The 1934 National Firearms Act limited the possession of these weapons plus silencers, sawed off shotguns and other deadly arms like grenades. Some of these weapons you can still own such as an automatic firearm like the Thomson and silencers but you have to pass a federal screening, pay a substantial fee, register the weapon, and only pass it on to someone else who also has to go through this rigorous screening. They should make the same rule for assault weapons and high capacity automatic pistols. Leave the hunters their low capacity rifles and shotguns and the target shooter his pistol. Register all the rest and make sure you have a rigorous screening of those who HAVE TO own one.

  5. bth says:

    Patrick Bahzad that is the most intelligent discussion of the matter I’ve heard all damned day. Thanks.

  6. Larry Kart says:

    “…the new world of entrepreuneurial terrorism 2.0 …” Exactly. Many thanks for your insights, Mr. Bahzad.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    IMVHO, Patrick Bahzad’s post makes two points that are worth restating:
    (1) this is not a post about gun control,
    (2) this young man was ‘home grown’ and (apparently) from a financially comfortable family.
    I am curious about the Internet, satellite tv, and social media habits of this guy, particularly as he became ‘radicalized’.
    Personally, I don’t want to see the photos or names of any of these perpetrators, and it concerns me that the media give them far too much attention. The media needs to take a long, hard look at how their reporting may be affecting the process of radicalization.

  8. Great piece, Patrick, and lots of food for thought.
    Today’s briefing by Comey about the extent of the FBI’s investigation of Mateen was eye opening. More than a year of investigation, surveillance, informants and several interviews did not penetrate his mind. His reality of supporting Hezbollah one minute and IS the next did not fit in the reality known to the FBI. There was no electronic trail or network to uncover. Thus, he was let go as just another low intellect loser. So much for our “collect it all” surveillance state.
    Perhaps a feature of this new world of entrepreneurial terrorism 2.0 is the true lone wolf with a self-developed conspiratorial mind and sense of clandestinity. External inputs consist of the effective info ops of the Salafist jihadists, access to instructions on carrying out a terrorist act that can be obtained passively, clandestinely not even requiring internet searches (read books, newspapers, watch movies/news, play first place shooter games). Add easy access to weapons and maybe some steroids and voilà.

  9. Castellio says:

    an interesting article on screening and its failures at G4S.
    “A robust employee screening programme helps organisations minimise the risk of making inappropriate recruitment decisions,” G4S tells potential customers. “We have a wealth of experience in developing and implementing background checks and security clearance for companies in the private and public sector.”

  10. YT says:

    I used to slave for g4s (in singapore) back in ’03 for a very brief period.
    I was under this manager: a pr*ck from malaysia – a chink that became a raghead, having wed some malay wench from singapore – not very popular this cur…
    Anyways, they had this white South African pr*ck that was the in-charge of operations in singapore.
    A dude later told yours truly in ’05 that he was terminated due to negligence-of-duties: constant drinking & whoring.
    Maybe they oughta do more than just screen employees.

  11. Emad says:

    The line between terrorism and mass shootings looks murky to me. For example, I’m curious if this committee would’ve called Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver) a terrorist or merely a deranged lone wolf, had he shot 50 people dead.

  12. JiuJitsuMMA says:
    1) Ex-wife said he was closeted gay & that his religious father used to call him gay & denigrate him in front of her, his police academy classmates also said he was a closeted gay who went to gay bars together & he asked 1 of them out (the friend refused his offer)
    2) -Multiple scientific studies on mammals & humans show that homosexuality/bisexuality is biologically caused by having too much of the hormone
    androstenedione (a “weaker version” of testosterone)
    secreted by the mother during pregnancy when the mother is under severe or chronic stress (such as starvation, , dehydration, constantly shaking the cages of the animals, etc in animal studies or living in warzones in human studies)
    All fetuses start off as female but testosterone causes the fetus to develop into a male instead of remaining female.
    Androstenedione disrupts that process, replacing & displacing some of the testosterone in male fetuses, causing the fetal brain to remain partially female in the area of the brain responsible for mating
    the secretion of too much androstenedione causes partial masculinization of the
    female fetal brain (which should have none or minimal levels of androstenedione/testosterone) in that part of the brain responsible for mating.
    3) From confessions & psych studies, it’s common that such people who are closeted gay but conflicted due to religious beliefs become tormented
    commit suicide or murder-suicide
    4) They overcompensate for their torment by being publically very anti-gay to throw off suspicion,
    is why you see many cases of anti-gay politicans & pastors/priests getting caught
    having or seeking sex gay sex (ie, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, Hagee, the Catholic priest scandals, etc)
    5) See country music celebrity confession of this as she came out as lesbian after she
    put a gun in her mouth due to her suicidal torment of being unable to accept her being homosexual in her deeply religious social circle where she was vehemently anti-gay publically so that others wouldn’t think that she was homosexual:
    6) If those certian religions were less anti-gay & more accepting instead of causing torment over being homosexual/bi, it would reduce such torment & murder-suicides

  13. JJackson says:

    While an excellent piece I think you have not covered one important part of the equation, at least in part one of the post. The US is much higher on most jihadi’s priority list than most of the European states. It may be further away and logistically more difficult to get at but there are a number of reasons I have seen for grievance
    Unflagging support of Israel
    US troops in and support for KSA
    US military actions in Islamic states (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia et al)
    Export of Western decadence (acceptance of a gay community, immodest dress for women, pornography, other religions and lax attitudes to sex)
    Fairly, or unfairly, the US is viewed as the main culprit making it a special case and focus of grievance. I also think that the perceived ‘better security’ is just hype and geography rather than intelligence has played the greater role in protecting its population from jihadi wrath – so far. AQ’s 9/11 has been the only organized ‘success’ so far but I would expect that IS will wish to redress this at some point to show would be jihadis that joining up with them is an equally valid route to strike at the heart of the problem.

  14. It starts being terrorism from the moment the individual(s) claim to act in the name of an ideology/organisation, and/or are endorsed by an organisation. That would be a very general definition.
    There are however variations of what is terrorism, both in domestic and international law. The oldest commonly accepted one is established in the Treaty of Geneva of 1937.
    In the US, various government agencies drafted varying specifications regarding terrorism. The FBI relies on the “Code of Federal Regulations” (28 CFR, section 0.855). CFR however was modified by the Patriot Act of 2001 which has its own version of terrorism definition under section 231, chap. 113B. You can also
    add to that DHS’ “Homeland Sec Act” of 2002.
    In Europe, there is generally a single national legislation, complementary to pieces of European legislation for those countries currently in the EU.
    Finally, there are acts of international law (UN and others) also offering a definition of terrorism. Good luck sorting it all out 😉

  15. That is your opinion and I respect that. Not everybody would agree on your recommendations though. However, it is undeniable that easy access to military grade firearms is a “catalyst” for wannabee shooters, as it makes their task much simpler.
    In Europe, gun laws are much much tighter. they didn’t stop individuals who were determined enough to risk getting caught while buying weapons on the black market. You may argue of course, that if European countries had similar gun laws to the US, there would be many more terrorism related shootings there. That’s a counterfactual that sounds reasonable, but can’t be proven.

  16. TTG,
    Yes, I’m very aware of the complexities involved in screening such individuals and making a judgement call on what to do about them, based on existing legislation. We are governed by the rule of law, and no LE agency can just do as they please, only because they have a hunch about an individual.
    Besides, and that’s the other point, screening someone at time T and finding out he’s no danger to others, does not mean same individual will not constitute risk to others at T + 1,2 or X years. Once on the radar, even though not necessarily on a watch list, it’s important not to loose sight of anyone. Cross-referencing data bases seems one way for flagging suspicious behaviour that might otherwise go unnoticed. The fact Mateen was able to legally buy a gun without raising any red flags (assuming it didn’t) is a bit puzzling.
    But there might be other explanations for this. I can’t say. Fact is, task at hand is impossible to manage to European Intel agencies and +US getting increasingly stretched thin too, which is a new feature to me. Up until now, I had not heard such statements being made publicly. Maybe a wake-up call.

  17. might work at time of recruitment, but what about follow-up of employees being granted special rights for access to guns. As I mentioned earlier people change. What is commonly called the “radicalization process” usually involves several steps stretching over a certain period of time.

  18. It’s not murky for those who work on those cases. There is a lot of (overlapping) legislation however that is true.
    Those who want the line to be murky are those who do not want to concede there’s a difference between “hate crimes” and acts of domestic/international terrorism. That is related to PC reasons, which I strongly reject because it’s masking the reality we live in.
    Knowing there are unstable individuals in the US who might lose it one day and start shooting up ppl in the street, or in a crowded place, is bad enough. Knowing these ppl might be inspired, influenced or sometimes directed by a hostile organisation which would encourage them to use WMDs of any kind if they had a chance is a totally different thing. I hope you understand the implications.

  19. Well if confirmed, the shooter being conflicted about his own sexuality might very well have played a role in him choosing this specific.
    However, I think that even if that was not the case, this particular individual had enough “hate” in himself to pick any other soft target and start spraying the crowd with bullets there.
    LGBT are a known and visible minority, one that is particularly targeted by bigots of all kind unfortunately, especially by Muslim extremists. Nobody can deny it. On the other hand, and I’m being very cynical here, you might argue that this club was just one of the easiest and “best” targets in town that night. I’m just saying it would have been a possibility, not saying this is the reasoning here, as I suspect there are ppl in the background here whose names haven’t been named yet and whose inflammatory speeches against LGBT also had a role in Mateen picking this club.

  20. I plan to cover this issue and others in the follow-up piece. I beg to differ with you however on that: currently the number one target and priority for IS is France, not the US. The US are number 2 on their list, as they know it’s harder to strike, but they will certainly be happy to endorse any radicalized gunman having pledged allegiance to their so-called Caliphe.

  21. jonst says:

    I disagree with what I take to be your main premise. Or, at least the one you proffer in your opening article. I think MOST Americans thought this was coming. And coming from home grown types. I think it is true MOST media outlets might not have, or admitted they did, anyway, as they fell over themselves congratulating each other how ‘our’ Muslims are more ‘welcomed into the Nation and our way of life’ (read: open Cumberland Farms stores or some similar commercial is how the reporters see ‘welcoming’). ‘working in commerce boys, one of us!’
    I think the fact that many more Americans than initially thought voted for Trump indicates the way this going. This election will hinge on immigration. And all the implications that emerge from that subject. And domestic terrorism is one of them. Home-grown[s] notwithstanding.
    I think your piece, while fine, and full of your usual valuable insights, should be directed at the media and Borg. A great many people on this Committee were expecting events like this. And worse to come.
    I wonder how WWII would have been fought under the ‘rules’ of the media today?

  22. Fair point. I won’t disagree about the fact average Joe thought something might be coming, but my contention is not exactly what you stated.
    I believe ppl in this country were not aware of the threat posed by fellow compatriots staging a terror attack on US soil. US nationals fighting abroad sure, they’re not new. IS members entering the country parading as refugees, definitely something that was on may ppl’s minds (maybe too much even). Foreigners granted citizenship, well we saw it in San Bernardino already.
    But to see the exact same type of thing develop as witnessed on TV in Europe, I’m not sure the vast majority of Americans would have agreed, ppl on this committee notwithstanding.
    Besides, you’re free to check some of the comments on previous pieces I wrote about this to get a sense of ignorance prevailing among some readers. As for the Media and the Borg, they’re setting the narrative, so obviously this has a bearing on what ppl are led to believe of course.

  23. Gordon Wilson says:

    A lot of words and emotion spent on what, according to the LA Times, Orlando Sentinel, and now The Guardian are reporting as a sexually conflicted young man who, in my view, acted out his rage with military grade equipment in a gay bar in Orlando using various Islamic radical groups for cover, justification and rationalization.
    I think it is incumbent on the gun right stalwarts to come up with the solution of what we are going to do when it comes to individuals like this, whether it is mandatory insurance and licensing or whatever. The ball is clearly in your court on this. As many are wont to say, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.
    What is striking is the degree to which political ideology has skewed the analysis of this and other situations, such as the Egypt Air airliner going down recently. Ideology is not a substitute for don’t know. It is OK to be ignorant of the facts, and it is OK to be silent until you have them. Not every incident in life requires our input.

  24. Sure, a disturbed individual, acting on his own in a case of homophobic hate crime. Sort out the gun laws and you’re good to go. Case closed, next !

  25. LeaNder says:

    Foreigners granted citizenship, well we saw it in San Bernardino already.
    Are you referring to wife? …
    Notice, the following is not meant to be provocative. I agree with you that it feels France is the No1 target and not the US. Not least since we encounter much more complex organizational structure there versus the more recent US: lone wolf type of matters. Ok, I am aware of the foiled SNCF attempt.
    But what makes terrorism, a different type of homegrown ideologe, of the Anders Brevik type different?
    The end? Why some here may be tempted to consider matters as something like an more elaborate suicide scheme in this case.

  26. Gordon Wilson says:

    Totally unresponsive to the post.
    As I said, it is up to the gun lobbyists and gun advocates to come up with a working solution.
    The gist of the post, which you so readily re-enforced is the analysis through ideology, which blinds us to many facts and points of information necessary to accurate analysis.

  27. Stu Wood says:

    Agree. Your article on terrorism was right on target. My reply was to cut through the Gordian knot of motivations to what would lessen the carnage from mass shootings.

  28. Amir says:

    On your point 2:
    “” does not seem to be a subdivision of NIH, I concluded after “thorough” research.
    All the biological evidence you mentioned are not proven but suspected or suggested.
    You forget the role of endocrine disrupters and pseudo-estrogens (almost entirely industrial byproducts) in gonadal development and associated phenotypic behaviour. Conflictious society vs comfortable industrialized society as a “risk factor” for homosexuality: you may have your “pick”.

  29. You’re free to set the agenda and the narrative any way you want. Won’t prevent the real world from knocking at your door.
    As you mentioned in your previous post, not every incident requires your input.

  30. F5F5F5 says:

    Great post as always, Patrick. Glad you came back.
    IMHO the key to individuals like Mateen or especially the Tsarnaevs is virtue signalling.
    They killed innocent people just like SJW types can be hysterical dogpiling unsuspecting individuals on twitter until they’re fired from their job or thrown into a mental breakdown. You have a green light against anyone.
    And all that to gain social brownie points from your virtual crowd.
    Anders Breivik could be viewed as a precursor in that regard.
    This is your Terrorism v2.0, methinks.

  31. Not sure you noticed, but what these guys call “martyrdom operations” could ALWAYS be qualified as “suicide by cops” (or their own explosives) … So what ? It’s not suicide to them. At least, that’s what they have been brainwashed to believe. Your point is moot, because they act based on a different rationale (which is not equal to being unrational)

  32. LeaNder says:

    Your point is moot, because they act based on a different rationale (which is not equal to being unrational)
    color me skeptical.
    But to be perfectly honest, I only followed one link here. Not much time. The Stutzman et al article in the Orlando sentinel authored by Stutzman et al. But many items in her short biographical assessment would have been fitting perfectly an earlier case she dealt with. On the other hand, that wasn’t a Brevik like case.

  33. LeaNder says:

    “Not sure you noticed, but what these guys call “martyrdom operations” could ALWAYS be qualified as “suicide by cops” (or their own explosives)”
    No, I didn’t. Could I as nitwit?
    Are they, to refer to kao in this context, statistically significant? Soldiers? …

  34. turcopolier says:

    “Soldiers? … Hmm????” So, now you are seeking justification for some attitude of yours by implying that soldiers are suicidal? pl

  35. Gordon Wilson says:

    Again you refuse to address the point of skewing our analysis with ideological lenses.
    I am not free to set the agenda nor the narrative any way I want. That is opinion, and uninformed opinion at that. That is not intelligence as has been defined and has been the custom of this blog all these many years.
    Given the previous post, and this one, I felt compelled to remind the Committee of Correspondence of this fact. As I have been responding to posts in this venue for nearly twelve years, it should be obvious that I do not, in fact, have input in all incidences that concern the Committee.
    Best regards,

  36. Jack says:

    Mr. Bahzad I believe is making an important point, that we are equally vulnerable to self-radicalized Lone Wolf terror attacks as Europeans. Chattanooga, San Bernardino and Orlando were perpetrated by US born and raised 2nd generation Muslim immigrants. We would be foolish to believe that this is the last attack. In fact the probability is that the frequency will rise as more of these deranged people see the “glory” in going down in “battle”.
    With PCness run amok and the left and the Borg all focusing on gun removal and control, IMO, this will further exacerbate the social divisions. Since the reality is that law enforcement can’t prevent all such incidents, we have to each answer the question raised by Karl Denninger of what our actions will be when confronted by a similar situation. Fight or flight?
    The outcome could be similar to United flight 93.

  37. If you send me the memos regarding standards set by PL and SST, I’ll be happy to read them. However, I don’t get the impression I’ve let the Committee down with the personal opinions I’ve expressed in my pieces. The fact you’re not happy with my take on things is your own business. End of story as far as I’m concerned.

  38. Jack,
    Agree with you about exacerbating divsions, instead of remaining united. This is not helpful and unfortunately, anyone pursuing his/her own little agenda – regardless of what it is – isn’t doing the country a favour in that regard.

  39. LeaNder says:

    Pat, not my intention.
    Babbling mode, trying to figure out what looks like a more complex problem, maybe needing more time I like to devote to it just now.
    Although on a more ideal level both soldiers and cops serve society. And this is a blog from “the soldier’s” perspective, if I may put it that way.
    Surely not implying that soldiers are suicidal?
    I simply didn’t understand what Patrick tried to tell me with that phrase, although I appreciate he seems to have assumed superfically looked at verbally, that maybe I can.

  40. jjackson says:

    I bow to your vastly greater knowledge of the situation but was thinking more in terms of jihad-ism globally and over the longer term rather than this one event and IS and Syria. Greatly looking forward to part 2, many thanks.

  41. Babak Makkinejad says:

    A different sense of what is Justice.
    I tried to explain that to LeaNder, I do not think she understood it.

  42. Abu Sinan says:

    At this point in time I think the incident in Orlando is another in a long string of attacks perpetrated in an attempt to excoriate the person’s personal history and cleanse themselves of their personal demons.
    There is a reason why many/most of the jihadis who travel from the west to places like Syria and Iraq have criminal histories, were drug dealers, and were all around social reprobates. Ultra-Salafiyah doctrine teaches that when you become a martyr that all of the sins you have committed before are forgiven and you go straight to heaven. What better for people with very dodgy pasts? In the Orlando massacre, here is a man who was obviously homosexual. Multiple report reports have come out of his homosexual past, including classmates and people who he attended homosexual clubs with. The only way to gain forgiveness was for this man to become a martyr and have his sins forgiven, hence the attack.
    This is a pattern seen all over the jihadi world the last few years.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Patrick Bahzad:
    The point you made regarding “…Old Europe, with its disgruntled and disenfranchised Muslim minorities” in contradistinction to the “…situation in the US, especially that of its well integrated Muslim community” is a very important one.
    The attacks in Fort Hood, Boston, Orlando, Times Square, and San Bernardino were carried out by people who were decently successful in the United States and had children.
    In my opinion, these attacks were carried out for the cause of Islam, in the minds of their perpetrators and likewise in France and in Belgium. This fact has to be faced.

  44. ISL says:

    Thank you for your insightful analysis – among the best I have read these days, and kudos for pointing out that “the mental health meme ” is a red herring.
    IMO the leaders (programmers) of the Borg are very worried about connecting the mess that is US foreign policy in the middle east, and these attacks (aka blowback). While I disagree with the foreign policy, one wonders if the FBI focus on entrapment of mentally unstable individuals is the best approach to protect American citizens from blowback.

  45. AS,
    Very good point you’re raising. I intended to address this in coming piece about Orlando, but you’re absolutely right. Add to that the fact Adnani said martyrs and “soldiers” of IS would be rewarded 10 times as much if they strike during Ramadan.
    More generally speaking, exploiting human weaknesses as part of gaining better loyalty, obedience and adherence to centrally defined norms is not exactly new.
    In the Orlando shooting however, there’s an additional dimension I will address and that’s the anti-gay hate speech/propaganda the shooter was exposed in the places of worship he used to go to. There is a theological aspect to homophobia in Islamic countries that can’t be totally ignored.
    I know the Quran says nothing about this and it’s based mostly on Abu Hurairah’s (questionable) hadith, but still. More about this soon anyway.

  46. SmoothieX12 says:

    >”LA Times, Orlando Sentinel, and now The Guardian”
    There is also a great cluster of media centered around ancient astronaut theory, Alex Jones also fits here. The “papers” you listed are the embodiment of journalism sewer. Those are agenda pushing rags who lost their integrity, if they ever had one, long ago.

  47. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Quran is silent only in so far as it relies on allusions to the Old Testament about Lot.
    Be as it may, pederasty has been a feature of Muslim societies for centuries.

  48. Sure in the long run, and as media value, if they score big in the US, it’s even better for them. I doubt they would divert much of their own internal resources to such a goal (like manpower, finances, etc.)
    In the case of France however, they already struck with a genuine IS cell, CCed out of Raqqa. that was my point about priority 1 or 2. nothing more.

  49. true, but it’s not totally clear what was meant by “people of Lot”, or rather what they did that was so despicable.
    Other point, the Prophet personally defended a “mukhannath” against Abu Hurairah.

  50. hans says:

    About the only thing surprising about Orlando is that anyone is surprised. I’ve warned about this sort of event for decades and the basic response has been 1) denial 2) discomfort and let’s change the subject.
    All the MSM raving does, in the end, is bore the pubic into deeper apathy.

  51. Jack says:

    Very astute observations. All the French/Belgian terrorists were low lives doing drugs and alcohol. Additionally they were from it seems conservative families but growing up in the west and not assimilating. So, I would presume were feeling a sense of alienation and consequently ripe for indoctrination by jihadi preachers.

  52. not all, let’s not get too simplistic, but you’re right in so far as this was the “majority” profile among this group.
    Somehow, couldn’t be otherwise either: for a generic cell of that kind, you pick ppl you know (from childhood on maybe), ppl who blend into the area you gonna be staying, ppl useful to your “job”.
    but do not think, this is the typical IS joiner. CTC Sentinel did an analysis of the ISIS-leaks files and came up with a few interesting lessons. You might be surprized.

  53. SmoothieX12 says:

    >About the only thing surprising about Orlando is that anyone is surprised. I’ve warned about this sort of event for decades and the basic response has been 1) denial 2) discomfort and let’s change the subject.
    Correct, but I am not surprised at all, never was. Majority of people also prefer careless existence, facing complexities and dangers of the real world in societies which invent “Safe Spaces” is not an attractive proposition.
    >All the MSM raving does, in the end, is bore the pubic into deeper apathy.
    Western MSM are directly complicit in:
    1) deliberate and ignorant misrepresentation of the outside world;
    2) incessant pushing of nationally-suicidal cultural agendas;
    3) war-mongering;
    4) direct lies and obscurantism.
    among many others.

  54. Patrick,
    I’m not at all surprised Mateen was able to legally purchase his weapons in spite of the file the FBI obviously possessed on him. Background checks for firearms purchases are done manually by law. Seems to me that our IC and LEA have been collecting and analyzing the wrong data or just going about it all wrong. What good does collecting all that information do if the analytics can’t link a year long terrorism investigation with a background check for a firearms purchase. Why couldn’t an automatic alert be sent to the FBI office that investigated Mateen years ago when he applied to purchase his weapons? Surely that is within the realm of technical feasibility, even if the political will to do this is lacking. Our intel and LE agencies are getting stretched too thin and they are not being given the effective IT tools to assist them.

  55. Fred says:

    The Constitution is hardly a Gordian knot. More like the “golden thread” that holds the Republic together.

  56. steveg says:

    We have a no-fly list maybe we should adopt a
    no-buy list. Legislation has been proposed in
    the past but not proceeded because of due
    process concerns. Understandably so. However,
    if Mateen had been interviewed twice by FBI with
    possible ties or sympathies to known terrorist
    designated organizations might we start there.
    Look forward to second article.

  57. kao_hsien_chih says:

    To all,
    It seems to me that the reactions to (and attempts at “explaining”) the Orlando terrorism incident reflects the same variation in the worldview between interventionists and anti-interventionists.
    People who are emphasizing Mateen’s mental instability, homophobia (and the possibility of him being a closeted gay man himself), and gun issues are doing so on the premise that the cultural-religious factors are irrelevant–the implicit assumption that everyone is cut from the same mold that justified their faith that Iraq could be turned into a beacon of (American-style) democracy on the Tigris. In one sense, they are not entirely unjustified in that Mateen’s apparent insanity was a significant part of what drove him off the edge, but it is absurd to deny the volatile interaction between his many issues and his cultural-religious ties: the same issues would not have driven “anyone” over the edge. (Thankfully, gun issues seem to be drawing less attention.)
    This is puzzling since someone noted earlier that this is in sharp contrast to the reaction (by the same people) after the Roof shooting in Charleston, where the “cultural” issues got the lion’s share of the blame without mention of his apparently equally many and troublesome mental issues. Could it be that the same people think that the “brown” peoples of the world could be forcibly molded into the multiculturalist mindset to suit their aesthetic sensibilities but the whites who don’t buy into it are a “lost cause”? We have often talked about how the multiculturalist elites don’t seem to understand the culture of their own country, the flyover parts thereof.
    In the end, Trump’s answer, one that has a strong appeal among those who don’t buy into the multiculturalist creed, is that “they” are so different from us that we should keep a wall of separation (literal or figurative, in different contexts) between us and them: we don’t go there (except when they do us harm) and we don’t let them come here. The appeal of this vision is unmistakable, especially in contrast to the multiculturalist vision that should turn both “here” and “there” into Disneyworld exhibits–we don’t want to be part of their small world, and many who live “there” don’t either.

  58. bth says:

    FWIW al-Baghdadi reported killed on Sunday in airstrike. Again.
    How is something like this confirmed?

  59. Patrick,
    There was another terrorist incident on 7 Jan in Philadelphia that is not well remembered. This involved another US born shooter claiming he acted in the name of ISIS and Islam. The fact that he only was able to wound one police officer rather than kill dozens of civilians is the only reason the incident is almost forgotten.

  60. I remember that one and got it in my files. Not sure it was ever qualified as a domestic terror attack though.
    but thx for reminding me, TTG, i’ll look into it.

  61. SmoothieX12 says:

    Excellent points, Kao. As per:
    >We have often talked about how the multiculturalist elites don’t seem to understand the culture of their own country, the flyover parts thereof.
    They don’t and they are not real “elites”, bar some fat bank accounts if that qualifies as being “elite”. Most of them are badly educated, despite multitude of “academic” degrees, and are dumb as stumps.

  62. joe says:

    “and shooting indiscriminately into the crowd is not terrorism in the traditional sense either”
    “Those who want the line to be murky” = PC Nazis
    So we can’t define it, or redefine it, but we can exactingly call it 2.0 and it’s not murky. Perhaps there’s something between PC Nazi and “reality” based when it comes to the average joe trying to qualify a gay-AQ-Hezbollah-NYPDwannabee-ISIS-homophobe cray-cray.

  63. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I remember also that the guy in Philly was also an African American, without any (ancestral) Middle Eastern connection. Some people that I talked to were bringing up Ferguson effect in context of that shooting. I bring this up because, as much as we’d like things to be otherwise, a lot of issues arising from domestic political and social milieu are mixing unhealthily and uncomfortably with international terrorism, both then and now, and the politicians on all sides seem eager want to ignore one side of the problem or the other, all the better to blame whoever is their political enemy.

  64. Nighsticker says:

    Col Lang,
    A few thoughts.
    Perhaps if just one person in that club
    had been carrying a small .380 pocket
    pistol this would have turned out differently.
    Here in Stafford Co Virginia I am certain that
    an attacker at a large public gathering would
    receive a large volume of return fire.
    The casualty figures astound me! One man did all
    that [kill or wound 100 people] in a few minutes of
    firing in a dimly lit building. This was really quite
    remarkable shooting even considering the close range.
    I expect some casualties will turn out to be “friendly
    fire” from police.
    I add this incident to my list of “blowback” from
    our last 25 years of involvement in other peoples
    I bought a few more lots of Ruger stock yesterday.I am
    counting on our President to drive the price up with
    his attacks on the 2nd Amendment.
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  65. hans says:

    MSM everywhere is about the same nowadays, at least where a modicum of free speech prevails, but they have to be vigilant and not get too many inconvenient facts before the public lest they stop shopping.

  66. tim s says:

    “The attacks in Fort Hood, Boston, Orlando, Times Square, and San Bernardino were carried out by people who were decently successful in the United States and had children”
    This type of success, while looking good from the outside, is not necessarily sufficient to hold the demons at bay or to keep one from going down suicidal/homocidal rabbit holes.

  67. WILL says:

    the wisdom of the Saker:
    “Islam. Yes, the shooter apparently called 911 to declare his allegiance to Daesh [aka IS or ISIS] and Daesh has, according to reports, claimed responsibility for the massacre. So what? Anybody can claim responsibility for anything, including the Garden Gnome Liberation Front. I would even argue that Daesh has nothing to do with Islam either because Daesh’s relationship to Islam is similar that of a tumor to a healthy tissue: a lot of common DNA, for sure, but with some absolutely crucial differences which makes them mortal enemies.”
    Remember the black gay former newscaster that shot his former co-host on the air. It appears Orlando is the same kind of thing. Psychotic gay guy going berserk, The Afghani origin is incidental, although our long involvement of about at least 15 years and the drone strikes are not helpful.

  68. Stonevendor says:

    Patrick, thank you for starting up this invigorated, and for the most part, enlightening conversation. Understandably there will be a lot of attention on the fact that the perp was Muslim. Clearly there is a segment of Islam that is quite murderous and out to do harm to the West — not to mention those they dislike who are nearby.
    But, to put this in context, we have a fine terrorist history in this country that predates contemporary quarrels with some in the Muslim world. Indeed, historically in this country you would have been more likely to be killed by a nominal Christian than a Muslim. Think of the Klan (strange fruit in Southern trees) with their deep roots in American society. More recently we have had the Christian Taliban. My favorite being the Olympic Bomber: . And then there are the Oklahoma City bombers. Ardent killings in the name of religion and politics.
    But I find myself mulling over the cyclical nature of mass violent outbursts. The West, during the late 19th and early 20th century had numerous bombings and shootings involving anarchists, e.g. And then they went away. I’ve never really understood why. Friendly disposition toward Labor under FDR? A generational burnout?
    Are the Islamic crazies our contemporary corollary of the anarchists? Clearly we can’t kill them all. Can we kill enough to dissuade the survivors? I doubt it, but maybe it would slow them down for a while.

  69. steve says:

    Just as a hypothetical, suppose that they find this guy had no contact with any jihadi group or any of their offshoots. That he is completely self-radicalized. Would this be part of what you call terrorism 2.0? If so, I don’t see how we are going to have much luck stopping it, but hope you have some ideas.
    More broadly, I just don’t see why this is an either/or situation. He could be a terrorist motivated by his Islamic beliefs, a gay hater and mentally ill all in one package.

  70. DC says:

    Respectfully, I do not think this is true; the Quran prescribes death (“brimstone”) for homosexual acts:
    But regardless, the modern manifestation of Islam in muslim cultures is a great problem with respect to treatment of LGBTs (to say nothing of females in general); in dozens of majority-muslim countries homosexuality is illegal, and in many of those the punishment is DEATH (per Sharia law):
    I do not think it is at all off the reservation to discuss a restricted immigration policy from countries that are culturally incompatible with freedom of expression, free speech, and non-violent punishment for crimes short of murder.

  71. mbrenner says:

    I believe that with some perspective, we should acknowledgement that Orlando is not mainly an issue of Islamic terrorism. To do so, is to fall into the intellectual trap of confusing veneer for the underlying cause. This guy was a psychopath with deep-seated, unresoluable mental problems. Their playing out took the form of a lethal cocktail mixing his crisis of sexual identity with jihadist imagery and example. It seems reasonable to speculate that he would have gone on some sort of rampage whether ISS existed or not. We don’t know.
    Circumstances created a set of influences that led him down this particular emotional path: the highly publicized ISIS violence phenomenon, and the prominence given the gay revolution. I suspect that one element in the emotional mix was the unconscious impulse to kill the very self (latent homosexual) which another part of his self loathed.
    A comparison with the Santa Monica kid would be instructive. No Islamic factor at all involved in that case.

  72. mbrenner says:

    Gordon Wilson’s appeal that we give greater weight to the individual psychological factors strikes me as prudent and well-intended. Logically, there seems no reason to view the challenge of explanation as an either/or proposition. Most phenomena are multi-causal – and entail proximate and underlying causes both.
    We also should be aware that any society always finds it far easier to blame “them” than to concentrate on the “we.” The “we” in this case is a national society that is gradually unravelling – having loosened its moorings to fixed structures and behavioral norms. The consequence will be a plethora of odd, often anti-social conduct. It’s observable all around us. Does this mean that Islamist terrorism is not an independent factor? No.
    2. What follows as another posting that I sent separately a few minutes ago before noting this exchange:
    I believe that with some perspective, we should acknowledgement that Orlando is not mainly an issue of Islamic terrorism. To do so, is to fall into the intellectual trap of confusing veneer for the underlying cause. This guy was a psychopath with deep-seated, unresoluable mental problems. Their playing out took the form of a lethal cocktail mixing his crisis of sexual identity with jihadist imagery and example. It seems reasonable to speculate that he would have gone on some sort of rampage whether ISS existed or not. We don’t know.
    Circumstances created a set of influences that led him down this particular emotional path: the highly publicized ISIS violence phenomenon, and the prominence given the gay revolution. I suspect that one element in the emotional mix was the unconscious impulse to kill the very self (latent homosexual) which another part of his self loathed.
    A comparison with the Santa Monica kid would be instructive. No Islamic factor at all involved in that case

  73. MB,
    There’s what we do know about what he did and the counterfactual you’re mentioning, which is a hypothetical. Strange how ppl are willing to take IS at face value, including when they flat out lying, but having second thoughts when it’s about taking at face value what an violent individual did in the US in the name of IS.
    Who knows, maybe Adnani and Badghdadi are unbalanced individuals as well and all this IS things is only a figment of my imagination …
    Circumstances always play a role in any event, but the guy shouted “allahu akbar”. Why not accept it ? Pursuing your rationale ad absurdum, you may argue that:
    – the Boston bombers were no Muslim radicals, but only anti-running,
    – the San Bernardino shooter were just anti-public health
    – the Chattanooga nut job was no Islamist either, he mainly held a grudge against the armed forces
    – etc.
    How does that sound to you ?

  74. Having no contact with any jihadi group is not equal to self=radicalization. Do you guys ever learn (not meant personally, but general comment at level of ignorance displayed here) ?
    Besides, he was not alone, was in good company, not of other terrorists, but ideologues always careful not to step over the line while maipulating weak, easy to influence individuals like this guy in Orlando

  75. Yes they’re a contemporary equivalent to the Anarchists, but rooted in a much stronger and deeper belief of themselves and their purpose.

  76. Yeah sure. nothing to worry about. we can all go back to sleep

  77. MB,
    As i replied to your other post, why can’t you accept what the Jihadis are saying themselves ? Why are we quoting Dabiq, Amaq and IS claims of responsibility, taking at face value what their “executives” say, yet we seem to be unwilling to accept the statement made by anonymous individuals (and murderers) saying they are killing in the name of their faith and “Caliphate” ?
    this is schizophrenic and childish … Take them for what they are and what they do, not what you read into them or what you want their actions to be !

  78. I think you’re right from an legal point of view (sharia law) but wrong as far as the Quran is concerned. Academic quarrel anyway, makes no difference in the real world, but Babak is right basically.

  79. JiuJitsuMMA says:

    Yes, Patrick, I think it is ‘terrorism’ & Wahhabist/Muslim induced bigotry against homo/bisexaulity where in Wahhabist countries, being homo/bi is the death penalty.
    It is a mix of factors. Hormonal disrupters play a role -the main thesis is that homo/bisexuality is not a choice but a biological condition.. Strict anti-gay Wahhabist or Muslim culture creates suicdal torment & self-hate against a biological condition that has NO choice in it
    Amir, the is a layman’s article that lists the credible peer-reviewed scientfic journals/research on it:
    Since web traffic data shows only about 5% of readers click links, here’s some excerpts with the science abstracts:
    “Ward and Weisz (1980) and Dorner, Gotz, and Docke (1983) have shown that, in rats, stress in midpregnancy causes the male offspring to have permanently low free testosterone levels and homosexual behavior. Dorner has reported low free testosterone in human homosexuals, but no other group has yet confirmed this. His group has also reported a higher rate of stress in pregnancy in mothers of homosexuals than in those of controls (Dorner et al. 1983). Low free testosterone has been found in male temporal lobe epileptics in whom altered sexual behavior, including hypo sexuality, is frequently seen.”
    – Norman Geschwind & Albert Galaburda – Cerebral Lateralization p. 175
    New Biological Books, Dec. 1987
    “Research in Britain, America, and Germany has all confirmed that a prenatal exposure to deficiency of testosterone increases the likelihood of a man becoming homosexual…Intriguingly, men who were conceived and born in periods of great stress, such as toward the end of World War II, are more often gay than men born at other times. (The stress hormone cortisol is made from the same progenitor as testosterone; perhaps it uses the raw material, leaving less to be made into testosterone.) The same is true of rats: Homosexual behavior is more common in rats whose mothers were stressed during pregnancy…Gays are also more often left-handed than heterosexuals, which makes a sort of sense because handedness is affected by sex hormones during development.”
    – Matthew Ridley – The Red Queen pp. 264-5
    Harper Collins, Apr. 2003
    The research cited above from Cerebral Lateralization presents science to suggest that stress produces gay offspring, but it does not theorize that the context for this is as a mechanism by which nature intends homosexuality as a way of “thinning the herd” – reducing the population”
    “Embryology teaches that early embryos all start out as female. At some point in early gestation, if chromosomes destine the fetus to be male, this female embryo is altered by the genetically programmed addition of certain hormones, called androgens.
    These androgens, especially testosterone, instruct the embryo to develop male characteristics. In their absence, the embryo continues to develop into a female.
    In a paper published almost a quarter of a century ago, a research psychologist at Villanova University was also puzzled about gender. Dr. Ingebog Ward…divided a group of pregnant rats into three groups.
    Suspecting that something special might be happening in the early stages of pregnancy, she subjected the first group to stress during the first ten days of gestation by irritating the mother rats to bright lights, noise and annoying vibrations.
    Ten days into a rat’s pregnancy corresponds to the first trimester (3 months) of a human pregnancy. The second group was subjected to stress towards the end of their pregnancy, just before birth.
    The third group was comprised of male offspring from both prenatal stressed mothers and unstressed mothers. These babies were subjected to the same stress producing stimuli.
    Dr. Ward then allowed all the males to grow to adulthood without further interference.
    She then placed each group of males in cages with healthy females to observe their ability and desire to mate with normal adult females.
    Here’s what happened:
    Abstract: “Male rats were exposed to prenatal (i.e. before they were born) or postnatal (after they were born) stress, or both.
    The prenatal stressed males showed low levels of male copulatory behavior and high rates of female lordotic responding. Postnatal stress had no effect.
    The modifications are attributed to stress-mediated alterations in the ratio of adrenal to gonadal androgens during critical stages of sexual differentiation.
    Specifically, it appears that stress causes an increase in the weak adrenal androgen, androstendione, from the maternal fetal adrenal cortices, or both, and a concurrent decrease in the potent gonadal androgen, testosterone.”
    – Parental Stress Feminizes & Demasculizes the Behavior of Males
    Science pp. 83-84, January 7, 1972
    Her findings showed that if a mother is stressed during the early stages of pregnancy, she will release an adrenaline related hormone into her own bloodstream and that of her unborn baby.
    This hormone, called androstendione, is structurally similar to testosterone, the male hormone.
    If the baby carries “XY” chromosomes and is destined to become a male, testosterone needs to be active when the Central Nervous System (including the hypothalamus) is being formed.
    This is the only way that the CNS “knows” to develop along male lines. Because the stress hormone seems to bind to the receptors that would normally be receiving testosterone, there is the delay or blockage of the effectiveness of testosterone, even if it is plentiful.
    In 1972, Dr. Ward had no idea that androstendione in male pregnancies would prevent or inhibit the hypothalamus to develop into a healthy male brain, but this stress-related hormone now appears to do just that.
    The brain makes its gender commitment very early in development and, once committed to either male or female, it can not change. The interference with testosterone in the later stages of pregnancy, or after birth, does little or nothing to inhibit primary gender development of the other organs of the body.
    In Doctor Ward’s own words: “…The present data support the hypothesis that exposure of pregnant rats to environmental stressors modifies the normal process of sexual behavior differentiation in male fetuses by decreasing functional testosterone and elevating androstenedione levels during prenatal development. During stress conditions plasma testosterone emanating from the gonads decreases while adrenal androstenedione rises.
    The molecular structure of the two androgens, being very similar, it is postulated that the two hormones compete for the same receptor sites. Since androstenedione is a less potent androgen than testosterone, the decrease in male copulatory ability and increased lordotic potential seen in the prenatal stressed animals of the present study would be expected. The relative difference in potency between testosterone and androstendione has been repeatedly demonstrated.”
    It is therefore possible that while the body and organs of an animal can be a “male,” the brain can coincidentally be “female.” This extreme reaction to maternal stress has a very logical and natural purpose. Sensing that a population is under the stress of crowding or poor living conditions, nature provides this hormonal mechanism as a means to limit population growth and thereby reduce the cause of the stress. Homosexual behavior results in less offspring than heterosexual behavior.
    Again, in Doctor Ward’s own words: “The resulting alterations in sexual behavior provide the basis for an effective population control mechanism, since offspring so affected would not possess the behavioral repertoire necessary to contribute to population growth. Thus, the environment, by triggering an adrenal stress response, may control the reproductive capacity of successive generations of differentiating fetuses and, thereby, population size.”
    Prenatal stress in early pregnancy seems to be a rational and plausible explanation for male homosexuality and should be viewed as a natural population limiting phenomenon.
    Personal choice in homosexuality appears to be an insignificant factor in those offspring who are born with a female hypothalamus, encapsulated in an otherwise normal male body.”

  80. elaine says:

    mbrenner appears to be channeling his inner defense attorney per popular
    progressive meme. It’s very enlightened chic to go below the surface in
    search of mental health motives/rationalizations when attempting to dissect evil. Thereby perps become victims, brutal ideologies dilute when flushed through the blender of moral relativism.
    Please accept my condolences on yet another brutal killing of a French
    police officer & his wife @ the hand of a recently released jihadi recruiter. That was a brief blurp on today’s news. Why was this guy released? It appears both of our courts think shock incarceration can
    curtail this savagery, so naive.

  81. bth says:

    We already know he was friends with an American that became a Syrian suicide bomber for JAN.

  82. walrus says:

    I have to agree with the thrust of Patrick’s excellent analysis. This is a radical Islam problem, not a homophobic hate crime problem and certainly not a gun control problem.
    The fundamental stumbling block for some people here seems to be accepting that a rational human being, under some circumstances, is prepared to do murder for their religion and that the IS/Wahhabism sept of Islam advocates doing just that to as many Western liberals as possible.
    As for the MSM and the Obama administration, it’s academic fellow travellers and the neocons, they have a slightly different set of motivations for what I Would call religiosity denial. Obama and the academics are pushing gun control and cozying up to the LGTB market segment and the neocons are in denial that bombing the crap out of Muslims in the middle east for fifteen years might provoke a backlash.
    the fact is that no one is prepared to take the relligious dimension seriously, confront it, refute it, and defeat it in a theological setting,, target its priesthood and adherents and neutralise them wherever they may be. That means gutting the ruling elites in the Gulf and Saudia Arabia – which we are too Lilly liveried to do. instead we find. excuses like homophobia, nasty black rifles and mental instability when what we either need is a theological antidote to IS or a Trumpian set of exclusionary principles that keep these guys separate and harmless to us.
    To put that another way, this damage was perpetrated by a not very bright, unstable, badly educated security guard. what are the homophobic gun control advocating apologists going to say when a heterosexual, upper middle class, Muslim engineer self radicalises and perhaps vandalises the cooling water feed pumps at a nuclear power station?????

  83. mbrenner says:

    You are distorting things in a way that does not serve our common interest in making sense of this and thinking through what can and cannot be done about it.
    To maintain this tone is to add kindling to Trump’s Inquisitional fires.

  84. JiuJitsuMMA says:

    walrus, Patrick, ya, the intolerance, bigotry,& hatred of homo/bisexaulity taught by radical extremist Wahhabism/Islam is part of the problem ..and Wahhabism is spread by billions in Saudi/Gulf oil money every year teaching such hatred & intolerance of infidels, non-beleivers, & homo/bisexaulity
    this is a religious & cultural aspect to the cause of it .. Wahhabism teaches jihadism & intolerance of other religions & homo/bisexaulity
    The suicidal self-hatred/self-loathing of a closeted gay Mateen is adding fuel to the fire & doensn’t distract from that but adds to it

  85. Fred says:

    “Muslim engineer self radicalises and perhaps vandalises the cooling water feed pumps at a nuclear power station?????”
    Unlikely. Muslim security guard self radicalizes and shoots fellow guards and plant operating staff at 0200 followed by emptying the water out of the spent fuel pool? Naw, we’ve got great background checks for armed security guards and “radical” islam is just bigoted racial profiling. The “militia” movement and “guns nuts” on the other hand…..

  86. sillybill says:

    In reference to ‘not terrorism in the traditional sense’, if the plan is to make all Americans and Europeans fear attack all the time, then choosing seemingly random ‘soft’ targets makes sense. Not only is it easier to attack a nite club than an airport but it forces the security agencies of all countries to spread themselves to thin.

  87. Jack says:

    Since we can’t call anything what they are, there’s no way to confront the issues head-on. Also, since all issues are considered in a left and right prism there does not seem to be any meeting of the minds to arrive at possible solutions with full backing. I suppose we have to get to a crisis first. But then the last crises 9/11 and the credit blowup, led to the War on Terror that exacerbated terror by creating anarchy in formerly mostly secular states in Iraq and Syria while the response to the credit crisis has been more of the hair that bit the dog.

  88. mbrenner says:

    “it forces the security agencies of all countries to spread themselves to thin”.
    The FBI and CIA/NSA already are doing a first-class job of this on their own. 600,000 Watch lists, Meta Data and searching for a needle in a haystack by stacking the hay higher. This guy was not part of anyone’s “strategy” – not even his own.

  89. Gordon Wilson says:

    I suppose you knew this response would be forthcoming. Why do we take what, ‘Dabiq, Amaq and IS claims of responsibility, taking at face value what their “executives” say…’ yet we unwilling to take the US President’s statements with the same assurances?
    I must confess to a poorly written response this morning, usually I will let what I write stew for at least a day, but have found that on the enter key net timeliness makes no room for such simmering, and as such you may have taken my missive more personally than I intended it to be. If that is the case then, apology extended.
    The thrust of my argument however, remains the same.
    Best regards

  90. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Quran is silent on the punishment to be inflicted by Man; it recites the punishment meted out by God. How the Doctors of Religion got to it and I do not know.
    Leviticus and Romans both condemn male homosexuality.
    The Quran, the New Testament, and the Old Testament are silent on female homosexuality.
    I do not think that neither the Quran nor the Old Testament can make no sense of the gender-fluid crowd cannot be taken against the Judaic and Islamic Tradition; they do not have to cover every contingency.
    Muslim practice, for more than a millennia, has been to procure young boys for sexual pleasure of men. This had been done quite openly over so many centuries and such vast areas that one has to conclude that either the Sharia precepts (depending on the school) were found to inapplicable or to be non-existent.
    Homosexuality was a crime in many Western Diocletian states until a few decades ago; are you now elevating to be a Touchstone of Human Liberty and Progress?

  91. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is what I thought; what about a law requiring every adult to carry a side arm and be trained to use it at all times in public? Just in case a Waco shows up.

  92. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There is no such thing called “Radical Islam:. I say this in the interest of Rectification of Names so that we do not wind up confusing ourselves and others.
    If you go to Qum and ask one of the Doctors of Religion there about “Radical Islam” he will not be able to comprehend what you are speaking of.
    There is very little theology in Islam, there is no priesthood, there is no sacrament, there is no central authority. There is no theological antidotes only a possible legalistic antidote. And even that would require serious and prolonged cooperation between the Iranian and Turkish states – in my opinion.

  93. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    John Robb at Global Guerillas sees parallels between Mateen’s 911 call (and similar announcements by other jahadis) and the notion of fealty as exemplified in the Middle Ages.

  94. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree with Patrick Bahzad.
    Those terrorists have a certain sense of Justice – putting things in the right order – on which they are acting.
    Almost certainly, their position is not impeachable easily and require a lot of work.
    How they have gotten to their sense of Justice is secondarily; how do any of us acquire ours but through a process of acculturation, indoctrination, experience, and moral insight.
    One can call a different person’s sense of Justice psychopathic; the Apache being a good example. But using different names is not improving our understandings – in my opinion.

  95. Mark Logan says:

    An excellent idea but…the FBI being notified of one of the people they had already spent a bunch of time on and clearing? As they say..”and then what?” He not only had survived all that but two checks by the security company which employed him as a guard.
    Mental disease isn’t static, he may have been sane up to as little as a few days before the event. Until then indistinguishable from the garden variety dingbat. Not trying to argue, just venting on the appearent impossibility of ever finding effective methods to significantly check what they are using on us. One of the news outlets last night played a tape made by IS wherein the recruiter specifically told potential terrorists not to contact them. “Just Do It”, as the good folks at Nike like to say.
    The plus side is they need to get that one in ten million guy or gal, the downside is the panic they garner when they do manage to win that lottery.

  96. VietnamVet says:

    The fundamental problem is that Wahhabi Islam has declared war on the West after a quarter century battle between Sunni Muslims and Americans in Iraq. But, the West is conducting itself as if this is another colonial war to be fought on the cheap with proxies, volunteers and contractors. President Obama says this is not a war with Islam, but it is, the Wahhabi version. The USA has not mobilized to fight it but instead in a fit of insanity is poking at the Russian bear; restarting the Cold War 2.0. These are wars for profit.
    Americans may not acknowledge it other than by saying martyrdom is a fast trip to paradise but the perpetrators believe they are fighting for a cause greater than themselves that cleanses their past criminality and perversions. America has to recognize the reality that Boston, San Bernardino, Times Square, Fort Hood, Chattanooga and Orlando are not isolated events. To win the religious war the USA has to form an alliance with Russia and China and use overwhelming force to eliminate the Islamic State. Then work to return peace, development and the refugees back to the Middle East.

  97. WILL says:

    not denying the danger of entrepreneurial terrorism 2.0. The doctor at ft hood, san berardino are clearly it. As long as we have everyday reports of bombings and drones, there will be blowback. they, the immigrants and their children, are over here because we are over there. We are over there facilitating Israeli expansion and hegemony. All true, but in this case it could very well be a disgruntled gay man frustrated at his inability to hook up. Respectfully, I think it’s premature to jump the gun on this particular case. Remember the Korean at Virgia Tech or Sandy Hooks. Not all “active shooters” are takfiri jihadists.
    One another point, the Col. correctly pointed out that there is no central authority in Islam like the Caholic Pope. Each group decides on its own interpretation. Kind of like all the Protestant non-episcopy non-hierarchial churches. But it seems the 12 er Shiaa have a leader in charge. velayat-e faqih

  98. jld says:

    Yes, yes, confirmed, still quite a few more hits to go to match Omar Al Shishani or Izzat Ibrahim al Douri.

  99. Amir says:

    As someone who is and in the future will be even more scrutinized: can we start looking for the Saudi GCC Connection, in all these devious acts. One can have Philosophical, esoteric discussion or elaborate on peychobabbel; it remains a fact that the only common denominator of the perpetrators of the last 1&1/2 decenium, is Al Saud and Gulfies: Federal officials told NBC News that Mateen went to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and 2012 — but said it was not immediately clear what he was doing there.

  100. ML & TTG,
    To be perfectlty honest, I think the narrative of the “mental illness” is a smokescreen that:
    1) helps to set the narrative and avoid it being derailed to a more fundamental debate (one that could be hijacked by the political agenda of one of the Presidential candidates)
    2) helps gearing the narrative towards the long standing issue of gun control, which is dear to many among the Democrats (rightly or not, doesn’t matter) and
    3) is a side effect of living in a country where so many nut jobs can hold both a grudge and an AK and start shooting ppl up
    There’s no denhying that these 3 points, together with LGBT interest groups insisting on them being particularly vulnerable to prejudice of all kind, seems to be taking the front stage of the public debate in the aftermath of the shooting, but I think this is a big mistake.
    Jihadis anr Islamic terrorists talk, they talk even a lot about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
    I wonder what kind of autistic society we’ve become if we’re not able or not willing to hear what they’re saying and how they’re are trying to justify their horrible crimes. Seems we rather not engage with their skewed and twisted logic, for fear of what ? I have no idea …
    Anybody who has dealt with these people can tell you, they are pretty straightforward about their deeds; they say what they do and do what they say. In this case, he shot innocent people up in a gay club because of he thought: 1) that was what his religion dictated him to do and 2) because the “US were bombing his country” (and by that he meant Afghanistan, even though he was a US citizen).
    If we are not able to recognize these facts for what they are, we only have ourselves to blame for not making the right assessment of the situation and its remedies. And by remedies, I mean nothing the likes of bulk data surveillance and collection, or discriminating against our Muslim fellow compatriots or legal residents.

  101. No worries, we can agree to disagree and still discuss the issue from our respective points of view. It’s a type of “diversity” that makes us stronger than the enemy 😉

  102. I didn’t exactly leave, just on “extended vacation” 🙂

  103. There’s indeed a certain dissonance in the fact that ppl on no-fly lists can still buy guns just like anybody else.
    I’m not sure about how the US should approach this, not being a citizen myself, but I would be very cautious about anything regarding the 2nd amendment. However, on a practical level something needs to be done. Does it need new legislation, as far as terorism is concerned, I don’t know ? Cross-referencing LE’s extensive databases and flagging in real time any suspicious behaviour might be enough. Just takes more coordination and cooperation.
    I suspect some ppl are “surfing” the wave of public outcry in the aftermath of Orlando to try and pass legislation they didn’t manage to get through on other occasions. But that would be instrumentalizing Orlando for purposes different than just CT. That is also why there is such a strong push towards turning this tragedy into just another case of mass-shooting but an isolated, unstable, homophobic individual … fits better into the global narrative around mass shootings.

  104. You’re absolutely right. As a corollary to your point, let me add that the enemy is doing exactly the same in a kind of mirror move: exploiting the fault lines in our societies to try and divide us, winning over disgruntled individuals to their cause and letting them loose on those among us that they consider responsible for the alleged injustice they suffered.
    Not being of Middle-Eastern extraction is in no way an impediment to becoming an Islamic terrorist or member to either AQ or IS. As a matter of fact, a number of members of IS’ middle management – particularly in their “foreign action service” – are European (and Christian) born individuals.

  105. Not betraying OPSEC when I tell you this, but during the Paris concert hall attack in Nov. 2015, there was a off duty cop on the premises who killed one of the attackers after they shot their first mags into the crowd. Instantly killed one of the attackers and managed to to disrupt their plan in such a way they stopped shooting people up and changed their COA.
    By that time already 89 ppl lay dying there, but had this cop not been there and shot one of those murdereres, things might have been even worse. kudos to him for standing up to 3 guys with AKs and explosives, armed with just a handgun.

  106. MB,
    Please don’t think I’m in any way connected to either one of the US Presidential candidates. For the record, I think Trump is very wrong in his assessment of the question of immigration and his attitude towards Islam. On the other hand, I have no love left for those among the Liberal and Democrat crowd who hijack events to serve an agenda of their own for politicial purposes.
    There is a problem with mass shootings in the US, no doubt about that. But trying to set the narrative about this one in a way to make it sound like just another case of hate crime by an unstable individual is just plain wrong.
    Give me at least credit for knowing what I write about. What I resent about this whole thing is not bringing psychological aspects into the debate, they certainly have their place their, but making them the cardinal issue and denying the ideological dimension of this shooting. Deeply unhealthy and fundamentally flawed. I’m telling you this as someone who has witnessed the same kind of development unfold for years in Europe: denial, disconnect, excuses … until we ended up in the situation we are now, stuck with a problem we don’t know how to deal with and that is gonna stay with us for years to come.

  107. I concur. The Nazis too could be described as psychopaths, but they acted according to a very rationale policy of their own and had all their murderous policies firmly based in a “solid” ideological foundation.

  108. MB & sillybill,
    good point you’re both making. the enemy wants our intel and LE to be stretched thin and we’re doing a very good job at spreading our resources accross the board, focusing on bulk (meta)-data collection on unprecedented scale. We might have to reconsider.
    However disagree with MB about this guy not being part of a strategy. As an individual, he wasn’t, but as a pawn among many others that would call for LE surveillance and processing, he most definitely is !

  109. max says:

    In addition to everything else, this Orlando shooting has shown that the left has descended into madness. And many on the right, due to anti-Trumpism or wanting to signal that they are virtuous in the eyes of contemporary arbiters of correct thought, have joined in this madness. Here’s one small example of the left’s madness, linking Omar Mateen with the privileged white Stanford rapist Brock Turner:
    The Hypermasculine Violence of Omar Mateen and Brock Turner
    Two violent men, two symptoms of the same sickness.
    June 14, 2016

  110. sillybill says:

    Sure, but Patrick’s post was only partly about Mateen. I was writing about the larger issue.
    You’re right that IS didn’t know who he was, and did not directly give him orders, but they didn’t need to.
    Congress should allow the ATF to deny approval of firearms purchases to people that have been put on terrorist watch lists, there should be an appeal process to contest mistakes and FBI dumfoolery.
    While they’re at it they could take some cash away from the F35 project and give it to state and county mental health projects. I know it probably wouldn’t have helped for this case but we do seem to have a problem with disturbed individuals committing violent acts.

  111. SmoothieX12 says:

    >Most phenomena are multi-causal – and entail proximate and underlying causes both.
    Agree, but we can not ignore the larger framework here and it is “radicalization” and violence which is endemic in Islam. We just cannot ignore anymore an overwhelming empirical evidence of what Samuel Huntington called “Islam’s bloody borders”. Today it is inside our borders. We ignore these facts at our own peril.

  112. sillybill says:

    “And then they went away. I’ve never really understood why.”
    I guess you mean the anarchist terrorists went away because anarchists didn’t go anywhere, they just (mostly) gave up on terrorism.
    Most politically active anarchists these days (in the US) work on various mutual aid or solidarity projects such as environmental protection, creating and maintaining community spaces and gardens, sending books to prisoners, feeding and providing medical care for the poor, rape crisis centers, disaster relief, etc.
    We get a little rowdy in the streets sometimes, occasionally we get in the way of business as usual, and boy we sure hate us some Nazi’s, but we’ve generally given up on the bombs and guns part as being morally wrong and counter productive.

  113. Fred says:

    I thought there was one (or more) off duty police officers working at the club? If Florida’s CPL laws are like Michigan’s then one can’t (legally) take one’s concealed carry weapon into an establishment which makes most of its revenue from alcohol sales.

  114. Fred says:

    yes, anti-white racism. Remind me again which color of lives matter and which politicians got shouted into silence when they said “all” lives matter?

  115. Dubhaltach says:

    One thing that I regret about this incident is that he was shot dead. (That’s not a criticism of the police response.) The thing is that these guys are looking for “martydom” – having all your pretenses stripped away from you in public which is something any halfway competent prosecutor does daily – and being subjected to mockery and contempt would hurt these guys a lot. It would also I believe discourage other would-be “lions”.

  116. Amir,
    The Saudi trip(s) taken by Mateen have been glossed over by the media coverage. The San Bernardino shooters had even stronger Saudi connections. The similarity certainly rang a bell when I heard it. A common practice in running a resident agent is to engineer a trip to a location outside the denied area for training. The existence of such a practice by the jihadists should not be overlooked.

  117. DC says:

    Sir, my comment was about human muslim politics and culture, not eschatology, specifically: punishing such behavior (homosexuality, among other examples) with DEATH is a common law on the books in many majority-muslim countries. And, if not death, then punishing the body with pain. We simply do not do this in the West, and have not in the modern age. Many muslims (primarily in those countries, but also abroad) believe that punishment with death or violence is a good thing. Such ideas should be of great concern for those living in the west, especially with respect to potential immigrants who might very well agree with those same views. I do not see a flaw in this logic — do you?

  118. Patrick and Mark,
    Agreed that this guy shot up a gay club because of his religion. He appeared on the FBI’s radar screen because of his threatening remarks about Al Qaeda. Even though he was able to convince the FBI that it was nothing more than meaningless trash talk, that investigation stayed in the system as a dropped investigation. If that information was connected with the background check to purchase those weapons, it could have triggered a second look. Now if this guy decided to build bombs rather than use an “assault rifle” for his attack, a better information system wouldn’t have made a difference. We can’t catch them all. Such a system where the results of any IC or LE investigation or complaint filed, even if dismissed, was crosschecked with a firearms purchase background check, lives could be saved. The fact that some domestic and workplace shootings could be stopped does not diminish the utility of such a tool to fight jihadist attacks. The current bulk collection and surveillance system is an expensive, useless distraction from the task at hand.

  119. mbrenner says:

    As long as we taking semantics for reality, one may consider what in fact was the deadly attack on innocent civilians in the United States. It was the U.S. Cavalry’s massacre of Sioux at Wounded Knee. Of course, that was by a state actor rather than a non-state actor. Does it make any difference to label it an act of “terror” retrospectively? No – of course not.
    Nor does it make any sense to await breathlessly for the official labelling of Orlando as an act of “terror” or not. What if that guy has called 911 to pledge allegiance to some rabid anti-Gay group? would we have had to drop the word “terror?”

  120. kao_hsien_chih says:

    MB, PB, if I may interject,
    I think the central problem is that the social problems and mental health issues are intrinsically tied to the recruiting efforts by the terrorist organizations and they cannot be considered separately. A disproportionate share of recruits for terrorists and such organizations will be drawn from those who are disaffected, alienated, or otherwise have problems. But without outside incitement, these folks are not so likely to go over the edge. While such incitement could be coming from any number of different sources towards any kind of troubled persons (see the Charleston shooting), I think it is probable that disproportionate share of the incitement is coming from Islamic extremism towards the alienated/disaffected/disturbed persons who have some linkage to Islam one way or another.
    From this layperson’s opinion, any solution has to address both mental/social issues (with regards the “receiving end”) and the jihadists (on the “inciting end.”). Perhaps the latter ought to receive much more attention because it seems to be much more successful in inciting certain persons to much greater level of violence than others–can you imagine ANY other incitement causing a US Army officer, and a medical doctor to boot, to shoot up an army base? To pretend that one or the other does not exist is unwise. To willfully do so because of politics, in particular, seems like a serious dereliction of duty on part of public officials.

  121. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not my place to tell Western people how to reconcile their ideas of Justice with practicalities that have emanated with their own policy choices abroad.

  122. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I suppose a shorter version of what I posted is: it may be the case of hate crime by a disturbed individual, but it was brought about by an outside incitement which seems to be unusually effective in stirring up trouble with regards disturbed people who belong to certain categories. It would be foolish to pretend that this unusual effectiveness, within this specific category, does not exist and all disturbed individuals are the same.

  123. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “U.S. Cavalry’s” was a legitimate force that had been authorized and organized by legitimate authority. If it broke any US Law, it does not detract from its legitimacy.
    The terrorists are not acting or otherwise authorized to wage war against the United States, or France or anyone else by Legitimate Authority.
    ISIS is an illegitimate authority organized on the territory of a legitimate authority.
    And Islam – certainly Sunni Islam, does not have any recognized or agreed upon Spiritual or Temporal Authority that could authorize war or jihad.
    Both the massacre at wounded knee and the massacre in Orlando are acts of terror. Without a doubt.

  124. DC says:

    Really? What did Europe do to deserve it? What do the dozens of sexually assaulted and raped women in Germany, Denmark, and other peaceable states do to deserve their treatment? I ask this not intending to insult, but to direct your attention to the proper issue, should you care to address it this time.

  125. Fred says:

    The attorney general back in the 20’s deported 4-500 anarchist and the Congress enacted immigration limits. That pretty much kept violent anarchists in Europe.

  126. ISL says:

    PB. Speaking only for myself, you are on target.
    While GW would like to address this incident, you (rightful) address the bigger issue of whether IS is leveraging opportunities effectively to achieve their goals, and whether the big picture enables a more effective defense.
    Missing the forest for focusing on the trees is a standard diversion tactic.

  127. Fred says:

    Since there is a religious motivation why not use the Mountain Meadows Massacre as an example rather than wounded knee?

  128. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Zero Hedge is passing along links to an ABC news report wounded witnesses who were hospitalized are asserting that there were several shooters and a female suicide bomber who was “playing dead.”

  129. jld says:

    It’s very mean to you not to take the Jihadis seriously, they are getting upset:

  130. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You need to pose those questions to EU leaders.

  131. Fred says:

    This terrorist was not on the watch list. The funding for mental health projects should come from ending our involvement in the Middle East. Neither are going to stop terrorists.

  132. Nana2007 says:

    The witness overheard one shooter talking on his cellphone mention two snipers and possum playin suicide bomber. This sounds more like an FBI entrapment sting gone wrong than anything else.

  133. Valissa says:

    That’s hilarious (and sadly ironic)… makes the point well about how wide the cultural/worldview gulf really is on this topic.

  134. mlaw says:

    I appreciate your thought provoking piece. That said, I have to admit I really don’t “understand the implications.” It seems to me that this event may seem to be Terrorism 2.0 because it is not terrorism at all. This is not the attack on iconic venues we have some to expect from AQ. It does seem murky to me as to why the “gay-AQ-Hezbollah-NYPDwannabee-ISIS-homophobe cray-cray” (per Joe below)individual did what he did.
    It seems quite likely that mental illness may have led him to homicidal/suicidal ideation, that homosexual self loathing led him to that particular target, and that radical Islam helped him justify it in his own diseased mind. But you can pick the order of causation of your choosing, it works the other way too.
    Why is that a “PC” point of view?
    BTW, Thank you for not making your piece about gun control. There is no way any conceivable gun control legislation would have prevented this one.

  135. Mark Logan says:

    Patrick and TTG,
    Agree. They like to call it their F16 but it’s much closer to the Japanese balloon bombs of WW2. We must continue to make every effort but we also need to accept that we are going to take some licks. A very difficult concept for the US public, I know.
    The fix is in the realm of strategy, I look forward to Pt 2.

  136. Amir says:

    First, I am not an expert in the field.
    Secondly though, your data seems to be from half a century ago though. I am not trying to be smug about this.
    Please check out the following:
    Belgian professor by the way
    If you wanted to state that prenatal and/or genetic factors contribute to sexual orientation and sexual development, that would be a fair point but your causation of these prenatal inputs, seems farfetched.
    I happen to know the group of endocrinologists that were assigned by the IOC and some other big sports organizations to do investigate complicated doping cases (a la Armstrong). There is a correlation (no proven causation) between sperm count, decrease of fertility, advent of industrialization and linear increase in production of petrochemicals (after initially using coal as base product), in Belgium. This is thought to be caused by ubiquitous presence of pseudoestrogens.
    Pseudo-estrogen exposure as cause of alternative sexual orientation would be an interesting hypothesis.

  137. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Patrick Bahzad,
    It would seem to me that if ISIS could launch another terror attack in France in the next six or seven days, the effect could swing the vote in Britain towards Brexit. And I think we can expect to see more than one attack. I also can’t help wondering about an attack on a soft target in an unexpected location. What about a special hit team going ashore in Zodiacs from a fishing boat at some point along the Mediterranean coast of Spain against pre-targeted British communities with help from Islamist colleagues there, as happened in the preparations for 9/11, apparently some local assistence from the Muslim population on the Golden Coast in the arrangement of a finalizing meeting for Atta? In other words, Spain is on my list.
    I am reminded of Forsyth’s Jackal!
    French and British police must be on red alert. These are critical and suspenseful days! Just a little tap or two to drive home the revived idea of a sovereign kingdom governed by Britons who have been elected by Britons, an island nation that is in full control of its coasts and ports and authority over who is to visit and who may be allowed to stay. History could be on the verge of being not made, but jabbed along…By a bold Islamic state suicide attack?

  138. LeaNder says:

    Oh, that’s what you meant. Partly at least.
    I don’t have the information you have, or studied it seriously for that matter, but I seem to recall two and at least one of them supposedly received a radio alarm, that sent him/them there. Different police units? Surely both weren’t equipped for such a scenario. But are assumed to have at least stopped the killing, by killing one …

  139. I don’t get my information from the Internet, especially not from a major league asshole like Jesse Hughes. He had better STFU back then.

  140. LeaNder says:

    first thanks for the hint. Like the jihadist biography project.
    Basically–no doubt from my usual nitwit perspective–I am on your side here.
    This is not an event that makes me interested in his specific psychological profile. I don’t care if he was some kind of closet queen really. And Dr. Brenner’s ad hoc attempt at psychology made me angry really in the final nutshell assessment. (Apart maybe that it reminded me of study from an ethnopsychology, apparently) I not in the least interested in psychological profile.
    But, I also have to admit that I dived deeply into the available expert knowledge on AQ after the fact. And it left me a little exhausted at the time.
    What’s your take on Gilles Kepel, he surely has a profound background on Islamism. Maybe too on the ‘banlieues’, or French developments. Would you recommend him.
    I stumbled across him in the post 9/11 universe.

  141. LeaNder says:

    from an ethnopsychology, apparently
    from an ethno-psychology study, maybe better an ethnopsychogolgical perspective.
    Admittedly I hadn’t been aware of that field before.

  142. Fred says:

    “mental illness may have led him to homicidal/suicidal ideation,…”
    Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You know the country with the places holy to Islam and the people that fund the Wahhabi version of Islam. Perhaps everyone running the show in Saudi is mentally ill.

  143. sillybill says:

    Yes, thanks for the reminder. The ones that stayed here (mostly) changed like I said.

  144. LeaNder says:

    Perhaps the latter ought to receive much more attention because it seems to be much more successful in inciting certain persons to much greater level of violence than others
    kao, somewhat, in my own limited ways, this reminds me of: “dry out the money sources.” Not saying this is not a relevant or correct approach.
    What if there is a somewhat unlimited human base that take their respective chances (seize the day )based on solidly established ‘intellectual’ just as the ‘other side’?
    What’s your take considering ‘levels of violence’ concerning the French police couple killed in their home?

  145. sillybill says:

    He had been investigated twice and had been on a watch list and under surveillance by the FBI, which is why people (including regulars in these comments) were suggesting there should be a link between the ability to purchase a firearm and the various lists of terrorist suspects and investigations.
    I bet lots of useful projects that benefit US citizen could be funded with the $ wasted on ME policy. And you are correct that that none of this will stop all terrorists.

  146. Fred says:

    The FBI removed him because there was no evidence of him committing a crime.

  147. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I do not know the particulars of the French case enough to comment–not that, given my lack of expertise, it’d mean much.
    To me, the distinguishing characteristic of the terrorist incidents in US is that they were not, organizationally, part of a larger, explicit, international conspiracy. They were, at the level of individuals, carried out by somewhat disturbed or otherwise troubled persons who drew “inspiration” from the extremist religious sources, i.e. terror “recruiters.” A lot of folks are drawing attention to the former, but the implication of their argument is that “anybody would have snapped under such and such conditions.” I think this is where their argument falls apart: the number of disturbed and/or troubled persons is enormous across all but the probability that someone being influenced by Wahhabist Islam might snap and do something extremely violent seems much higher. It also seems that extremist Islam is able to get their message out more easily than other extremist groups–say, like the Klan. Cracking down on the Klan is relatively easy: not only are they generally a disagreeable bunch, they are not part of an easily definable “minority” whose sensibilities we think we need to respect. But Wahhabist Islam is, in addition to being a Muslim community whom the American elite is hesitant to alienate, a rather influential subset of that population (and one with big foreign supporters in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf). It seemed to me that (without clear enough evidence, admittedly) that attacks on Wahhabism seems equated to attack on Islam by agents of Saudi Arabia posing as neutral religious commentators.)
    One thing that I wondered about is whether anyone besides Western political elites are being fooled by these protestations: I mentioned my Lebanese former colleague in the other thread, about how her family gets searched extra at every airport, how she thinks it’s perfectly normal, and how the security personnel always offers the same boilerplate statement that they are not being “profiled.” In the end, all the politically correct protestations that duck religion as a factor are lies: it is too reasonable that, at minimum, religious motivation takes people over the edge more readily than other factors and disproportionately too many voices in Islam are trying to take people over the edge. So everyone is already looking at things via the lens of religion, except not “officially.” If we are all doing it anyways, we might as well be honest about it so that we can do a better job at it, rather than the inefficient ad hoc shtick we are reduced to because we can’t officially acknowledge it. In fact, it is all the more that we should do so precisely because the average Muslim in United States probably is NOT a potential terrorist. Without an official policy and guideline that is carefully designed and implemented, too many people will be viewed with unjustified and misguided blanket suspicion, even if “unofficial” and “unsanctioned.”

  148. Peter says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this. Omar didn’t even understand the difference between Hezbollah and ISIS apparently. If anything the whole phone call declaring allegiance to Daesh was a last second attempt to justify his actions.
    If someone wanted to cause terror in Orlando, Disney is the obvious target. But he chose a gay club instead.

  149. Re says:

    Your article has the clearest insight, of any I have read on this incident. Thank you.
    The responses to your article brings to mind a past post by Babak about not confusing cunning and intelligence.
    A neuro- psychologist gave me some advice in dealing with specifically with psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists, which can be sometimes useful in dealing with people in general. “Using emotional intelligence with someone that has an agenda puts you in harms way.” It seems few people have the skill sets and insights to use anything outside of EI.
    Thanks again
    Richard E

  150. Peter says:

    Exactly what I was thinking. It amazes me how many people will gloss over this eyewitness account, chalking it up to confusion – as if they have a better idea of what happened than someone who was there. So far two witnesses have said they are absolutely sure he was not alone.

  151. Jack says:

    If I recall my reading, a similar MO was used by Pakistani islamist terrorists to attack Mumbai a port city of India. I believe they attacked several targets including a high-end hotel frequented by westerners.
    The murder of the British MP could swing sentiment in favor of the Remain campaign. The polls show Leave have a slight edge in an evenly matched referendum.

  152. Lone Ranger says:

    @ M. Bahzad:
    Just a ‘technical’ question: given what you know about the timeline of the shooting, how plausible is it that a single shooter could have shot 200+ rounds in the time that the major shooting took place before the standoff? Especially given that he bought the guns in the previous week. Is there an implication that he must have had training on the specific weapons to be able to have done that?

  153. LR,
    I hear the guy had a permit to carry a weapon so I guess he went to a shooting range at least occasionally; even for the purpose of just firing a hand gun, I don’t know.
    Be that as it may, let me be blunt: going into a packed night club and discharging a SIG-Sauer assault rifle into the crowd is basically like shooting fish in a barrel, even more so with high capacity mags.
    The only thing that could go wrong, its if the weapon jammed. If technically non proficient shooter might struggle in that case, as we saw in August 2015 with the Amsterdam to Paris train shooter.
    Other than that, if the guy went a couple of times to a shooting range, that was more than enough to do what he did.

  154. Think most European LE and CT are on high alert. I don’t expect anything to happen along the lines yout layed out, could be much simpler and rudimentary, and just as deadly (see Orlando).
    Anything requiring the combined and coordinated effort of a larger group of attackers would be done under orders from IS Central. I’m not sure they want to expose their sleeper cells in Europe just yet, given that there seem to be plenty of isolated individuals, or small informal groups willing to do the job.
    But anything is possible (but zodiacs and fishing boats is very unlikely however).

  155. On the contrary, first hand witnesses often are very confused about what happened, who did it, etc. There was a similar discussion in the first days after the San Bernardino shooting. The mysterious third man who turned up to be only fiction.
    Let’s Keep it real !

  156. Same thing with this week’s guy in Paris, the one who stabbed two police officers. He supposedly left for KSA in 2011, through Turkey, but they’re still trying to figure out if he didn’t make a stop elsewhere during his trip.
    One of the oldest tricks in the book …

  157. I think we should take people at their word. In this instance, there’s been plenty of explanations written/spoken by the shooter that support an Islamist motive (FB page, call to 911, negotiating with Orlando PD).

  158. VV,
    you’re right, these crimes may have been committed by isolated individuals, or very small groups, but they are not isolated as far as motivations go.

  159. There could be various explanations to his alleged confusion, not just the one you mention, although it suggests a certain confusion. Let’s not be too quick to judge based on fragmentary evidence.
    Regarding Disney, you’re wrong. An Orlando night club, LGBT or any other (as long as it’s packed), is a much better (and softer) target. I wouldn’t project my own beliefs and hypotheticals into the shooter’s mind, or at least, in that case, also consider what he said and wrote. Makes for a different picture.

  160. Peter says:

    I disagree. If someone shot up families at Disney, even if the kill count was a bit lower just think of what the aftermath would be like. Disney is a symbol in America – in ways that no gay club will ever be. I never said it would be easier, I said it would cause far more nationwide fear – and it absolutely would.

  161. It’s your right to disagree but some aspects of what you mention are probably escaping your mind. Anyway, discussion closed as far as I’m concerned.

  162. sillybill says:

    Yeah. I’ve been trying to think of a proper response to the facts unearthed about this prick before the shooting that would be consistent with libertarian principles but isn’t law of the jungle sounding. Very frustrating. It might take me a while.

  163. Croesus says:

    I disagree with almost everything you wrote, Patrick, and while I recognize & respect that this is Pat Lang’s blog and he is, and is loyal to, the military tradition, in my humble opinion US culture is far to militarized and programmed to think in militarist terms. Patton’s epithet should, perhaps, be restated: Old soldiers would do well to fade away gracefully.
    In addition, the element of retaliation, or blowback, should not be overlooked. In fact, it is the key and critical element that the American people must confront: in a government BY the people, we the people have a responsibility to call our government to account for the many thousands of people they have killed in illicit wars in the Middle East, not least in Afghanistan, the home of the alleged shooter’s parents.
    Further, and in my equally contrarian if not downright perverse opinion, I think the Orlando event was some sort of staged, “false flag” event.
    These two bits of (admittedly circumstantial) evidence (but no one has any other more valid evidence — do we have forensics on whose bullets killed the victims — were they cop bullets or the alleged, now-deceased shooter’s bullets? Seems to me that’s the very first piece of evidence necessary for a proper adjudication of cause-of-death) are responsible for my hypothesis that Orlando was not what it seems or what media & the Borg have constructed it to be understood as by the great unwashed.
    1. On 22 May 2016, Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister of Internal Security, threatened G4S for its decision to quit Israel by stating that G4S “will pay the price,” (at 17 minutes 10 seconds. )
    Erdan followed up by reporting that Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, as well as the governors of several other states had also passed laws — or issued executive decrees — that participation of BDS against Israel violated the laws of the respective state.
    2. A month earlier, ~Apr 21, 2016, Alison Weir spoke about her book, Against Our Better Judgment, at University of Central Florida in Orlando; the campus is less than 2 miles from The Pulse.
    The event was sponsored by a Muslim group from the area, and many Muslims were in the audience. The second-largest group in the audience was from a local Christian church that has studied the Israel-Palestine conflict and travelled to the region to speak with Palestinians (as well as Israelis).
    A third, and highly vocal group consisted of 4 or 5 young men who identified as “IDF” or “former IDF,” and who peppered Ms. Weir with questions and statements that they read from their iPhones.
    In the social period after the book discussion, several more young men who identified themselves as from Israel, now students at CFU, like the rising sophomore who said, “I was majoring in psychology but since it would take too long to finish a Master’s, I switched to journalism” — stated their intentions are to work for the benefit of Israel.
    Means. Motive. Opportunity.

  164. turcopolier says:

    Macarthur not Patton. Patton died in 1945 in a car accident in Germany. Macarthur quoted that line from a song in his farewell address to the USCC. . It was a self pitying sentiment not an exhortation. If you are going to cite history you need to get the history right. You seem to have missed the fact that it is the uniformed US military, not the civilians, who have bee resisting further intervention in Syria. pl

  165. Croesus says:

    “stretched thin.”
    US intel companies are hiring computer engineers and cyber warriors as fast as universities (and even community colleges & on-line programs) can crank them out. One such firm started out in Palo Alto, with a major boost from CIA contracts. It’s now in Northern Virginia, working hand-in-glove with Rasmussen’s NCTC and planning when to go public with its by-now $8 billion investment. They’ve got 14,000 computer engineers combing thru the haystack of data that other major segments of the US & global economy produce, including finance, health, tee fee – infotainment, social media.
    Perhaps in one of your follow-up pieces, PB, you will Follow the Money.

  166. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Patrick Bahzad and Jack,
    Thank you both for your responses. After I made my comment, Patrick, I found I needed to reflect on whether or not ISIS would actually want Brexit! As things stand, the way I see it, there is free movement within the EU, including into Britain, which would be important to ISIS and other groups, meaning, for one thing, that sleeper agents, communications, financial instruments, recruits, can be more easily acquired or put in place. So maybe it is not as critical an imperative as hitting France. Still, I can’t help thinking that Brexit would be a real setback to the US and to NATO. And could be the beginning of the end of the EU. (Which is coming.)
    My thinking is that unless there is an attack of some sort in France or, more effectively, in London, or even a couple of frustrated attacks, simply something to remind the British voter of an ‘immigration threat’, Brexit is going to fail. Been looking at Ladbroke’s and the punters. (I am not good at the odds thing.) I do think Brexit will come eventually–within five years– in part because of a growing national rethink about racial identity, racial survival (national DNA), national established and nonconformist religion (Christianity will undergo a strong revival as the Long Emergency becomes obvious), national military service, these being a few of the parts of the bundle of Anglo-Saxon concerns stemming from climate change, as well as from the intensifying Long War with Islam.
    To Jack and also Patrick, I would say, yes, I did have in mind the November, 2008, Lashkar e Taiba (ISI sponsored) Mumbai attacks by some two dozen Pakistani trained suicide troops. However, if one pays attention to the record of smuggling along the Spanish coast during the latter part of the Twentieth Century, you realize that this region has been pretty much wide open. Even today people are being smuggled into Spain from North Africa and being landed far north of the south-eastern Andalusia regions that you might expect, particularly from the recent history of smuggling of drugs from Morocco. I mean that there are landings on the Costa Blanca, that region above Alicante, below Valencia.
    Meaning what? Meaning that I once thought I knew something about this region, and still occasionally read the news, in English mostly, from some of the British communities on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. (It seems there are a lot of interesting, mostly unknown blogs.) One thing that has happened is that a lot of organized crime from the Balkans, from Sicily, from Dublin (!), from the UK, has turned certain places in the “Costa del Crime.” They bring the skills of Eastern Europe, some of the criminals, with them. To burgle your retirement villa they don’t care if you are in it or not. They just pump in some sort of knockout gas. That kind of thing on the local crime side. But worse could be on the way.
    What has happened, I am beginning belatedly to comprehend, is that there has been a serious movement of Islamic terrorist organizations to the North African western Atlantic coast, all the way down from Morocco to Mauretania, Mali, Nigeria with connections of course to Algeria, Libya, the southern regions like Chad. It was surprising to me to learn the extent that Moroccan second generation immigrants played in the November 2015 Paris attacks.
    Frankly, all along I have thought of Morocco as a reasonably safe place. And definitely Spain.
    If Morocco begins steadily to heat up, then that is not good news for Spain, and particularly for the vulnerable British communities there. Example of how smuggling has worked on the Costa Blanca. A fishing boat would leave a small Spanish port in the early evening well north of Alicante and be off Algiers by dawn, or off of Ceuta. In mid-century, cigarettes and miracle penicillin could be picked up in the Open City of Tangier (W.S.Burrough’s “Interzone”), where no taxes would be paid, and brought back by fishing boats to long, low caves under the high cliffs of the Cabo San Antonio, where there is very little tide. Here they could be left under tarps, and by local tradition, remained undisturbed. (Same thing in South Carolina low country during prohibition. In fact, I once heard a story where a hunter came upon a very valuable stash of whisky. He realized that this was some of the finest whisky in the world. He also knew he was most likely being watched by a Gullah lookout. What to do? Take a few bottles of single malt home with him? A few bottles of that fine Chablis wine? (Dude had been a jarhead.) Or go get his boat and load her up? He knew they would be looking for him, whoever they were… Kipling would know how to handle this story.
    So my zodiac idea, which sounds rather fanciful, I gotta admit, I am still inclined to believe, while not imminent, is actually something that makes a lot of sense. Particularly in a region (like Tarragona on the Costa Dorada) where there are Muslim communities, and where safe houses are possible.
    I think there has been a change in the Western Mediterranean. I suspect there are a lot of places where basic security has been taken for granted for decades on the European shore where that is no longer the case. Egyptian and a good deal of Turkish tourism has just been wrecked. There is the case of that poor guy kidnapped from a luxury hotel by Abu Sayaff and chopped. Why not expatriate Spain?

  167. Nana2007 says:

    Besides, he was not alone, was in good company, not of other terrorists, but ideologues always careful not to step over the line while maipulating weak, easy to influence individuals like this guy in Orlando
    This is important- we need to better understand his relationship to the FBI. Perhaps their entrapment stings aren’t meant to catch real terrorists?

  168. PL,
    I’m afraid if Croesus thinks this is a false flag and hiring computer engineers is tantamount to strengthening US CT-capabilites there’s nothing you or I can do for him.

  169. Croesus,
    You may disagree but careful with the words “nonsense” … You’re out of your depth here.

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