July 29, 2021

Massacre in Orlando: 86th Instance of Islamist Terror in US Since 9/11

People gather for a candlelight vigil during a memorial service for the victims of the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young (Newscom TagID: rtrlseven931942.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

People gather for a candlelight vigil during a memorial service for the victims of the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young (Newscom TagID: rtrlseven931942.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

86. Orlando Nightclub Massacre

In the early morning of June 12, Omar Mateen attacked the Pulse nightclub in Orlando with multiple firearms, killing 49 and injuring more than 50 before police stormed the building and killed Mateen. According to the FBI, Mateen talked to a 911 operator three times to announce his allegiance to ISIS during the attack, as well as his solidarity with other Islamist terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers. Mateen was also subject to two separate FBI investigations regarding terrorism but was cleared both times.

President Obama has called the slaughter a terrorist attack and connected it to “extremism” spread via the Internet. FBI Director Comey said there were strong indications of inspiration from a foreign terrorist organization, that is ISIS specifically, and Islamist ideology generally.

This attack is the 22nd plot or attack since the start of 2015, and the sixth this year. The massacre in Orlando is also the 20th attack or plot aimed at large public gatherings, such as bars and restaurants, shopping malls, parks, and conventions.

Mass gatherings are the second-most common target, just after military targets, which have been targeted 21 times. Since January 2015, the U.S. has seen an uptick in plots targeting mass gatherings (nine) as well as law enforcement (five). Orlando presents the 11th attack since 9/11 and, perhaps most worryingly, the fifth attack in the past 12 months.

The shift to “soft targets” like malls and bars places additional importance on stopping terrorists before they ever get to their target. The U.S. cannot secure every soft target, nor would its citizens want a police state that would try to be everywhere. The best way to protect the U.S. and its citizens’ liberties is through proactive intelligence. The FBI and other law enforcement organizations need adequate resources and tools to find, investigate, and stop terrorists before they strike.

The U.S. also needs to do more to combat the threat of Islamist terrorist groups abroad. Of the 22 plots or attacks since the start of 2015, 19 have been committed by individuals inspired by ISIS or other terrorist groups in Syria, such as the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra. Defeating radical Islamism abroad is critical to defeating it at home.

Our hearts and prayers go out to victims of the Orlando terror attack. Rather than getting caught up in emotional and knee-jerk “solutions,” the U.S. must commit to proactively combatting terrorism at home and abroad.

Source: The Daily Signal

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