Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came in for some well-deserved criticism for declaring that "the system worked" with respect to a suspected terrorist's effort to blow up the plane he was flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.
By Monday, she was backpedaling from her weekend statement about the undoing of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged plot to blow up a plane carrying hundreds of passengers, acknowledging: "Our system did not work in this instance."
In truth, for a lot of Americans, Napolitano has not had much credibility since she tried to ban the term terrorism from her department's official lexicon. But arguably the most serious indication that she is wholly ill-equipped to carry out her present responsibilities can be found in another statement she made on Sunday and has not corrected it as of yet.
During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," she said, "Right now, we have no indication [that the suspect's actions were] part of anything larger."
Not "part of anything larger"? Is she serious? Does she take us for fools?
Read my lips, Secretary Napolitano: Abdulmutallab's actions were absolutely, positively part of something larger — the comprehensive theo-political-legal program that authoritative Islam calls shariah.
This supremacist program requires its adherents to engage in jihad, or holy war, to bring about the triumph of Islam under a global theocracy, one that will impose shariah on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Pursuant to Shariah, jihad should be pursued through the terrifying use of violence, wherever practicable.
When violent jihad is impractical or would be counterproductive, shariah directs faithful Muslims to use other means to advance the same goal. Koran expert Robert Spencer calls the latter "stealth jihad."
The question must be asked: Are we seeing a dramatic increase in violent jihadism in America because violence is now seen to be practicable here? National Public Radio reported on Saturday that there had been 14 attempts this year (compared with two or three in recent years) and that they had been increasingly "operational" in character, not just "aspirational."
Specifically, could it be that jihadists have been emboldened by what they see as weakness and/or fecklessness on the part of the U.S. administration? Could steps Team Obama has taken — such as the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the release of some hardened terrorists held there to Yemen (where Abdulmuttalab claims he got his plastic explosive device), granting others access to civilian courts and constitutional rights, etc. —be emboldening them to believe that murder and mayhem will accelerate the defeat and conquest of the infidel West?
Abdulmutallab's father warned the U.S. government at least two months ago that his son had been "radicalized" — in other words, that he had embraced shariah. That being the case, he was transformed from being one of the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world who are not a problem into one of those who are.
In the wake of the latest, narrowly averted massacre at the hands of jihadists, we are being promised executive branch reviews of the practice that, in the wake of his father's warning, put Abdulmuttalab on the improbably named Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database but did not revoke his multiple-entry U.S. visa or otherwise keep him from flying. Several congressional investigations will be launched, as well.
Such reviews will, however, amount to little more than a waste of time and taxpayer resources — and possibly a serious distraction — if they do not address, and henceforth require screening for, the motivation for such attacks. It is absurd to think that "the system" is going to do anything other than exponentially increase the amount of discomfort for airline passengers as long as it does not weed out those who embrace as an article of faith their duty to destroy us.
We need to be equally clear about the menace posed by those who adhere to shariah but profess to seek to "Islamicize" America through nonviolent means. In the wake of the recent actual and averted attacks, the press has, for example, trumpeted the views of parents of five jihadists from Northern Virginia, imams at mosques where they worshipped, and prominent fixtures in the various Muslim Brotherhood front organizations.
Not surprisingly, all of them profess shock — shock! — that these young people would want to do as they have been taught to, pursuant to shariah: Namely, follow the way of jihad against the Dar al-Harb (the "House of War" that is the non-Muslim world).
Nowhere in these disinformation operations is any mention made of the Muslim Brotherhood's self-declared mission in America. According to an internal Brotherhood strategic plan dating from 1991, that mission is: "A kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
As long as Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, the intelligence community, law enforcement, the military, the media, and most especially President Obama refuse to acknowledge what animates our enemies, we never will develop an effective strategy for defeating them, let alone implement it.
Part and parcel of achieving such an understanding is to stop allowing the stealth jihadists in our midst to blind us to this reality.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, "Secure Freedom Radio."
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