‘We see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers,” President Obama said while addressing the nation in the wake of the latest homegrown massacre at the hands of Muslims.
But is that really what’s poisoning their minds?
FBI investigators are now operating on the belief that San Bernardino terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were individually “radicalized,” and for “quite some time,” possibly starting as early as 2013 — before the rise of ISIS and its Internet propaganda machine. So it wasn’t ISIS poisoning their minds, as the president suggests.
So what was it? The feds are still scratching their heads, willfully blind to the obvious religious factor.
But this much they know: “These two killers were starting to radicalize towards martyrdom and jihad as early as 2013, and so that’s really before ISIL [ISIS] became the global jihad leader that it is,” FBI Director James Comey testified Wednesday. “They were actually radicalized before they started dating.”
Unlike other mass murderers, who exhibit antisocial, paranoid, narcissistic or schizoid traits, Farook and Malik do not appear to be natural born killers. Neither had a history of violence nor criminal record, and both generally were described as pleasant people.
In fact, friends invariably called the 28-year-old Farook a “very nice person,” while his landlord even described him as a “very gentle person.” He enjoyed working on old cars and shooting hoops. For her part, the 29-year-old Malik was seen as “a good girl” and a good student who aspired to be a pharmacist. Before dressing in austere Islamic clothing, she was even viewed as a “modern girl.”
Muslims and non-Muslims alike spoke highly of them both. Then suddenly a switch went off, and the couple went medieval.
By all accounts, that switch was piety. They simply got closer to their religion, immersing themselves in Islamic scripture.
Farook and Malik devoted themselves to Islamic study, which culminated in both of them memorizing the Koran, a high honor in Islam. They began wearing traditional Islamic garb — Farook, a white tunic and skullcap, and Malik, a black veil and robe.
Before long, Farook was slaughtering fellow Americans, many of them co-workers, shooting them at point-blank range with his wife by his side, the two of them stopping only to reload. Why? Because as US taxpayers, the 14 people they killed supported Israel and the Jews.
We saw the same transformation in the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston, who were considered “nice” and “normal,” even partiers — until their mother made them stick their noses in their holy books and get religion. Within a matter of just a couple of years of becoming more fervent in their Muslim faith, these “typical American boys” were making shrapnel bombs and blowing off limbs of innocent bystanders at the Boston Marathon to “punish” fellow Americans for supporting wars in Muslim lands. And that was after the oldest boy, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, nearly beheaded a couple of Jews he once befriended.
“I told Tamerlan that we are Muslims, and we are not practicing our religion, and how can we call ourselves Muslims,” Mrs. Tsarnaev said. “And that’s how Tamerlan started reading about Islam, and he started praying, and he got more and more and more into his religion.”
The change was dramatic in both boys, who stopped partying and started hating — Jews, Christians, America. Suddenly they were growing out Islamic beards and saying they were “willing to die for Islam.”
A similar change came over the Chattanooga jihadist, Mohammad Abdulazeez, who was described as “very friendly” — until he became intensely observant in his faith and saw it as his religious duty to fatally gun down five soldiers in Tennessee earlier this year.
Moreover, two brothers suspected in last month’s Paris terror attacks were born-again Muslims as well. Reportedly, they really began to change around six months prior to the attacks, when they stopped drinking and started studying and praying.
This phenomenon is well documented in virtually every FBI case of homegrown American terrorism: the more religious, the more radical. The pattern is borne out in hundreds of criminal complaints and court documents since 9/11 that I’ve reviewed for my books on terrorism. Almost to a person, suspects are described by family, friends, neighbors or co-workers as “nice” — that is the universal adjective for these mass murderers — until they get closer to their religion and suddenly seek out infidels to kill.
Case agents have seen the link between Islamic belief and violence firsthand.
“Evidence exists to demonstrate that a greater level of adherence to Islamic law correlates to a greater likelihood of violence,” said FBI veteran John Guandolo, who worked some of the nation’s biggest terrorism cases out of the bureau’s Washington field office after 9/11.
Studies back him up, including one recently published in Europe that found that Islam is the only religion in the world in which people become more violent the stronger they believe.
Danish linguist Tina Magaard and a team of researchers spent three years examining the texts of the 10 largest religions to see if any incite violence. “The texts of Islam are clearly distinct from the other religions’ texts, as they, to a higher degree, call for violence and aggression against followers of other faiths,” she concluded. “There are also direct incitements to terror.”
A 2010 study of 45,000 teens by a German criminal research institute, moreover, found that young religious Muslim boys were much more likely to use violence than their non-Muslim counterparts, even when social factors were taken into account.
Unlike federal agents and investigators working terrorism cases on the ground, higher-ups in Washington are too clouded by politically correct fantasies about Islam to accept what is self-evident. They cannot even entertain religion as a motivating factor in terrorism. They cannot fathom that such heinous violence could be inspired by sacred texts.
Forced to rule out workplace rage, seduction and now ISIS as sources in the San Bernardino case, Comey now says: “We’re working very hard to understand the source of their inspiration.”
“The question for us is how and by whom and where were they radicalized?” said David Bowdich, the FBI’s assistant director in Los Angeles.
Brass will continue searching in vain for an “un-Islamic” motive — anything to avoid arriving at the inevitable, unspeakable conclusion that these Muslims, like countless jihadists before them, were faithfully following the dictates of Islam.
The switch that turns a good person into a “bad Muslim” isn’t heretical outside forces. The tens of thousands of jihadists threatening the West aren’t all “brainwashed” by evil modern cult figures. Though personalities certainly have an influence, the main influence is the religion itself. If there’s any radicalization, it’s self-radicalization through devotion.
“They think they’re doing something good for Allah,” al Qaeda informant Morten Storm, a former Muslim, said. “They really believe that.”
There’s a famous speech on the show “The West Wing” where the fictional president accosts a Christian radio host. She believes homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so. He points out that the Bible also allows him to sell his daughter into slavery and execute his chief of staff for working on the sabbath. The “West Wing” president, by the way, is a practicing Catholic — but he’s making the point that Christianity went through a reformation.
Most Christians today don’t read the Bible literally, and the ones that do are roundly mocked by liberals. But those same liberals bristle at any suggestion that Islam is inherently intolerant.
Islam is not a “religion of peace,” and won’t be until most of its followers — the Taliban, the Ayatollah, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the mullahs of Saudi Arabia — reject tenets like jihad. To suggest otherwise is naive. Virtually everyone is hacking at the branches of this growing menace, and almost no one is striking at its root.