Eight people were killed and 13 others injured when a Uzbekistani terrorist plowed his truck into a crowd in New York City last Tuesday. The attack was carried out in Lower Manhattan in an esplanade along the Hudson River popular with strollers, joggers and bikers. The attack apparently was well planned. The killer knew that Times Square, Central Park and other places popular with locals and tourists were crawling with cops precisely to prevent terrorist attacks.
To hear the CCN panelists talked about it, they sounded like they know all the answers to the problem.
Indeed a few, including a touted Middle East expert did talk sense. She traced the history of why the US and particularly New York attracts terrorists. The resource expert cited the 750,000 refugees and immigrants who were granted visas into the US. This , despite the devastating attack by terrorists who hijacked four airliners and crashed two of them into the New York Twin Towers killing thousands and obliterating the landmark and symbol of the city as financial capital of the world.
The Uzbek terrorist was consequently shot by police. But the fact he was an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came into the US in 2010 brings into sharp focus that America is fighting terrorism from within by immigrants who are already in the States for several years. These people are called “sleepers” who wait and prepare for the day when they will strike and exact the maximum damage and loss of lives. It does matter to them whether their victims are innocent women and children. These sleeper terrorists consumed by their own hate are walking time bombs waiting to explode.
“Allahu Akbar!” shouted the crazed killer in the latest New York attack. The phrase in Arabic means “God is great!” But what is great about a god who allows or condones such a barbaric act? The mass killer identified as Sayfulla Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, left a note in the truck claiming he acted for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, more known as ISIS. With a name like that he could have well been named Abdul Kabulbul Tamulmul for all I care. The scary implication of this “lone wolf” terrorist attack is that there could be sick, deranged people around us who could strike at any moment. Saipov came to the United States as a winner in a lottery that allows immigrants from other countries for the purpose of diversifying American society. For sure, a review and possibly a dismantling of the program would ensue as an aftermath of many immigrants turning out to be lurking monsters.
The US Homeland Security, for all the teeth and resources given it by the US government, is finding it difficult to fight a war within its own borders. Whether by design or coincidental, the latest New York attack happened near the Twin Towers trade center.
How does the New York and other acts of terrorism going on all over the world relate to our own circumstances and environment? We have seen what happened in Marawi where many of the victims were also Muslims. The rampage of a crazed loser at the Resort World casino was ruled out as an act of terrorism by the police. Police have tighten security in Metro Manila to guard against suicide bombings and random shootings. God forbid that we fall prey to these perverted and sick killers.
It is foolhardy to think that terrorists are spawned mostly from Muslim communities. I do not claim to be an expert on terrorism. But the trend of terrorism showed a common thread that runs along the history and background of the perpetrators. Take the case of the Boston marathon finish line bombers. Two young brothers from Chechnya were given asylum and citizenship by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. Yet, after years in the US and enjoying the benefits of the American system, they turned against their host country.
Profiling and stereotyping them as simply messed- up Muslims would be wrong. Call it an aberration as in the case of the white American jihadist who joined Al Qaida several years back. Known as the “Yankee Jihadist,” Adam Yahiyee Godhan (or goddamn) nee John Adam Walker Lindt alias John Adam Pearlman from California, converted to the Islamic faith like many Caucasians drawn into the ranks of these deranged, murderous terrorists. Then there was the white American, Steven Paddock, who fired at random from the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas killing 59 people who were watching a concert at a square below the hotel.
Even here in our country a fertile breeding and recruiting ground for ISIS are the criminals wanted by the police. With their world getting smaller, there is nowhere for them to go but seek refuge in the ranks of terrorists. From primarily criminals for profit, these b*stards assume and even gain a false description as misguided elements for an allegedly noble cause.
With America under constant attack by terrorists, US President Donald Trump may have a valid point in suspending the issuance of visa applications from seven Muslim countries. But what safeguards has Trump taken to fight those sleepers already in the US, or the enemy within?