The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, as Carl Sagan noted. And that is what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio should know about the Chelsea bombing Saturday night. Every school boy and girl will immediately recognize the classic logical fallacy known as the argument from ignorance in de Blasio’s implication that the Chelsea bombing was not an act of terrorism because there was insufficient evidence to call it that.
Of course, our public officials are reluctant to call anything terrorism no matter where the evidence points, for to do so shows how vulnerable we are.
Sunday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighed in with his own versionof the argument from ignorance, implying it was not international terrorism because there was no evidence of such; but the governor was willing to call it domestic terrorism. De Blasio, however, was still clinging to his version of the argument from ignorance.
Let’s face reality—when our public officials jump to tell us what a bombing is notbecause there is no evidence, we need to remember that when it comes to terrorism, we should absolutely not believe anything until it is officially denied—especially if the officials are Democrats beholden to the religion of political correctness and the cult that labels negative comments about Muslims, Islamophobia.
So, let me venture some reasonable speculation. The Chelsea bombing included a pressure cooker device similar to the one used by the Boston Marathon bombers and the one taught over the Internet by Al Qaeda. The Chelsea bombing came hours after IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were set to go off at the Marine Corps run at Seaside Park, New Jersey. That same evening a jihadi running through a shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota stabbed nine people while yelling Allahu Akbar! ISIS lost no time in claiming responsibility, although officials are unwilling to confirm this as a terrorist attack. No doubt this will be another case of back-to-school shopping rage, and there will be a public mobilization to ban assault knives.
Authorities are calling the St. Cloud jihadi a lone wolf. This is another myth. There are no lone wolves. Individual acts of jihadist terrorism are undertaken within a larger structure of belief and within a mass movement that promulgates an ideology known as radical Islam. The individual acts from an organized belief system. He is not alone. He is part of a mass movement. He receives motivation for his actions through a corrupted narrative of Islam that now has an expansive promulgation and a growing following.