The London attacks demonstrate terrorism isn’t always imported
With another terrorist attack striking Britain as the United Kingdom was still in shock over a suicide bomber targeting teens in Manchester, heads of state once again declared solidarity with the targeted nation and vowed to stomp out the insidious terror threat. “As president, I will do what is necessary is to prevent this threat from spreading to our shores,” President Trump said after the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks.
But with terrorist after terrorist striking the country where they were born or raised, that strategy must begin on the inside. Our greatest threat is not a ship-to-shore phenomenon. It’s not lurking out there, trying to sneak in. It’s already here. The sooner we get out of the rut of thinking that terror is an import, the sooner we acknowledge it’s cultivated on our home soil, the better chance we have of successfully fighting it.
We face the stay-at-home terrorist who doesn’t need a radical imam at the corner mosque, extremist parents or wayward friends to get on the path of jihad. As a former friend of one of the London Bridge attackers told United Kingdom media, all it apparently took was jihad-justification YouTube videos from American preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril.
The stay-at-home terrorist is created by incitement, recruiting and training materials that know no borders, seeping in through the internet, social media and the dark web. This is the universal jihadi, schooled on ISIS magazines, al Qaeda lectures, Taliban op-eds and al-Shabab videos. Even if they claim allegiance to one group, their journey from zero to terrorist has been molded through a collective effort.