Ted Kaczynski, the Una Bomber USA Anders Breivik
Boston marathon bombing Westmead Sydney acid attack on Sinhalese householders
The AUSTRALIAN Editorial: “Lone-wolf terror attacks require eternal vigilance,” 5 October 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/lone-wolf-terror-attacks-require-eternal-vigilance/story-e6frg71x-1227556749192
Before David Irvine retired as director-general of ASIO a year ago, he repeatedly warned of the threat posed by “lone-wolf” terror attacks on Australian soil. These extremists often fly under the radar of security agencies, evading detection. So frightening is the prospect that one of these radicals could slip through the net of security agencies and inflict an act of terror on an unsuspecting, perhaps complacent, public that it kept the former security chief “awake at night”. While Australians are fighting extremist terrorism abroad — in Iraq and Syria — we also need to remain ever-vigilant about the threat of terrorism at home. After the shocking, cold-blooded murder of police employee Curtis Cheng by radicalised 15-year-old boy Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar in Sydney’s Parramatta on Friday, Mr Irvine’s nightmares have again been realised. This is not the first time Australians have been murdered or injured by lone-wolf radical extremists. Nor, regrettably, will it likely be the last.
The shooting outside police headquarters in Parramatta in broad daylight on Friday afternoon was described by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione as “politically motivated and therefore linked to terrorism”. This is not a time for hand-wringing denialism. The terror threat we face from within has again come to the fore. The youth, dressed in black, is believed to have attended a mosque to pray before killing Mr Cheng. After his act of pure premeditated evil, the boy was seen waving his gun in the air while yelling “Allah, Allah”. Halting the rising tide of radicalised youth was “the global question at the moment”, Commissioner Scipione said. While details about the youth are still being sought, it has been suggested he was part of a group that was already known to police. Moreover, it is believed the youth is part of a family known to police and security authorities. His sister has apparently disappeared, leaving Australia on a flight bound for Istanbul with her belongings.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull struck the right tone in his public remarks over the weekend. He began by speaking on behalf of the vast majority of Australians in saying that “our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Curtis Cheng” and then praised the “courage of our police and security agencies” for their dedication to our safety. In a change of tone urged by security agencies, as we reported last week, Mr Turnbull said “the Muslim community are our absolutely necessary partners in combating this type of violent extremism”. This is the right approach. “Efforts to blame or vilify the Muslim community are utterly counterproductive,” he said. Labor leader Bill Shorten echoed Mr Turnbull’s words of comfort to the family and friends of Mr Cheng, praised the police response and urged unity throughout the community. But he erred when he said “our thoughts are also with the family of the alleged young perpetrator”. This is not a sentiment that will be shared by many Australians at this time. It was a regrettable lapse in judgment.
We have confidence in our security and policing agencies. Their job is an unenviable one. We should be thankful they have foiled planned terror plots, including last Anzac Day. It would be wise, nevertheless, to again review the strategies and practices in place and consider if changes are needed to strengthen their hand in this ongoing fight.
It is also a community challenge. We cannot afford to be complacent. Previous acts of terror by Man Haron Monis in Sydney and Abdul Numan Haider in Melbourne underscore this stark reality. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was time for “the whole nation to take stock” after the tragic shooting. “This kind of issue must be the subject of a holistic approach, not only from governments at all levels, but also the community,” she said. This is a sound approach. Middle Eastern community leader Jamal Rifi highlighted the need yesterday for Muslim parents to “initiate a dialogue” with their children and to “be alert for any changes in behaviour”. This could help save their children’s lives and other lives, too. “Every and each one of us have a role and responsibility,” he urged. We agree.
ALSO SEE Nicola Berkovic: “TargettingTeenage Terror,” Australian, 5 October, 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/sydney-shooting-targeting-teenage-terror/story-e6frg6z6-1227556792142
A THOUGHT: the media attention and the vigilance is highly differentiated — for good reasons — depending on the target of a specific attack, wheher mainstream society (USA, Norway or Australia in recent instances) OR a tiny migrant minority arising from, say, Croatian and Serbian migrant clashes in Australia or Tamil-Sinhala clashes or unprovoked assaults in UK or Australia………. SEE Roberts, “Lone Cell Assaults: From Boston to Westmead-in-Sydney to the Unabomber. Inspirations and Enabling Conditions in Comparative Perspective,” 19 April 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/lone-cell-assaults-from-boston-to-westmead-in-sydney-to-the-unabomber-inspirations-and-enabling-conditions-in-comparative-perspective/
THOUGHT II: The liberal humanist distaste for the death penalty is self-defeating when intelligent jailbirds like the Unabomber can influence disaffected mavericks such as Breivik through the internet. Yes that is what happened, though the Unabomber’s missionary zeal was NOT the only influence guiding Anders Breivik on his ‘warpath.’ JAIL can be a forging house as we know full well with the tale of the “Gang of 40” (Aboriginal assailants and raiders) in Adelaide and the core ISIS cell that commands attention today. IN OTHER WORDS JAILING RENOVATES CERTAIN TYPES OF PROBLEM.