This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The New Normal

"Unfortunately this is the new normal."
"[The bike path in New York was simply a] soft target [for a terrorist to make his mark]."
"In a large city, as you know in London, you can't put bollards and protection on every street and every building."
Howard Safir, former NYPD commissioner
Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov was a perfect candidate for extreme vetting. Meforum.org

"We were sitting outside of college, and I saw this truck coming, revving and swerving. He was going maybe 60 or 70 mph, in an area where the speed limit is 40 - it's a very congested area with lots of people."
"It hit the two people, I saw it hit them. Then he continued to drive down the walkway and bike lane. It hit a school bus and veered left."
"People started running towards the truck to see what was happening, and then the gunshots went off and everyone ran in the opposite direction."
Computer science student Babatunde Ogunniyi

"He was a very good person when I knew him."
"He liked the US. He seemed very lucky and all the time he was happy and talking like everything is OK."
"He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside."
Kobiljon Matkarov, Uzbek national, Florida
Police work near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing eight people.
Andres Kudacki, AP  -- Police work near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial , striking and killing eight people.

A 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan living in the United States as a truck driver, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, motivated by ISIL online incitement for the jihadi faithful to use convenient instruments of death like vehicles to strike against the infidels, has now been charged by American prosecutors for causing the deaths of eight people, for providing material support and resources to the Islamic State group, and could, if (when) convicted, face the death penalty.

Shot and injured by police when he emerged from the rented van he was driving when he attacked bicyclists on a popular bike trail close to the 9-11 setting of the World Trade Towers attack, he waived his right to avoid self-incrimination, and promptly asserted his pride in accomplishment, stating according to prosecutors that "he felt good about what he had done". New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asserted that this man had been radicalized while living in the United States. How he would be so certain is strange, since Uzbekistan is recognized as a hotbed of Islamist radicalization.

This man from Uzbekistan with the good fortune to win at immigration-roulette evidently was convinced by ISIL messages that the country that had given him the opportunity for a new and potentially prosperous start in life was really an evil empire that he, as a faithful Muslim was tasked with punishing. On his arrival in the country, with a bare command of English, he looked for employment as a truck and Uber driver, living in Tampa, Florida and Paterson, New Jersey. Uber had done its due diligence in background checks before hiring him.

He has a court-appointed lawyer who is evidently concerned that his client is in "a significant amount of pain", concerned also that he receive adequate medical care, a wheelchair or crutches in prison. This of a client admitting he was spurred to act on the urging of the world's foremost terrorist group and who decided Halloween represented a fortuitous choice of action for the very reason that he was aware that many people would be out on the streets presenting as a serendipitous target. While in hospital being treated for his stomach wound, Sayvullo Saipov wanted to have the ISIL flag displayed in his hospital room.

"I hope, given all of the attention in this case and all of the attention that it’s sure to continue to receive, that everyone lets the judicial process play out. I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him", stated his lawyer piously, concerned with fair justice on behalf of his client. This type of concern might also have been reflected in the initial reports made public about the attack that killed eight innocent people and severely injured another dozen in its violent ferocity, when it was claimed the attacker had shouted something.

'Something', indeed, something that sounded precisely like "Allahu Akbar!", but to state it is to identify the attacker immediately as an Islamist terrorist, and to do so is rash, considering the implications tarnishing Islam, and the instant identification of someone who might make that connection with or without the declamation, as an Islamophobe. Which brings us back to Mayor de Blasio who clarified that "This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians", by a what and a whom?
There is an Uzbek community living legally within the United States as landed immigrants, who work, pay their taxes, generally get along, and then there are Uzbek nationals who have made the news through terror attacks in the past year-and-a-half. In Stockholm, Sweden four people were killed, another 15 injured when Rakhmat Akilov drive into a crowd. Two Uzbeks were involved in the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport where 44 people died, 230 were injured, last year. And in December of 2016, 39 people died in a shooting spree at a nightclub in Istanbul for which Uzbek Abdulkadir Masharipov was responsible.

But then, you can't really blame Mr. Saipov, can you, coming from a tribal society immersed in Islamic doctrine of invincible superiority in conquest, a man whose good fortune in coming to the United States sank when his disagreeable temperament ended up losing him employment opportunities, and the burden of a wife and small children alongside vanishing opportunities and pure bad financial luck drove him to express his dissatisfaction so that it was just too bad that he chose psychological release through slaughtering innocent people. Poor man.

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