A new video from Al-Shabaab calls for attacks with a Mall of America threat and a summon to lone wolves to attack other places of large public gatherings. The call for the attack is not something new as it seems that every week there is another call for an attack. As a country we will respond exactly as we have in the past. We will increase security, provide greater coverage both with visible and non-visible protection mechanisms, and will spend a small fortune trying to protect something that may never come. Our intelligence agencies will spend thousands of man hours trying to determine what might happen, when it might happen and what connection there is to an organized group. We take great comfort when we can pinpoint the threat and show some form of organizational support and hierarchy.
But what happens when there is no organizational support? When you have no real idea as to whom or where the attack will come from. We are advised by the government that “no credible threat exists, but what does this mean? It means no one credible in the eyes of law enforcement has given any information as to a plot to commit the attack. Does this mean that the attack won’t happen? Don’t bet on it. According to the Secretary, “The world is dealing with a “new phase” of global terrorism. Now, such groups are using the Internet and social media to push people to carry out attacks on their own”. The English translation is there is no way for law enforcement to know where the attack will happen or even who might conduct such an attack. We can’t take comfort in being told that no credible threat exists, because it doesn’t mean what we want it to. We need to realize that no one has any clue about the crazed self-radicalized, so called “lone wolf”.
It often said by members of law enforcement “thank god they are stupid, it gives us a chance to catch them”. They are no longer stupid, it is much worse, they are crazy. As we have seen, one self-radicalized lunatic with a weapon is all that is needed to shut a city down.