When Terrorism Comes Home

by | May 23, 2013

Several observers have pointed out the similarities between today’s savage attack in London, where a British soldier was reportedly beheaded by two men shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and the gruesome recent attack by US/UK-supported Free Syrian Army Commander Abu Sakkar, who cut out and devoured his Syrian Army soldier victim’s heart.

Indeed one of the eyewitnesses of today’s London attack could well have been describing Syrian rebel Commander Sakkar’s butchery a few weeks ago in Syria:

“We thought the two guys were helping him. We then saw two kitchen knives like you would find in a butchers shop, they were hacking at this poor guy literally. We thought they were trying to remove organs or something.”

Nearly identical behavior.

It is important to point out that while the US and UK increasingly condemn (and exaggerate) the role of Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian fighters on the side of the government in next-door Syria, the truth is thousands of foreign fighters, including at least hundreds from Europe and handfuls from the US, have signed up to fight with the radical Islamist insurgents in Syria.

Time Magazine reported yesterday of a young Belgian teenager who dropped his Western life and went to Syria to fight a jihad against the secular government of Bashar Assad. The story is repeated thousands of times, as foreign fighters in Syria are so significant a part of the insurgency that they overshadow domestic Syrian rebels.

The Moon of Alabama blog has helpfully assembled just a few of the press reports of foreign fighters

Strangely enough, just a couple of weeks ago the Economist published an article titled “British fighters in Syria: Will they come home to roost?”, which points out UK fears:

“British intelligence sources cite three particular worries. First, some of the British fighters may have already been inclined to attack their home country, but simply lacked expertise: they will acquire that. Second, they may be exposed to al-Qaeda’s ideology in Syria, and perhaps even talent-spotted as potential leaders. Third, the prospect of a large, ungoverned space close to Europe that could be used as a base from which to stage an attack on Britain is troubling.”

Though there is no indication the attackers had spent time in Syria, clearly these fears are all of a sudden much more relevant.

Incredibly, US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Prime Minister David Cameron appear blind to this reality. Speaking in Jordan today, Kerry condemned the violence of a handful of Hezbollah fighters in Syria while acting as if the documented evidence of the overwhelming foreign radical Islamist presence in the insurgency simply did not exist:

“The United States, I think, joins the other core nations who are supporting the opposition in condemning Hezbollah’s destructive role of all of the foreign fighters who are in the region, particularly in Syria. And active military support to the Assad regime simply exacerbates the sectarian tensions and it perpetuates – perpetuates – the regime’s campaign of terror against its own people.”

That US overt and covert support of the insurgency in Syria, including its radical and al-Qaeda affiliated elements, is a known fact. Yet Kerry with a straight face simply fails to mention it. As in the days of Bush, the Obama administration is making its own reality. But we know that eventually these US-supported Islamist radicals with Western passports will come home — and now we have a better idea of what might be in store for us when they do.

Kerry today in Jordan also drags out the old tried and true trick — see Saddam, Gaddafi, etc. — of condemning a foreign leader for killing his own citizens and using that to demonstrate that therefore the leader has lost all legitimacy and must be regime-changed:

“And finally, with respect to Assad and the future of Syria, just as a matter of practical negotiation, I’d ask anybody of common sense: Can a person who has allegedly used gas against his own people; can a person who has killed more than 70,000, upwards of 100,000 people; can a person who has used artillery shells and missiles and Scuds and tanks against women and children and university students – can that person possibly be judged by any reasonable person to have the credibility and legitimacy to lead that country in the future? I think the answer to that is obvious.”

This is particularly devious considering that any government on earth — the US certainly included — would use the force of arms if a foreign-funded and supported insurgency sought its overthrow.

But here is the really good part: Kerry in the above quote argues that a government using deadly military force on its own citizens without trial justifies foreign-sponsored “regime change” on the very day that the US government has admitted to using deadly military force on its own citizens without trial!

It is also interesting to see Kerry walking the administration back from his colleague Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s claim that the Syrian government has used WMD against its citizens — while leaving the implication squarely on the table. No mention at all of the UN findings that it was the Syrian rebels who used the prohibited weapons.

Kerry also misrepresents the Russian position on implementing last year’s Geneva agreement for a political settlement in Syria, suggesting that the Russians agree with the Obama administration that Assad must go as a precondition for any meaningful talks between government and insurgent forces scheduled for next month. Said Kerry:

“I want to thank President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov for their willingness to say that they will work in good faith, in good conscience, to try to find a way to implement Geneva 1. And I will simply remind everybody: Geneva 1 is clear; it says there must be a transition government with full executive authority with mutual consent. And it is very, very clear as a starting point that mutual consent will never be given by any member of the broad opposition of Syria for Assad to continue to run that government.”

Kerry is putting words into Putin’s and Lavrov’s mouth that are very different from what they actually said. On Monday the Russian Foreign Minister was clear that the insurgent pre-condition that Assad must depart is a non-starter. Period:

“The main thing is to ensure the consent of opposition groups to take part in the conference without any precondition. Our colleagues, including Americans together with who we put forward this initiative [to hold the conference], took the obligation to work closely with the opposition in order to make it change its approach to the immediate start of the negotiations and stop conditioning it with unrealistic things.”

Will the Russian government correct Kerry’s “mistake”?

And God help us when the European and American Islamist insurgents the US and EU sponsor in Syria come home.


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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