While national security experts doubt that Ohio State University attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan had any official relationship with the Islamic State, the group nevertheless praised Artan this week and claimed him as one of their own.
“The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,” said ISIS’s Amaq news agency.
The statement angered President-elect Donald Trump, who responded on Twitter.
“ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country,” Trump said Wednesday.
Artan was indeed a Somalian-born refugee, though he had legal permanent status at the time of his death. According to experts at the SITE Intelligence group, there’s little reason to believe that Artan had material support from the Islamic State. SITE Director Rita Katz said the “style of reporting by ISIS indicates it wasn’t coordinated with the group.” She did acknowledge, however, that Artan’s attack was likely influenced by recent ISIS propaganda, which encouraged followers to use vehicles and knives to slaughter innocents.
As usual, the Obama administration downplayed any possible connection the attack might have to international terrorism.
“There is plenty of available evidence to suggest that this individual may have been motivated by extremism,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. But, he said, the important thing now was to resist the impulse to criticize Islam. “If we increase our suspicion of people who practice a particular religion, we’re more likely to contribute to acts of violence than we are to prevent them.”
You know, maybe President Trump can destroy ISIS and maybe he can’t. Maybe this is a worldwide infection that can only be cured by time. We’ll find out.
But even if Trump is no more successful in the war on terror than his predecessor, it will be damned nice to be free of idiot phrases like “motivated by extremism.” What the hell does that even mean? You could say that about any murderer. Hell, isn’t that how they characterized Trump?
This isn’t a trivial victory. It matters. The left has proven, again and again, that they can accomplish extraordinary things just by changing a phrase or two. How many people could proudly call themselves pro-abortion? Ah, but “pro-choice”…that’s another story. Their entire cultural strategy is based on that simple principle: Use political correctness to confuse people, thus allowing an unthinkable evil to arise in the disguise of goodness. Maybe they don’t fully realize that they’re doing this with terrorism. Maybe they do.
Either way, it’s extremely dangerous.