The authorities have disclosed that San Bernardino jihadi Tashfeen Malik swore fealty to the Islamic State during her murder spree, but also that her husband Syed Farook was in contact with Syria’s Nusra Front and Somalia’s al-Shabaab – terrorist groups affiliated with the Islamic State’s rivals and progenitors, al-Qaeda.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a Breitbart National Security contributor and the Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University, explained this apparent ideological dissonance on Fox & Friends by noting that ISIS grew from al-Qaeda, and despite their current, occasionally violent rivalry, there is still ideological connective tissue between them.
“ISIS isn’t completely differentiated from al-Qaeda. ISIS came out of al-Qaeda,” Dr. Gorka said. “ISIS was originally al-Qaeda in Iraq, the organization run by Zarqawi, until we killed him. What’s happened in the last three or four years, it’s outgrown its mothership. It’s stolen the brand of jihad, and now ISIS is much more powerful than al-Qaeda.”
“These are all members of the same global jihadi movement, competing to be the lead brand,” he continued. “But the connection is the same, whether it’s AQ, al-Nusra, al-Shabaab, or ISIS. They’re all jihadis.”
Gorka said the Obama Administration was “living in a fantasyland, a bubble, where they have a pre-concocted narrative that terrorism is the result of economic hardship, political disenfranchisement… global warming, climate change is much more dangerous… the real jayvee team is ISIS, al-Qaeda is on the ropes… This is the narrative that they’ve spun themselves into for seven years, and anything that counters that, any shock of reality that goes against the White House meme, has to be ignored. So let’s talk about gun control. It’s incredible.”
Another persistent problem is the Left’s insistence on shoehorning terrorist attacks into their preferred victimhood narratives. As Gorka noted, there have been some efforts to portray the San Berardino jihadis as “oppressed,” their murderous rage an understandable response to verbal offense given by their victims, perhaps even by Farook’s employers holding a Christmas party. Details of their family background have been searched for shopworn liberal excuses for crime and violence, such as a difficult home life.
“Who cares what his parents did to this man?” Gorka said about Syed Farook. “Did we talk about Hitler’s father being abusive to him? It’s not relevant.”
Gorka charged that the Administration is “allowing political correctness, and considerations of an ideological nature, to undermine the threat assessment work that needs to be done.”
“Let’s not talk about jihad, let’s not talk about why these people do it. Let’s talk about gun control. It’s like a bad SNL skit in my opinion,” he said, referring to the “Saturday Night Live” comedy show.
Gorka pointed to the San Bernardino attack as more obvious evidence that ISIS has arrived in America… but it’s hardly the first or only evidence, as a report he cited from the Threat Knowledge Group, written before the California attack, makes clear.
“The war is real. The war is here,” he said. “30 percent of the 82 people we’ve killed or arrested in America in the last two years [for ISIS involvement] didn’t want to go abroad to be jihadis. They wanted to kill Americans in America. This is a war that is real and global. Jihad has arrived at the shores of America. 9/11 isn’t history – it is now.”
Gorka offered some safety advice for Americans, dismissing the Administration’s narrative about sudden radicalization and instant jihad to note that such attacks take careful preparation, and can be interrupted by alert citizens who keep their eyes open… if they disregard political correctness to report what they see.
He also dismissed the gun-control narrative to emphasize that individual American citizens must take responsibility for their own safety, and the safety of their loved ones. “Do not expect Washington to save you when an attack occurs,” he warned. “Dialing 911 is not gonna cut it. You have to take responsibility, you have to be aware, and if possible, fight back.”
“We need leadership that says one thing very clearly: we have an enemy – not global climate change, the enemy is global jihad, and these people are evil,” Gorka concluded.
Instead, we have leadership that stresses political correctness and refuses to admit the war is on, because they’re determined to push President Obama’s talking points about ISIS being “contained.”
“Tell that to the fourteen people dead in California,” Dr. Gorka suggested.