John Bolton: Normal People Don’t Become ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists Overnight by ‘Spontaneous Combustion’

Abdul Razak Artan, a third-year student in logistics management, sits on the Oval in an August 2016 photo provided by The Lantern, student newspaper of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. on November 28, 2016. Courtesy of Kevin Stankiewicz for The Lantern/Handout via REUTERS
Courtesy of Kevin Stankiewicz for The Lantern/Handout via REUTERS

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam asked former U.N. Ambassador and AEI Senior Fellow John Bolton if he thought investigators were likely to find a radical mosque lurking in the past of Ohio State University attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan.

“I presume that’s what the police should be doing,” Bolton said. “It’s important to discuss this idea of ‘lone wolf’ terrorist activities – somebody’s perfectly normal one day, and then overnight, by spontaneous combustion or something, they become a terrorist.”

“It’s a subject of grave concern that ISIS has perfected the use of social media, through very aggressive propaganda efforts, that it can recruit people, convert them, mobilize them, and train them, and then deploy them,” he continued. “This is something that we’ve never seen before. So the fact that ISIS operates without a corporate organization chart shouldn’t make us relax; it should make us much more concerned. I think it is more likely that there are networks of people who help reinforce what somebody may be reading over the Internet, and it shows why the terrorist threat remains pervasive.”

“But why don’t people want to talk about it? Because then you’d have to admit there’s a terrorist threat, and if you’re Barack Obama, you don’t think a terrorist threat exists. That’s just fundamentally wrong, but that’s the attitude that’s driving it,” Bolton said.

As during his conversation the previous day with Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Kassam asked Bolton about the enduring influence of the late jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been cited as an inspiration by nearly all “lone wolf” terrorists.

“You can say it’s analogous – it’s certainly not a perfect analogy, but analogous to Che Guevara, whom almost nobody had heard of until he was killed in the Bolivian jungle, trying to foment a revolution there,” Bolton observed. “This is, I think, evidence of ISIS’ success in propagandizing their particular view. It’s a way of dramatizing the struggle, and it’s a way of conveying the revolutionary radical terrorist fervor that they want to convey. I think that until you can have a discussion about how ISIS, al-Qaeda, hell, other terrorist groups recruit converts, you can’t have a strategy to combat it seriously.”

“And the notion that somehow there’s not a fundamental radical ideology here, I think is self-defeating for the West,” he warned. “I think this is something that King Abdullah of Jordan has said repeatedly. He’s talked about a civil war within Islam. And let’s remember, he’s not just the Muslim king of a Muslim country; he’s the descendants of the sharifs of the Hijaz, the keepers of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. So if he talks about this civil war – it’s good enough for him – then it ought to be good enough for us.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.