ISIS: Gathering the Storm

By Patrick J. Brosnan

The single deadliest terror attack since 9/11 has happened. They are here, living amongst us- shopping alongside us; eating at our favorite restaurants; perhaps even bringing their children to the same day care center. They are known by several names- lone wolves, home grown terrorists, Muslim Jihadists or, as Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook who murdered 14 Americans on Dec 4 in San Bernardino are characterized- self-radicalized supporters of radical Islam. Regardless, they all share one common trait- they are the sworn enemy of America.  But unlike our enemies of the past, these are invisible enemies: perfectly camouflaged, cloaked in American garb, sleeping and nondescript, until they strike- suddenly and without warning- with blazing guns and homemade bombs- leaving death and destruction in their wake.  ISIS- the gathering storm, building momentum and becoming increasingly invisible to law enforcement, while our President - whether disengaged or delusional- refuses to even identify them for what they are- Islamic terrorists. And our own attorney general, Loretta Lynch, trumpets her greatest fear is that anti-Muslim rhetoric will lead to violence against Muslims, the day before the FBI calls the massacre of 14 Americans a terrorist act.  Our leadership is willfully blind and chained to a crippling fear of being branded as non politically correct.  All this while our enemy gets stronger and cleverer. 

  "We, in many respects, have gone blind,” NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton said on Sunday, referring to apps that encrypt messages and smartphones that are inaccessible even with a search warrant. And Mr. Bratton is right.  Terrorists that have been on law enforcement’s radar for months, even years, have simply vanished. A smarter and more cautious terrorist has emerged in recent months; a terrorist that has learned from his mistakes: no more reckless radicalizing through intermediaries, social networks and the Internet. No more careless posting on message boards and private forums -- anonymous rooms where aspiring terrorists can plan attacks and share info on weapons and targets. A silent terrorist. Terrorists that likely studied law enforcement’s well-documented practices for intelligence gathering: near-universal street cameras, facial-recognition software, phone-tapping from space and databases that can parse critical facts in nanoseconds. No longer are ISIS members needles in a haystack; they are now needles in a pile of needles.

How in God’s name are we to fight these barbarians?  First, we must stop obsessing over being labeled “politically incorrect.” Farook and Malik’s neighbors said nothing because they were fearful of being labeled “islamaphobes” or racist.  This must stop immediately. Without a vigilant populace willing to embrace our “see something, say something” policy for questionable behavior, we are doomed.  Second, we need to close our borders. From Mexico and from Canada. This is common sense in its purest form. Three, we need to halt the issuance of visas- I don’t care if its a business visa, education visa, fiancé visa, 90 day visa. Stop allowing potential murdering thugs- through a seriously flawed vetting process- unfettered access to our country. (Immigration officials missed a fake address on Malik’s visa app? Mind-boggling). Fourth, local and federal law enforcement’s role in this war has to be re-examined.  They are the homeland’s first line of defense and if the two most recent attacks in Paris and California are an indicator, we can logically expect future attacks to include small arms tactical assaults; deadly and inexpensive. And impossible to predict. Our police must be trained and weaponized to deal with this new threat.  Finally, Americans must exercise their Second Amendment right to own and carry a gun.  We must apply for concealed carry licenses and learn the laws that govern gun ownership. We must learn to shoot.  There are presently 12.8 million concealed carry permit holders in America and 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers. Both numbers need to increase as every store, every concert hall, every football field, every school  and every mall is a potential slaughterhouse for ISIS terrorists. A Gallup poll in October 2015 affirmed this as a majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe “more concealed weapons would make the country safer.”  This is common sense. It’s not about politics, or political correctness, its about surviving. We are living in a dangerous time.  The jackals are at the door.

Patrick J. Brosnan is the owner of Brosnan Risk Consultants – a security and investigative firm based in Midtown Manhattan – and a crime analyst for Fox News.

Get Started with Brosnan®

People, Equipment and Services for Your Organization’s Security Needs