CHARLOTTE, July 28, 2013 — New reports suggest young Westerners are increasingly traveling to Syria via Turkey to join the rebels in their efforts to oust Bashar al-Assad, creating a potential jihadist threat when they return to the United States.
Eric Schmidtt reported in the New York Times yesterday that Westerners want to join the Syrian rebellion to “help the people suffering there” but often succomb to “jihadist zeal.”
Schmidtt quoted Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew G. Olsen, saying, “Syria has become really the predominant jihadist battlefield in the world. The concern going forward from a threat perspective is there are individuals traveling to Syria, becoming further radicalized, becoming trained and then returning as part of really a global jihadist movement to Western Europe and, potentially, to the United States.”
This is an ideal example of how foreign policy can be incorporated to minimize the threat of global jihad before it happens. Far too often the
Official reports claim that more Westerners are currently fighting in
Estimates are that only about a dozen Americans have made the trip to join Syrian rebels. While this is a relatively small number, it represents 12 potential threats to US security when they return to America. The time to identify and track such persons of interest is now. This is not a matter of profiling. It’s just plain old common sense.
To do nothing reinforces the inadequacies of efforts by the government to deal with a growing threat of terrorist activity that is increasing exponentially.
Speaking at a security conference in
Said Olsen, “The concern going forward from a threat perspective is there are individuals traveling to Syria, becoming further radicalized, becoming trained and then returning as part of a global jihadist movement to Western Europe and, potentially, to the United States.”
Already Western European countries are making contingency plans to deal with the situation following whatever results take place in
Many Western fighters are “self-radicalized” but that term is misleading. All it really means is an individual has internally planted the seeds of jihadi discontent without having a thorough and complete indoctrination as to what the movement entails.
Only after they receive intense brainwashing of Islamic fundamentalism combined with knowledge of weaponry and explosives and an unfailing allegiance to the cause do these jihadist wannabes become capable of terrorist strikes to the extreme.
According to Schmitt, some 30 French fighters have already returned home from
Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister of
European countries are not taking the situation lightly. Presently surveillance efforts and contingency plans are being increased at a significant rate.
While an abundance of controversial debates rage throughout the
Rather than waste our efforts at playing politics and laying blame, would it not be more productive to recognize a potential terrorist threat now and eliminate it before it happens?
Such an endeavor would be a more prudent approach than waiting for the next series of unnecessary innocent American deaths to occur before condemning the action with angry, meaningless rhetoric.
The time for complacency is over. Rather than pat-down little old ladies and babies in strollers after the next plane is hijacked, why not pay attention to the places like
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world.
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