An Armchair Analysis of the Terrorist Attacks in Brussels

What Happened:

Brussels was hit in two different locations approximately seven miles apart by multiple attackers. We have at least one confirmed suicide bomber, an AK-47 and reports of Arabic spoken prior to the attack. We have “suspicious packages” reported at the royal residence and one other government building which are in the process of being dealt with by explosive ordinance teams.

At about 8:00AM local time, a suicide bomber approached the security checkpoint at Zaventem airport and detonated his explosives. He did not pass the internal security zone and detonated in the crowd cueing at the check in desks near the entrance to the internal security checkpoints. Reports of shots being fired prior to detonation have been reported, but not confirmed. An AK-47 is reported to have been found near the scene. 10 people are currently reported dead and 100 injured.

Surveillance video reveals three men, one of whom … Read more »

Terrorism, Violence, and the Ideology of Oppression

“We, God willing, will continue to fight you and will continue martyrdom operations inside and outside the United States until you abandon your oppression…”

                                                                                                                       ~ Osama Bin Laden

The Islamic Extremists who committed the mass murder in San Bernardino, which killed 14 and injured another 21 people, were a young married couple. They left a six-month-old child at home with one of the terrorist’s mothers. They had equipped themselves and planned for this type of action for an extended period before its execution. It was clearly not a spur of the moment “workplace violence” incident. Rather than blaming guns, terrorists, and the usual suspects, we are going to look at how these violent ideologies are enticing young people, across cultures, religions and social class at unprecedented rates.

The popular media like to present the unsupportable and inaccurate assertion that violence is a human aberration. Unfortunately, many in our society have … Read more »

Paris Attacks – This is Quite Different…

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks that have killed 129 people. This is the first successful large-scale attack ISIS has been able to coordinate in the Western world. There is a large difference between encouraging disenfranchised youth to act out against the society they live in, and planning and executing a group of attacks like this. It represents a significant extension of the group’s proven capabilities as was predicted in the article on ISIS we released in August, which was the third in a series called Understanding Islamic Extremism.
As a review, the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar reset a significant portion of the loyalty chain that was keeping Al-Qaeda relevant in the global Jihadi movement. Zawahiri is nearly universally disliked while ISIS has been steadily rising in popularity. The death of Mullah Omar effectively put every AQ cell or operative in a position to … Read more »

Thalys Train Attack – A Cultural Bias for Action

Thayls Train Attack - Aegis AcademyIn France this past week, we saw the actions of six people thwart what would mostly likely have been a very severe attack on the Thalys Train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. There were over 500 people on the train, and yet only six acted. Undoubtedly, there were others in the vicinity who could have acted, but they choose not to, or chose instead to distance themselves from the attacker. Conversely we saw employee’s of the company that operated the train lock people out of cars in a desperate attempt to save their own lives, even though their actions clearly increased the risk for those who could not have escaped the gunman. What is interesting, is that undoubted, Americans were in the minority by a substantial percentage, and yet four of the six who acted, were American.

One of the Americans involved in thwarting the attack was quoted as saying … Read more »

Islamic Extremism Part Three – The Terrorist Group ISIS

In the past two articles in the series, we’ve looked at Saudi funding for the Wahhabist / Salafist agenda and how that has expanded the global jihadist movement. Next, we looked at a bit at the cultural aspects of poverty, poor governance, and other cultural issues impacting extremism that tends to be associated with violent movements. In the third article in the series I planned to provide a broad brush overview of several terrorist groups, however with the death of Mullah Omar being announced in the last two weeks, things have dramatically shifted on that front. As such this article will focus almost exclusively on ISIS as it is quite likely that Al-Qaeda as we know it has ceased to function and that ISIS is going to become the dominant player in extremist Islam.

Origins of the Terrorist Group ISIS

ISIS originated in the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq and … Read more »