What You Should Know About ISIS and the Orlando Terrorist

"In a 911 call during the attack Mateen pledged his allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS. Although the group also claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. officials said they haven’t seen a direct link between the gunman and the terrorist group."

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Bert Perry's picture

....is that not leaving an easy paper trail to connect the dots is part of their modus operandi.  What the FBI (and I presume a few other agencies) are seeing is not a bug of their system or a lack of connection.  It is a feature; you motivate people with "the cause" and they go out and do things without necessarily leaving a huge paper trail.  You saw the same thing with the Mafia, and I believe that if anyone ever looks closely, you're going to see the same thing with the Obama administration.  There are a lot of things that our President approved of and encouraged (IRS audits of conservatives, Benghazi misdirection, etc..) that you'll never be able to prove in court simply because it's not a direct command with sign-offs, but an application of ideology.


Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture


We simply must start acknowledging that terrorists -- whether ISIS, Al Qaeda, or others  -- are not structured like governments or corporations.  They are not staffed with desk-bound bureaucrats in grey suits, arranged pursuant to a complex, hierarchical organization chart. They do not send memoranda to each other through a complex clearance process, with copies distributed far and wide.

Nor do they function like spy networks and subversive political movements of days gone by.  They do not carry party identification cards.  They do not communicate through dead drops, brush passes, invisible ink and microdots.  This is not an age where FBI agents have the capacity to infiltrate the “cells” that do not exist or shadow the agents who are running the actual terrorists.

Instead, it is not just the West that has mastered digital communications and Internet social networks.  The terrorists are just as good at it, for their purposes better than we are at understanding their techniques and their success. Actors like Mateen are not rigorously following a critical path chart in ISIS headquarters.  Instead, it is precisely the disconnected, unpredictable timing of the terrorist attacks, not necessarily staged in advance, that adds to their devastating effect.