Lion of the Blogosphere

Proposed labels for attacks

Terrorism: asymmetric warfare committed by an organization with political goals which doesn’t rise to the level of guerilla warfare. This includes attacks by the IRA in the UK and the PLO in Israel, as well as 9/11 (al Qaeda) and the Paris terrorist attacks (ISIS). Under this definition, the only terrorist attack that has happened in the U.S. in my lifetime has been the 9/11 attack. Even the Oklahoma City bombing doesn’t fall under this label because it wasn’t part of campaign by an organization. The two guys who did the attack were acting as lone wolves (described below).

Jihadism: Any type of attack in which the perpetrator, or perpetrators, believe they are acting according to the instructions of Islam. This is a very useful label, but one that the mainstream media and our government absolutely refuses to use. Jihadism can overlap with all of the other types of attacks. I am very confident that the San Bernardino attack was jihadism.

Lone wolf attack: This is commonly used to describe an attack committed by a single person in support of a group, movement, or ideology. Dylan Roof falls under this category. I think it’s a pretty useful concept even though the term has unfortunately been utilized by liberals to downplay the threat of jihadism. I don’t think that the crazy guy in Colorado Springs is a lone wolf, I think he was just a crazy person and that his attack should be grouped with other crazy-people attacks like Jiverly Wong and Adam Lanza. The Fort Hood shooting is a jihadist lone wolf attack.

Conspiracy to commit pointless violence: When there is no political motivation for the mass murder, and the violence is not committed in furtherance of a criminal enterprise (as mass murder by drug gangs and the mafia are actually quite common). Extremely rare. I can only think of: Columbine, DC Snipers (who were black Muslims but who don’t seem to have been inspired by jihad).

Conspiracy of lone wolves: I don’t really like this term because it’s an oxymoron, but I can’t think of anything better. Usually these are jihadist attacks such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the San Bernardino “rampage.” Oklahoma City is the most prominent non-jihadist example of this type of attack.

Even though these are great labels, I think that using them would be confusing so long as people seem to think that all forms are jihadism are also terrorism, and we see the mainstream media and the Obama administration trying to label jihadist attacks as something else, and right-wing people saying “no, it was terrorism!” which is something that I myself have done with the San Bernardino “rampage.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

Posted in Crime

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. You left out ‘Attention Seeking.”


    December 3, 2015 at 11:42 am

  2. Wow. You just eliminated the issue of right-wing terrorism,since most sovereign citizens are not part of an organization.


    December 3, 2015 at 11:54 am

  3. The distinction between Lone Wolf and Terrorist is a false one designed to obscure two facts:
    1. Islam is the problem not any particular Islamic group.
    2. Permitting Muslim immigration to the USA is a fatal error.

    It is like the false distinction in the Cold War between “card carrying communist acting on direct instructions from Moscow” and “fellow travelers” (who out of ideological conviction did what Moscow wanted without Moscow directly telling them). They were both enemies even though you could not “prove” the latter was working for the enemy because he did not have a Party card or telegrams from the Kremlin in his office.


    December 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    • “The distinction between Lone Wolf and Terrorist is a false one ”

      They are two forms of jihadism, and a valid distinction for helping to understand what’s going on. Yes, I agree that in both cases Islam is a serious problem.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      • I agree with both of these comments, but would add that classifying any act of Islamic violence (perpetrated against non-Muslims) dilutes the Islamic nature of the violence. Islam accounts for a wide array of violence against non-Muslims. It’s a long read, but has some good background to this “diversity.”


        December 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      • “classifying any act of Islamic violence (perpetrated against non-Muslims) dilutes the Islamic nature of the violence”

        I said that the DC Sniper attacks were not jihadism, even though the perps were Muslim and the victims were not.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm

  4. It’s very frustrating the way some on the right are incapable of separating the concept of “terrorism” from the concept of “jihad.”


    December 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

  5. Are there really “two forms of jihadism”?

    Every time Muslims commit mass murder in America, our elites in the Obama administration and the media (but I repeat myself) tell us that it’s not jihad, it’s just a “lone wolf.” What these great Progressive thinkers mean, of course, is that the acts are not being committed by a member of a formal army, receiving orders from a central command. Their logic is that, if there’s no central command point, there’s no jihad; there are just a few wacky individuals who happened to be in touch with overseas terrorist masterminds, who were recognized by all as a devout Muslim (although this devotion was often of recent vintage), and who somehow managed to throw a few “Allahu Akbars” into the carnage.

    Israel, of course, has lately had a plague of “lone wolf” “lone wolf attacks,” often by teens and women, none of whom are taking direct marching orders from command central in either Hamas or the PA. Daniel Polisar did a study about Palestinian violence against Jews and he distilled the results of his long-term study to examine the current “lone wolf,” knife-stabbing. What Polisar discovered is that these “lone wolves” aren’t really alone at all. That is, they’re not aberrant outliers. Instead, they are reflecting the central tenets of their society and acting on the dominant paradigm in their community. In their world, it’s praiseworthy to kill Jews, both because Palestinian society at large says that Jews deserve to die and because the same society says that each Jewish death advances Palestinian social and political goals.

    In other words, once a society has embraced a corrupt idea, “command central” is no longer necessary to take practical steps to advance that idea. Instead, each individual appoints himself as a soldier in a very real, albeit unstructured, army.


    December 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: