The Changing Face of Terror
With an eye to the US and in light of the recent atrocities in Norway are we now witnessing a rebranding of terrorism in the West?
We have all been conditioned to picture the dark skinned, bearded Islamic fundamentalist as the archetypal image of terror. The Al-Qaeda threat which spawned the endless war on terror, the threat that has led to hugely destructive conflict in the Middle East and the threat that has warranted the loss of many of our civil liberties and the rise of the police/surveillance state.
Now that the global power elite have conquered, or at least occupied, many of the countries that they set out to and we are openly supporting a rebel government in Libya containing “flickers of Al-Qaeda,” in the last couple of years I have seen a concerted effort to change the face of terrorism, to turn the spotlight back on the people of Western societies and encourage us to be vigilant of everyone. It would appear that we are heading in a dangerous direction, one in which we can all be potential terror suspects regardless of our creed, colour or political beliefs. One in which our fellow citizens are encouraged to monitor our behaviour and to report anything that they deem to be “out of the ordinary” to government terror officials.
In the UK we have painful memories of the attacks committed by the IRA yet, particularly since 911, our media has constantly reminded us of the threat from the omnipresent Al-Qaeda bogeyman. However, following the tragic bombing and shootings in Oslo and Utoya we are now being presented with a new kind of terrorist threat – the threat from the far right, the “Christian” blonde haired, blue eyed white man willing to commit heinous crimes for his political beliefs.
While I feel that the eyewitness accounts of two gunmen, the once again coincidental timing of a terrorist training drill in Oslo and the very recent setting up of the killer’s social media sites are all some of the issues that deserve further scrutiny, I am still inclined to believe that this outrage was indeed the act of an evil ‘lone wolf’ and not a contrived false flag attack as many writers in the alternative media have suggested. Having said that, I am also aware that this atrocity fits hand in glove with an agenda to turn the terror spotlight on the people of Western societies, something that many writers and broadcasters in the alternative media have been predicting for months if not years. The argument here being that this is necessary for those behind the New World Order agenda to warrant ever more intrusive legislation and sophisticated technlogical methods of surveillance and monitoring of our lives, measures that would not be accepted by the public if the threat of terror were to subside.
Looking to the US over the last year we have seen the rise of the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign. Across the country there are now hundreds of video screens in the country’s Walmart stores which loop DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s warning that shoppers should be vigilant and watch for terrorist activity as they buy their groceries! This federal government campaign has now also been rolled out nationally with billboards across major cities and video screens pushing the message at sporting events and public gatherings. Last month we saw the launch of a Homeland Security commercial which shows that the federal government wants people to consider any “suspicious” activity of anybody as a potential terrorist threat. The clip is so badly acted that it is almost laughable but as you will see the vast majority of the “terrorists” are white and the video calls upon US citizens to report acts as seemingly innocuous as using a mobile phone camera, wearing a backpack or even scribbling notes on a piece of paper.
Last year we learnt that the Obama administration was refocusing its anti-terror efforts from the threat from overseas to the danger from its own shores and it was around the same time that the federal government caused a stir when it suggested that one of the most serious threats came from disgruntled returning war vets – men and women who risked life and limb for their country.
Back to the UK, on Sunday it was interesting to see the Guardian report that an official terror warning urging Westminster businesses and people to report to the authorities anyone they consider being a potential “anarchist.” With the shocking protest scenes I commented on back in March you could understand why the police would be interested in tracking “black block” operatives to prevent future riots, but I have issues with the precedent set here. For me “anarchist” it is a very ambiguous word, what exactly constitutes an anarchist? Is it someone who sours legitimate protest movements with underhand masked violence or is it, as Alex Jones of Infowars suggests, anyone who expresses anti-government views?. Once we head down this road what is to stop today’s outspoken government critic becoming tomorrow’s terrorist or enemy of the state? It would seem that many share my concerns and I later learnt that the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism desk had been forced to make an embarrassing U-turn, stating that the leaflet produced had been “badly worded.”
In the eyes of many the encouragement of “citizen spies” may seem a logical step towards a safer society, but I believe that we need to be vigilant of any move in this direction when we look to the lessons from history. While I’m not saying here in the UK we are anywhere close, it is important to remember that this kind of behaviour was encouraged in Mussolini, Hitler and Franco’s dictatorial police state regimes. Today it would seem a huge leap to make but, even so, if we ignore the lessons from history then we are doomed to repeat them.
I hope today that I have shown that, particularly in the US, that terror is currently undergoing a facelift and I believe that moving forward we will increasing levels of media attention on the threat from the far right or other non-Arab sections of society. Perhaps you agree whole heartedly that this is a necessary step in order to stop would be terrorists from slipping through the net? Perhaps like me you feel that the threat from the extreme right will now be hyped and overblown in order to warrant the continuing assault on the civil liberties that we currently enjoy in Western societies. Whatever your thoughts on today’s piece, your comments on the subject are, as always, very much welcomed.