Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Law Enforcement Arrests Domestic Religious Terrorists

You may have read or seen on TV recently that the FBI has arrested members of a militia group in Michigan that was allegedly plotting to kill a police officer and then blow up mourners at the deceased officer's funeral with explosive devices similar to those used by the bad guys in Iraq.

Further, you may have read or seen that this self-described group of "Christian warriors" was training as a military group to initiate what they believed would be a war against the government of the United States.

These developments lead to a lot of questions, and certainly there are a many issues wrapped up in this story.

But a few things really struck me. In particular:
  • These people are terrorists...at least they are accused of doing and planning actions that if proven true would make them terrorists. The media calls them a "militia," or "para military group," or similar. But, these are people who are accused of planning to kill police officers and blow up innocent people. If the setting were Afghanistan and the people involved Muslim, what do you think the media would be calling this group?
  • They were caught by law enforcement. Solid police work nabbed these people and not, for example, a military operation in southern Michigan. Terrorism is an act. Terrorists are individuals or relatively small groups. They are not nation states and they do not act with armies, navies and air forces. Therefore, the most effective way of finding, catching and doling out justice to them is likely with aggressive law enforcement rather than traditional military force. This holds true here at home and, I suspect, would be the case in most cases overseas too when it comes to trying to capture key terrorist leaders and disrupt their networks.
  • Like most terrorists from the Middle East, these people are motivated by religion...but in this instance it's Christianity. Certainly this Michigan group, like those fanatics in the Middle East, are purveyors of a corrupted, warped version of their religion. But, it's religion none the less that is their motivation. This shows that it's not just Muslim fundamentalists who are capable of planning terrorist activity. Christianity has fundamentalists too, and in the U.S.A. they - like all citizens - have access to a LOT of guns and other weapons.
Anyway, I thought this story was disturbing in a number of ways, and found the above points to be particularly ironic and/or worth pondering.

No comments: