ISIS Claims Credit for Texas Shooting

61

On Tuesday, the Islamic State claimed credit for the Garland, Texas shooting that sent an unarmed security officer to the hospital. The militant radicals used their online radio network to claim that “two soldiers of the caliphate” had carried out the attack. While U.S. officials have noted that these terrorist organizations sometimes accept responsibility for attacks they had nothing to do with, it remains to be seen whether or not this is one of those instances.

The shooters – Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix – were almost certainly driven to violence by their religious beliefs. The attack was focused on a “Draw Mohammed” contest event that had already attracted the attention of ISIS. They sent out tweets in the weeks prior to the conference, calling on faithful jihadists to prove their allegiance to the prophet. Even if Simpson and Soofi had no official connection to the group, it’s entirely possible that they were answering those calls. For their efforts, they were killed by Garland police.

While it’s good that no one died as a result of the attack (other than the assailants, of course), the relatively minor impact of the shooting should not minimize its importance. Far better for us to heed this wake-up call than to wait for a tragedy too heartbreaking to ignore. Unfortunately, the focus in the media seems to be on Pamela Geller and the conference itself rather than the would-be murderers. Why are so many Americans willing to defend Islam at a time like this? Are they not, in their own way, carrying out the wishes of ISIS when they talk about the cartoons instead of the terrorists? Aren’t liberals supposed to be against victim blaming?

It’s time to forget about who is drawing what and turn our attention to this band of marauders in the Middle East. ISIS is not an Iraq problem. It’s not a Syria problem. It is growing, strengthening, and spreading its tentacles into the West. It needs to be the primary focus of this administration. We have ample military capability to destroy them. All we lack is the will.

The situation is enough to make one long for the presidency of George W. Bush, imperfect though it may have been. He at least understood the stakes, as should anyone who was alive to watch those towers come crashing down. Will it take the demise of another 3,000 innocent Americans before we remember what we’re up against? Or can we use this opportunity to remind ourselves that these radicals have a bloodthirst that cannot be quenched?