According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, ISIS is responsible for the Istanbul terror attack that sent travelers scurrying for safety at Ataturk International Airport. Latest reports claim that 36 people have been killed and 147 injured. This count could go up in the coming days.
While ISIS has not yet claimed responsibility, Yildirim clearly believes it is. According to CNN, American intelligence officials also believe that ISIS is responsible for the Istanbul terror attack. They point to the use of combined weapons, guns and explosive devises, as one sign pointing to ISIS. Furthermore, ISIS attacks civilian populations, as they have done in Belgium and Paris, for example. The Kurdish terrorist group attacks military targets and therefore, it is unlikely that they are behind this attack.
Clarissa Ward of CNN reported on what is currently known about the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.
“ISIS has not yet officially claimed responsibility for this attack, but if you look back at ISIS attacks in Turkey, unlike other attacks that they have done in the West, they don’t typically claim responsibility for them.”
Leaders around the world were quick to tweet their condolences to the victims of the explosion at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. Americans look to their own leaders to see how they are responding to what seems to be another example of Islamic terrorism.
Hillary Clinton issued a statement. She unequivocally called this a terrorist attack, even though no group had yet claimed responsibility. She even clearly assigned responsibility to “radical jihadism.”
Donald Trump was also clear about the fact that the Istanbul terror attack was an act of terrorism.
He immediately followed that up with a tweet that spoke directly to his presidential campaign platform.
“We must do everything possible to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States.”
This statement apparently struck a chord as over 28,000 “liked” his tweet, and over 11,000 retweeted it. While he did not use the word Islam or Muslim, Trump is known to believe that Islamic terror is a phenomenon the United States needs to reckon with.
The White House made an official statement condemning the “heinous terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport”.
However, nothing was tweeted on Barack Obama’s official personal Twitter account other than a news report saying that he has been briefed on the Istanbul terror attack. This did not go over well among Americans who expect a firmer statement.
It does not appear that Obama is willing to refer to the Istanbul terror attack as an attack carried out by ISIS, or by radical Islamists. Just as he has avoided applying that label to the Orlando shooting and other terror attacks carried out by radical Muslims in the United States and Europe. Furthermore, it appears that many Americans shy away from using the term for fear of being called Islamophobes. Is this reasonable?
The Mirror raises the fact that June 29 is the second anniversary of the declaration of caliphate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — ISIS. The fact that the Istanbul terror attack took place on the eve of this important date seems to cement the conclusion that ISIS is responsible and this was, in fact, an Islamist terrorist incident.
In a CNN opinion piece, Mark Dubowitz, of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, is quoted as agreeing that one should not paint all Muslims with the same brush. At the same time, it is important to know what you are fighting.
“It’s always critical to understand the nature and gravity of the threat you face and correctly identify the motivating factors. It’s equally critical to understand the ideological motivation of the terrorisms we face so, again, we can correctly identify who’s likely to attack and… mobilize against it.”
Without understanding the nature of the perversion of Islam for the purposes of terrorist groups who say openly that they want to impose Sharia Law globally, governments are handicapped in their approach to fighting terror. In the Toronto Sun, a Canadian Muslim asks Western governments to label Islamic terror as Islamic terror and not search for euphemisms, such as calling the Orlando attack a hate crime.
“It [Islamic terror] holds secular liberal democracy in contempt, hates non-Muslims, degrades women and is racist towards non-Arabs, especially black Africans…. It is a supremacist death cult that has the end times as its ultimate goal.”
Muslims who escaped the Islamist nations of the Middle East are not happy about Islamism following them to the West. It is the former who truly integrate into Western democracies and the latter who carry out crimes such as the Istanbul terror attack. Can the West figure out how to call Islamic terror Islamic terror, engage with the Muslims in their midst who are prepared to fight Islamic terror, and worry less about political correctness and more about their own lives and cultures? Can we prevent the next Istanbul?
[Photo by Emrah Gurel/AP Images]