About that focus on ISIS: Killer's contradictory background raises questions | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

About that focus on ISIS: Killer's contradictory background raises questions

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 7:33 AM

The rush by Arkansas politicians and others to target ISIS as the villain in the mass slaughter in Orlando is growing more complicated with research into Omar Mateen, the killer.

He wasn't very religious, his family says, though he was Muslim and did claim an allegiance to the militant Islamic state. But his claim of allegiance with ISIS is at variance with his claims of ties to competing forces, al Qaeda and Hezbollah. He also claimed an association with the Boston Marathon bombers that the FBI believe was fabricated. His father has been associated with the Taliban, which also opposes the Islamic state. Writes the Washington Post:

Mateen certainly wouldn't be the first terrorist to cite Islam as justification for his actions while apparently being somewhat confused about the religion. In one especially notorious case, two British men who were found guilty of terrorism charges in 2014 ordered “Islam for Dummies,” “The Koran for Dummies” and “Arabic for Dummies” from Amazon before they left for Syria.
Add to this mix the news developing late yesterday that Mateen, who killed 49 and wounded dozens more in a gay night club, might himself have been gay, if perhaps of the self-loathing variety. Yes, he had been married and fathered a child. He was violent and abusive to wives, reports indicate.

In short: The vows of Arkansas Republican congressmen to wipe out ISIS might be mostly sound and fury. Would it deter another Omar Mateen, an angry, disturbed and confused person whose precise motivation (if even he knew it) went to the grave? A repeat is as close as the nearest gun store selling an assault rifle and a high-capacity ammo feed.

UPDATE: Sen. Tom Cotton went on right-winger Hugh Hewitt's radio show today and expressed no lack of certainty about things. He said the slaughter clearly was an act of Islamic terrorism, "probably supported, inspired or maybe facilitated by others."

ISIS is, of course, a threat. But the notion that military might be the solution seems  a little simplistic. Have you seen this viral video by a former CIA agent on geopolitics? Food for thought.

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