The Ordinary Face of Terror

Stuart Phillipps/AFP/Getty Images

The Ordinary Face of Terror

Intelligence services, police and security organizations struggle to contain the spread of the latest form of terror that lurks behind the everyday facade of “ordinary” people.

“History teaches us some powerful lessons—if we are willing to learn. For example, history teaches us that America and its allies cannot win their war against terrorism. We can learn some essential lessons about our future through history.” Thus wrote the Trumpet’s editor in chief in his ground-breaking booklet The King of the South.

But are we really learning from the history of our declared war on terror? From the results, it would seem not.

Following the British foiling of the latest plot to use hijacked aircraft as bombs, it is now revealed that in its wake “[d]ozens of terrorist plots around Britain are being tracked by police and MI5 …” (Scotsman, August 12). The difficulty the authorities are experiencing in isolating and eliminating these terrorist cells is compounded by the fact that, as the Scotsman declared, those concerned are viewed by their local communities as just plain “ordinary men.”

So adept is this new breed of young “ordinary” men at hiding their extraordinary misdeeds of terror that neighbors often reflect sheer disbelief at the revelation of their involvement in hatching and enacting plots designed to slaughter multiple thousands. “[T]hey are brilliant, peaceful people,” commented one who knew the family of Tayib Rauf, “definitely not into terrorism.” “He is a nice bloke. Well respected,” was the comment of one neighbor of suspect Heathrow security worker Asmin Tariq. “[A]lways very polite …. [T]hey pray locally quite a lot,” were comments made by acquaintances of other suspects in the latest terror plot stymied by the Brits (ibid.).

So this new wave of young pawns of extremist Islamic terrorist zealotry merges well with the “nice blokes” who tread the streets of leafy villages in Britain, who attend classes at our institutions of education, as was the case with the 9/11 attackers in the United States, or who just blend easily with urban dwellers in Hamburg, as was also the case with the latter.

But not only do these terrorist thugs appear as ordinary men on the street, they now have taken to using a range of simple everyday items to mask their formulas of death that lurk in their pockets and backpacks. Stratfor likened this latest foiled attempt by Islamist terrorists in Britain to a similarly failed plot attempted in Manila during the 1990s. In that instance, the terrorists planned to use “modular explosive devices, which would have been assembled in-flight after operatives accessed their carry-on baggage, and the use of liquid explosives” (August 16). Hence, wristwatches, cell phones, travel clocks could be easily used as timing devices, and the liquid explosive hidden in something as innocuous as a container of contact lens lubricant, or any common cosmetic, perfume, or other toiletry product.

Having failed to deal decisively with terrorism at its cause, it has now snaked into a genie that cannot be contained. Terror is now masked as the average, the commonplace, the seeming innocuous. It may literally be lurking unnoticed next door to us!

Truly, we are daily demonstrating that, though we may foil even a terrorist plot as significant and complex as this most recent event in Britain, America and its allies are not winning the war on terror. Having failed to deal with the head of the snake of terrorism—which resides in Iran—this beast has quickly morphed into a multi-headed gorgon. As fast as one terror cell is cut off, it seems a multiplicity sprouts in its wake. British Home Secretary John Reid warned of “many more groups intent on ‘wreaking havoc’ in Britain” (Scotsman, op. cit.). Associated Press reported that following the arrest of larger terror groups many fragment into splinter groups. It is becoming an impossible task for police and security organizations to keep pace with the hybridization and proliferation of such groups.

The genie of terror is simply out of the bottle and the results, as declared by the most astute analysts, are going to be devastating for non-Muslim, Western society. Look at our book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet to see what the Bible prophesies will happen in Western states as we witness the rapid spread of the scourge of terrorism.