Which One of These is Not Like the Other?

I have attended thousands of hours of training devoted to criminal investigation.  I applied what I learned to investigations over thirty years. I could have saved myself a lot of time because the most valuable investigative tip I ever received came from a film clip of two dummies on “Sesame Street” singing, “Which one of these is not like the other, which one of these isn’t the same…”

There seems to be a debate as to whether or not the two idiots in San Bernardino were terrorists engaged in a terrorist act.  Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. I think we can check that box.

Terrorist acts demonstrate the powerlessness of the state and ultimately result in acts of repression against the citizens.  Two individuals entered a government building killed fourteen people and walked out unaccosted.  Their actions have caused members of government to call for the suspension of civil rights of people not involved in the terrorist act.  (President Plausible the guy with no clothes, but don’t his suit fit well?) calls for additional gun control.  In the meantime an actual demonstration that his immigration policy does not, cannot work remains in place.*

Terrorist organizations do not provide uniforms, identification cards, major medical and except for 72 virgins, retirement plans. The whole ISIS recruitment scheme is to reach out to people on the fringe and encourage them to act out without support from the organization.  This simplifies logistics and makes individuals and cells virtually undetectable. *

This model for “resistance movements” was used extensively in occupied Europe during WWII by both the British SOE and American OSS.  Resistance cells were provided with weapons and as they became more successful and organized two way radios.  Without secure communications these cells were encouraged to attack infrastructure, transportation and communications of German forces, without orders or input from Allied command.  History shows how the Germans felt about their activities.

There is a saying that; “When you are ass deep in the swamp surrounded by alligators, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the reason you are there is to drain the swamp.”  I would add an additional observation. “When you are in the swamp being stalked by an alligator, that is not the time for you to ask, is he looking for a snack or a full meal?”

* Terrorist philosophy as espoused by Carlos Marghella Minimanual Urban Guerrilla