How can somebody say that this is not terrorism or has no links to terrorism only mere hours after an explosion rips through a bin injuring multiple people in Chelsea, New York? It is not terror-related?
Has the investigation ceased? No. Has a suspect been arrested and interrogates in regards to motives? No. Is terror just a normal everyday occurrence of our lives now? Hell bloody no! Is it suspected terrorism? Hell bloody yes! In fact, now, since writing this article, it is a confirmed terrorist event. Well duh!
The media and politicians declare too early, and without evidence, that an event is not terrorism. I say stuff their opinion. What do they have, Extra Sensory Perception? Are they fortune-tellers now? Prophets receiving revelations into the future? These silly political slips will cost them.
An intentional attack directed at civilians, using an artisanal bomb – pressure cookers and mobile-phone blast initiators, to blow up innocent people, spreading fear and panic, is the very definition and criteria of terrorism. To deny this is to deny the reality.
Let us go through a small list of identifiers and descriptors of the said event:
- An intentional act.
- An intentional blast.
- A deliberate act.
- A random act.
- A surprise act.
- And finally, and accurately, a terrorist attack.
Mayor de Blasio made a mistake. A slip of the tongue. A loose thought that does not translate into reality. This is his responsibility alone but representative of a poor response to panic, fear, and terror. To quell panic, one should not turn towards denialism or misdirection as a first-line response.
The frustration can easily turn into a grievance with the media and political classes within hours, and can be spun to meet ideological objectives of multiple political commentators, agitators, and pundits. An early narrative to calm the public is an important step but this ideological narrative can easily be hijacked by competing political agendas, politicizing the said event.
The intent of the event, to harm groups of civilians, near-automatically puts this in the bracket of terrorism. From there on, it is suspected terrorism. To deny this is to suggest the normalization of violence on otherwise non-violent streets and that the motives of someone or a group of people blowing up civilians is not inherently terroristic.
Is this an act of… intention? An intentional blast randomly but deliberately intentionally done but not terrorism, right? Come on. It’s one in the same. And remember this has nothing to do with religion so say the twitter activists preemptively as they bend the narrative. No one even knows… yet. Suspect it if you wish, put forth your theory, but do not make that confirmatory.
A Better Way
Simple solution: Declare that it suspected terrorism and wait upon official investigation confirmation. Is that not fair? Do not say it is or it is not – do not make a confirmatory statement. Do not suggest that merely motive excludes terrorism, which goes against US Code for terrorism.
Confirm that the event was terrorism or that it is suspected terrorism. Throwing a qualifier in there like ‘possible,’ ‘probable’ and/or ‘suspected’ alleviates many fears and repercussions, including outrage. Are there on-going investigations? Have gas-leaks and other accidental explosions been ruled-out? Great. Now you can pinpoint what happened and why. But the act itself demonstrates one of terror, the motive solidifies this position.
Never rule-out terrorism when you do not know if it was or was not terrorism. It will make you look silly when they find a secondary pressure-cooker device primed and ready to explode, won’t it? Do not rule-out terrorism when the event has most, if not all, of the hallmark signs of terrorism! Duh!!!
Do not rule-out terrorism in light of the event ticking-off many hallmark signs of terrorism – and prior to the investigative process being concluded. Silly mistakes cost big political points. Stop the “nothingtodowithism.”