Ft. Lauderdale shooting: Jihadist atrocity or act of lunacy?

The FBI says Santiago thought U.S. intelligence services mind-controlled him to watch ISIS videos; is there really a difference between insanity and jihadism?

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A victim of the Ft. Lauderdale shooting is whisked to the hospital.

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2017 — The FBI says that Esteban Santiago, the man alleged to have shot and killed five and wounded eight at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, visited their field office in Anchorage, Alaska, in November. He told them then that he was being mind-controlled by a U.S. intelligence agency that forced him to watch ISIS recruiting videos.

Esteban Santiago.

This raised a question: Was he a lone-wolf jihadist working in the service of ISIS, or is he just insane?

Captured jihadists have admitted that strapping on a suicide vest to strike a blow against nonbelievers may be the prime object of the enterprise, but the 72 dark-haired virgins awaiting them in paradise are the proverbial cherry atop the ice cream sundae.

That said, is there really all that much difference between jihadism and more pedestrian forms of insanity? Aren’t they just variations on a theme?


As the Ft. Lauderdale Airport drama unfolded on CNN, a newsroom colleague said, “I hope the guy is just a crazy.” She closed her eyes and looked skyward as if in prayer.

It’s a familiar refrain among members of the mainstream media, those who cringe at every murderous act committed in the name of Allah and his body of aggrieved believers, the ummha.

Every domestic atrocity is met with a silent plea to an empty universe that the perpetrator be a white, gun-owning, Christian Republican. That would fit the narrative of what our elites say is wrong with America—its lack of diversity.

The election of Donald J. Trump as the nation’s next president has only reinforced this narrative. As the New York Times’s Paul Krugman observed, “They turn out to be a huge number of people—white people, living mainly in rural areas—who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them it is about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.”

The day following the Florida shooting, New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote, “Officials were still unsorting the history of the suspect … and trying to determine whether he was inspired, even in a totally deranged way, by ISIS,” but was quick to add, “I tell you that our president-elect [Trump] does not believe in sensible regulation of gun sales.”

That’s identical to the now infamous 2008 observation made by candidate Barack Obama to a gathering of deep-pocket donors. He said small-town Americans were “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion.”

These same Americans rejected Hillary Clinton and gave Republicans control of the House and Senate.

This may explain why the elites who hate America’s so-called “traditional patriarchy” and “anti-democratic values” attempt to pray away or simply turn a blind eye to those fighting for the insane traditional patriarchy and anti-democratic values of ISIS.

Now that’s true diversity!

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