WASHINGTON, May 22, 2017 ⏤ British authorities have identified the suicide bomber who killed 19 people, including an eight-year-old girl, at an Arianna Grande concert last night as a British-born, 22 year-old-man.
The bomber did not get into the concert; he stood outside the exits and waited for the show to end and the people to leave.
Now that they know who conducted the bombing, authorities will work backward to determine how the killer was able to complete this horrific act, partly in hopes of punishing others involved in its planning and execution, but more in hopes of stopping future attacks.
As the media concentrate on the bombing details and emerging worldwide threats, Dan Coats of the National Intelligence Agency confirmed that the attack last night was not just a problem for Europe. Coats, recently returned from London where he spent time with intelligence colleagues discussing security threats to the UK and US, told a congressional committee:
“It once again reminds us. This threat is real. It is not going away and needs significant attention to do everything we can do to protect our people.”
While we are concerned about the details of this bombing, we may forget that these attacks affect neighborhoods and communities, and they are enmeshed in a history. We forget that these attacks happen not because of the Muslims who live among us, but because we have allowed radical Islamists to take over neighborhoods. We have let them impose laws detrimental to women, gays and “infidels.” We have ignored or accommodated their flagrant contempt for our laws and society, both in Europe and in America.
In Hamtramck, Michigan, the population, once primarily Polish-American, is now predominately Muslim. So is the government. To be clear, the growth of the Muslim population in westerns cities is not a problem. The problem is that our postmodern sensibilities have made us unwilling to stand up to the extremists in that population. When we invite the new culture in, we are unwilling to stand up for our own when extremists want to push our culture out.
“Thaer Hoshan, 40, fled Syria in 2012 with his pregnant wife Dalal, 37, and their five children, Shouk, 13, Shahed, 12, Rania, 10, Fadi, nine, and four-year-old Abdul-Hadi.
“Thaer said his southern hometown of Daraa was one of the first to come under siege from Assad’s forces, who would shell civilians and burst into homes to slaughter men and rape women.
“Without running water, power or access to schools, they escaped into Jordan where they say the UN put them through a 19-month vetting process before they could move to the US in August.
“Once here, they were amazed to find many of the comforts and customs they enjoyed in the Middle East, from Arabic-speaking neighbors to bustling halal restaurants and shops stocked with Islamic gifts and fashion.
“‘Coming to the US was very nerve-racking. I had never heard of Michigan, let alone Hamtramck,’ Thaer told Daily Mail Online, through an interpreter.
“‘I had no idea what to expect but once I got here I was surprised at how comfortable it felt. There is a mosque on the corner, most of the people speak our language. This place feels like home.'”
We can rejoice that Hoshan and his family found safety in America, but we should bemoan the loss of the Polish and Polish-American history of the town, and that Hoshan and his family won’t experience that history and culture with their own. The welcome mat for the Hoshan family and those like them should be put out at America’s door, but the radicalization of their children and those who come to live among us must be stopped.
James Corden, host of the CBS TV talk show Late Late Show with James Corden, calls Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, England his home. He spoke about the town he knows, reminding us that Manchester is more than the sight of a bombing:
“It’s famous all over the world for so many wonderful things.
“Great football teams, Man City. Man United. Incredible music, Oasis and Joy Division. It was the birthplace of the leader of the suffragettes, it’s the home of the inventor of the first computer. It’s a place full of comedy and curries and character.
“But when I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there, and I’m telling you a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard-pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core and, if it was even possible, the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Manchester tonight, all of the staff at the MEN Arena, all of the security teams, all of the emergency teams, Ariana and her team and all of those families affected by tonight.”
While we are all asking who and how, we know why. In his address to the Crown Prince and dignitaries of Saudi Arabia, President Trump said:
“America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership⏤based on shared interests and values⏤to pursue a better future for us all.”
Is anyone listening to either President Trump or James Gordon? Or will we just wait for the next attack.