Saturday, May 16, 2015

Terrorism on the shores of The Caribbean!

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's website was hacked last week. Apparently, a group out of Tunisia calling themselves the "Fallaga Team" is responsible for the attack. They took over the servers that hosted the websites and posted a few items, as it is reported, and tried to do much more probing once inside an official government site.

Just earlier this month the website and subsequent government domain name of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines was hacked by a group calling themselves "The Moroccanwolf- Islamic State".

Both websites were immediately cleaned up as a matter of priority. The Bahamian government had to end parliament early that day and hold a special cabinet meeting to address the matter. It goes to show how much cyber security and electronic information takes precedent in today's modern world.

This raises, in an odd sense, the matter of Islamic terrorism in the region. Who would have thought that Islamic hard-liners would have their eyes focused on The Bahamas? Or any small, nation state in the Caribbean? Not me, for one. But apparently they do.

First and foremost, I reject the radical fundamentalists that parade around behind their religion to hurt, main and attack other people who do not agree. The cyber-attack is just another episode in the perversions of some of those radical Muslims hell bent on starting their One World Caliphate. It won't happen!

With respect to the Caribbean: It was widely known that there were Caribbean nationals that went on the front line to fight with the new terror group in the Middle East, ISIS, also known as "The Islamic State and the Levant". A group fighting in the border lands between Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, with those five countries (and a little more if we take into account the island of Cyprus and a small portion of Western Iraq) comprising what scholars and historians call "The Levant".

ISIS is responsible for shocking atrocities in the Middle East. From beheadings, to public burnings, to tossing those not of their views off of buildings, and much, much more. Quite a nasty group of individuals. The perverted nature of their atrocities are quite stunning. It's like they make new ways to kill, maim and torture people.

The ISIS PR machine is also strikingly different from any other terror group. For starters, the videos of their atrocities and barbarism appear to be very well produced. If you dare to watch anything from them, which I have out of sheer curiosity, you would see the intense attention to cinematic effect and detail. Music production, panning in when death is near, various angles for the method of torture and murder, and quite verbose (and intelligently written) speeches before and after their sickening acts.

The top man in ISIS is a British national born in Kuwait. He goes by the nickname (given to him by those he captured and later evolved into something more comic-book like by the press), Jihadi John. His real name is Mohammed Emwazi.

Now, before you scream "irony" and say that the country where Jihadi John was born, Kuwait, was the small, Middle Eastern state that was liberated from Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the first Gulf War by America, in addition to Jihadi John becoming a British citizen, the second largest coalition member in both Gulf Wars, let me ask you to tamper down a little bit of that self-joy and understand the problem it now presents.

Without a doubt people are radicalized in the Islamic faith. That's patently obvious. It's also obvious that persons were radicalized into the Islamic faith from its inception and no one act done by America or the rest of the Western World made them so.

Having read The Quran, the Islamic holy book, I would have to say that it's not primarily a book about peace. To be quite frank about it.

I would encourage the reader to actually read The Quran for one’s self. Not that one is any less wrong in being opposed to them based on the violent acts perpetrated around the world based on Islam. But at least to understand more fundamentally what really fuels this anti-Western, anti-Christian and anti-anything opposed to the prophet Muhammad and The Holy Quran.

I say that because there is this Orwellian "Newspeak" styled euphemism floating around about Islam being a religion of peace. It's almost as insulting as calling the military and agency for "Peace and Reconciliation"; calling America's overhanded, direct, covert and/or subversive international tactics it uses with its partners "US foreign policy and diplomacy"; or calling poor people "economically unintegrated urbanites". Just a patent insult to any right thinking individual that reads more than 5 chapters of The Quran.

Well, you can also say that if the Western media has gotten away with that type of wicked-language for the better half of the last 200 years, then it really is par for the course if modernized Muslims use it and try to get away with it as well. As they say: Turnabout is fair play.

What The Quran does speak about with regard to peace particularly, and primarily, is meant for persons that think along the lines of The Quran itself. The only other time it mentions being at peace with anyone else, or any other group of people for that matter, is only when they are allowing for mercy to the subjected persons within their realm. Of course, this tolerance has a shelf life and is left to the time and moment that Sharia (Islamic law based on The Quran) is to be interpreted on the matter of the offense of the subjected class of people. Even those included in the Abrahamic, mono-theistic religions of Judaism and Christianity born out of the same region.

So, do we have a problem on our hands in the Caribbean? The Tunisian and Moroccan cyber-terror nitwits are possibly idle teenagers looking to get their kicks. They are no better or worse than the locals spying on each other, however. No worse than teenage gamers based in Paris, California or London trying out their new cyber-worm programme; no worse than any other notable cyber terror or hacker groups like the PirateBay or Anonymous; and certainly no worse than America's National Security Agency, who reports have it have been running several surveillance operations around the world with regard to cellular phone taps, and done primarily in The Bahamas under an operation called SOMALGET.

The main, and more serious problem, is in our immigration policy. Essentially, who we allow in to our country, and for that matter, who we allow to return to our respective countries, based on the reports of Caribbean fighters joining the Jihad and Jihadi John in Syria and the Levant, is vitally important.

The second, most fundamental problem, particularly with offshore banking, is are we allowing for terrorist financing from these operations.

To that regard, a great deal of cooperation between the G-8 countries and the offshore banking jurisdictions were done post September 11 attacks.

Surely no one can solve this Islamic World vs. The Western World problem in my lifetime, although I would hope that it does get solved. The only thing small countries like us can do is wait and try to make sure we watch our borders, and watch what money is transacted from within our borders with institutions domiciled. That's the only way we can fight terror!

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