This is a good read. Are you paying attention?
The Tarnaev brothers were cruelly successful, but they are far from the only terrorists over the past decade with big ideas about carnage in America. There is a temptation with each act of terror to see it as an isolated act, connected to the mental state of the actor, but not to larger forces. The FBI used to have theories about “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” and “Lone Wolves” that were not only wrong, but also pulled law enforcement off the track.
“Sudden Jihad Syndrome” was invented by the FBI to explain why people who lived quietly in the United States for some period of time “suddenly” went berserk and killed others. Why Naveed Haq shot six people at the Seattle Jewish Federation, killing one; why Hesham Hadayet, an Egyptian with a history of radical statements, shot up the El Al ticket counter in LA; why Derek Shareef, a convert to Islam, planned to firebomb a mall in Rockford, IL; and why Bosnian Sulejman Talovic, killed five people in a shopping center in Salt Lake City. It was supposed to explain why Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot up an Army recruiting center in Little Rock, and Kosovar Arid Uka killed two soldiers on a U.S. Army bus in Germany. The FBI won’t call it “jihad,” but a “bolt from the blue” was also supposed to explain why Maj. Nidal Hassan killed 13 people at Ft. Hood; it doesn’t explain why he yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he did it.