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John Flanagan: Although this is a fluid and unfolding story, having twists and turns every hour, news reports have already noted that both brothers were not considered potential terrorists by relatives and college friends. Both were good students, seemed to be assimilated, enjoyed normal activities with their peers, and made no exceptional political statements against their adopted country of America. However, it is well documented that we have in our land "sleeper cells" and low visibility individuals who could easily fall under the radar of law enforcement, perhaps never noticed by the neighbor next door. This strategy is not by accident. It is by design. The jihadist idea is popular in many immigrant Muslim quarters, although the majority of American Muslims are peaceful and enjoy living in a free country. Muslims can also become victims in these sporadic and deadly attacks, along with Christians, Jews, and other groups. Such senseless violence motivated by hatred of America will no doubt continue. In my view, these two brothers became jihadists through a combination of home grown and foreign indoctrination, mentored by older radicals here and abroad who have summarily declared war on the American people. The Internet, both a blessing and a curse, is the socially useful tool of communication and education to bring mass murder schemes into the 21st century. With the Oklahoma bombing still in many minds, some people among us see the Tea Party, gun owners, evangelicals, conservatives, and right wing Americans as a danger to our society, and this idea is beyond reprehensible. The narrative is still popular among many left leaning liberals and progressives who do not understand or appreciate the difference between non violent free speech and the espousal of terrorism as a political means to create fear, chaos, and upheaval. As we look at these troubling times, it is all the more certain for us to turn to God, and for those of us who are Christians, it will be the collective prayers of a multitude that will change things for our land. The grace of God is needed now, more than ever.
Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:19 pm
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