Thursday, February 18, 2010

It Is Terrorism: What If His Name Was Mohammed And Not Joe Stack?

After the Fort Hood tragedy, I did a post about how the media rushed to call that incident terrorism simply based on the fact that the suspect was a Muslim and had a Muslim name.
Well, today a man named Joe Stack wrote an anti-government rant manifesto before setting his house on fire (with his family still inside), allegedly stealing getting in his own airplane, and flying it into a IRS office building with hundreds of federal employees inside working.  The media is describing him as a frustrated guy who chose to commit suicide.  Um what???????

How is this not terrorism?

According to United States law terrorism is defined as:
premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets (read the rest of the definition here)
And here's another definition provided by the FBI:
Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Some people are arguing that he was not part of a larger plot or that he did not have the goal of terrorizing the populace.  Um really?  He flew an airplane into a government office building with people INSIDE OF IT.  I'm pretty sure that qualifies as more than just committing suicide.  By this logic, every suicide bomber is just a little disgruntled at the government.  Please.

We don't know all of the facts yet, but based on what we know now, this sounds a lot like terrorism and not a guy off his antidepressant.
There is not a credible definition of terrorism that does not include the act of flying a plane into a building filled with civilians as a political statement. Stack is evidently not religiously motivated, but that does not change the definition at all. If he acted alone, then he’s what the Department of Homeland Security has recently taken to calling a lone-wolf extremist.


Update: So now that an extremist right wing group is celebrating Mr. Stack flying his stolen plane into a govenment building can we now call it terrorism?

Update II: Suspect also planted a car bomb at the airport which is currently being defused by the bomb squad.  Is he a terrorist yet? Sheesh.

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