Ten years ago today, I woke up, turned on the TV to Fox News, and saw that London had been struck by Islamic terrorists.
The day before, Londoners rejoiced at being rewarded the 2012 Olympics. Less than 24 hours later, the city was recoiling in horror as 52 people had been killed due to explosions on three London Underground trains and one double decker bus. The attacks aboard the Tube were nearly simultaneous while the attack aboard the bus took place about an hour later.
There was heightened anxiety on this side of the Atlantic. On my way to work here in Boston, I remember the Green Line being evacuated. There was concern that an attack had taken place here. Although there was a collision between two trains which left several people injured, it was fortunately not an act of terrorism. Of course, Boston would have its day of Islamic terror.
What is perhaps most remembered about this attack is that the four perpetrators were all British born. Three were Muslims from birth while a fourth converted. All four men had become radicalized and affiliated themselves as an al Qaeda sleeper cell.
It is a pattern we have seen time and again over the past decade. The two men responsible for beheading British soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight in May 2013 were British-born Muslim converts. Of course, this is hardly confined to Britain. U.S. Army recruiter Private William Long was shot and killed outside a recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas in June 2009 by a Muslim convert born in Memphis. Five months later, an American-born Army psychiatrist would murder a dozen soldiers, one civilian, and an unborn child at Fort Hood. In Canada, both the Parliament Hill shooter and the man who killed a Canadian soldier by running him over with his vehicle in Quebec within days of each other in October 2014 were Canadian-born Muslim converts. Then, of course, there is France with the 2012 shootings of soldiers and Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse which were committed by a locally born Muslim. The perpetrators of the attacks at Charlie Hebdoand Hyper Cacher in Paris back in January were all born and raised in France.
All of which shows that Islamic radicalism is a global phenomenon and that people born and raised in the West, be they Muslim or non-Muslim, are vulnerable to falling under its sway. Unfortunately, liberal elites are content to blame poverty or some other matter of marginalization as the cause. But that is an insult to poor people everywhere. While poverty can motivate criminal activity, there are many law abiding poor people who do not see fit to detonate explosives aboard subways and buses, behead, run over or shoot soldiers or target cartoonists and Jews for death. These people are motivated by an ideology of violence rooted in Islam. Until Western leaders recognize this and put a stop to it, we in the West can expect more of these attacks committed by jihadists living in our midst.