Leave ISIL Out of This!

Remember back at the end of July when a young guy pulled out a knife in a supermarket in a residential suburb of Hamburg (Germany) and started stabbing people? He killed one person there and wounded five, then wounded another as he tried to flee the scene.

Naturally, as he jabbed he repeatedly cried out that old standard “Allahu Akbar” – Of course! Of course! – and it should neither be a surprise that he was a refugee in Germany, housed in a local Hamburg refugee center: he had been refused asylum, was supposed to be deported, but was enjoying a bureaucratic delay because he had never shown any “papers” specifying where he came from. (He’s Palestinian, although born in the UAE.)

Well, he has succeeded in avoiding deportation, but only in favor of a German jail. (Of course, he succeeded far more in souring the German electorate’s mood towards refugees generally.) Now he will go to trial, charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Back then after his arrest, he had a lot to say to the police. His aim had been to become a “martyr,” but only after first killing as many “Christians and young people” as possible. He had meant his act as a “contribution to a worldwide jihad,” and ISIL issued a statement shortly afterwards taking credit for his attack.

Nonetheless, he is not being charged with terrorism. Investigators could find no actual connection on his part with ISIL or any other terrorist group, no matter how much the perpetrator himself and ISIL tried to talk up such a connection after-the-fact. It seems clear that he was nothing more than a very confused young man, a lone-wolf “inspired” by ISIL but nothing more.

Hamburg law-enforcement, after proper investigation, are intelligent enough to realize that. Contrast that with, for example, the New York City Halloween truck-killer. (What? Forgot about him already?) Send him to Guantanamo (said President Trump)! ISIL also claimed credit for that attack and – no matter how tenuous the actual links between that killer and ISIL seemed to be – their credibility (ironically enough) was good enough for US authorities: He’s a terrorist! Or consider the 2015 San Bernardino shootings: they’re Muslim, ISIL takes the credit, so they’re terrorists – when acceding to that self-description in fact gives them more sinister credit than they deserve, not to mention potentially subjecting them to further criminal charges which may not actually be warranted.

In the Age of Trump the US is no sort of calm, reflective country, so that we should not expect anytime soon rational proceeding in such extreme public criminal matters of the sort the Hamburg authorities have displayed here. But that’s a shame.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Comments are closed.