In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?
“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.
Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders.
Who Will Be Targeted Next?
Experts warn America is in danger of jihadist attacks
By Diann Noles
In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Paris by Islamic State – a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL (as some call it) – many are wondering if an attack is in America’s near future.
According to Mitchell D. Silber, former Director of the NYPD Intelligence Division's Analytic and Cyber Units, four ingredients necessary for another terrorism attack in the United States may already exist. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal he outlines the following factors:
- Citizens must be willing to kill themselves and their countrymen. The domestic terrorism attacks in the nation’s schools, theaters, shopping malls and other venues since 2001 are evidence this is happening.
- Assault weapons and materials for bombs are readily available. With a little patience, all of the items needed can be easily purchased.
- Technical and paramilitary skills are needed to operate assault weapons and make improvised explosive devices. Much of the information can be found on the Internet.
- A “permissive environment” exists in which national and local security and intelligence agencies are not able to accurately recognize and detect a plot in advance. Insisting that U.S. agencies are more prepared than French and Belgian intelligence services in identifying and stopping terrorists is “dangerous and inaccurate.”
“There is no doubt that Al Qaeda and its remnants as well as Islamic State have the intention and capability to strike the United States using Western operatives,” Silber writes. “What happened in Paris can happen here. A false sense of security will be deadly. The U.S. must mobilize at home and lead abroad to defeat this increasing threat.”
This seems to be a concern shared by members of Congress, especially those who sit on the Intelligence Committee in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate who see the potential for disaster.
According to California Representative Adam B. Schiff , the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, ISIS’ main priority during its first year since splitting from Al Qaeda in 2013 was to consolidate control over territory in Iraq and Syria. External operations at first promoted lone-wolf attacks, but has now most likely progressed to directing specific plots.
“In the case of Paris,” Schiff said, “we’re still trying to determine the extent of control by the external branch, and how much discretion was given to the operatives in Europe to pick the time, place and manner of attack.”
He has reason for concern.
In 2014, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, official spokesman for ISIS called on individual Muslims living in the West to kill civilians in their countries by any means necessary. “If you can, kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian,” he said. “Then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice.”
With the influx of Syrian refugees, European officials have had a difficult time tracking radical Islamic jihadists, some of who are known to have crossed into Western Europe with the refugees. Officials estimate there are tens of thousands of Muslims in Europe who could potentially be radicalized quickly.
“Thankfully, the United States has – in absolute numbers and per capita – significantly fewer members of its Muslim population who are alienated from American society, inspired by Islamic State’s toxic ideology and radicalized to violence. But they do exist” wrote Silber.
According to Fox News, there are as many as 1,000 Islamic activists in the United States, with at least 48 ISIS suspects that are considered so high-risk that the FBI is using its elite mobile surveillance teams to track them.
Still, President Obama’s national security team has emphasized that the threat to Europe is greater than it is to the United States. According to CNN, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters that there is “no specific, credible threat” of an attack being planned in the U.S.
However, CIA Director John Brennan disagrees. “I certainly would not consider [Paris] a one-off event,” he said. “It is clear to me that ISIL has an external agenda, that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks…I would anticipate this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline.”
As Americans learned after 9/11, just a handful of determined jihadists committed to their cause can be catastrophic.
This week, please pray:
- That God will protect the United States from terrorism attacks from without and within.
- That America’s leaders will recognize the danger and respond appropriately.
- That radical Islamic terrorists organizations will be defeated.
Diann Noles is a former editor and writer for Christian publications in Tucson, AZ and Portland, OR. She served as Public Relations Director for a major Christian non-profit organization. She and her husband Bill live on Maui and have two sons and five grandchildren.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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