Thursday, August 11, 2016

ISIS inspired terror plot broken up in Canada.

Aaron Driver, the suspect killed in the raid. Canada Press/AP

An ISIS inspired terror plot has been broken up in Canada. NBC News. Canadian police killed Aaron Driver, a home grown radical. Driver had previous contact with the police after he openly endorsed the ISIS terror group. Driver had posted on Facebook that he was unhappy in Canada and wanted to move elsewhere. Canadian officials ordered Driver to stop contact with ISIS but the man allegedly started a terror plot anyways. It is unclear how Driver died. Unconfirmed reports say that he detonated a "device" and then was shot by police. It is thought that Driver wanted to conduct a suicide bombing in a public place. It is unclear how far along his plot was. 

My Comment:
Looks like the Canadians dodged a bullet here. I don't know how far along this plot was but it sounds like at the very least Driver had the bomb ready. If that is true then the attack could have happened at any time. The police that killed him were heroes and probably saved quite a few lives. My guess is that someone tipped them off or they were monitoring Driver rather closely. 

I do have to say that it's pretty extraordinary that someone like Aaron Driver would be radicalized. As far as I can tell he has no ethnic or racial links to any Muslim group. There are, of course, white Muslims, but I don't think Driver was a member of any of those particular ethnic groups. It seems as though a white kid from Canada self radicalized and joined ISIS despite having no links to Islam at all prior to his exposure to ISIS. I could be wrong of course, but that sure seems possible.

If that's true then that is a very disturbing thing. It means that even if we stop accepting Muslims, or even kick all of them out entirely, ISIS can still get recruits. Of course that doesn't mean we should just open the floodgates either but it seems no matter what we do there will still be a threat from ISIS. The only way we can stop this is if we find a way to effectively ban ISIS propaganda. Doing so is legally, morally and practically impossible and to even try is a fools errand. 

I also have to wonder about Canada's initial reaction to this guy. Everyone seemed to know that Aaron Driver was self radicalizing. His postings on social media were disturbing enough that he got the police's attention. But they didn't really seem to do anything about him. Sure they ordered him not to associate with ISIS and banned him from the internet, but it's clear that didn't work. I don't know if it's a good idea to just arrest someone for social media posts though either, but clearly what they did didn't work. 

The use of an suicide bomb as a weapon is rather unprecedented as well. As far as I remember, that hasn't happened in Canada or the United States yet. Most terrorist attacks in North America involve mass shootings, stabbings or the occasional vehicle attack. I don't like the idea of terrorists here switching tactics. 

In a mass shooting there is always a chance for people to run away or fight back. In many states in America there is a chance that someone with a concealed carry permit could return fire and even if there isn't anyone, the cops can respond rather quickly. Both factors would reduce casualties most of the time. With a suicide bombing, there isn't a chance to fight or flee. You are dead or wounded before you know what happened.

What would be even worse though is the hybrid attacks that ISIS has pioneered in Europe. Having gunmen armed with suicide belts turned the Paris attacks in one of the most horrific attacks ever seen. With those kinds of attacks the number of casualties is almost certain to be higher because even if you shoot the terrorists, they will still likely detonate, killing anyone near them. 

I wonder if that wasn't what Driver was planning as well. Though I have no information if he had a gun or not, it wouldn't be all that hard to get one in Canada. Still, hybrid attacks like Paris usually require more then one gunman. No matter what though, it is a very good thing that he was stopped before he got to carry out his plan... 

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