|Police stand around a covered U.S. military bus at Frankfurt airport|
Good article ~ WSJ
With Islam does the whole world become Vietnam?
On Wednesday two American soldiers were shot dead on a military bus at Frankfurt Airport. Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo native, has confessed to the murders of Senior Airman Nicholas Alden, 25, and Airman First Class Zachary Cuddeback, 21.
German officials say Uka approached the airmen boarding the bus, asked for a cigarette, and struck up a conversation. After one of the soldiers confirmed they were headed for Afghanistan, Uka followed them onto the bus, cried "Allahu akbar," and began shooting. "He was trying to stop them," said prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum, who described Uka as "Islamist influenced" and said the shootings underscored the dangers of "virtual jihad."
Though it appears Uka acted alone, the details that have emerged since his attack leave little reason to doubt his motives. On his Facebook page he expressed his approval for jihad and displayed ties to dozens of hardline Muslim people and organizations, including the deputy chairman of the Salafist "Invitation to Paradise" group, which German authorities are looking to ban.
Officials cited Germany's privacy laws as one reason why Uka had not been under surveillance, and his story makes a compelling case for revisiting those laws now. But Berlin at least appears to suffer no illusions about the threat posed by the world's Arid Ukas: "He is the type of terrorist we worry most about—the unknown threat," an intelligence official told the Journal.
By contrast, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley at a press briefing last week struggled to answer whether or not Uka's attack even constituted "terror": "Well, I mean, you know, for example, was the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords a terrorist attack?" Perhaps, if you still think Jared Loughner was inspired by Sarah Palin's election maps. But all available evidence suggests that Loughner's massacre was the product of a deranged mind with little if any coherent political leanings. A more apt comparison to Frankfurt would be the slaughter at Fort Hood in 2009, which was also reportedly preceded by a shout of "Allahu akbar" from a killer whose background showed ties to radical Islam.
In his only comments to date on the matter, President Obama on Wednesday called the shootings in Frankfurt a "stark reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making all around the world to keep us safe and the dangers that they face all around the world." It is that. But the airmen were not gunned down in combat or even a theater of war; they were murdered while transiting through a civilian airport in a country at peace with the U.S., having been targeted as symbols of American foreign policy.
Frankfurt is, at its starkest, a reminder that Islamist ideology still poses a live threat to Americans, uniformed and civilian, at home and abroad. Is it too much to ask that Washington recognize that threat for what it is?