By Scott Taylor
Last week there was a media flurry in Canada over a new audiotape allegedly released by the sinister evildoer, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic extremist group known as Daesh (aka ISIS or ISIL).
The only reason al-Baghdadi’s comments garnered any attention in Canada was that in his latest diatribe he once again includes Canada by name in his list of potential targets.
For the fear mongers among us, this is the stuff of their wildest dreams. The Daesh leader personally calling on his ‘striking lions’ to “carry out the kind of strikes that terrorize the hearts and minds and sends the brains flying”. In particular, al-Baghdadi reminded his suicidal followers to “not ignore running over people on the roads”.
This would be scary stuff if indeed al-Baghdadi had some sort of legion of sleepers waiting to rise up and strike us down following his latest ‘call to arms’.
The fact is that no one can confirm if al-Baghdadi is even still alive. He was last seen at a public event in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014. That was when Daesh was at its evil-doing zenith. They had captured a vast swath of Syria and Iraq and al-Baghdadi proclaimed his conquered territory to be the new caliphate.
His fanatical followers made graphic videos of Daesh beheading prisoners, setting captives on fire and driving accused heretics en masse off of tall buildings.
That was then, but a lot has changed over the past four years. Attacked relentlessly by an improbable alliance that included the U.S., Iran, Iraqi Shiite militia, Syrian forces allied to President Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Kurdish separatists and even Canada – Daesh was systematically destroyed on the battlefield.
As the end drew near, many of al-Baghdadi’s supporters began to have their doubts. It was reported that in the besieged city of Mosul, Daesh enforced loyalty by lopping off the ears of those they suspected of possible desertion.
Now that the caliphate is no more, many of those foreign volunteers who fought for Daesh and then surrendered to the allies, now want to return home. This destruction of his forces and subsequent fizzling out of his fighters’ loyalty is hardly an inspiration for these so called ‘striking lions’ to kill us here in Canada.
The fact is that despite Daesh claiming responsibility for attacks in Canada, there have not been any attacks to date.
The closest association to such incidents can be at best described as having been ‘Daesh inspired’. These both occurred in 2014. The first was on October 20 when Martin Couture-Rouleau used his vehicle to kill Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and to injure a second soldier. Two days later, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo as he stood guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Bibeau then went on a one-man shooting spree on Parliament Hill. Both Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau were killed by security personnel. Neither of these men were actual Daesh followers, and Bibeau had a history of mental health issues and drug addiction.
More recently, Daesh claimed that the July 22 attack on Danforth Avenue was perpetrated by one of their striking lions. However, while he managed to kill two victims and wound thirteen more before being killed himself, Faisal Hussain was apparently a lapsed Muslim who did not attend prayers, let alone exhibit a tendency to Daesh-style extremism.
As for “running over people on the roads” as al-Baghdadi has urged his followers to do, one immediately thinks of that tragic van attack in Toronto last April. Ten victims were killed and sixteen injured when Alek Minassian drove a rented minivan down a crowded Yonge street in the middle of the afternoon.
Minassian was not heeding al-Baghdadi’s orders, as he is not a Muslim, he is an Armenian Orthodox Christian. His suspected motive for the attack was to start the ‘incel revolution’. The ‘incels’ are apparently those who are involuntarily celibate.
Of course nobody took Minassian’s ‘incel revolution’ to be any thing more than the ravings of a lunatic.
We should put al-Baghdadi’s warnings in the same category. Followers of Islam are not coming to get us, but there are individual whack jobs of all faiths and persuasion who can and will commit random acts of violence.