Christmas Tree Bomber was Young Male Muslim. Could There Be a Pattern?

Peter Wilson
On Friday a 19-year old man attempted to detonate a bomb in a crowd that had gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.   It is depressingly predictable that he was a another young Muslim male terrorist, a Somali named Mohamed Osman Mohamud..

It is also depressingly predictable that a section of the commentariat refuses to see any pattern here.  As Derrick Jackson explains in last week's Boston Globe column, Safer Skies? Bring on the Scanners:

[T]hose today who are not willing to be scanned or complain about pat-downs, are in a fantasy world of personal entitlement. Call it the "Do-I-look-like-a-terrorist?'' syndrome. It has somehow escaped the critics that you cannot judge a terrorist by last name, skin color, or gender.

Who's in the fantasy world here?  Only the willfully blind can ignore that nearly every terror threat in the last forty years has come from young males with names like Mohammad Massalha (Munich massacre), Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (Lockerbie), Mohammed Atta, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shahzad.  The argument of people like Jackson is that once we start profiling 20-year old Somali men named Mohamed, al-Qaeda will recruit Swedish grandmothers.  Maybe so, but to date this theory is not supported by any reality-based evidence.
On Friday a 19-year old man attempted to detonate a bomb in a crowd that had gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.   It is depressingly predictable that he was a another young Muslim male terrorist, a Somali named Mohamed Osman Mohamud..

It is also depressingly predictable that a section of the commentariat refuses to see any pattern here.  As Derrick Jackson explains in last week's Boston Globe column, Safer Skies? Bring on the Scanners:

[T]hose today who are not willing to be scanned or complain about pat-downs, are in a fantasy world of personal entitlement. Call it the "Do-I-look-like-a-terrorist?'' syndrome. It has somehow escaped the critics that you cannot judge a terrorist by last name, skin color, or gender.

Who's in the fantasy world here?  Only the willfully blind can ignore that nearly every terror threat in the last forty years has come from young males with names like Mohammad Massalha (Munich massacre), Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (Lockerbie), Mohammed Atta, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shahzad.  The argument of people like Jackson is that once we start profiling 20-year old Somali men named Mohamed, al-Qaeda will recruit Swedish grandmothers.  Maybe so, but to date this theory is not supported by any reality-based evidence.