He stopped a jihadist in France. Now he's been stabbed in California.
Yesterday’s brutal knife attack on the U.S.-born French train hero Spencer Stone is yet more evidence suggesting that Stone and his fellow heroes are being targeted, possibly by Islamic terrorists.
In just the span of a week, this is the second time a world-famous American Christian who overwhelmed a would-be mass-murdering jihadist terrorist on a train in Europe two months ago appears to have been targeted.
Stone, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and civilian Anthony Sadler, devout Christians who have been friends since childhood, all subsequently received France's highest honor, the Légion d'Honneur, from French president François Hollande and were feted at the White House and the Pentagon.
Stone, Skarlatos, Sadler, British national Chris Norman, French-American Mark Moogalian, and a young French banker identified as “Damien A.” all saved potentially hundreds of lives for the role they played this summer in subduing Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan national with known ties to radical Islam. When the assailant got on the train in Brussels, Belgium, there were 554 souls on board.
Because of what they did on that train, all six men and possibly those close to them make attractive targets for Islamists. Fanatics who support Muslim expansionism surely view the sextet as enemies for taking down one of their own.
As I wrote earlier this week at American Thinker, Stone’s friend Alek Skarlatos may have been an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who, on Oct. 1, put several Christians to death for being Christians in a Snyder Hall classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Fortunately, Skarlatos, who had interrupted his studies for military service, was away in Los Angeles for a taping of Dancing with the Stars.
The original story about Skarlatos and Harper-Mercer evidently has legs. In all there have now been three high-profile, possibly related violent attacks in France, Oregon, and California that might be connected to the world of Islamofascist (some prefer the descriptor Islamo-Nazi) terrorism. In this writer’s opinion, no reasonable person who follows current affairs can reflexively dismiss the seeming connection of attackers and victims, given what’s going on in the world right now.
This is not to say that there necessarily is (or was) an Islamist plot against the three American men. But the mainstream media, as usual, isn’t doing its job. Journalists are sitting on their hands, regurgitating talking points, and failing to consider the big picture. Surely questions about the possible connection to international terrorism should be asked. In that vein, skeptical readers should carefully read an explanation near the bottom of this column on the critical role that coincidence and seeming randomness have played in infamous history-altering events.
That said, what do we know so far about the attack on 23-year-old Airman First Class Spencer Stone? Surprisingly little as of yesterday afternoon.
Stone, who was wounded in August thwarting the attack by an AK-47-toting Muslim terrorist on a high-speed train in France, was reportedly stabbed repeatedly around 12:45 a.m. Pacific Time yesterday outside a bar in downtown Sacramento, Calif., not far from Travis Air Force Base, where he was stationed. The attack was captured on surveillance video. Stone, who previously had surgery after the train incident to reattach his thumb, was initially listed in critical condition in hospital, but his status was later upgraded.
At time of writing, it had been reported that he was stabbed four times in the chest. One report indicated he was stabbed in the heart and lung.
"It is believed that the victim was out with a group of friends when a physical altercation led to the victim being stabbed multiple times in his upper body," a Sacramento police spokesman was quoted saying. At press time, two suspects described as Asian males were reportedly being sought by police. As Robert Spencer reminds us (hat tip: Mara Zebest):
...in the British press, “Asian” is the universally-employed code word for “Muslim.” If [the UK Daily Mail] is suddenly using the word to refer, as in the American custom, to people from China or Japan, they’re not saying so. It is also possible that the Sacramento police said they were looking for “Asians,” by which they really did mean Chinese or Japanese or Koreans or Southeast Asians, etc., and the Daily Mail is too careless to note the difference in usage.
Fox News reports:
Law enforcement sources said they are working on the premise that Stone left a club with a woman who was harassed by [either] one man or a group. Stone came to her aid about a block from the club, the sources said. Authorities believe Stone may have been attacked by up to six men and held down while stabbed, the sources said.
According to police, it was just some drunken brawl. Move along; nothing to see here.
Police have ruled out terrorism as a possible motive for the attack, but that seems a hasty conclusion. Authorities routinely say early in investigations that terrorism played no role in a violent episode and turn out to be wrong. President Obama is among one of the worst offenders. For a long time the administration insisted in the face of powerful evidence to the contrary that the Fort Hood shooting incident was merely a case of “workplace violence.” And last week Obama used the shootings in Oregon as an infomercial for tougher gun control.
The circumstances of the mass shooting in Oregon may point to a possible Islamist connection.
Harper-Mercer, who was reportedly enrolled in the writing class where he executed his victims, asked those in attendance if they were Christians. Those who said yes were promptly killed. The assailant has been quoted saying, "Because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second." Those who said no or refused to answer were shot in the legs. No news reports indicate that anyone in Snyder Hall identified himself or herself as Muslim. Singling out Christian hostages for death is the modus operandi used by Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.
The very first person to take a bullet last week was Jewish. The gunman reportedly walked up to Assistant Professor Lawrence "Larry" Levine and said, "I've been waiting to do this for years." He then shot Levine at close range.
Harper-Mercer had an interest in Nazism, as does the Islamic world, where Adolf Hitler's autobiographical book, Mein Kampf, remains popular to this day. (Instead of the English-language title, My Struggle, the Arabic translation of the book's name is rendered My Jihad.) Evidence has also surfaced that the unemployed killer ordered a nearly $150 leather Nazi SS officer's cap online. One of Harper-Mercer’s two friends on MySpace was listed as Mahmoud Ali Ehsani. The man’s page was filled with propaganda glorifying Muslim terrorists and calling for the slaughter of Jews. Harper-Mercer's MySpace page contains Irish Republican Army (IRA) propaganda. His online collection of articles, images, and videos was labeled "Ireland's Freedom Fighters."
The IRA connection may seem irrelevant, but it's not. The IRA has a long history of cooperating with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other Islamist groups.
Obviously, Muslim and Nazi hostility to Jews is no secret.
Although you won't hear it from the mainstream media, Nazis and Islamists have much in common. It is fair to say that Islamic terrorists are the last of Hitler's World War Two coalition partners who have yet to be vanquished.
The Islamic world aligned with the Third Reich, and this alliance "has largely been whitewashed from the pages of history," Pamela Geller reminds us:
Many Muslims fought on the German side during World War II. The Wehrmacht had six legions with a Muslim majority and the SS had three Muslim divisions, a brigade and a Waffenbrigade. Each Muslim unit got a mullah as an adviser. In November 1944, an SS mullah school was established in Dresden, founded by Himmler.
Recall that before the Umpqua attack began, Harper-Mercer reportedly handed a computer thumb drive containing some kind of manifesto to someone on campus. The contents of the drive have not been publicly released, but it is reportedly filled with racist rants. We'll have to wait to find out what if anything this collector of expensive Nazi paraphernalia had to say about Jewish people.
Although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by the Islamic State or any other Islamist group, plenty of evidence suggests that the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad. Maybe the Oregon massacre was also intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit for subduing the terrorist in France. The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua.
Anyone who watches TV knows that forgiving and forgetting is not the jihadist way. A British supporter of the Islamic State reportedly published the name and address of the U.S. Navy SEAL who is credited with killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Islamist identified the serviceman as "a number one target to eventually hunt down and kill."
Could all the factors in play here be purely coincidental? As history shows, coincidence can be cited to dismiss conspiracy allegations, but it has also been an enabler of tragedy. In other words, coincidence can help make things happen. The bald fact that there are coincidences doesn’t necessarily undermine a theory of what happened.
A Marxist assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, who defected to the Soviet Union and then returned to America, benefited from events beyond his control on Nov. 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade route was changed to go past the Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald worked. Oswald also got “lucky” when the rain that had been expected to plague the presidential visit stopped in Dallas. This allowed the bubble top on the president’s limousine to be removed, giving Oswald an unobstructed view of his target. As noted political journalist Jeff Greenfield wrote in his 2013 what-if alternate history book, If Kennedy Lived, the absence of precipitation “was a matter of the purest chance. On another day, a small, insignificant shift in pressure of wind would have moved the bad weather out, and sunshine would have broken out over Dallas.” If the rain had continued, it is possible that JFK might have finished his term in office and been re-elected. For all we know, America, and the world, might be very different today.
Then there was the case of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose assassination historians say was the most immediate cause of World War One. The heir presumptive to the imperial throne and his wife narrowly escaped death in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. A grenade lobbed by Nedeljko Čabrinović missed the royal couple but injured others. But the good fortune of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, didn’t last. These two people wanted to visit the wounded at a hospital, but royal handlers had changed the official itinerary without notifying the couple’s driver. When this change came to light, the driver adjusted his route, the car stalled, and pistol-bearing Gavrilo Princip seized the opportunity to blast Franz Ferdinand and Sophie into eternity. Without Princip’s actions, it is possible World War One would not have happened or would have gotten underway later.
History is littered with blood-soaked examples of the so-called butterfly effect. “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state,” according to one online reference.
As the old proverb goes:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
So when someone tells you that all this circumstantial evidence about Islamism, the attackers, and the victims is merely coincidental, be aware that he's just trying to get you to shut up.
We can only hope all the facts will emerge eventually.
Investigative reporter Matthew Vadum (personal website under construction) played a supporting role in killing President Obama's favorite community organizing group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He is author of the popular ACORN/Obama exposé Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers. Follow him on Twitter. E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.