Terrorism is a complex idea to grasp for many of us living in the West. It is difficult to conceptualize and understandably so. There is a significant gap in intelligence and conceptual understanding of the threat and who they [radical Islamists] are. These gaps don’t just end there, but also corresponds to a gap in the tools, tactics and techniques that law enforcement, (local, state, and federal) have at their disposal to deal with radical Islamic violence today.
Sunni Islamic terrorism is a symptom of defeat, anger and fear of annihilation. Terrorists believe that the world as it currently exists is not beneficial to their way of life, values or beliefs. And they believe so with some justification. Muslim populations have been utterly destroyed in the aftermath of the Iraq war – due both internecine violence between various Muslim sects, and the invading armies of the West. Civilian deaths occur on a scale that is unimaginable to the west. There are multiple Paris attacks every month in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq. And so there is a sense of the injustice that is being done at home to their own people, and many see the West as supporting the very regimes that foment such violence.