We’ve been talking about the possible, actually, the foregone conclusion that ISIS would take advantage of refugee migrant routes into Europe for quite some time. However, it was only recently that the government admitted that this is a real security concern. What took them so long? There are a couple of possibilities to consider to answer this question, and both really don’t bode well for our security.
They Weren’t Ready
The most plausible explanation for why officials didn’t want to talk about the ISIS threat is that they weren’t ready to address the problem. Considering the fact that the EU as well as member states were already having trouble trying to figure out a solution to the migrant crisis, this isn’t surprising. They couldn’t even deal with that, let alone a serious security threat posed by embedded ISIS fighters posing as refugees.
Then there’s the idea of trying to be inclusive and humane out of fears of being discriminatory. Sure, there’s a lot to be said about not judging people by their faith or nation of origin, but at the same time, being too “sensitive” has led to a security risk that has snowballed into an international crisis.
The question is whether the government is ready to deal with this threat, or if they are just responding to news reports that state the obvious. If the government is ready to identify, catalog and monitor ISIS threats, then that is a step in the right direction. However, that doesn’t address the tens of thousands of potential threats that have made it through the porous borders in Europe up until now. It also doesn’t address the issue of how potential threats will be policed in Europe or the United States. If we learned anything from what happened in Paris and Brussels, it’s that intelligence services dropped the ball despite the fact that cells were forming and growing right under their noses in plain sight.
The other explanation is that the government is trying to send a message to ISIS that they are being watched. On this same line of thinking, there are indications that ISIS is trying to get as many fighters through refugee routes before they become too policed and thoroughly checked. They are also trying to find alternate routes that are less-patrolled, and we’ve talked about this before. ISIS fighters and sympathizers are in the Caribbean as well as parts of Latin America. This threat is at our doorstep.
In both cases, this recent “revelation” by the government does not at all erase the fact that ISIS has had a long and free opportunity to penetrate our borders and position themselves for attacks in Europe and America. In fact, recent reports suggest that ISIS is getting ready to launch a series of attacks during Ramadan, and local authorities as well as the public at large have been asked to be vigilant. This is not comforting.
The billions upon billions of dollars that have been spent to beef up security and coordinate the efforts of multiple government agencies have done little to make us safer. While we are constantly fed information that is designed to make us feel safe, but that isn’t the same thing. Aside from this threat that we are facing now, keep in mind that the TSA boss just resigned in shame after repeated tests showed that the agency is unable to detect bombs and weapons at checkpoints.
In fact, the failure rate is estimated to be an astonishing 95%. Considering that security lines are snaking outside of terminals at some airports, this failure is nothing but extraordinarily shameful. But, it also illustrates that there is a big difference between feeling safe and actually being safe.
It also illustrates how we are under a tremendous threat that can explode at any time, and it’s finally official, sort of. There’s a fine line between being sensationalist and paranoid and pragmatic. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell which is which in light of this recent development. No matter how you interpret the real threat to our communities and nation ISIS really is, it’s always better to prepare for the worst and hope that things won’t get that bad. Just remember that now, while things are still calm, is the time to get ready.