November 21, 2018

Hier sees ‘all markings of a terrorist attack’ in San Bernardino shooting

The San Bernardino shooting rampage, in which 14 persons were killed and 21 wounded, “has all the markings of a terrorist attack,” according to Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a veteran analyst of global terrorism.

It makes no sense, Hier said, that a married couple would leave its six-month old baby behind and stock their home with an arsenal of weapons and ammunition over a work dispute, as some have suggested.

“At this point, humanity seems to be traveling on a two-lane highway, one lane leading to marvelous advances in medicine and technology, and the other lane back to our brutish beginnings, when our ancestors huddled in caves and killed anyone different,” he added.

What will happen to our proud cities if Londoners are afraid to visit Piccadilly and New Yorkers Times Square, Hier asked.

While not linking all Muslims to terrorism, and praising Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for his firm denunciation of terrorism, Hier pointed to a recent study by the Pew Research Center as cause for concern.

Citing the study of 35,000 Muslims in 39 countries, Hier said that 22 percent of respondents said that they believed in militant jihad.

“That would come to some 330 million believers in physical jihad, much more than ever supported Nazism and fascism during World War II,” Hier added.

Hier urged that leaders of all religious faiths and all members of the United Nations – including the Muslim countries – stand up and declare terrorism to be a crime against humanity.”

The Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, added a warning on the constantly growing use of the internet and social media to promote terrorism and provide instruction in launching deadly attacks.

Cooper, who started investigating terrorist incitement through the internet some 22 years ago, emphasized that social media must take pro-active steps to deal with this danger.

Just returned from a trip during which he spoke with senior European officials, Cooper reported that, following the Paris attack which claimed 130 victims, there was no longer a “scintilla of political correctness” among government leaders in Europe.