I admit that at times I do not understand the motive of those who embrace extreme actions. The LA Times gave us yesterday (at https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-los-angeles-terror-plot-20190429-story.html) the issue of continued action after an attack. In this case it is the attack on the Al Noor Mosque on the 15th of March 2019. There Brenton Tarrant decided to murder 50 innocent people, and almost succeeded in murdering 39 additional people. The event drove Mark Steven Domingo (26) to make an IED, and he had planned to detonate it at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach this past weekend. The man who only recently had converted to Islam seems to have converted with too much anger in his heart, or perhaps he was always too sociopathic and psychopathic to begin with and he hoped that Islam would give him more support in his violent needs. It is anybody’s guess; so this “U.S. Army veteran who wanted revenge for attacks on Muslims around the globe was planning to detonate a bomb at a Long Beach rally this past weekend before he was intercepted by law enforcement officials, authorities said Monday“. According to papers, he was planning “various attacks — including targeting Jews, churches and police officers“, in all this targeting the police makes even less sense, that is, unless you consider that his sociopathic nature came into play and he merely wanted to target people in uniform. And when I read: “Prosecutors said Domingo sought retribution for the March 15 attacks on New Zealand mosques and was willing to die a martyr“. I wonder if he actually wanted to do that at all. You see, it dawns on me (optionally a completely inaccurate view) that he is one of these people that fear taking their own life, and as the numbers of ‘suicide by cop‘ have dwindled, these people have sought out another path to get it done, because a clear ‘suicide by cop’ tends to become a conversation with the police being able to talk people like that away from such an edge pretty efficiently, yet a terrorist is a target that is to be killed on the spot to safeguard as many people as possible. The fact that he got arrested before his plan came together is merely a nice coincidence for all parties concerned (optionally with the exception of Mark Steven Domingo). In support there is the case of Suicide by Cop: A Psychiatric Phenomenon. It is a work from 2017 by Ralph H. de Similien and Adamma Okorafor. There is one part that came up to debate in light of this optional case. The paper gives us: “It is reported, for example, to be more common in those with previous encounters/experiences with law enforcement agencies. It is estimated that about 66% of victims have had criminal histories“, I am not debating that it is wrong, I wonder if the text needed to be altered to: ‘with previous encounters/experiences with law enforcement, or defence agencies‘, it would fit this bill, yet making a resolution fit is not academically correct and as such I am not stating that I am right, I am merely wondering whether I could be right.
And there are other considerations to make, like how did he convert to Islam? Was he officially converted by an imam khatib? At what mosque did this happen? These questions are equally important for the reason that we need to ascertain how he became radicalised, was it an interior push or an exterior one. The facts as they are shown at present seem to imply that he was an angry person seeking another solution to whatever problem he thought he had, an extreme one and that makes it an internal change, but that is not a given. The data is important here as it casts a much larger shadow on several key elements and until they have been resolved there is no certainty that this will not happen again in the foreseeable future, a threat that Long beach (and other places) can do without.
Even now we see more questions rise. The BBC gave us only hours ago: ‘US Army veteran ‘planned to bomb Nazi rally’‘, we might all think that this is not the worst idea to have, but the extreme part of this is starting to form a pattern, he wanted to blow something up. We can argue that we have all had it at some point; some lash out at their high school, some do it in their high school. There is more in this case: “the former infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan“, as such I have met plenty of people from that place who came out alright, to some extent I am unwilling to merely hand it over to the label called PTSD. There is a larger issue in play in the United States and this is merely the beginning. Never before in history has a nation been this polarised both politically and socially.
The political players have done everything to better their own lives and quality of life, but for the most they have been utterly unable to do that for the lowest 35% of that nation. The homeless, the unemployed and the minimum wage employees have been under increasing levels of pressure. Some need to work two jobs just to meet the cost of living; it gets even worse when we consider certain facts. For example in Kalamazoo, Michigan (expertly found) we see that well over 30% of the city population lives below the poverty line. That is well over twice the U.S. poverty rate, which stands at 12.3%. In a place that is seemingly affordable, a place where houses are on a median that is below $100K, we see a splurge of poverty. A place that is roughly 2.5 hours from Chicago , a city where the prices are non affordable for most these people. Did you not think that this inequality would come home to roost? If there are 15 places where these economic groups can live than it would be a lot, the issue is a lot less positive and the pressures keep on going up.
When we consider that a US veteran, a person that signed up to protect its civilians, is now on a course to kill them; we need to see that the issue is a lot larger than we think it is. Now as the expression goes ‘One Swallow does not make for a summer‘ we can see that one case does not mean it is so, but the pressures are visibly there, the deterioration of the lowest 30% of American incomes is there and when we start seeing the difference on what represents the quality of life in the US against what is regarded to be the standard of living, at that point do we see a first light on how much change is needed in the US. This has been known for the longest time, yet when we consider the simplest part in all this; when we consider that up to 21 million Americans are getting water from systems that violate health standards. When we consider that this is 8% of all Americans and when we realise that this group is more likely than not represented in 95% of the lowest 35% incomes, people who more often than not cannot afford to buy bottled water, how serious do you think that the pressure issue is and how worse could it get soon enough?
I believe that Mark Steven Domingo is the beginning of a much larger problem, it was not founded in religion, it is founded in social desperation and when that hits the least balanced people are the first to totally lose it.