On Jan. 7th 2016, Officer Jesse Hartnett of the Philadelphia Police Department faced something officers nationwide have been dreading – he was ambushed while he sat in his patrol car. While officers have been ambushed before, and the possibility of an ambush always exists, what set Officer Hartnett’s attack about is the shooters confession claiming he attacked the officer in the name of Islam. Officials, politicians, and religious leaders have spent the ensuing weeks examining and even contradicting the shooter’s religious ties but, in the end, it does not matter. Whether the threat is part of a bigger ISIS plan or the actions of a lone fanatic, the threat remains real.
Within hours of Officer Hartnett’s attack, the shooter’s confession was made public; it had been widely reported that he claimed to have conducted the attack because of his religious beliefs. Despite this claim, made in the shooter’s words, officials continued to debate “his real motivation.” Even the Mayor made a public statement claiming the attack had no connection to Islam. Hollow words considering the FBI was at the same time opening its investigation into a terror connection. As of Jan 14th, the FBI reported it had been unable to establish any connection between the shooter and an organized terror cell but was continuing to investigate.
Some observers would point to this as an example of mindless bureaucracy, the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. But others claim it is a case of political correctness hampering an investigation and potentially putting additional officers in danger. If the attack had been carried out by a white male who claimed to have ties to a homegrown terror organization, say Sovereign Citizens or a Militia group, it would not matter if he had just declared alliance or had an embossed membership card in his wallet. Every news organization would have flooded the airwaves with warnings, task forces would have been formed, and everything possible would have been done to prevent a future attack. In other words, the gloves would have come off.
Instead, we have more people trying to convince the American people, and fellow LEOS, that this attack is not indicative of the Islamic faith. While I agree that it would be wrong to assume that every member of the Islamic religion is responsible for, or even condones, such an attack, it is irresponsible to ignore the obvious connection and the future danger. This incident cannot be viewed as an isolated incident but rather as the latest in an extensive series of attacks on civilians, government facilities and those perceived as a threat to ISIS. Whether the attacks are part of a larger organized operation or the actions of a lone wolf sympathizer, the fact remains that they share a common denominator.
Political correctness aside, those in charge need to understand that ISIS presents a real and continued danger to everyone, including American law enforcement. More importantly, avoiding the common denominator prevents the whole picture from being developed and the actual threat from being confronted.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.