Jihadist Attacks in the West “Not Going to Stop,” Terrorism Expert Warns

“Greater need and urgency” among jihadists to punish countries that have launched airstrikes against Islamic State

Khan, the executive director of Muflehun, warned against overstating the jihadist threat on the homefront.

"Nothing systematically has changed since the Sydney attacks, though there could be copycats," Khan said. "People tend to be more scared of certain types of violence than others. Does that increase the risk of that happening? No, it just means people are more aware and scared of it."

However, Turzanski said the jihadist threat is real, and he argued that the West, as it becomes more secularized, will find itself at a disadvantage to address the problem.

"In a mindset where there is only one god and his name is Allah, and his one prophet is Muhammad, and that all unbelievers should be put to death, the Western world is a fertile ground for radicalized Muslim individuals to be scandalized, alienated and at-risk for violent acts," said Turzanski, who suggested that Western governments could track and collect "data points" on radical Muslim individuals considered at risk for jihadist attacks, though he noted the civil liberty concerns.

"We want a free society," Turzanski said. "But these individuals are confident of the rightness of their cause and they will use our freedoms to the maximum that they can. Meanwhile, we refuse to call things by their real name, and we refuse to act vigorously when they do get on the radar screen."

Said Turzanski: "They’re not going to stop."

Brian Fraga is a daily newspaper reporter who writes from Fall River, Massachusetts

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