THE truck attack in New York on Tuesday proves that terror attacks worldwide are turning into a form of guerrilla warfare.
According to a police officer in New York, the suspect “appears to have followed, almost exactly to a T, the instructions that ISIS (Islamic State) has put out in its social media channels before.”
Facing the forceful strikes against terrorism from the international community, the terrorist organizations have broken into small groups, lurking around the world. Guerrilla warfare has thus become its new strategy.
Through the Internet, extremist organizations have also been recruiting new loyalists from across the world, inciting them to launch destructive actions. The old terrorist groups, which have been scattered around the globe, may gang up with these new members and pose immediate threats to our neighborhood.
Facilitated by the Internet, terrorist organizations can offer guidance on warfare to wider audiences, attracting potential attackers to join and implement the plot. The New York truck attack could be one such case.
Facing guerrilla warfare or lone-wolf attacks, the world must come up with new approaches to deal with the threats. US President Donald Trump argued after the terror attack that US immigration policy is at fault, suggesting the country should abolish the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, through which the suspect entered the country. Most of the US media is also digging into the origins of the suspect or whether he had any relationship with foreign terror groups.
However, such an effort may miss the point. Perhaps he was not a terrorist when he first stepped on US soil, but he changed after he settled. Discussions about immigration policy at this moment will only make the US more exclusive and divided, which would in turn make more people become more easily influenced by extreme ideas.
Coping with terrorists at home is a much trickier challenge than cracking down on them in a foreign country. It is still an arduous task to realize effective worldwide collaboration. But the clock is ticking. Preventing such trends of terrorism under the framework of the United Nations might be a priority of the international community.
[Ai Jun is a China writer]