When Mateen Omar went on a killing spree, he did the ISIS a big favour. He called 911 and pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr Al Bhagdadi, the chief of the ISIS. There is a complete call transcript of the conversation, but when the FBI released it at first the FBI had redacted the names of both Omar and the ISIS.
The name of Mateen Omar read OM and there was no mention of the ISIS or its chief. There were two arguments put forth in this regard.
One Barack Obama, the President of the United States said one would accomplish nothing in naming the ISIS. Two, the argument by Ronald Hopper the FBI agent who said Omar was domestically radicalised and was not directed by any foreign group.
Is US at war with the omitted?
Omitting the names of the shooter, the ISIS and its chief according to the FBI was a necessary step. The FBI justified this step by saying that redacting is meant to not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist attacks in the past.
We're not going to propagate their rhetoric, their violent rhetoric, and we see no value in putting those individuals' names back out there. We're trying to prevent future acts from happening, again and for cowards like this one, people like that influence them, so we are not going to continue to put their names out front.
The omission of the names led to several jokes being made on the Obama administration. Some of the jokes are in war with the omitted? Obama's three step plan to defeat the omitted is omitted, omitted, omitted.
The FBI however went to release underacted transcript of the call after it came under fire from Republican House leaders and news organisations. The FBI explained that it was doing so to provide the highest level of transparency.
A bad argument
While Obama argued that one would accomplish nothing in naming, he also must remember that he will gain nothing in omitting the names. The ISIS has spread like cancer across Europe and America and the problem lies in the already existing propaganda material which is all over the internet.
The US is at war with the ISIS in Syria, but is that enough. The ISIS thrives on propaganda and ideology and merely killing battling them on ground in Syria will not help.
The US needs to acknowledge that it is the ISIS school of thought which is the real problem. The outfit has captured the imagination of millions and has moved beyond Iraq and Syria. It has sold dreams of the Caliphate which has been their best marketing tool.
What the US also fails to understand or prefers it that way is that the ISIS derives a lot of support from the Wahabis who are all over Saudi Arabia. It is this school of thought which helps further the ideology and in order to curb this the US needs to ensure that funding from Saudi Arabia is completely stopped.
Additionally more needs to be done to erase content out of the internet. The internet has been the connect between the youth and the ideology of the ISIS.
Denying or redacting does not help. The ISIS has a way of reaching its audience no matter how much one tries to conceal their activities. It is time to step up the heat and accept the fact that Islamic terrorism needs to be dealt in an extremely harsh manner.