The Beltway sniper as ‘lone gunman’?

By Craige McMillan

“The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.”

— Lenin

That the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas of our nation are terrorized by the “Beltway sniper” is not debatable. The airwaves are full of nonstop speculation about the “madman” killing innocent people as they go about their daily lives. Professional police profilers litter the television newscasts like shrapnel, speculating about the killer’s abused childhood and murderous motives. And the nation watches, growing more fearful and angry by the day.

But should we believe the police, federal authorities and the experts with their “lone gunman” theory? To date, we have 11 victims and nine murders – and from the beginning, witnesses have reported “dark skinned” or “olive-skinned” Mexican or Middle-Eastern men. That’s right – more than one – often driving away in a white van. The official line? “There is no evidence of terrorist involvement.”

Just over a year ago, 3,000 Americans were murdered by olive-skinned, Middle-Eastern men. To gain entrance into the airplane cockpits, they slit the throats of flight attendants in front of passengers. Then they overpowered pilots and flew the planes into office buildings filled with people going about their daily lives.

In 1993, a group of olive-skinned, Middle-Eastern men planted explosives in the basement of the World Trade Center. The explosion killed several people and damaged the towers. Ramzi Yousef, the chief conspirator, confided to an FBI agent during his helicopter ride over the twin towers on his way to federal prison that next time the towers would fall.

The Marine barracks in Beirut, the USS Cole, our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We don’t even need the disputed evidence of Oklahoma City, TWA Flight 800, Pan Am over Lockerbie or the foiled attempts quietly filed away.

In a story posted yesterday, WorldNetDaily detailed what investigators are really looking at in our nation’s capital. Police are investigating teams of assailants, multiple vans and rifles, driven by Middle-Eastern men, yet they tell us they have no suspects.

A careful reading of news accounts shows that Monday evening’s murder of FBI cyber-terrorism analyst Linda Franklin was different from the other shootings. It occurred at much closer range than previous killings, less than 30 yards, and the killer exposed himself when he stepped out of the van and fired the shot. Any competent intelligence investigation must assume that Ms. Franklin was targeted because of her job at the FBI, until it can be proven otherwise. I hope the FBI has people going over her work, because her murder was important enough for someone to risk capture in the process.

While teams of roving killers have focused the attention of police and federal agents, we need to consider that as bad as this is, it may well be a diversion of police resources while something even bigger is put in place. A chemical, biological or infrastructure attack on our nation’s capital could be in its early stages. It may be that Ms. Franklin’s work at the FBI holds some clue. Or could this be a dry run for other major cities across the United States? The Islamic militants arrested recently in Portland, Ore., were caught in part because a Washington state deputy ran them off from target practice – with telescopically equipped rifles.

Finally, the police need to be called on their ballistics statements. I don’t believe they’ve linked any of the killings ballistically. The .223 cartridge is favored by varmint hunters precisely because of its high velocity and light weight – it explodes upon impact. This means the bullet is not likely to ricochet off rocks and end up killing the varmint hunter or a bystander. It also means there is little left for ballistic analysis.

In the late 1990s, Osama Bin Laden issued an Islamic declaration of war against the Christian West, specifically the United States of America. The U.S. Department of Justice had a description of his activities posted on their website. Shortly thereafter, he then began to do exactly what he said he would do: He began to kill Americans. Officialdom now seems baffled by the actions surrounding them. There is much talk of “connecting the dots.” Yet I wonder, when someone says they are going to do something, and then they begin doing it, how many dots really need connecting? What we need is a rational acknowledgment of what a terrorist war in America means, and how we are going to win it. Wishful thinking doesn’t cut it.