A pattern has emerged, repeating itself after almost every new terrorist attack committed on U.S. soil.
The connection to Islam is initially ignored, then downplayed as mere coincidence. The attacker’s motive is either “unknown” or cannot be “speculated” about, according to local law enforcement.
It happened again Friday night when Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old Muslim immigrant from Turkey, shot and killed five people at the cosmetics counter of a Macy’s store inside a mall in Burlington, Washington.
Investigators said they didn’t know what Cetin’s motive could have been.
KIRO TV in Seattle reported that authorities had “no indication the shootings were a terrorist act.”
And by Monday night Savannah Guthrie, anchoring NBC Nightly News, said “The motive is still a mystery.”
But if the previous pattern of Islamic terrorists who struck at Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino and Orlando hold true, the FBI will come forth with some piece of evidence weeks or months from now that shows exactly what motivated Cetin to commit his crime. But by then most Americans will have moved on to other things, and the memory of the massacre of five people at the mall in Washington will be fuzzy at best.
“It’s almost like ‘oh ho hum another immigrant has killed a bunch of people now let’s move on to the debates,'” said Ann Corcoran, who blogs at Refugee Resettlement Watch. “Plenty of people have been warning that our future is going to be this type of stuff, just like Europe. That’s what’s happening. Five more people are dead and everybody’s just moved on.”
In fact new information was released today by the FBI about the Orlando attack back in June. The killer, Omar Mateen, told police exactly what was motivating him just minutes before he gunned down 49 people at the Pulse nightclub, the Hill reported. Mateen told police during hostage negotiations he was compelled to kill his hostages by the recent U.S. killing of an ISIS commander.
Cetin, who reportedly admitted in court Monday that he was the mall shooter in Washington, was repeatedly described by police and media, citing in-store video footage, as a “Hispanic” male.
After Cetin was arrested and identified, it turned out he was not Hispanic but an immigrant from Turkey. While more than 98 percent of Turkey is Muslim, that was never mentioned by most major news outlets, even after pro-Islamic sayings were discovered on Cetin’s social media sites.
Speculation immediately shifted to a possible vengeful act of rage over a split-up with a girlfriend. But Cetin’s girlfriend did not work in the mall and by some accounts was not even in the country.
The Seattle Times, the main source of print news in the area, followed the shooting with blanket coverage. The Times’ story Monday focused on Cetin being a “socially awkward” and “troubled” young man who sexually harassed female students when he was in high school. Former school mate Uhlaine Finnigan said he would grab and slap the buttocks of female students.
“He would grope women in high school and middle school,” added Austin Hendrix, 19.
Four of the five people he shot to death were uncovered women at a makeup counter and the fifth was a man trying to help his wife escape.
The words “Muslim” or “Islam” never made it into the Seattle Times article. Nor was the fact that he had posted on his Tumblr page urging readers to repeat the phrase “Subhan Allah” or “Glory to Allah” 10 times “and then reblog this, do not stop reblogging it.”
The Los Angeles Times did note the strange Tumblr post and had the journalistic instincts to ask authorities about Cetin’s religious beliefs, noting at the very end of its story Monday that “Police had no comment on the suspect’s religious beliefs.”
Many of the major TV networks were referring to Cetin initially as a naturalized U.S. citizen of Turkish descent but that also turned out to be false as he is a lawful permanent resident or LPR, not a citizen.
An LPR is most often a green card holder. The U.S. issues more than 120,000 green cards per year to migrants from Muslim-majority countries, offering them essentially permanent status and a fast track to American citizenship, according to stats published by Sen. Jeff Sessions’ subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.
Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said “It was the world knocking on our doorstep. And it came to our little community here.”
Cetin also had links a site praising ISIS Caliph al-Baghdadi and Iranian leader Khamenei.
“This is a possible indication of his motive, as is the link to the site praising al-Baghdadi and Khamenei, but authorities will no doubt keep looking for old girlfriends of this ‘Hispanic’ from Adana, Turkey,” wrote Robert Spencer on his blog, JihadWatch.
“Maybe he wasn’t a jihadi and there is some mitigating explanation for all of this. When authorities refuse to discuss it and appear to dismiss it out of hand, however, it only reinforces the impression that there is some deliberate effort to cover up jihad attacks — an impression that authorities reinforce all too often,” Spencer wrote in a follow-up article.
Anti-Shariah activist Pam Geller was even more direct, tying the past week’s worth of Islamic-inspired violence together in her blog post.
“Let’s review this past week alone: Muslim meat cleavers NYPD cops, a devout Muslim goes on a knife rampage at a St. Cloud mall, a devout Muslim in New York (working with how many others remains to be seen) plants 11 bombs in New York City and New Jersey. And a Muslim pleaded guilty to a plot to behead me.
“Now this. They’ll say he was mad at his girlfriend, mentally unstable, lone wolfing — I am sick of it. It’s jihad.
“Obama says, ‘respect it!'”