In the last ten days, Islamic terrorists have attacked a church in Cairo, murdered civilians from a Crusader fortress in Jordan, shot worshippers at an anti-terrorism Islamic center in Zurich, run down shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin, and assassinated a Russian ambassador in Ankara. Is there a connection?
Israel has working relationships with each of the Arab states where attacks took place. Egypt and Jordan have working treaties with Israel and Turkey just reinstated diplomatic relations. Germany sells nuclear submarines to Israel and Switzerland just signed an agreement to exchange banking information with Jerusalem.
Is the connection to Israel circumstantial? After all, each of these countries are also sharply critical of the Jewish state.
Perhaps the link is ISIS, a.k.a. the Islamic State or Daesh. Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot down by a Turkish special operations police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas. Immediately after pumping five bullets into Karlov's back, Altinas was heard shouting, "Allah Akbar," which means, "Allah is greater." He also screamed, "We die in Aleppo, you die here." Then he prayed from the anthem of al-Nasra Front.
Portions of that anthem, translated into English include the lines,
We challenge death not fearing to die: striking the enemy in battle
Only for Allah we bow, ...we will not submit to anyone but Allah
The one who is martyred is not dead: but alive in the perpetual paradise alive
Honing in on his motive, Altintas clarified, "We made an oath to die in martyrdom...this is revenge for Syria and Aleppo."
As reported last week, Islamic State's response to the advancing Russian coalition in Syria has not been retreat. Instead, it has gone on the offense, a move identified by Israeli intelligence sources on Sunday, 11 December, the same day ISIS sent a suicide bomber to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, murdering 25 Christians.
In fact, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS has vowed to launch an international campaign of terror targeting "disbelievers, apostates and polytheists." The designations practitioners of Islam that oppose terror (like the Islamic center in Zurich), those who have converted out of Islam, and Christans - a.k.a. "polytheists."
Is the ISIS pledge the common link between the terror attacks?
The niggling inconsistency of this theory is that Altintas, the assassin who murdered Russia's ambassador in Ankara, was a member of al-Nusra Front, not ISIS. As such, he represented a "rebel" group opposing Assad's regime in Syria that, initially at least, was supported by the United States.
A more likely link between the attacks is an explosion of jihad outrage. For al-Nusra, that rage was triggered by US abandonment of support in the fight against Assad. For ISIS, it is a growing awareness that it is about to become the focus of attack by the Russia's allied forces with Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, even China.
And then there is Israel. The driving ambition of ISIS, al-Nusra Front and others of their ilk is establishment of an Islamic endtimes global caliphate; basically, a one-world Islamic government. According to this common desire, there is a shared, visceral conviction that the primary entity preventing that caliphate is Israel.
Another possibility, then, is that ISIS, al-Nusra Front and others like them - including Iran - are coalescing, drawn together by share convictions that that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Unable to attack Jerusalem today, it is a merging coalition that is targeting Israel's allies. Hoping to convince those allies that Israel is the "reason for the season" of Christmastime terror, the apparent goal is to isolate the Jewish state, provoking every other nation to turn against it.
If so, Israel, now, more than ever, is the bulls-eye of a global campaign for its destruction, a campaign being waged in the name of Allah and his mandate for murderous jihad.