That would fit an emerging pattern of terrorist acts not just in Canada, but throughout the West: homegrown zealots, often disaffected young men who have embraced radical Islam and act alone, or without evidence of direct aid from foreign jihadist groups.
“The Al Qaeda ‘fan boys’ never did this, definitely not in so coordinated a fashion in so close a time,” said Will McCants, a scholar of Islamist militancy at the Brookings Institution. Al Qaeda’s constant calls for Muslims in the West to instigate their own attacks “fell on deaf ears” but “the ISIS guys are just really energized,” said Mr. McCants, using a common acronym for the group that now calls itself the Islamic State.
Just something to think about.
ISIS can position itself as precursors to the apocalypse or whatever; they can overplay their wins, take credit for the work of others and position their asks from migration to a-cup-of-coffee-a-week donations to local attacks and point out pretty much anything Ottawa attack as being proof of their efficacy. Politics is politics.
How many youth opting in to "radical Islam" are converting to a religion vs. pretending a favourite video game is reality? How much are these "self-radicalized" youth about the corrupting influence of ISIS and the like vs. troubled youth looking for a place to belong or an excuse to end their own existence, perhaps taking others with them?
Marc Lepine was a terrorist without a group. Elliot Rodger was a terrorist without a group. There are many more, often with similar pieces in their profile - trouble relating to women, troubled family lives, trouble maintaining jobs, mental health issues.
These aren't converts to radical anything - they're ticking human time bombs that have been unable to adjust to or find a place in society.
Which brings us full circle back to the problem.
If we believe market forces are the be-all and end-all and that there is no place for committing sociology - throw the kids in the deep end, they'll all swim - this is what happens. People that could be helped by intervention, or at least mitigated as a risk, will always, always fall through the cracks. The more we increase the security complex to identify, track and remove these people, the more tensions will increase throughout our society and the more people will fall through the cracks.
Terrorism is the violent use of fear as a control mechanism. Politics is all-too-often a more passive-aggressive variation on the same thing. It may be the case that the people targeting various non-white political candidates in Toronto have nothing to do with Ford Nation, but the populist approach being spouted by the Fords, in addition to the regular racist remarks, does nothing to discourage such behavior.
We're seeing how this sort of social framing plays out in Hungary and Greece. Do we really want the same here?