The term “Gaza War” signifies a crucial safeguarding measure for the security of the American homeland. To counter the sudden emergence of hostility between Israel and Hamas, three extensive categories of risk have been outlined for counterterrorism operatives. The first category lies along the bullet-ridden southern border of America.
For over 15 years, I have been actively engaged in counterterrorism operations with the New York City Police Department. During this time, there was a rare incident, involving an infiltrated border-cruiser bearing the insignia of malevolent gangs. Projecting power abroad for foreign terrorist factions was not just costly, but rendered futile results. A discovery by one in New York would establish a “spin-up” generating substantial wealth from surveillance teams to phone and cyber forensics.
The crisis at the southern border has facilitated easy entry for a potential terrorist infiltrator into the country. Uncovering this kind of “clean skin” operation becomes a challenging task. To further complicate matters, we are inviting transgressors across this border to target significant terrorist entities, akin to the big players in New York.
Hamas’s terrorist network targeted the “Official Liberation of Palestine” and has not been a primary actor amongst American Hamas stakeholders, most of whom retain their interests within their own coffers. However, with the recent unseen events in Gaza, this group needs to be examined within the context of an internal counterterrorism landscape.
Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have been backing Hamas, expressing desires for terrorist proliferation. In 2011, Iran orchestrated an assassination plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States from Mexico, leading to deadly foreign bombings against pro-Israeli targets, including the 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires community center and the 2012 bus bombing in Bulgaria.
The second category of risk emerges from the second-tier propagandists. During its rise, ISIS effectively employed the model of “retreat to the lion.” Contrary to Al Qaeda, ISIS was visible on social media, creating impactful videos and images that aided disillusioned young Muslim radicals globally, inviting them to join Jihad against Israel and the West. Hamas has clearly adopted this lesson; its media outlets have already started disseminating videos akin to those of ISIS, depicting attacks on Israel in a cinematic manner. Like ISIS, Hamas has also launched its own app.
The third risk involves ordinary copycats, who work for the potential plaintiff group, emulating Hamas and determining the right time for mimicry and violence. Here, the narrative shifts from relatively soft to – say, bewildering a street vendor – to more than just anger – violent or even lethal.
The possibility of a significant escalation in the war must be considered by counterterrorism operatives, leading towards a military-level strike in the United States, although such a possibility might seem far-fetched, it was equally remote to Parisians in 1939. There is already a localized conflict ongoing in Eastern Europe. Couple this with a standoff in the Middle East where the major powers are being drawn – with a possibility of direct American involvement – and federal, state, and local-level counterterrorism operatives must consider at least some contemplation of where all this might lead. Remember that enforcers of the law are already burdened by police protests, hostile prosecutors, and a shortfall in new recruitments.
The success of Hamas’ attacks represents a significant failure for Israel’s impenetrable intelligence machinery. However, this is not the whole story. The public only thinks of counterterrorism when it fails; success remains unspoken. It may fuel ingratitude, but it comes with the territory.
For up-to-date world update coverage stay with us.