ECC Hosts Discussion on Terrorism

Cory Bray, Staff Writer

What if the war on terrorism could be won, not with the price of lives, but with the price that is paid at the gas pump?

The Alumni Room at Elgin Community College filled with 127 students, faculty and community members on Nov. 18 to discuss the origins and implications of terrorism.

Packed from front to back, the room’s atmosphere was plagued by the tragedies that took place less than a week before in Paris.

“This speaker series was planned last April,” said Pat O’Brian, sociology professor at ECC. “We try to have events on campus that are relevant; this couldn’t be more relevant for the times.”

Michael McIntyre, program director of international studies and associate professor at DePaul University, was the keynote speaker and began his discussion with remarks about how dear Paris is to his heart.

Having lived there for several years, McIntyre admits that if it were up to him he would seek vengeance.

McIntyre spoke passionately about the origins and history of modern day terrorism.

“We want terrorism to be a simple villain,” said McIntyre. “But this villain is a complicated creature whose tentacles reach into places that are very close to home.”

The audience was transported to the 1970’s when Osama Bin Laden’s career began as a jihadi working with the United States to help Afghanistan fight America’s then-enemy, the Soviet Union.

“Osama Bin Laden gained his notoriety after the Soviets left Afghanistan,” said McIntyre.

Although Bin Laden was forced to leave Saudi Arabia, he still had influence and the financial support of many within the country, even though he moved his base of operations to Afghanistan.

It was because of this network of financial and other support in Saudi Arabia that 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, McIntyre said.

Attendee’s were in awe upon being informed that immediately after the 9/11 a acks, all civilian air space was closed with one exception: elite Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, were able to get on private jets and evacuate the country.

McIntyre also enlightened his audience of inconsistencies the U.S. government’s rendition of Bin Laden’s death, as supported by mainstream media.

“For those of you who have seen ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ it’s not true,” said McIntyre. “It didn’t happen that way.”

Bin Laden retained the support of Pakistan and maintained it up until the day of his death, according to McIntyre.

Bin Laden’s compound was discovered only a quarter-mile away from Pakistan’s equivalent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“There is no way Pakistan didn’t know,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre divulged how our alliance with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan continues an old tradition of imperial policy which props up tyrannical governments, often despised by their own people.

“The real sources of terrorist support are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but [to get involved] would mean going after two key allies that helped us create Jihadi and Osama Bin Laden,” said McIntyre. “That’s what I mean when I talk about tentacles in places that reach very close to home.”

McIntyre backed his claims with government documents available to the public. The first set of documents consisted of reports led by Hillary Clinton expounding on the fact that terrorists are receiving funding from our allies. The second was a retracted statement by Vice President Joe Biden regarding the same topic.

“Our allies are the primary international funders of the terrorist who struck on 9/11 and the ones that attacked more recently in France,” said McIntyre.

The event wrapped up with a question and answer session, and many students had questions.

Community member David Blake a ended the discussion after reading about it in the Daily Harold.

“After all that’s happened and all I’m hearing on the news and social media, I was interested in what the scholars on the topic had to say,” said Blake. “It was a very good discussion.”

Terrorism is a global issue that touches the lives of many. Is the American government allies with terrorist supporters?