Terrorism: Extremists must be eradicated

Once again, we find ourselves asking the familiar question: How can we prevent terrorist attacks such as that in New York City on Tuesday?

We can’t — at least not without infringing upon liberties Americans cherish.

In mid-afternoon Tuesday, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who came to this country from Uzbekistan in 2010, used a rented truck to mow down pedestrians and bicyclists. At least eight died. Another 11 were injured. The assault ended only when the truck was disabled by crashing into a school bus.

Police shot the driver when he emerged, brandishing a BB gun and a paintball gun and yelling “Allahu Akbar!”

By the definitions of most human beings, anyone who would murder innocent people at random, solely for the pleasure of killing, is mentally ill.

But killers like Saipov are pushed into it by Islamic terrorist groups. They are credited with sophisticated use of psychology to create “lone wolf” murderers throughout the world.

It is impossible to prevent someone determined to kill from doing so. Do we ban rental trucks? Kitchen knives? Pressure cookers and household chemicals?

It can’t be done.

We must find and eliminate the brainwashers who use the Internet to create murderers. Meanwhile, peaceful Muslims around the world are once again saddened that their simple proclamation that “God is greatest” — a sentiment echoed by many non-Muslims in their own prayer and worship — has once again been used during the commission of a horrific act of terror. Opinion writer Wajahat Ali penned a piece for The New York Times in which he proclaimed “I Want ‘Allahu Akbar’ Back.”

So, as one analyst, commenting hours after the attack Tuesday, suggested, “We have to defeat the ideology,” he is correct, but only to an extent.

The analyst talked of defeating terrorism as a creed. But so crazed with power are Islamic extremist leaders that they will be defeated only when they are destroyed.