There may be a reason two different Islamic radicals picked September 17 to carry out their attacks
It may be no coincidence a series of bombings occurred in New York City and New Jersey on the same day as a knife attack at a mall in Minnesota.
Both attacks were carried out on September 17, however it does not appear that the Afghani bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami and the knife attacker, Somali immigrant Dahir Adan, conspired together.
The day began with an explosive device detonating along the route of a Seaside Park, New Jersey charity race to benefit Marines.
Later, another device exploded inside a dumpster in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea, injuring 29. Other devices were found hidden in street-side garbage cans, the same method used to hide the New Jersey bombs.
Police looking at security camera footage were able to trace the bombs to Rahami, a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan. Rahami was captured after a shootout with Linden, New Jersey police.
Police are investigating what ties, if any, he has to overseas terrorist groups, or if he planned and carried out the attacks on his own.
Meanwhile, 1,300 miles away, another radicalized Muslim carried out a terrorist attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Adan, a part-time security guard, wore his uniform into the mall and began slashing innocent bystanders after asking whether or not they were Muslim. He was eventually shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.
ISIS claimed credit for the attack.
“The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition,” the group claimed through its news service.
It has yet to be shown whether Adan ever communicated with the group. However, ISIS routinely claims credit for attacks carried out by other groups, lone wolf terrorists, and mentally disturbed individuals.
While it’s unlikely Rahami and Adan even knew of each other, they may have very well known the significance of Sept. 17.
Islamic terrorists tend to coordinate their attacks with significant dates in their history or religious holidays.
Terrorist attacks often increase during Ramadan, for example.
And an Islamic terrorist, especially a lone wolf or low-level operative, would find Sept. 17 a fitting date to send a message to the West.
It was on Sept. 17, 640, that legendary Islamic military leader Amr ibn al-as conquered Egypt.
It was one of the most significant military conquests in Islamic history.
“Of all the early Muslim conquests, that of Egypt was the swiftest and most complete,” writes Middle Eastern historian Hugh Kennedy. “Within a space of two years the country had come entirely under Arab rule.”
“Even more remarkably, it has remained under Muslim rule ever since,” writes Kennedy. “Seldom in history can so massive a political change have happened so swiftly and been so long lasting.”
It’s even more significant considering the conquest of Egypt gave Islamic armies the foothold to begin their conquests of North Africa and Europe.
Sept. 17, 640 was the beginning of Islam’s conquest of the West – so if you’re looking to send the West a message that your mission is total and eternal conquest, what better day to do it than Sept. 17?
So far, neither the White House or the national security community have publicly discussed whether allusions to history played a role in the unusual timing of two separate, unrelated, Islamic terrorist attacks on the same day.