July 15, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013
And I don’t mean “take out her town” to say a nice Texas style roadhouse steak dinner.
No, “take out” as in “kill every single person” in her hometown of Splendora, Texas.
Now the population of Splendora is 1,615 including the suspected teen terrorist who may or may not have been including herself in her online threat. Named after the splendor or beauty of its trees, this tiny town in Montgomery County is still reeling from the unwanted national attention coming its way like a Texas-Twister after her alleged Facebook threats were anonymously reported to the local authorities and the FBI.
In the wake of the 2013 Boston marathon teen bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the FBI and Homeland Security are not taking such threats lightly even if in this case, the suspect may not have had any apparent or obvious capacity to make good on her threats.
Or, as Montgomery County Constable Kenneth Hayden out it, “Well, kids are gonna be kids.”
Look, I don’t know about your kids or those that call Constable Hayden “Pops,” but I am not convinced that threatening to obliterate and murder every person in your town is some sort of “rite of teen passage.”
On the other hand, what in years past may have simply been a teen aside or roar of much sound and fury but signifying in the end, nothing, to paraphrase Billy Shakespeare, now makes its way to the very public Facebook and arrests follow.
Are we too vigilant these days? Too ready to arrest our angry, venting teens when maybe a time-out and loss of online privilege for a week or two may be the answer?
Or, does Sarah Palin have the solution when she said recently that she’d welcome any would-be teen terrorist to these United States with a good ol’ session of waterboarding?
One thing seems to be for sure-According to the international terrorist watch, our own Department of Homeland Security and a recent BBC report on Mideast Terrorism, terrorists are increasingly getting younger than ever. Groups such as Islamist extremists are recruiting, indoctrinating and grooming kids as young as 8 years old for several years to take up terrorism and be the “next generation of Jihadists.”
A ore in-depth BBC investigative report also traced how many depressed, lonely, socially outcast young male teens in the London area were being recruited and befriended via social media by sophisticated terrorist groups. Once befriended, they then used the safe haven of temples to solidify the relationship and “turn” these teens to a life of terrorism.
We see today that many of the terrorists operating in Iraq and now the Gaza strip are barely of US high school age, yet, sadly, well beyond their biological age in terms of experience with violence and terrorism. Not long ago many mainstream media outlets picked up on the profile of Diya Muhammad Hussein, a 16 year-old terrorist in charge of even younger groups of terrorists-in-training in Iraq and Syria. Seems young Diya had been being groomed and mentored in the ways of global terrorism for nearly a decade at the time of the profile.
But what happens when the terrorist threats are homegrown?
In the wake of the Newtown shootings and the seemingly never-ending line of lone teens with a gun and malice in their (almost always a he) hearts, can our law enforcement officers, can we, as a community, ever not take any threat seriously again?
In addition to her alleged broad-scope threat, she apparently singled out a Leukemia cancer patient. Seems Christian Beasley, a 12 year-old terminally ill patient who uses a robot named “Watt” to keep up with schooling was visited by Houston Texan football great JJ Watt.
Teen jealousy of the attention being given to young Christian? Even despite the fact he is literally fighting for his life?
Maybe we’ll get a better sense of what was going on in the suspected teen terrorist’s head when she posted her Facebook threats. Maybe we’ll never fully understand.
But if we want to share one lesson to all our children let’s remind them that there are two wonderful and terrible facts about the internet. The whole world can see what you post (or it can be hacked) and it is forever.
Bob Dylan had it just about right. Except now, the times, our times, they have changed forever.
Do you know what your kid does when he/she is online? Maybe it’s time we all paid more attention before it gets out of our hands and into those of the law.
Today, 1,614 residents of Splendora all breathed a sigh of relief and went about their business in this sleepy, sun-baked Texas town. For number 1,615, though, life will never be quite the same again for this teen.