The World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist
As the world is continuously rocked by terror attacks, more and more names are added to the list of dangerous terrorists. What name is missing from the list?
Whether the target is a mall in Nairobi or two buildings in New York, terrorism seems to have one goal: to shock the world into paying attention to the ideas of a certain group. This is done by maximizing civilian casualties in very shocking ways—opening fire in a crowded mall, flying planes into buildings, lobbing grenades into crowds at an airport, strapping bombs to children and sending them into enemy positions.
A list compiled by CNN recently placed Ayman al-Zawahiri as the most dangerous terrorist in the world. Zawahiri is a name Americans should know. He is the man who took over leadership of the al-Qaeda terrorist network after the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. The leader of the al-Qaeda network joins others who are involved in terrorist activities in such countries as Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Chechnya.
The CNN article describes the activities of the 10 terrorists considered to be the most dangerous. Though they each possess their own methods of murdering people, several similar themes recur throughout the descriptions of these men. Time and again, we see:
- Their cowardly and secretive attacks focused on researched weaknesses.
- Their powers of persuasion to get others to do their dirty work and die on their behalf.
- Their hatred.
Someone’s name is missing from the list
Where does all this hostility come from? Where does all this anger and violence begin? The Bible speaks of a being who initiated murder and lying—Satan the devil. Christ described Satan as “a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
He is even named “the adversary”—the definitive enemy of all mankind. The Bible tells us that this being is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). This spirit that can affect (or infect) human beings is the ultimate source of the horrific methods of mass murder carried out by terrorists against fellow human beings. God loves humanity and wants the whole world to stop listening to this broadcast!
The perfect terrorist
Much to the world’s sorrow and hurt, Satan has proven to be the perfect terrorist. Notice the similarity of his tactics to those mentioned above:
1. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil looks for opportunities to harm us and uses deception and research into our weaknesses to attack us spiritually. His sly methods influence the mind in ways that most human beings rarely recognize. But Christians should know what his methods are (2 Corinthians 2:11).
2. “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Satan and his network of spiritual terrorists have effectively deceived the world in many ways. A few examples of what humanity effectively believes are:
- God’s government is not the best way—Satan’s is superior.
- That Satan himself does not exist. By minimizing the reality of his existence, humans are less prone to resist him.
- That Satan’s way is freedom, while God’s way is harsh and restrictive.
3. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Satan does not practice love or righteousness. Think of the kind of hatred that one must have in order to target civilians and to shoot children at point blank range. This lack of compassion is not normal. It comes from the influence of Satan, the most violent and hate-filled terrorist in the world.
What do we do?
While governments rely on counterterrorism groups and stealth warfare to fight physical terrorists, Christians rely on spiritual methods to combat the master terrorist. Here are two keys:
- Use God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11-12). In the abstract, this may sound like another “Christian” phrase that has very little applicable meaning. However, it is more functional when we realize that we put on the armor of God through active and consistent prayer, control of our thoughts and obedience to God’s beneficial law.
- “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). When we humbly submit to God, we can look that terrorist right in the face and reject his thoughts and his ways. The Bible presents this as a law. If we truly do submit to God and strive to resist Satan, he will be defeated.
Terrorism will be no more
One day, symbolized by the biblical festival the Day of Atonement, Satan will be put away for his crimes. Once he is away from the world, unable to influence others, terrorism will disappear for a thousand years. Then he will be released for a little time until his final removal (Revelation 20:1-3). And then, finally, the pain and suffering caused by terrorism—whether it is slaughter of civilians or attacks on our hearts and minds—will be gone. What a wonderful time to look forward to!
To learn more about the reason for evil in our world today, read “The Problem of Evil.”