Europe, US must confront homegrown Islamic terror threat before more die

France has a big problem. So does Great Britain. So does the rest of Europe. And so does America. The problem is the several thousand young, native-born Islamist extremists who travel abroad to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, or Al Qaeda in Yemen and Pakistan, and come home to kill.

We see police identifying the suspects in the Paris massacre and think the good guys finally won because French forces tracked them down and have them surrounded.

This isn’t the end of two terrorist attacks. It is the beginning of a war.

Islamist extremists look at the Paris massacre and think they won. What they saw was fellow jihadists who could carry out a plan and execute an operation to kill journalists they deemed offensive.

This isn’t the end of two terrorist attacks. It is the beginning of a war.

Friday morning a second group of Islamist extremists stormed a kosher market in Paris. They executed women and children.

The terrorists will ultimately die, too, but probably not before they kill innocent civilians. The world is glued to television screens watching the terrorist events unfold. It’s the best recruitment video Islamist extremists could have.

This isn’t the end of two terrorist attacks. It is the beginning of a war.

There are large neighborhoods in the Paris suburbs called No-Go Zones, where non-Muslims dare not enter. There are similar areas in cities throughout Europe. They are microstates within states, governed by Shariah law, where young people go to madrassas instead of public schools.

There is massive unemployment, and festering resentment. Young Muslims are ripe for recruitment to wage war against the people they think repress them and insult their religion.

They are recruited over the Internet, or in their neighborhoods, or at their mosques, and they are offered all-expenses-paid trips to the Middle East to fight a holy war. They travel freely across Europe and into Turkey, and then they cross, undetected, over the porous border into Syria or Iraq. ISIS trains them, gives them battlefield experience and sends them back across the border to retrace their steps home. They are returning citizens who know how to use sophisticated weapons, make car bombs, recruit terrorist cells and plan attacks. There are over 1,000 French citizens who have gone to fight for ISIS, over 1,000 Brits and hundreds of Germans, Belgians and Dutch.

They have launched a guerrilla war against us in our own neighborhoods. They shout “Allahu Akbar, The Prophet is Avenged.” We’re still calling it “workplace violence,” “senseless killings” or “man-caused disasters.” Our leaders insist these are criminal acts, not acts of war.

It is a war we can win, but only if we in the West wise up now. Call it what it is: Islamist extremists who believe they are justified to fight and kill in the name of their religion.

Take the political correctness handcuffs off intelligence and law enforcement. Employ new data mining and analysis techniques that can identify and track terrorists before they commit murder.

Kathleen Troia “K.T.” McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of’s “DefCon 3.” She served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations.