The massacre of Jewish children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse presents us with an appalling encapsulation of the depraved nature of our times - although at first glance, the opposite seems to be the case.
On the surface, the situation was cut and dry. A murderer drove up to a Jewish school and executed three children and a teacher.
Led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, all of France decried the massacre and announced its solidarity with the French Jewish community. World leaders condemned the crime. The killer died in a standoff with French security forces. Justice was served. Case closed.
But dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that justice has not been served.
Indeed, it hasn't even begun to be addressed. The killer, Mohamed Merah, was not a lone gunman. He wasn't even one of the lone jihadists we hear so much about.
He had plenty of accomplices. And not all of them were Muslims.
An analysis of the nature of his crime and the identity of his many accomplices must necessarily begin with a question. Why did Merah videotape his crime?
Why did take the trouble of strapping a video camera to his neck and filming himself chasing eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego through the school courtyard and shooting her three times in the head? Why did he document his execution of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two little boys, three-year-old Gavriel and six-year-old Aryeh?
The first answer is because Merah took pride in killing Jewish children. Beyond that, he was certain that millions of people would be heartened by his crime. By watching him shoot the life out of Jewish children, they would be inspired to repeat his actions elsewhere.
And he was surely correct.
Millions of people have watched the 2002 video of Daniel Pearl being decapitated. Similar decapitation videos of Western hostages in Iraq and elsewhere have also become runaway Internet sensations.
Led by Youssef Fofana, the Muslim gang in France that kidnapped and tortured Ilan Halimi to death in 2006 also took pictures of their handiwork. Their photographs were clearly imitations of the photos that Pearl's killers took of him before they chopped his head off.
The pride that jihadist murderers take in their crimes is not merely manifested in their camera work. US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who massacred 13 US servicemen at Fort Hood in 2009, showed obvious pride in his dedication to jihad. Hassan gave a presentation to his colleagues justifying jihad. He carried business cards in which he identified himself as an "SOA," a soldier of Allah.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
Be the first to read Caroline Glick's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
Something Good Out Of Congress: No More Taxpayer Dollars to Presidential Political Conventions | Heather Ginsberg
With Obama's Popularity Plummeting, MSNBC's Farrow Flys to Kenya To Show How Much They LOVE Obama | Greg Hengler