U.S. law-enforcement officials and even some terrorist leaders were expressing astonishment Friday when threats of terrorist attacks and other violence failed to deter shoppers from pursuing Black Friday bargains.
Terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda, the Michigan Militia, Hezbollah, the Real Irish Republican Army, and Boko Haram all issued threats this year on this popular shopping day, warning that American consumers could face violence or even be killed in the course of seeking lower prices.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert via the National Terrorism Advisory System for the Thanksgiving weekend, warning Americans to stay clear of major retail outlets during this time.
“This Black Friday, the terrorist threat facing our country is at its highest level since the tenth anniversary of 9/11,” Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in a public statement on Thanksgiving. “Whatever the economic benefits, obviously the potential danger of violence or death should take precedence.”
“Or not, I guess,” Napolitano added in a second statement on Black Friday, as she and local law enforcement agency leaders failed to contain their disbelief that the threat of terror and bodily harm on Black Friday, from terrorists as well as fellow shoppers, did not seem to deter millions of Americans. “If people are willing to jeopardize their own safety just to save twenty bucks on a PlayStation, I guess there’s nothing we can do.”
Even the leaders of terrorist networks seemed astonished by the brazen disregard for violent harm exhibited by American shoppers. In an audio speech released online, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri declared that he had already urged Muslim fundamentalist sleeper agents everywhere to launch “attacks on American soil” on Black Friday.
Later in the recording, however, al-Zawahiri seem puzzled by the results, or rather the lack thereof. “One attempt to smuggle a bomb in shoes, and every infidel in the West takes their shoes off before getting on plane. But direct threats of violence at thousands of stores across America, and people still camp out in tents? Truly, the Western devils cannot be understood.”
Specific and legitimate threats to Black Friday shoppers believed by law enforcement to be credible included:
– Terrorists disguised as shoppers inflicting brutal beatings on fellow consumers regularly.
– Starting deadly stampedes inside and outside of stores that could trample bargain-seekers to death.
– Arming some assailants with chemical agents such as pepper spray to use on those around them.
– Breaking of doors and windows to get into stores, with whole packs of shoppers tearing open crates and boxes prior to when they are on sale.
– Wholesale abuse of retail employees.
– Gunfire and shootings in which multiple participants would be killed.
Authorities emphasized that any of the above scenarios could argue at any store.
A masked white supremacist known only as “Wotan the Grand Dragon” released a video via stormfront.org in which he warned, “I’ll make it clear, any shopper who goes out on Black Friday could have anyone in the crowd turn on them and try to harm or kill them at any time! The race war is coming!” Scratching his hooded head, covered by a swastika symbol, he then added, “Why all these folks of all races go out and shop like this anyway, well, hell, I dunno. That seems crazy to me.”
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally considered the day when retail stores’ yearly profits finally exceed total costs, getting them “in the black” (as opposed to being “in the red” or losing money). However, among retail employees, the term refers to the darkness of what they consider a horrific day.
As the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday usually involves discounts meant to lure shoppers away from competitors, though many of these discounts are illusory, only relative to price increases earlier in the season. On this day, stores draw record-breaking crowds, many waking up early to be at the doors before stores open or even camp out overnight.
Shoppers continue to show up despite the fact that all the theoretical threats above had actually previously been perpetrated by Americans upon each other in previous years with no terrorist involvement.
UPDATE: Upon hearing that this year, the threat of violence had not only failed to deter shoppers from Black Friday outings, but that some stores were even adding extra hours and opening on the Thanksgiving holiday itself, terrorist leader al-Zawahiri released a second statement, saying “Seriously? On Thanksgiving? That is horrible—screw it, I give up.”
By: Jeremy Forbing