Steve Hilton: Islamic terror is not a law enforcement puzzle, it’s a war. Here’s how to show we get it

Programming Alert: Watch "The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton" Sunday evenings at 9pm ET on Fox News Channel.

Another sickening Islamist terror attack, this time on the streets of New York. On each occasion we seem to go through the same ritual -- sympathy, condemnation, a parade of well-meaning statements from government officials insisting that the terrorists “will not win.”

Fine. But forgive me for feeling a certain sense of frustration. The truth is, we are not taking this threat seriously enough. Our response needs to be much more aggressive.

First though, let’s give credit where it’s due. Our brave men and women have taken the fight to ISIS in the Middle East, and by all accounts have done a spectacular job. For years, our security services have worked patiently and relentlessly to track down terror plots. They have foiled many and saved countless lives. For that we should be unequivocally grateful.

It’s not their response that I question: but the response of our leaders, in government and the bureaucracy. They still seem to be treating Islamist terror as a law enforcement issue, rather than what it is: a war waged on us by an ideologically-driven and globally-distributed enemy.

Big Tech is investing billions in artificial intelligence and virtual reality -- let’s see some of that directed towards identifying potential terrorist murderers.

Here are four things we could do that would show we are serious in this fight.

First, we should remove all known Islamists from our country. If they are not U.S. citizens, they should be immediately deported. If they are naturalized U.S. citizens, they should first have their citizenship revoked. As the former head of the UK’s crisis response committee, Colonel Richard Kemp said after the Manchester terror attack earlier this year, “Every single person who we have intelligence upon, who is known to be involved in terrorism...we deport and send them back to where they came from. We do not allow them to roam free on our streets and murder and maim and disfigure our children.”

Of course, in order to do this we need to know how many such people there are. After Manchester, British authorities announced that they know of 23,000 Islamist extremists who are potential terrorist attackers living in the UK. How many are there in America? It’s time the FBI told us.

Second, we must force the big tech companies to help our security services track down terrorists and prevent attacks. When there’s money to be made, there’s no limit to Silicon Valley’s ingenuity -- or invasion of privacy. Google announced earlier this year that it can track your online browsing and your movements in the real world by combining credit card data with data from your smartphone and services like Google Maps. But when the authorities ask tech firms to help in the fight against terror, suddenly they’re all about privacy. Big Tech is investing billions in artificial intelligence and virtual reality -- let’s see some of that directed towards identifying potential terrorist murderers.

Third, we need to force Saudi Arabia to pay reparations for their role in incubating today’s terror threat. Over the years, the Saudis have funded a huge number mosques in the world -- and with that funding came the vile, medieval strain of Islam known as Wahhabism (or Salafism) that is at the heart of today’s Islamist ideology, whether practiced by ISIS, Al Qaeda or any other of the murderous death cults. The least the Saudis could now do is put some of their oil riches towards building and supporting moderate mosques on the same scale they funded extremist ones.

Fourth, we need to toughen our own immigration procedures, just as President Trump pledged to do this week. No more entry by lottery; extreme vetting for everyone who wants to come to America and fits the profile of a potential Islamist supporter or sympathizer -- whether they have become radicalized or not.

These are just some of the steps we need to take and we’ll be debating them this Sunday on my show, “The Next Revolution” at 9pm ET on Fox News Channel. Hope you can join us!

Steve Hilton is the host of FOX News Channel’s "The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton" (Sundays at 9PM/ET). Follow him on Twitter @stevehiltonx.