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2012 March 05 Monday
Eric Holder Argues For Killing American Terrorists Abroad

Some US citizens should become eligible to explore the afterlife at the push of a UAV missile launch button if they cross certain lines.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Americans who have joined al Qaeda or its affiliates can be targeted for lethal strikes if there is an imminent threat to the United States and capturing them is not feasible

If Americans were far more homogeneous (i.e. if we did not allow birthright citizenship and immigration of believers of a hostile religion and if our liberal beliefs hadn't become hostile to the idea of a dominant culture whose norms all should embrace) then I could see treating all Americans abroad has possessed of special protection as far as US foreign policy is concerned. But this isn't the 1950s. Our elites have seen fit to cheapen and dilute the value of US citizenship, to bestow it automatically on those indifferent to or even enemies of the United States.

Look at basic facts about Anwar al-Awlaki's US citizenship and killing by US forces.

Awlaki was born in 1971 in the southern US state of New Mexico, where his father, Nasser, a future Yemeni agriculture minister and university president, was studying agricultural economics.

He lived in the US until the age of seven, when his family returned to Yemen.

After studying Islam during his teenage years, Awlaki returned to the US to gain a degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University and a master's in education at San Diego State.

Why should he have had US citizenship in the first place? Making it so easy to get US citizenship cheapens its value. If someone has citizenship and yet has no allegiance to the United States, no emotional bond, no sense of common cause with the American people, then why should we act like he's one of us? I see no reason whatsoever to treat him as being owed special status as a US citizen.

The problem here is that the US government wants to de facto yank someone's citizenship without doing it de jure. Why? The de jure step takes us down the road toward standards for who qualifies for citizenship. They don't want to open that can of worms.

I think we need levels of citizenship. Some of the rights of US citizens should earned. We already have that to some extent and we even have some mechanisms for revoking rights. For example, felons can't vote. We need more gradations of privileges and rights so that it is clear to all that US citizenship bears with it responsibilities and obligations.

By Randall Parker    2012 March 05 08:58 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (15)
2009 November 23 Monday
Israel Sees Younger Unmarried Palestinians As Dangers

In a debate on Dennis Mangan's blog about whether Muslim-Palestinian US Army Major Hasan's killing spree was motivated by Islam or sexual frustration or both a commenter named J said the Israelis cut down Palestinian attacks by restricting entrance to Palestinians over 40 and married. Necessity forces them to be pragmatic and go with what works. America is a wealthier and more powerful country and therefore can afford to ignore more aspects of reality and make larger scale mistakes - which our elites do without hesitation.

Auster's reaction to the idea that Major Hassan went amok fueled by sexual frustration only shows his profound ignorance of (Palestinian) Arabs. Here in Israel we have much experience with Arab suicide bombers and violent street mobs. One of the most effective remedies to the Intifada suicide attacks was to limit work permits in Israel to Palestinians over 40 and married. (That was improved upon by building a fence around Israel, which completely stopped that phenomenon). We cannot stop them coming to pray in the Jerusalem Al Aqsa Mosque, and every Friday prayer used to end in bloody confrontations with the police. So now, when the Arab street gets excited, Israel allows the entrance of only people over 40 and married. About 50% of the Palestinian girls are married by the age of 18, while men usually have to build their house to marry, which is around 30. Marriage is generally an exchange = you have to supply your sister in esxchange for a bride. That's why "honour killings" are so common - if the sister does not agree, she "brings shame on the family" and the brother cannot marry. Whores are killed by the "morality police". The consequence is that sexual perversion (goats?) and murderous acts of running amok are quite common in the Arab society, but who cares? They are never reported not here nor in the USA which is OK. I am sure if Major Hassan had been married he would have reacted with less violence.

Osama Bin Laden has multiple wives. But he didn't personally pilot an airplane into a skyscraper. The 9/11 hijackers were younger and single. If we'd kept out young single Muslims then the World Trade Center would still exist. A policy similar to Israel's would still allow older and safer Muslim businessmen with long business track records to come to the US to buy and sell.

If America's leaders wanted to put the safety of the American population ahead of other considerations then they'd end Muslim immigration and deport non-citizen Muslims. But America's leaders have other priorities.

By Randall Parker    2009 November 23 05:29 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2009 October 04 Sunday
Muslim Immigrant Terrorists In America

A couple of recent arrests of foreign terrorists in America highlight the fact that we had to let these people in for them to be a threat to us in the first place.

Najibullah Zazi, 24, appeared in federal court last week. He pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring with others to detonate explosives in the United States.

Prosecutors allege that on August 28, 2008, Zazi and others flew to Peshawar, Pakistan, a city with a strong Taliban and al Qaeda presence.

Those currently under surveillance in the United States include members of Zazi's travel group, according to one source familiar with the investigation.

So now the FBI is watching his fellow Muslim friends who are also living in the United States. When they went to Pakistan if they had not been allowed to return back to the US then we wouldn't have to deal with the threat they pose within US borders.

I say just keep the Muslims out. We can't afford to fight them over in their own countries. Consider that Muslim warriors in Afghanistan get all of $106 million from outside of Afghanistan. To fight that $106 million jihad army the United States spends a couple orders of magnitude more money and that money is not enough to get control of Afghanistan - let alone of the area in Pakistan where Zazi received training. The war in Afghanistan will not prevent people like Zazi from trying to attack within the United States.

Outward signs of assimilation can be very misleading.

But to Hall and his friends, he is "Omar" Zazi, their friendly van driver during a three-day midsummer trip to Denver to see their favorite band, Phish.

The driver was a knowledgeable sports fan, fluent in American slang, and seemed comfortable with these guys his own age.

Hundreds of members of Zazi's clan live in the United States. I wonder how many of them are married to their cousins.

The family, from a large tribal clan with hundreds of relatives living in the U.S., left Afghanistan to live across the border in Pakistan when Zazi was 7.

Zazi was a legal immigrant. Meanwhile a Jordanian teenager who overstayed his visa was thinking hostile thoughts (which the FBI says he tried to act on to blow up a Dallas building) about America while living in the town of Italy Texas.

Friends of the young Jordanian, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, painted a complex portrait of him completely at odds with the zealous terrorist that F.B.I. agents said had spouted hateful messages about the United States on the Internet and was lured last week into a plot to blow up the Fountain Place tower in downtown Dallas.

Mr. Smadi was an extremely outgoing 19-year-old, friends in this tiny town said, who smoked marijuana and drank beer with his peers in the complex of domed cottages where he lived. They said he did endless favors for his friends, held barbecues and baby-sat for his neighbor’s children.

He married a local girl. They separated after 3 months. He overstayed a 6 month visa. If he had never been granted a visa then FBI agents wouldn't need to have hunted him down based on his hostile chat group messages. Why let teenage Jordanians come to the United States?

He says he wanted freedom. In the mythology of the Open Borders crowd everyone who comes to America wants freedom. But freedom for what? Freedom to blow up skyscrapers? Think of it as freedom for post-modern artistic expression.

“He said he came here because it was really strict out there in Jordan,” Ms. Deloach, 23, recalled. “He wanted freedom.”

Meanwhile he was on extremist web sites talking about attacking Americans in their homes. A very small number of people committed to terrorism can cause a big change in how we live and in what powers are given to federal law enforcement agencies. Is Muslim immigration really a price worth paying?

5 terrorist probes in 5 states have just popped up into public view.

In the past week, U.S. officials have announced charges in five terrorism probes in five states. It is a confluence of cases unlike anything the country has seen since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

I remember the kind of society we used to have. We could walk into an airport and walk right up to the gate where an airplane's passengers walked out. It was a far more casual society than we have today. It is a society worth trying to bring back again.

By Randall Parker    2009 October 04 10:21 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2007 October 20 Saturday
National Security Types Fear IED Bombs In America

Elements of the US government fear that Muslims (not that they call them Muslims of course) will start setting off improvised explosive devices in American cities and towns.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI agree that the homemade explosive devices that have wreaked havoc in Iraq pose a rising threat to the United States. But lawmakers and first responders say the Bush administration has been slow to devise a strategy for countering the weapons and has not provided adequate money and training for a concerted national effort.

First off, more money for first responders will not prevent bombs from going off in the first place. Not having people around living in your society who try to plant bombs along streets and roads is the only way to prevent IEDs from going off in your society. Yet the reporter thinks it important to report how Washington DC's bomb squad uses trailers as offices whereas LA's bomb squad has a new $8 million building. News flash: The people in LA aren't any safer as a result. Hello Mr. Reporter. You should look a little more critically at self-serving sources of information.

We invaded Iraq. Our troops stayed for years. The locals and their Jihadist allies therefore got lots of opportunities for training and practice on what works. Now the Bush Administration fears they'll put all that practical training to effective use back in America.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who told the Senate last month that such bombs are terrorists' "weapon of choice," said yesterday at a local meeting that President Bush will soon issue a blueprint for countering the threat of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. Chertoff's department said in a draft report on IEDs earlier this year that national efforts "lack strategic guidance, are sometimes insufficiently coordinated . . . and lack essential resources."

What does Mr. Chertoff think "strategic guidance" would look like? I'm sure he's not on the clue train for what we most obviously ought to do if we really think Muslim terrorists might start blowing up lots of bombs along busy streets in America. Does anyone have an idea what we ought to do about it? Show of hands? Anyone?

At the risk of stating the obvious: Keep Muslims out of America. If they aren't here they can't blow up bombs here.

Such a diabolical, fiendish plan is beyond the pale back in the halls of the US Department of Homeland Security and way beyond the pale in the White House. My guess is the Democratic National Committee would be horrified (at least publically) at the suggestion. But we already have 300 million people. We don't need any more. Most of the world is not Muslim in any case and therefore a visitor and immigrant ban specifically aimed at Muslims would not put a big crimp on commerce. Plus, a disproportionate amount of economic activity is concentrated among peoples who are not Muslims.

Here is what Mr. Chertoff imagines as elements of a strategy against IEDs:

He said his department has provided $1.7 billion in grants related to the IED threat, trained workers at 16 ports and deployed thousands of new explosives detectors at airports, and plans to increase the screening of small boats and private aircraft that might carry bombers or bombs.

Think about how huge American is. sensors at a handful of locations would provide little protection. Sensor systems do far more to assure the public than they do to provide protection.

Bomb makers who are in America don't need to smuggle bombs in. They can make bombs here. If IED makers make it into the United States with enough funding to go to work they won't need to target airplanes and ports. They'll be able to blow up bombs on very busy packed freeways and tunnels under rivers. The main problem occurs once we get bomb makers inside our borders. Techno-gadgetry in select locations will do little to protect us once that happens.

I think America exists primarily for the people who are already American citizens. I do not think we have a moral obligation to let in anyone who wants to come here. There is nothing morally wrong with trying to protect our way of life from people who believe in very different values and ways of living. I want to live in a relaxed society where security concerns do not require us to look around paranoically at people in airplanes or at boxes that fall off of trucks and lay on the sides of roads. I'm not willing to give that up just so we can pretend that all the peoples of the world share enough common values to all live together in Mayberry RFD.

By Randall Parker    2007 October 20 08:44 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2007 July 25 Wednesday
Quarter Of British Terrorism Suspects Asylum Seekers

There's a really really simple way to greatly reduce the Muslim terrorist threat in the West: Keep out Muslims. Instead, Britain lets in Muslims in sufficient number that asylum seekers alone make up a quarter of all suspected terrorists in Britain.

THE government faces new embarrassment over Britain’s porous borders with the revelation that one in four terrorist suspects arrested in Britain is an asylum seeker.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been more than 1,100 arrests under antiterrorism legislation. While some of the most serious threats come from Al-Qaeda supporters born in the UK, there is new evidence of many suspects exploiting loopholes in the country’s immigration laws.

It was confirmed last week that Muktar Said Ibrahim, one of the bombers involved in the failed suicide attacks of July 21, 2005, was given a passport even though he had convictions for indecent assault and robbery. Gordon Brown has said an applicant in similar circumstances would not now be granted citizenship.

A Home Office analysis of those arrested under antiterrorism laws from 2001 to 2005 found that almost a quarter – 24%, or 232 out of 963 – had previously applied for asylum.

This is what Monty Python called "Getting Hit On The Head Lessons".

Even if Muslim immigration was restricted to educated Muslims that would not eliminate the threat as demonstrated by the recent attempt by Muslim doctors to blow up cars in London and Glasgow.

All eight of the suspects arrested following car bombing attempts in London and Glasgow reportedly were employed or previously employed by Britain's National Health Service.

The suspects, whose names have not been confirmed by police, include one doctor from Iraq and two from India. There are also a physician from Lebanon and a Jordanian doctor and his medical assistant wife. Another doctor and a medical student are thought to be from the Middle East.

These are signs that reality is trying to tell us something. But our elites don't want to hear it.

More generally, the Western countries have plenty of people already. Britain is very densely populated and does not need a larger population. Population increases do not improve the quality of life for the people who are already there. The opposite is the case. So why let in floods of people?

By Randall Parker    2007 July 25 10:35 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2007 July 01 Sunday
Muslim Doctors In British Airport Bombing Plot

Two of the terrorist suspects arrested in Britain for involvement in the Glasgow airport attack are medical doctors working at British hospitals.

Both doctors were working at UK hospitals and were apparently here legally.

The revelation raises the horrifying prospect that Al Qaeda propaganda is reaching beyond disaffected young Muslims.

"These are highly-educated, articulate and intelligent people," one security source said.

Ignorance, unemployment, and poverty were not needed to drive these Muslim men to terrorism. What our elites do not want to admit: Islam is the root problem.

One of the doctors has a wife and baby.

One of the doctors, the man arrested on the M6, was said to be a Jordanian-born doctor at the North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.

He lived with his wife and baby in a rented house in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, where forensic officers were carrying out a detailed search last night.

If Muslims were kept out of the West then the Western countries would have much less risk of terrorism and Western women would be at less risk of oppression and rape.

The British knew some attack was coming up but have far too many Jihadists to watch.

Recently intercepted conversations, known as "chatter", had already alerted them that jihadists were hoping to attack Britain, most probably in a place where many people congregate.

But against a backdrop of 30 current plots, 200 suspected terrorist cells and close to 2,000 known suspects to keep under surveillance, the police and intelligence agencies were unable to pinpoint the exact timing or the targets.

That's the problem with having a large Muslim subpopulation living in your society: Too many wannabe terrorists to watch. Who knows when some group will get up the nerve and get together the supplies they need to carry out an attack? Plus, with so many groups to watch some will not get noticed at all. Attacks are inevitable.

Islamic terrorist groups are targeting university students for recruitment. This latest plot involved two doctors. Well, eventually the terrorists will manage to recruit some engineers or chemists or physicists to build them effective bombs. Or they'll just manage to get an electronic "bomb making instructions for dummies" book off the internet. The bombers in Iraq have gotten much better. The same will happen with the Muslim bombers in Britain.

The British ought to deport the illegal alien Muslims and stop Muslim immigration. The Brits also ought to revoke permanent residency for the non-citizen resident Muslims and deport them as well. Also, do citizenship buy-outs and pay citizen Muslims to leave.

Update:

In recent years, Britain has become a hornet's nest of Islamic extremism. The domestic intelligence service MI5 is currently investigating 30 major terror plots in the U.K. and has under surveillance more than 1,600 individuals, who are operating as part of 200 British-based terror networks.[1]In April, British courts convicted an Islamic terror cell of attempting to kill thousands of shoppers at the U.K.'s largest shopping mall, in Bluewater, Kent. Between September 2001 and December 2006, there were 1,166 terrorism-related arrests in the U.K., with more than 400 people charged.[2]

The scale of the problem involving young Islamic extremists in Britain was highlighted in a major 2005 British Foreign Office/Home Office study, "Young Muslims and Extremism." Terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda have found a fertile hunting ground in the U.K., where half of Muslims are under the age of 25, and where there is widespread opposition to the U.S.–British-led war on terror. The report revealed that extremist groups are secretly recruiting well-educated, affluent Muslims from British universities, in addition to impoverished, underachieving Muslims through mosques and prisons. Former MI5 Director General Eliza Manningham-Buller estimates that more than 100,000 British citizens consider the July 2005 London attacks "justified."

Highly educated terrorists. Education is not a panacea that makes everyone into a secular liberal.

By Randall Parker    2007 July 01 08:41 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (20)
2007 June 30 Saturday
Terrorist Attack On Glasgow Scotland Airport

Muslims keep insisting that they do not make good Western citizens but our elites just refuse to believe them.

LONDON, June 30 — One day after the British police discovered what they called a double car-bombing plot in London, two men slammed a Jeep S.U.V. that caught fire into the departure doors at Glasgow Airport as thousands of people awaited flights on the first day of school summer vacations.

Watching the vehicle burn on TV it looks like it has a large quantity of flammable materials. But the materials were not packaged in a way that could cause explosive burning that would kill lots of people. The Muslims in Britain do not yet have the level of skills that the Muslims in Iraq have for causing mayhem. That is likely a learning curve that they'll be going up.

One of the attackers was engulfed in flames.

Police subdued the driver and a passenger, both described by witnesses as South Asian—a term used to refer to people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region—arresting them and taking one to the hospital. Witnesses said one of the men was engulfed in flames and spoke "gibberish" as an official used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire.

William Rae of Strathclyde Police said in a news conference that the police had no indication that Glasgow was targeted. With a large Muslim subpopulation how can the British police watch them all or even a substantial minority of them? Police surveillance is very labor intensive.

The string of attempted and successful attacks continues. In this latest round so far 2 vehicles were found near a London night club before they were detonated and this third vehicle went off at Glasgow airport but not very effectively. They do not yet have the technical ability characteristic of, say, Jihadists in Iraq. But we should expect them to learn from their mistakes and develop better bombing methods.

Another thought: The danger in Britain isn't limited to Londonistan. The whole country can get ruined by Muslim immigration.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 30 02:00 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2007 June 29 Friday
Terrorist Car Bombs Foiled In London

Muslims in Britain are kind enough to remind us once again why we should abolish Muslim immigration to the West.

Police have confirmed they are now investigating the discovery of two car bombs in the West End of London.

Police said the second device had been found in a Mercedes hours after the car was given a parking ticket in Cockspur Street and towed to Park Lane.

Another Mercedes, with a bomb made up of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, had been found outside a nightclub in Haymarket at 0130 BST.

As demonstrated recently with their horrible proposal on immigration reform, America's Imperial Senate does not place much importance on border security or on controlling who gets to live in America. But if we do not want to live in Jihadist front line battle cities like London has become we need to force the Imperial Senators to stop pretending that all the peoples of the world would make good American citizens.

Can you say Jihad?

The discovery of two bombs, doubling the available forensic evidence available to the police, strengthened speculation among counterterrorism experts that the devices — based on a simple technology but capable of causing great harm — were the work of a cell with links to jihadist groups keen to signal their continued commitment to extremism.

Separationism is the answer. France shows on a smaller scale what we could do: Pay Muslims to go back where they came from. Go home. Yes, pay Muslims to leave.. Of course, the illegal immigrants ought to get rounded up and booted out with no pay. But legal resident and citizen Muslims could be offered buy-outs like corporations do when downsizing.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 29 09:59 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2007 May 08 Tuesday
Half Of Fort Dix Terrorist Plotters Were Illegal Aliens

None of the terrorists recently arrested for a plot to kill people at Fort Dix in New Jersey is from Iraq. The war in Iraq did not deter these Muslim immigrants from plotting to attack a US military facility. All the plotters were foreign-born and hence would not be in the United States if we didn't let them enter the United States in the first place.

The narrative of a foiled terror plot spelled out in the federal complaint issued yesterday by officials in New Jersey is full of tiny moments that are clearly chilling yet undeniably strange. Certainly, the 27-page document describing a plot to kill soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey stands out as one of the more detailed descriptions to emerge so early in a terrorism case during the last few years.

While the document paints a picture of a bloody-minded, though occasionally unsophisticated, plot, it is worth recalling that acts of terror — even deadly ones — have often included glaring strategic flaws in the past. One of the terrorists in the 1993 scheme to destroy the World Trade Center, in fact, returned to a rental office to claim his deposit for the truck that carried explosives into the complex’s garage.

The current case came to light in early 2006 when the suspects — four ethnic Albanians, three of them brothers; a Jordanian; and a Turk — asked their local video store to transfer their own improvised jihadist videotape to DVD and a representative of the store called the authorities. Within weeks, federal agents managed to infiltrate the group with an informer who recorded them with apparent ease — at home, in their cars and on the phone for more than a year.

If we didn't let them come here they wouldn't be here to shoot people or explode bombs.

Half of the suspects are illegal aliens and they are all foreign born.

Q: Who are the suspects?

A: They are men in their 20s. All are Muslims born outside the United States and four are ethnic Albanian. Five live in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia. One is a U.S. citizen, two are legal residents and three are in the country illegally. They have had jobs installing roofs, working as clerks at stores and driving taxis. Some of the men have wives and children.

Why weren't they satisfied to live in the land of opportunity and work at jobs?

The neoconservatives and assorted deluded liberals in the Clinton Administration believed that if we sided with the Muslim Albanians and against the Orthodox Christian Serbs over Kosovo that our doing so would make Muslims all over the world more favorably disposed toward the United States. So the US came down on the side of the Albanians and painted the Serbs as vicious killers. But pro-Muslim US policy in the Balkans did not sway these Albanian Muslims to love America.

Serdar Tatar got the idea of attacking Fort Dix by delivering pizza there.

Q: Why did they target Fort Dix?

A: One of the suspects, Serdar Tatar, had delivered pizza on the base and said he knew it like the back of his hand, Christie said.

The liberal universalists still think their Muslim appeasement strategy can work. The Democratic Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wants to make Kosovo into a state in order to make the Jihadists like the West.

At the hearing, titled The Outlook for the Independence of Kosova (the Islamic and dhimmi spelling of the province), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said the following:

"Just a reminder to the predominantly Muslim-led government[s] in this world that here is yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe. This should be noted by both responsible leaders of Islamic governments, such as Indonesia, and also for jihadists of all color and hue. The United States principles are universal, and in this instance, the United States stands foursquare for the creation of an overwhelmingly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe."

Liberal universalism leads liberals to support the creation of Muslim countries in Europe. That's universalism? I want no part of it.

Lawrence Auster responds to Lantos and the Fort Dix plotters.

Well, gosh all mighty, the jihadists of the world, especially the Albanian jihadists, sure are taking note of the great favor we've been doing for Albanian Muslims these last few years as we've pushed for the creation of an Albanian Muslim state in Kosovo. Of the six Muslim men arrested in the plot to attack the Fort Dix, New Jersey U.S. Army base and mass murder U.S. servicemen, four are ethnic Albanians.

Yep. Telling Muslims that we just love the spread of Muslim power and the establishment of Islamic states in the West sure is a smart way to make jihadists feel all warm and cuddly toward us and stop wanting to spread Muslim power and create Muslim states in the West!

Larry points to a post by Carol Iannone where Carol explains why liberal universalism and diversity are the enemy of our national identity and of respect for our history.

Believe it or not, it's really not surprising that a professor has got himself into trouble by emailing George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation to his college community.  Many, perhaps most, Americans do not realize how thoroughly our national identity has been reconstituted as DIVERSITY.  I don't mean that we are more diverse as a people, which is obvious, but that our very essence, our very raison d'etre, our very identity as a nation has become diversity.  This has arisen from the multiculturalism of the Left which seeks to destroy any idea of a common culture and favors our dissolution into subcultures, but also, ironically, gains support from the universalism of the Right. 

If as the Right holds, our American ideals are universal and require no cultural underpinnings or even any historical basis, but are applicable to all humanity everywhere right now, and it is racist and condescending even to think otherwise, it can be perceived as something of an insult to act or speak in any manner whatsover as if we might actually have a specific historic culture, or even that our ideals might have had some specific historical embodiment.  Such a position can imply that other histories and cultural formations might not as readily support the ideals of liberal self-government and this must be utterly forbidden.  Yes, those from militaristic, authoritarian, oligarchic, hierarchic, mandarin, feudal, and tribal cultures are entitled by our current fictions to believe that their historical backgrounds are equally conducive to the realization of democratic idealism, because of its absolute, apodictical universality.  Likewise, since the ideals are universal, no special homage is due to America or to our American heroes for realizing them in fact. 

Liberal universalism holds that Iraqis love freedom as much as we do. Liberal universalism holds that Muslims in the Balkans have a culture that is just as supportive of freedom of speech and religion as we do. This is madness.

By Randall Parker    2007 May 08 11:57 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
2007 March 15 Thursday
More European Muslims Embrace Jihad

More Muslims in Europe are turning toward the path of jihad and terrorism against non-Muslims.

ZUTPHEN, Netherlands -- On the surface, the young Dutch Moroccan mother looked like an immigrant success story: She studied business in college, hung out at the pub with her friends and was known for her fashionable taste in clothes.

So residents of this 900-year-old river town were thrown for a loop last year when Bouchra El-Hor, now 24, appeared in a British courtroom wearing handcuffs under an all-encompassing black veil. Prosecutors said she had covered up plans for a terrorist attack and wrote a letter offering to sacrifice herself and her infant son as martyrs.

The Washington Post article uses this Dutch Moroccan (i.e. Muslim) as an example of an improbable terrorist. Well, granted men are more likely to embrace jihad than women. But some women do it. Muslim women aren't automatically safe to be around just because they are women.

People in Zutphen may have been surprised, but terrorism suspects from atypical backgrounds are becoming increasingly common in Western Europe. With new plots surfacing every month, police across Europe are arresting significant numbers of women, teenagers, white-skinned suspects and people baptized as Christians -- groups that in the past were considered among the least likely to embrace Islamic radicalism.

Teenagers are unlikely to embrace Islamic radicalism? If they are Muslim teenagers it goes with the territory. If someone is baptized as Christian that does not make them immune to conversion to other religions. Once they become Muslims their embrace of jihad is a pretty small intellectual step.

Islam is not a religion of peace. The Western peoples should separate their societies from Muslims. Europeans could pay Muslims with residency rights to leave Europe. Illegal alien Muslims should just get deported.

By Randall Parker    2007 March 15 10:25 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2007 March 08 Thursday
Former US Navy Muslim Arrested On Terrorism Charges

A former sailor in the US Navy has been charged with activities in support of terrorism.

HARTFORD, March 8 — When Hassan Abujihaad was a sailor on a United States Navy destroyer in 2001, federal prosecutors said, he began exchanging e-mail messages with a man who ran an Internet site seeking to raise money for terrorist causes.

I found a web site that claims "Abu" means holy man or saint but that it is common practice to use "Abu" to refer to fathers. So this guy's name, Abu (father) Jihaad (holy war) is father of holy war. That is probably the chosen name of a convert since he's also referred to in news stories as Paul R Hall.

Mr. Abujihaad initially contacted the administrators of the Web site to buy DVDs that promoted Muslim separatist fighting in Chechnya and elsewhere, the authorities said. But in 2001, he shared information about his ship’s whereabouts and vulnerabilities, according to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice.

The US government claims he was telling a British Muslim web site operator when his destroyer passed through the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. That web site operator, Babar Ahmad, is a British Pakistani who the United States government wants to extradite from Britain to put on trial in the US for raising funds for terrorism.

The investigation into Babar Ahmad turned up emails from Abujihaad.

In July of 2001, referring to the attack on the USS Cole, Abujihaad writes in an e-mail: "I am a Muslim station on board a U.S. warship currently operating deployed to the Arabian Gulf. It shall be noted before Osama's latest video was viewed by massive people all over the world. That psychological anxiety had already set in on the America's forces everywhere. All this is due to the martyrdom operation against the USS Cole."

The Western countries should stop letting Muslims immigrate and should deport the vast majority of non-citizen Muslims already here. Also, citizen Muslims should be offered money to give up their citizenship and to move to Muslim majority nations. Oherwise we are going to witness the continued development of Muslim parallel societies in the West.

By Randall Parker    2007 March 08 10:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2006 November 11 Saturday
MI5 Chief Sees 30 Terrorist Plots Underway In Britain

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, chief of Britain's internal security agency MI5, gave a speech at Queen Mary College, London, where she said large numbers of Muslims in Britain are plotting terrorist attacks in Britain and 30 plots are underway.

What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don't know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.

She says more Muslims in Britain are becoming radicalized.

What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow's threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

Many of the plots link back to Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Pakistan really seems like it has become terror central now that most Al Qaeda people have fled Afghanistan.

We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer thirty - that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.

A word on proportionality. My Service and the police have occasionally been accused of hype and lack of perspective or worse, of deliberately stirring up fear. It is difficult to argue that there are not worse problems facing us, for example climate change... and of course far more people are killed each year on the roads than die through terrorism. It is understandable that people are reluctant to accept assertions that do not always appear to be substantiated. It is right to be sceptical about intelligence. I shall say more about that later.

But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

Muslims aren't being persecuted in Britain. Many of them live off of the welfare state while marrying their cousins. They are moving away from assimilation. They've achieved such concentrations in cities that they can and do construct parallel societies. Even though they are not personally persecuted they dream up delusions that the West is in a war to wipe out Islam and away they go with plans to blow up trains, planes, and buses. Sometimes they succeed. As more convert to the Jihad path more will succeed.

Domestic Muslim terrorism in Western countries is nature's way of telling us that Muslim immigration is a really bad idea. The solution? Steve Sailer says pay Muslims to give up their citizenship in Western countries and go back to their ancestral countries. Sounds like a good idea to me. The West and Islam are not compatible. We should separate the West and Islam from each other.

By Randall Parker    2006 November 11 08:25 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2006 September 03 Sunday
British Arrest More Muslim Terrorist Suspects

Britain is harvesting the bitter fruits of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

LONDON, Sept. 2 -- Authorities arrested 16 people early Saturday in two unrelated anti-terrorism operations in London and Manchester, reflecting growing concern over the threat of homegrown Islamic extremism in Britain.

The larger operation, in London, resulted in the arrests of 14 suspects, including some who were seized when police raided a Chinese restaurant south of the Thames River. Scores of police officers backed by helicopters also searched the 54-acre grounds of an Islamic school in a village southeast of London.

The authroies say the groups in London and Manchester are unrelated to each other and unrelated to the group arrested for plotting to blow up passenger airplanes with liquid explosives.

The guy in charge of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch in London, Peter Clarke, told a BBC interviewer that British authorities are watching thousands of Muslims as potential supporters of terrorism.

Asked roughly how many people in the UK police were looking at in the belief that they may be involved directly or indirectly in terrorism, Mr Clarke said: "I don't want to go down the numbers game, I don't think it's helpful.

"All I can say is that our knowledge is increasing and certainly in terms of broad description, the numbers of people who we have to be interested in are into the thousands."

When pressed further on the figure, he added: "As I say, that includes a whole range of people, not just terrorists, not just attackers, but the people who might be tempted to support or encourage or to assist."

The United Kingdom is looking more like the Divided Kingdom.

Mr Clarke, interviewed for BBC Two’s Al-Qaeda: Time to Talk?, added: “What we’ve learnt since 9/11 is that the threat is not something that’s simply coming from overseas. What we’ve seen all too graphically and all too murderously is that we have a threat which is being generated here within the United Kingdom.”

The figures provided by Mr Clarke are the highest that any investigator has been prepared to reveal in public, and indicate the pressure faced by police and MI5.

His estimates of possible suspects include not only activists prepared to carry out attacks but the extremist recruiters who find and encourage them and the supporters who house them, raise cash and help them.

Watching that many people has got to be fairly expensive.

The 54 acre grounds of the Jameah Islameah Islamic school at Mark Cross, near Crowborough is suspected as the training site used by terrorist recruiters to radicalize potential recruits.

It used the school grounds, which include a lake and an area of woodland, for survivalist exercises. Young recruits had to listen to extremist lectures on religion and politics.

Police are believed to have intervened after intelligence reports indicated a discernible change in the nature of the rhetoric and language of the alleged recruiters.

Detectives believe that while the group was still being radicalised, no targets had been identified and any possible terrorist attack was a long way off.

An Imam from London bought the school and 54 acres of grounds to enroll all of 9 children.

According to its Ofsted report last year, the school in Mark Cross had only nine boys on its roll, aged from 12 to 15, and inspectors found it failed to provide a satisfactory education.

George W. Bush would have us believe that faith-based educational institutions are automatically institutions for good because they are, well, faith-based. He would also have us believe that Islam is a religion of peace. Never mind that Islam's founder was a military leader and dictator who expanded his religion by conquest and mass murder. Never mind that Muslims are taught all should submit to Islam.

The root problem is Islam and isolation of Muslims from the West is the best defense. No, we can not reform the Muslim religion. No, we can not change its base texts. It is what it is. We should accept it and be honest about its nature when we talk about it. Pretending or hoping that it is something that it is not will not help us any.

By Randall Parker    2006 September 03 06:06 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2006 August 13 Sunday
More Arrests For Big Cell Phone Purchases

Multiculturalism means having to worry about people who buy large numbers of cell phones.

The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens.

One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before.

The phones were Nokia TracFones selling for $20 at Wal-Mart.

These young Texas Palestinians were arrested in Caro Michigan on suspicions of terrorist activity.

Concerned that the Mackinac Bridge may have been a target, prosecutors arraigned three Texas men Saturday in Caro on felony terrorism charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their van in the Thumb.

Maruan Muhareb, 18, Adham Othman, 21, and Louai Othman, 23, were charged by Tuscola County prosecutors with providing material support for terrorist acts and terrorism surveillance of a vulnerable target, said Sgt. Curtis Chambers of the Tuscola County Sheriff's Department. They were each being held on $750,000 bond Saturday night.

Apparently they were not intending to use the bulk of these phones in the United States.

Police also noted that the men had thrown away many of the phone chargers, indicating that they may have intended to send the phones out of the country because different outlets are used overseas.

How many US soldiers have died in Iraq as a result of Muslims in the United States sending the supplies needed do make bombs?

In Marietta Ohio 20 year olds Ali Houssaiky and Osama Abulhassan were arrested as a result of their TracFone buys and are suspected of taking the microchips out of the phones to be sent abroad.

Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Susan Vessels said Abulhassan and Houssaiky knew the phones were being used for illegal activity. She said the men were found in possession of a list detailing the specific types of phones to buy, based on the kind of microchips they use.

“Mr. Abulhassan made a statement to officers that he knew what they were doing was wrong and that he knew no one would ever use over 600 phones for legal purposes,” Vessels said. “(He also stated) he did not know for sure, but that he believed the phones and chips were being shipped overseas.”

Terrorists aren't the only people who want untraceable communications. Conventional criminals also buy TracFones for anonymity.

Big TracFone purchases are being investigated across the nation.

In an earlier incident, at a Wal-Mart store in Midland, Texas, on Dec. 18, six individuals attempted to buy about 60 of the phones until store clerks became suspicious and notified the police. A Wal-Mart spokesperson confirmed the incident.

The Midland police report, dated Dec. 18 and obtained by ABC News, states: "Information obtained by MPD [Midland Police Department] dispatch personnel indicated that approximately six individuals of Middle-Eastern origin were attempting to purchase an unusually large quantity of tracfones (disposable cell phones with prepaid minutes attached)." At least one of the suspects was identified as being from Iraq and another from Pakistan, officials said.

...

In addition, special agents reported that similar incidents centering on the large-scale purchases of tracfones had been reported throughout the nation — identifying individuals of Middle-Eastern descent as the purchasers."

If we did not accept Muslims as immigrants we would not face this problem.

Export of cell phones can be quite profitable.

But the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are as concerned about phones being resold to finance criminal or terrorist operations, said Kirk Whitworth, Homeland Security spokesman.

Cell phones that can be bought for $20 in the U.S. can bring $200 to $300 in China and Iraq, said Rich Rawlins, deputy director of the Ohio Division of Homeland Security.

The phones also can be reconfigured, by those with the know-how, to make an unlimited amount of free calls from a phone that is difficult to trace, Rawlins said.

I'm surprised by the profit margins. Why can't they buy cell phones more cheaply from Taiwan or Hong Kong?

Sometimes I think the Open Borders advocates defend the transformation of our society because they just want to relieve their boredom. America is full of small towns where nothing much ever happens. Letting in Muslim immigrants allows boring towns like Caro Michigan to become exciting national news stories.

CARO - Taking a break between customers at her family's ice cream parlor on S. State Street, Andrea Downing tried to make sense of news that terrorism suspects were operating in Caro.

"It's just so weird," said Downing, 17. "Nothing ever, ever happens in Caro."

Why live safely when you can create challenges by importing people who hate you? Some members of our society just can't stand to look around and see millions of people living in relative safety and freedom. They want to upset our society and force us to experience scares, ordeals, and injustice.

By Randall Parker    2006 August 13 08:18 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2006 August 10 Thursday
Terrorist Suspects Arrested In Britain, USA

The British authorities just broke up a big airplane bombing plot.

British authorities said Thursday they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in hand luggage, averting what police described as "mass murder on an unimaginable scale."

The Muslim terrorists planned to use liquid explosives that wouldn't have been detected in x-rays.

One report had 20 airplanes targetted but other reports put the number at 6 to 10 airplanes.

Unconfirmed media reports said anywhere from six to 10 US commercial airliners had been targeted in the plot.

21 people of mostly Pakistani origin were arrested.

British police hinted that more arrests were likely after 21 people, most of them of Pakistani origin, were detained over an alleged plot to simultaneously blow up US-bound aircraft.

Pre-dawn raids were carried out in London, the west central English city of Birmingham and the Thames Valley area of southeast England after intelligence of what one officer described as a bid to cause 'untold death and destruction

News reports indicate that some were born in Britain to parents of Pakistani descent. Obviously they were able to maintain their Pakistani and Muslim identities to create a more multicultural Britain. Leftist multiculturalists should be pleased.

UK government home secretary John Reid complains British law makes it too hard to stop terrorists.

Mr Reid said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

He complained that as home secretary he was "in a very difficult position", unable to always prosecute individuals due to the difficulty of obtaining "sufficiently cogent admissible evidence for a criminal trial", while facing legal bars against deporting or detaining them.

Reid sees mass migrations of humans as highly problematic.

As leaked to the weekend papers, Mr Reid also said that mass migration in a globalised world was the "greatest challenge facing European governments".

While the mass movement of people provided the potential for greater wealth and opportunity, it also brought insecurity into the heart of communities, he claimed.

The home secretary said that the cold war "froze" the world into a static state in which migration was minimal, ethnic and religious tensions suppressed and national borders inviolable.

Twenty years after its end, Britons were now faced with a world in which insecurity had become "one of the highest concerns of daily living".

"That momentous scale of transition from static to mobile populations makes mass migration and the management of immigration the greatest challenge facing European governments, in my view," he said.

America' elites reject the challenge posed by immigration. They see no evil, hear no evil. It all looks like roses to them.

A couple of Arab guys from the heavily Arab town of Dearborn Michigan were also arrested as terrorist suspects.

MARIETTA, Ohio — Investigators in southeast Ohio said they were working to unravel how two Michigan men charged with supporting terrorism came to have airplane passenger lists and airport security information.

Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, were being held at the Washington County jail on $200,000 bond each, which could be raised at an afternoon court hearing. Each was charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism.

They also admitted to buying 600 phones and selling the phones to someone in Dearborn. They bought pre-paid phones which are favored by cirminals and terrorists since they are less traceable to their owners.

Muslim terrorists are nature's way of telling us that not all cultures and religions are the same, not all are compatible, and not all belong within our borders.

By Randall Parker    2006 August 10 06:18 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2006 July 30 Sunday
Canadian Muslim Reveals Role Stopping Terrorists

Helping police to infiltrate a terrorist ring can get you labelled a bad Muslim in Canada.

TORONTO – The surprise announcement by a prominent Muslim leader here that he was an informant who helped authorities arrest 17 Muslims on terrorism charges has raised questions in the Muslim community over the ethics of informing versus a responsibility to stop violence.

Since outing himself as an informant who infiltrated and trained with the suspects, Mubin Shaikh has come under harsh criticism by some Toronto Muslims and sparked a debate about how far citizens should go in aiding police investigations, even as he has been hailed as a hero in the mainstream media.

Notice the difference in reactions. The Canadian mainstream sees a hero. Muslims see something else. Multiculturalism is a great way to increase distrust and make consensus impossible.

Is he a moderate Muslim perhaps? Depends on what one means by "moderate". He wants Islamic law in Canada.

Before this, Shaikh was a well-known conservative leader in the Muslim community. He runs a shariah arbitration center and is a fierce advocate for Islamic law, in Canada.

Muslims are nature's way of telling us that multiculturalism is a really bad idea.

Some Muslims figure Shaikh must have manipulated the arrested Muslims to take a path toward terrrorism.

Some wonder whether Shaikh couldn't have dissuaded the terrorism suspects, most of whom are younger than he, from violence. Some accuse him of entrapping the suspects. Some question his motivation - Shaikh claims he was paid C$77,000 (US$68,000) for his work and is owed another C$300,000. Others simply scorn him as a betrayer.

"He was not just an informer in terms of ratting out certain people, he was actually fishing," says Aly Hindy, imam of the Salaheddin Islamic Centre, a mosque several of the suspects attended in Scarborough, an eastern suburb of Toronto. Mr. Hindy said Shaikh's deep knowledge of Islam - he studied for two years in Syria - helped him gain sway over the youngsters.

I can imagine the logic: Better a single Muslim who cooperates with the non-Muslim authorities be considered bad than the larger group of Muslims who saw their primary allegiance for Islam against the non-Muslims.

By Randall Parker    2006 July 30 09:44 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2006 June 05 Monday
Meet The Jihad Generation

Remember the Pepsi Generation? In Western countries young radical Muslims are embracing a different way to be hip. The police in Canada have a special term for these politically active and energetic young Muslims. Meet the Jihad Generation.

Such home-grown terrorism is a growing concern, says security analyst John Thompson.

"The cops have a nickname for it - the jihad generation," says Mr. Thompson, president of the Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto think tank.

So what is this exciting and hip Jihad Generation up to? In Canada the Jihad Generation want to make a big bang.

Jack Hooper, deputy director of operations for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the greatest security threat our country now faces comes from within — from homegrown, made-in-Canada terrorists. Now we know why.

On Friday, following the largest Canadian anti-terrorism investigation since 9/11, police arrested 12 adults (aged 19 to 43) and five minors, charging them with “terrorism-related offences” they said were “inspired by al-Qaida.” Chillingly, all are residents of Canada and most are Canadian citizens. Of the 12 men accused, six are from Mississauga, four Toronto and two from Kingston.

Authorities said they recovered three tonnes of ammonium nitrate — triple the amount used by a homegrown American terrorist in the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168. The intended targets? Police wouldn’t say. Speculation includes Parliament Hill, other government offices and the CN Tower.

These are not boring youth. They are ambitious. They aim to make names for themselves.

Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star delivers very bad news to Canadians: Cowering while letting in large numbers of Muslims is not a successful formula for avoiding attacks by evil men. Who'da thunk it?

For everyone who thought Canada could cower in a corner of the planet, unnoticed and unthreatened by evil men — even when the most menacing of a very bad lot has twice referenced this country as a target for attack — take a good, hard look at what's been presented and what's being alleged.

Three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, thrice the amount used by Timothy McVeigh to demolish a government building in Oklahoma City. Cellphone detonators. Switches. Computer hard drive. A 9-mm pistol. Soldering gun. Camouflage gear.

And 17 males — born here or reared here, certainly settled here, some of them little more than children — formally remanded yesterday on terrorism-related charges.

This is all just the beauty of cultures mixing and intermingling But you'll always find those nay sayers who think that letting in large numbers of people from incompatible cultures is going to cause trouble.

Canada's shrinking native population has prompted the country to encourage robust immigration. Canada touts the relative harmony within its society, sometimes in contrast to tensions over immigration in the United States.

Public figures treat references to distinct ethnicities or religions as anathema; police statements on the arrests Friday did not use the word Muslim. But while Canada trumpets this diversity, the arrests supported the warnings of some that the growing ethnic communities can be a source of hidden passions and underground politics.

Canadian multicultural leftistists will surely be happy to learn that the Jihad Generation bombers are very multicultural, hailing from several diverse Muslim countries.

Information that has emerged about the men portrays them as typical of the Toronto metropolitan area, where more than 40 percent of the population is foreign-born, and many born here of immigrant parents. Those charged came from a variety of Muslim countries, including Somalia, Egypt and Pakistan.

The Jihad Generation obviously embraces globalism and multicultural theocracy.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say these terrorists are typical Canadians.

Little except that most of them appeared to be typical Canadian residents from a variety of Middle Eastern backgrounds, with loving families, who kept very much to themselves.

"Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed," RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell said Saturday. "They're all residents of Canada and for the most part, they're all citizens," he said.

"They represent the broad strata of our community."

The Jihad Generation of Canada represent a "broad strata" of Canadians. I think I'm out of date with my images of Canada. It doesn't appear to be like the MacKenzie brothers any more. Eh? Check out what the family members of the "broad strata" look like.

We haven't heard the last from the Canadian Jihad Generation. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is watching hundreds of hostile Muslims.

CSIS admitted this week it couldn't track down many domestic terror suspects and warned the country faced an increasing threat from "home-grown terrorists" who had been assimilated into society.

Jack Hooper, deputy director of operations at the CSIS, said the service was trying to keep track of "350 high-level targets" as well as 50 to 60 organizations thought to be linked to groups such as al-Qaeda.

Canada isn't all alone with the Jihad hipness thing going on. Great Britain also has a Jihad Generation.

The terrorist threat facing Britain has developed into a "covert conspiracy" involving hundreds of men and women living ordinary lives in the nation's suburbs, security sources have revealed.

Unbeknown to their families and friends, they form a silent 1,200-strong "army" of terrorists. They are believed to be involved in at least 20 major plots that they hope will bring death and destruction to Britain

Disaffected by Western ways of living and inspired by Bin Laden's 9/11 attack young Muslims are becoming more devout. But we are not supposed to feel suspicious about it.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, the two brothers arrested after the dawn raid may, according to MI5, be typical of other young Asian men who have become disaffected with the Western way of life and have been radicalised by militant Islamists who support a global Jihad.

According to neighbours, the brothers underwent a transformation after the September 11 attacks on America in 2001, adopting beards and more traditional Muslim dress. "Lots of young Muslims these days are getting more religious, especially after 9/11," said one neighbour. "It's nothing to be suspicious about."

In response to a massive Muslim terrorist attack on non-Muslims lots of Muslims become more religious and we are not supposed to get suspicious about this reaction! A religion whose terrorists inspire greater faith isn't something we are supposed to react to?

Deportation is the solution. Lawrence Auster says the problem isn't so much the Muslims as it is our foolish willingness to let them into Western nations. Our first hurdle? We need to call Muslim terrorists Muslims.

By Randall Parker    2006 June 05 11:08 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (10)
2005 December 17 Saturday
Australian Trial For Muslim Terrorist Suspects Underway

A conversation between Melbourne Australia residents 46 year old Abdul Nacer Benbrika (who labels hiimself a Muslim cleric) and 20 year old Abdullah Merhi recorded by police in September 2004 and just introduced in a criminal trial against them has them discussing their intent to carry out an attack on a scale similar to the Muslim terrorist attack at the Madrid train station.

Prosecutor Nicholas Robinson read out portions of a transcript of a conversation in which Merhi allegedly discussed martyrdom with Benbrika.

Mr Robinson also claimed the two men had been recorded discussing plans to do something "big" and made reference to a terrorist attack in Madrid.

"To do a big thing," Merhi said.

"Like Spain," Benbrika replied.

"If I'm sincere, Allah will open a path for me," Merhi said. ". . . if I'm sincere and I go there now, will He open the door there tonight? If I'm sincere now, will He open the door in a month?"

They discussed the idea of killing Australian Prime Minister John Howard at a football game.

They are part of a larger group on trial.

As well as Benbrika, Merhi and Taha, the Melbourne men alleged to belong to a terror group are: Ezzit Raad, 23, of Preston; Aiman Joud, 21, of Hoppers Crossing; Fadal Sayadi, 25, of Coburg; Amer Haddara, 26, of Yarraville; Ahmed Raad, 22, of Fawkner; Izzydeen Atik, 25, of Williamstown North; and Shane Kent, 28, of Meadow Heights.

All except Haddara and Kent are also charged with making funds available to a terrorist group.

Mehri did not want to wait long to carry out an attack.

Mr Merhi said on the tape that his eyes had recently been opened and a message had to be sent. "I have made my point. If it comes up, I will go but I am not waiting 20 years or two years," he said.

Mr Benbrika said innocent ones could be the victims: "Because he kills our innocent ones . . . that is it. An eye for an eye." He also encouraged the younger man to do a "big thing" close to train stations, the prosecution told the court.

They had another conversation about slaughtering police.

Another of the accused terror suspects, 31-year-old Hany Taha, who was also refused bail yesterday, was said to be present during a conversation about "slaughtering police".

The court also heard Mr Benbrika had become infuriated by a rival Melbourne cleric preaching that al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden was "on the wrong path".

These guys do not sound impressive. But people as unimpressive-sounding as these are probably just the sorts who go and blow up people.

By Randall Parker    2005 December 17 06:29 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2005 July 28 Thursday
New Zealand Politician Warns Against Muslim Immigrant Terrorists

The leader of a minor New Zealand political party that has been polling about 10% of the vote warns against Muslim immigration to New Zealand.

Moderate Muslim groups are sheltering fundamentalists who may be plotting terror attacks on New Zealand soil, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters claimed yesterday.

In a speech directly linking "open- door immigration policies" to radical Islam, Mr Peters said the country's history of religious tolerance and free speech was threatened by Muslim migrants who "do not share our traditions".

"We cannot take our tradition of toleration for granted when we are importing fanatics for whom that tradition is alien," he said.

"In New Zealand the Muslim community has been quick to show us their more moderate face, but there is a militant underbelly here as well.

"These two groups, the moderate and militant, fit hand and glove.

"Underneath it all the agenda is to promote fundamentalist Islam - indeed these groups are like the mythical Hydra, a serpent underbelly with multiple heads, capable of striking at any time and in any direction," Mr Peters said.

I do not see why Western nations should let in Muslim immigrants at all. The idea of letting them in always strikes me as "It's being-hit-on-the-head lessons in here." We have no shortage of people. We have huge selection of people who want to come to Western countries for the most part because we have higher living standards. So why not be incredibly choosy and let in only those who will provide a large net benefit?

Peters is a member of the New Zealand parliament and former deputy prime minister. If you are curious about Peters then click on the two Wikipedia links I embedded in the first paragraph of the article.

A nationalistic speech that does not hesitate to represent the people of one's nation as somehow better or deserving of preservation against the influx of others is a rare thing to hear these days and sounds shocking to anyone conditioned to today's leftish political mores. This guy sounds like the late British parliamentarian Enoch Powell. Check out John Derbyshire's aricle on the London bombings entitled "Thinking About 7/7: Enoch Powell’s Revenge?" for an essay on how far nationalism has eroded in Britain and in much of the Western countries.

Nick Hume of the London Times has joined the list of British commentators who think that British self-hatred has helped to create the intellectual environment that terrorists living in Britain use to justify their attacks.

Perhaps it might have something to do with the way that, from the moment they arrive here, asylum-seekers are told that Britain is a racist hellhole that deserves what it gets. And they first receive that message not from some fringe Islamic preacher, but from the heart of our self-flagellatory culture. Those bombing suspects came to a society that seems intent on denying that there is anything good about living here. Britain gave them schooling. But what exactly would they would have been taught?

Think of the miserabilist images of society that we are all subjected to these days. Britain is portrayed as institutionally racist and increasingly Islamophobic at home and abroad, a darkly degenerate place full of violent drunks and drug addicts, disrespectful “hoodies” and child abusers, pregnant teenagers and sexually transmitted diseases, whose people believe in nothing except football and getting fat in front of the television.

If the British were told they had many things to be proud about they'd act in ways more consistent with that pride and the place would be better for it.

Hume's essay is similar in tone to Anothony Browne's longer and excellent article from The Spectator entitled The Left’s war on Britishness (requires free registration which is worth your time).

No, the real answer to why Britain spawned people fuelled with maniacal hate for their country is that Britain hates itself. In hating Britain, these British suicide bombers were as British as a police warning for flying the union flag.

Britain’s self-loathing is deep, pervasive and lethally dangerous. We get bombed, and we say it’s all our own fault. Schools refuse to teach history that risks making pupils proud, and use it instead as a means of instilling liberal guilt. The government and the BBC gush over ‘the other’, but recoil at the merest hint of British culture. The only thing we are licensed to be proud of is London’s internationalism — in other words, that there is little British left about it.

By Randall Parker    2005 July 28 02:36 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (22)
2005 July 14 Thursday
On Western Muslim Terrorists

The US Public Broadcasting System Frontline TV show had an excellent segment last week entitled "Al Qaeda's New Front" (and if you get a chance to watch a rerun it would be worth your while). The episode's web site pages have a lot of additional information and I suggest going to that previous link and clicking through and reading some of the articles. One of the people interviewed for the show was psychiatrist and researcher on terrorists Marc Sageman. Among Sageman's points: Terrorists do not need elaborate training.

The violent videos unearthed and broadcast after 9/11 featuring multinationals in fatigues honing their skills in remote training camps may largely be a thing of the past. "While the movement was under the control of Al Qaeda, they could go to Afghanistan to train, but now they don't have that luxury," Sageman says. "Training is no longer necessary. The guys in Casablanca and Istanbul were not trained. There is no evidence the guys from Madrid ever went to a training camp. But yet they are still able to conduct operations."

It turns out making "sophisticated" cell phone detonators is not that sophisticated, Sageman says. "Anyone who knows anything about a cell phone can hook it up to a detonator." He argues that the over 1,000 Web sites coming out of Iraq showing beheadings via video files are actually "far more sophisticated than rigging a bomb up."

Sageman says the devices used by many terrorists are remarkably primitive. "It's pretty amateurish. The real threat today are attacks like Madrid, Casablanca, Istanbul -- it's not [sophisticated attacks like] 9/11 because these guys can't coordinate."

I've previously posted excerpts summarizing some of Marc Sageman's statistical analyses on terrorists in my previous post "Former CIA Case Officer Provides Terrorist Profiles". The Frontline episode includes more details from from Sageman's work. For example, Muslims are more likely to become jihadists if they move to live in a society which has what is to them a foreign culture.

At the time they joined jihad, the terrorists were not very religious. They only became religious once they joined the jihad. 70 percent of his sample joined the jihad while they were living in another country from where they grew up: someone from country A is living in country B and going after country C. This is very different from the usual terrorist of the past, someone from country A, living in country A, going after country A's government.

For an example of the A to B to C pattern look at Mohammed Atta from Egypt who moved to Germany and then decided to attack the United States. If Germany had not allowed Atta and his Middle Eastern co-conspirators to immgrate to Germany then the 9/11 attack probably would have happened. Muslim immigration to Europe (and to Canada for that matter) therefore heightens the risk of terrorist attacks in the Unietd States.

A more general statement perhaps is that people who join the jihad tend to feel like outsiders. The native born British Muslims who join the jihad do not see themselves as British. They see themselves as Muslims living in Britain. There's an obvious lesson here for Western societies: Don't let in people whose religion gives them a belief system which is incompatible with Western cultures. Do not let in people who will see themselves as outsiders. Only let in people who have cultural and religious beliefs that are fully compatible with the existing culture.

Of course, to recognize that some cultures are incompatible with each other requires a rejection of muliticulturalist ideology. One must see differences between peoples. One must give up the illusion that the majority of people in every country of the world are, deep down, secular liberal democrats. To reject myths which are part of one's secular or religious faith in humanity is more than many people can manage. But unless Western intellectuals adopt a more realistic and empirical view of human nature Western democracies are going to become less free and less safe.

The potential for terrorism and conflict is heightened when the immigrants are from a sufficiently different ethnic or racial group that they see themselves an the larger society also see them as foreign. Human beings identify more closely with those who look more like them, act more like them, think more like them. This tendency toward seeing people as belonging to in-groups and out-groups is part of human nature. Policies based a rejection of deep human tendencies lead to foolish immigration policies and foolish foreign adventures such as the debacle in Iraq.

If Western countries will stop allowing Muslim immigration and if Western countries will deport all the Muslim illegal aliens then the future growth of the threat of terrorist attacks can be decreased. Why not make these changes to immigration law and immigration law enforcement? Yes, to make the change requires adoption of a less idealistic view of human nature and a less utopian expectation for the future of humanity. But the result will be more freedom in Western societies and less risk of terrorist attacks or of political fights centered around ethnic conflicts.

The attack by the Pakistani British citizens who apparently engaged in suicide bombing on the trains and the bus works against the argument that better integration will eliminate or greatly reduce the Western Muslim terrorist threat. The Frontline "Al Qaeda's New Front" has a Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) list which includes the observation that Britain has been an especially friendly place for Muslims. Yet 4

Are some European countries faring better than others in integrating their Muslim communities?

Florida State University Professor Alec Hargreaves, author of numerous books on the North African immigrant community in France and currently a visiting professor of immigration and integration at the Sorbonne in Paris, gives high marks to the U.K. "British policy has generally been more accommodating than that of France or Germany," he says. "Given the large geographical distances separating the U.K. from Pakistan and Bangladesh (the two main Muslim states among the countries supplying Britain with migrant labor), it was unrealistic to think of those migrants as temporary residents. Instead, family settlement was more obviously the norm." Britain also led the way among Western European states in the 1960s and 1970s in developing anti-discrimination policies, which other European Union countries, such as France, are only just beginning to catch up with, he says.

The British home secretary's professed shock that the London bombers were born in Britain demonstrates the folly of embracing a mythical view of human nature in place of a more realistic and biological view.

Charles Clarke, the British home secretary, is 'shocked'. According to the latest police updates, the London bombers were not some Johnny Foreigner threat to our 'way of life': they were four young Britons brought up in our way of life; four men aged between 19 and 30 who were born in Britain to normal, and by all accounts perfectly respectable, Pakistani families.

But why is Clarke shocked? The harsh reality is that these young Brits would appear to be pretty typical al-Qaeda types. For al-Qaeda is not, as many have claimed since 9/11, a bunch of foreigners brought up on the dusty backstreets of Cairo or Ramallah and hell-bent on launching war against a faraway West; they tend to be young, respectable, often middle-class and sometimes naive men, many of whom were born or educated - and even radicalised - in the West. For all the talk of a 'clash of civilisations', al-Qaeda is a largely Western phenomenon.

There was absolutely no reason to be shocked that Pakistani Muslims born in Britain chose to kill dozens of people as suicide bombers.

None of the bombers had criminal records or were known to the police in advance.

Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Mohammed Sadique Khan, 30, and a 19-year-old, Hasib Mir Hussain, have been named as the suspected suicide bombers. The fourth bomber has yet to be named.

All three came from respectable Pakistani families and were born in Britain, and lived in Leeds. None of them had previous criminal records.

Police officials said privately that the suspects were not known to police as Islamic extremists, fitting the profile of 'sleepers' who were chosen for the mission because they had not previously attracted police attention.

This is nature's way of telling Westerners that our immigration policy is the height of folly.

One of the London bombers had a father who owns several businesses.

The second alleged terrorist, Shehzad Tanweer, 20, came from Colwyn Road, Leeds, and is believed to have been responsible for the Aldgate bomb. Shehzad came from a close-knit Muslim family, with four British-born children. His father owned several businesses in the Leeds area. The family lived in a large detached house in the Beeston area in Leeds, with two Mercedes parked outside their home. Shehzad attended Leeds University, were he studied Sport Science. He sometimes helped at his father fish and chip restaurant, South Leeds Fisheries. He was a regular at the Bangali Mosque at Dewsbury Road.

The man responsible for the No. 30 Bus bombing at Tavistock Place was 19-year-old Hasib Hussain, from Colenso Mount, Leeds. Hasib, who knew Shehzad, had been wild until eighteen months ago when he became increasingly religious after visiting relatives in Pakistan. The fourth bomber, believed to be from Luton has yet to be identified, and his remains are still in the Piccadilly line train.

Sports science is not a major for the most brilliant. My suspicion is that while a lot of the terrorists have technical and scientific degrees their minds are marginal for the kind of work they set out to do. Plenty of second rate and third rate universities grant degrees in a variety of scientific and technical subjects. Are these the sorts of universities that the educated terrorists have been earning their degrees? If so then it is plausible that they end up feeling intellectually inferior and resentful of the more successful members of the majority population. I'd love to see IQ tests administered to captured terrorists who have college degrees. I'd also like to see the academic standings for the universities where they earned their degrees and their grade point averages at those universities. Anyone out there reading this a terrorism researcher? This cries out for study.

Think about this. Someone living in one country has a hard time comparing himself to someone else doing a superficially similar job in another country. But put them close together in the same office and suddenly their relative abilities become apparent. Differences in raises and promotions drive home the point that some guy has been judged less capable than some other guys in his same office. If a guy refuses to accept the idea that other people in his environment really are more capable and more productive then he's going to blame his superiors for his own inadequacy. If he happens to believe in a religion that tells him he can get a huge reward in heaven by killing these other people then for some small but significant portion of those boiling with resentment suddenly that resentment and that blame gets channelled toward flying a jumbo jet into a skyscraper or blowing up a bomb on a subway.

Also see my previous post Islamic Terrorists Recruiting At British Universities and Razib's corresponding post and the GNXP discussion of Razib's post.

By Randall Parker    2005 July 14 02:00 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (21)
2005 July 10 Sunday
Islamic Terrorists Recruiting At British Universities

The Sunday Times of London has gotten ahold of a British government dossier on terrorist recruiting activities in Britain.

The Whitehall dossier, ordered by Tony Blair following last year’s train bombings in Madrid, says: “Extremists are known to target schools and colleges where young people may be very inquisitive but less challenging and more susceptible to extremist reasoning/ arguments.”

Even if only a half of a percent of British Muslims join up with radical organizations that number still is in thousands.

The dossier also estimates that 10,000 have attended extremist conferences. The security services believe that the number who are prepared to commit terrorist attacks may run into hundreds.

Most of the Al-Qaeda recruits tend to be loners “attracted to university clubs based on ethnicity or religion” because of “disillusionment with their current existence”. British-based terrorists are made up of different ethnic groups, according to the documents.

“They range from foreign nationals now naturalised and resident in the UK, arriving mainly from north Africa and the Middle East, to second and third generation British citizens whose forebears mainly originate from Pakistan or Kashmir.

“In addition . . . a significant number come from liberal, non-religious Muslim backgrounds or (are) only converted to Islam in adulthood. These converts include white British nationals and those of West Indian extraction.”

How well are the loners doing in their classes when they are recruited? Are they above or below average? Do they feel inferior to other students? Do they feel inadequate? Do attractive women treat them as undesirable? Are they introverts? Depressed? Anxious?

The report describes terrorist recruiters who use British universities as their recruiting grounds. If those recruiters are not locked up or deported then the rate of attempt at terrorist attacks will almost certainly go up with time.

The Iraq war is creating terrorists, not stopping them.

The Iraq war is identified by the dossier as a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. The analysis says: “It seems that a particularly strong cause of disillusionment among Muslims, including young Muslims, is a perceived ‘double standard’ in the foreign policy of western governments, in particular Britain and the US.

In the long run the Iraq war might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. If a significant portion of the Muslims in Western countries are going to go all alienated and become terrorists the sooner the larger public learns this the sooner pressures will build to stop letting them into Western countries. Even the ones who do not become terrorists do more poorly on average than native Europeans. So there is a big economic downside to letting them in as well. Plus, many of them do not have Western values. The larger argument against Muslim immigrants contains most of the arguments against Hispanic immigration plus additional arguments due to larger conflicts in beliefs and values. The demographic trends in Western countries might shift in a less unfavorable direction (still bad, just not as bad) due to the continued terrorist attacks in Europe.

I've made this argument in the past. Basically, more terrorist attacks against Europe and America in the short term will help to evoke an immune response in Europe before the demographic conditions become much worse. So the stupid US foreign policy of the Bush Administration toward the Middle East and Muslims in general might, by intensifying the clash of civilizations, wake up the West to the obvious fact that some belief systems are incompatible and irreconcilable. But a lot of believers in secular ideologies, like their supernatural religion believing counterparts, are pretty resistant to abandoning elements of their faith. Reality is going to have to pound on them pretty hard for the truth to sink in.

You can read the full text of the leaked British cabinet documents in a 4 part series here and here and here and here (all are PDF format).

The former London Metropolitan police chief, Lord Stevens, who retired early in 2005 says the London bombers are almost certainly British citizens and have some higher education.

“They will be apparently ordinary British citizens; young men conservatively and cleanly dressed and probably with some higher education. Highly computer literate, they will have used the internet to research explosives. They are painstaking, cautious, clever and very sophisticated.”

Stevens said intelligence officers believed that up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people had passed through Osama Bin Laden’s training camps, some of whom returned home to become potential Islamic terrorists.

He said at least eight other separate terrorist attacks had been foiled in the past five years. At times up to 1,000 undercover officers had been working on one anti-terrorist operation.

The time to stop Islamic terrorists in the West is before either they or their parents immigrate to Western countries in the first place. While foolish and irresponsible elites of some Western countries have already stuck their populaces with substantial Muslim subpopulations which will commit terrorist attacks for decades to come Western governments could at least stop making the problem worse. Put an end to all Muslim immigration. If only one half of 1% of the children of Muslim immigrants become terrorists that is still far too many.

The Brits let "Londonistan" flourish for decades.

Yesterday, commentators in Europe claimed Britain had paid the price for allowing Islamic extremists to flourish unopposed in “Londonistan”.

The stinging rebuke came as an apparent backlash against Britain’s Muslim community began to emerge with a petrol-bomb attack on a mosque in Merseyside.

"Londonistan" is a sore point especially with the French. The police and intelligence agencies in France have complained for years that the British attitude was that the Islamic radicals could do anything they wanted as long as the radicals didn't carry out attacks on British soil. The Brits weren't worried about fund-raising and organizational activities that the radicals conducted in Britain because the radicals were seen as aiming to attack governments in the Middle East. The British welfare state paid the radicals monthly checks essentially to make babies and to build up organizations. Idle hands are the devil's workshop as grandma used to say. The British government granted asylum to radicals who claimed they were in danger of religious persecution in their home countries. Of course in some of those cases those radicals were advocating or even organizing terrorist attacks against Middle Eastern governments. So one could make an argument for Britain as paralleling (albeit to a much lesser extent) Taliban-ruled Afghanistan by providing a safe haven for Islamic radicals. Well, now those birds have come home to roost.

I see home grown terrorism as a challenge to the assumptions underlying the concept of citizenship. How can one claim the status of citizen when one rejects the legitimacy of the society that the overwhelming majority of its members accept and support? Why should the majority recognize the right of membership in a group for people who reject and who wish to kill large numbers of members of that group?

But even if revocation of citizenship followed by banishment was brought back into vogue as a respectable option one problem the British face is that many of the radicals can no be identified in advance of an attack. Still, some are well known. Be gone with them.

By Randall Parker    2005 July 10 10:05 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (17)
2005 July 08 Friday
Britain, European Muslim Citizens Seen As Terrorist Threats To United States

Peter Bergen, author of Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, has an op/ed piece in the New York Times on the threat which British Muslim terrorists pose to the United States.

Why have so many of these terrorists come from Britain? Many British Muslims are young and poorly integrated into society and therefore vulnerable to extremism. In fact, Muslims have the youngest age profile of any religious group in Britain; around a third are under the age of 16. The unemployment rate among British Muslims runs almost 10 percentage points above the national average of about 5 percent. In the case of 16- to 24-year-old Muslim men, the unemployment rate is 22 percent. Not surprisingly, polls of British Muslims show a considerable sense of anger. Eight out of 10 believe that the war on terrorism is a war on Islam, while a poll conducted last year, under the auspices of the Guardian newspaper, found a surprising 13 percent who said that further attacks by Al Qaeda or a similar organization on the United States would be justified. One rap video that surfaced in Britain last year called "Dirty Kuffar" had lyrics that included the following verse: "O.B.L. [bin Laden] pulled me like a shining star! Like the way we destroyed them two towers, ha-ha!"

Last year a British government report estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 British Muslims are supporters of Al Qaeda or related groups.

Bergen notes that the Visa Waiver Program (see below) allows increasingly angry and numerous European Muslims to freely enter the United States without any need for visa application and approval. The Muslim terrorist groups can get around the tougher screening of Middle Eastern visa applications by recruiting European citizen Muslims to terrorism.

Of course, however bad the British and European Muslim terrorist threat to the United States the threat is even worse for the British. Worse yet, while the British could negotiate political deals with the Irish Catholic terrorists there is no obvious and acceptable political deal that the Brits could negotiate with the Muslim radicals.

The argument that the British Muslims are "poorly integrated into society" suggests that, well, the Brits have not done a good job of integrating them. But the Brits haven't done any worse a job integrating Hindus and other groups which do not become terrorists. Also, Britain does not strike me as a particularly hostile place for non-natives. If some group feels so far out of place in Britain to engage in terrorist attacks then they obviously shouldn't be allowed to live there in the first place. The British people do not have any sort of moral obligation to totally rearrange their society and change their culture to satisfy any group angry enough to blow up busses and trains.

22 European countries are members of the Visa Waiver Program.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Two Western but non-European countries are members of the Visa Waiver Program.

  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Australia has some problems with Islamic terrorists.

A few non-Western countries are part of the Visa Waver Program as well.

  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Brunei

Japan doesn't pose much of a threat but Muslim Brunei and partially Muslim Singapore do.

Our biggest terrorist threat from Visa Waiver countries emanates from Britain followed by France and Germany. Most of the British Muslims have the advantage of English language skills. They also have plenty of mosques which teach them to hate us non-believers.

While much is made of the threat of terrorists I still think that most Americans face a greater threat from immigrant groups that commit crimes at higher rates than from terrorists. Garden variety murders occur every day and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. At some point terrorists may find ways to pose an even greater threat than immigrant groups which have high crime rates (e.g. Hispanics and Africans).

The problem with the terrorist threat is that if only a very small fraction of society decides to become terrorists the cost to the rest of us would be enormous. One one hundredth of one percent of America is about 30,000 people. That many people operating as terrorists could kill more people than the US lost in the last 100 years as soldiers fiighting in wars. Therefore any group which has even a small fraction of its members leaning toward terrorism should be kept out. We already have enough people and so does Europe. Immigration should be done only when the benefits per person coming in clearly outweigh all the costs immediately and in the long term. In my opinion the United States could reduce the rate of immigration by a couple of orders of magnitude by putting a high IQ minimum on immigrants and eliminate huge costs and growing risks while retaining the bulk of the benefits of immigration.

In the longer run if technological advances reduce the obstacles to carrying out large and very lethal terrorist attacks then I predict some countries will enact legislation that allows them to revoke citizenship even of the native born. Banishment is the most obvious way to respond to a group that rejects the legitimacy of a society and which seeks to kill many of its members.

By Randall Parker    2005 July 08 03:09 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (40)
2005 June 30 Thursday
Search Raids Done Against Suspected Terrorists In Australia

The Melbourne Stock Exchange, oil refineries, and a bridge were considered as terrorist attack targets by Islamic terrorist cells in Melbourne and Sydney Australia.

Islamic extremists with cells in Melbourne and Sydney carried out reconnaissance missions on the Harbour Bridge and two Sydney oil refineries.

Sources believe an attack on the Melbourne exchange would be aimed at causing major disruption to the country's financial markets.

While details of the planned stock exchange attack are being kept secret by intelligence officials, the revelation comes as ASIO officers - assisted by Victorian and Federal Police - raided at least eight properties in Victoria and NSW this week.

...

Victoria Police started watching the Melbourne cell about 18 months ago after a tip-off that an Islamic extremist was recruiting followers at a mosque in inner-suburban Melbourne.

But since they worship their god by trying to blow things up if we interfere with their bomb planning we interfere with their religious worship.

Maybe they just thought oil refineries were beautiful backdrops for pictures sent home?

Cell members used two small boats to check out the harbour and were also observed filming at the North Sydney and Kurnell oil refineries.

This is nature's way of telling us we shouldn't let in Muslim immigrants. Unless you want "being-hit-on-the-head lessons" why let in Muslim immigrants at all?

The raids were aimed to disrupt terrorism planning rather than to make arrests.

Raids in Melbourne and Sydney yesterday by ASIO and police were part of a co-ordinated strategy to deter a loose group of Muslim extremists from graduating to terrorist activities.

ASIO, along with state and federal police, raided premises in Melbourne and Sydney yesterday after individuals in the group were monitored by state and federal counter-terrorism experts for more than 12 months.

Police say some of the suspects had shown the intent but lacked the expertise to carry out terrorist attacks in Australia.

If the average terrorist was smarter we'd be in a lot more trouble. On the other hand, smarter people are less likely to believe religions. It would be interesting to see how belief rates drop off as a function of IQ for different religions. Is the drop-off rate faster for Islam than for Christianity? My guess is the drop-off rate is faster for Christianity than for Judaism.

The Australians ought to start revoking residency and even citizenship against these kinds of people and then deport them.

Some cell members are friends with a known Australian Muslim terrorist Saleh Jamal.

Sources said a senior member of the cell is an associate of jailed Australian terrorist Saleh Jamal.

Jamal, 29, fled Australia after the 1998 drive-by shooting of Lakemba police station. He was convicted this year in a Lebanese military court of possessing weapons, forging an Australian passport, and planning acts that endangered security.

An intelligence source said: "The Australian group has talked about following Jamal's lead and doing the same thing here."

Melbourne cell members were heard discussing where they might find an explosives expert.

Pakistani born Sydney Australia resident Faheem Khalid Lodhi is charged with planning to commit terrorist attacks in Australia and directing a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

Fellow Sydney man Faheem Khalid Lodhi, 35, formerly an architect, faces nine charges of planning to commit terrorist acts, including the bombing of Sydney's electricity grid and various defence sites.

In Lodhi's case, the Crown alleged that in October 2001 the accused acted "in an apparent official capacity" at a training camp in Lahore, Pakistan, operated by banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2003, after returning to Australia, Lodhi allegedly helped set up French terrorist suspect Willie Brigitte in a Sydney home, with a mobile phone registered, like his own, in a false name, the Crown said.

Lodhia and Brigitte are suspected of plotting a terrorist attack.

The prosecution claims Lodhi met Brigitte at the airport, having written his flight number and physical description in his diary.

The two remained in touch for five months, according to police evidence, and by October Lodhi had allegedly obtained images of the electricity grid and inquired about ordering large quantities of chemicals that could be used in bombs.

Lebanese born former Qantas baggage handler Bilal Khazal is to stand trial in Sydney for writing a manual for terrorists.

Yesterday the bizarre and often violent text was handed over to Sydney Central Local Court, where its 35-year-old editor, Bilal Khazal, faced a charge of making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts.

Dressed in a long navy dish-dasha dress shirt, white prayer cap, socks and sandals, the portly Khazal sat impassively as prosecutor Geoffrey Bellew told the court that almost a third of the offending book was directed to the topic of assassination, including a list of attributes needed to be part of an assassination team - "wit and a quick mind", "a terrorist psychology" and "high physical fitness".

The book concluded with praise for al-Qaeda's "impressive success of the conquest of New York" on September 11, 2001.

At least 5 Muslims in Australia have to be watched 24 hours per day and 7 days a week.

THEY call them 24/7s. In police and intelligence terms they are the kingpins, men whose every movement is watched, recorded and analysed all day, every day.

At least five Sydney residents have received this round-the-clock attention since just before the 2000 Olympics. They are thought to be pressure points in the internecine world of Australian radical Islam: devotees who can rally followers to rise up in the name of jihad or keep a lid on those at odds with the ways of the West.

Of course such surveillance for years on end is incredibly expensive. Why should Western countries inflict such costs on ourselves by letting in Muslim immigrants? The Western countries are not underpopulated. If we let in only the top 1% in intelligence we'd get the benefits of more rapid advances in science and technology and more companies founded to develop innovative new products and services. We don't need to let in dim bulb religious fanatics who hate our civilization and who hate us.

By Randall Parker    2005 June 30 01:03 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2005 April 19 Tuesday
Convergence Of Migration And Terrorism Trends Seen In Europe

Robert S. Leiken, Director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center, has written an excellent article for the Center for Immigration Studies entitled Europe's Mujahideen: Where Mass Immigration Meets Global Terrorism.

Television commentators regularly fret about terrorists crossing our southern border concealed in a torrent of illegal immigrants. National media attention is riveted on the Middle East. But the nightmare of Department of Homeland Security officials with whom I talk is not the Mexican border or the Middle East. They lose sleep over Muslim immigrants from enlightened Western Europe.

At the Nixon Center we have investigated 373 suspected or convicted terrorists who resided in or crossed national borders in Western Europe and North America since 1993.1  Despite extensive search our matrix did not include any mujahiddeen with ties to al Qaeda entering from Mexico, In contrast, we found 26 subjects who used Canada as a host country. Moreover, while the U.S. asylum system has been relatively secure, Canada and European are regularly abused by terrorist asylum claimants. Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian who tried to bomb the Los Angeles airport, availed himself of the Canadian asylum system.

The US has such close economic and diplomatic ties to Europe and Canada that a visa requirement for people from those countries would have serious downsides for the US.

European Muslims who can enter the United States without a visa constitute perhaps the biggest threat for future terrorist acts against the United States.

Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the two trends of mass immigration and global terrorism intersect visibly and dangerously. For more than a decade the region has formed a haven for Middle Eastern "dissidents," often a.k.a. mujahideen, and for graduate students like Mohammed Atta. But these visitors or first generation immigrants are by no means the only source of concern. The murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan descent served notice for a new generation of mujahideen born and bred in Europe and the object of focused al Qaeda post-9-11 and post-Iraq recruitment. Because these children of guestworkers are European born, they are citizens entitled to passports. And they are also entitled to enter the United States without so much as an interview by a U.S. official. That is because European countries enjoy a reciprocal agreement with the United States called the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

The new mujahideen are European born and bred and products of a little noticed convergence of migratory networks and terrorist cells. In addition, European Muslim recruits can form the al Qaeda cells most apt to plot a course in the United States. The second-generation terrorists speak European languages, handle computers, surf the internet, exchange e-mail, and are familiar with post-industrial infrastructures and customs. Unlikely to be watchlisted, the new mujahideen not only navigate a modern society but can enter the United States freely. But terminating the VWP would exact a heavy bureaucratic, financial and diplomatic price and would be a major blow to U.S.-European relations and constitute a strategic misstep. This paper proposes to mending, not ending, the VWP.

Leiken points out that advances in communications and transportation technology have simultaneously reduced the cost of migration and reduced the cost of staying in touch with and retaining elements of the cultures that the migrants came from. A flip through cable channels in any part of the United States that has a large Hispanic population demonstrates the truth of this contention. Spanish language channels have been added to many cable services (Santa Barbara has about 6) and the growth of satellite TV services with hundreds of channels will make foreign language programming even easier to provide. By contrast, in the 1960s the only TV watching choices in much of the United States were 3 major English language networks, an English language public TV channel, and maybe a few Engliish language UHF channels. Also, international phone calls were too expensive casual use by all but very high income people whereas they become steadily cheaper today. The internet enables access to newspapers from home countries and correspondence with people who share common beliefs, culture, and experiences. Therefore life in the United States in the 1960s more thoroughly pulled a person into a shared American culture than life in the United States does today.

For Western Europe the ability of migrants to retain their cultures and maintain a separate identity and a different set of loyalties has especially problematic implications.

Western Europe hosts an extremely challenging second and third Muslim immigrant generation who are citizens. To speak more bluntly, Western Europe, in a fit of absent mindedness, during which it became common for Western intellectuals to speculate on the obsolescence of the nation-state, has acquired not a colonial empire this time but an internal colony whose numbers are roughly equivalent to a Saudi Arabia in the heart of Europe.

A portion of this population offers a challenge to social cohesion (what some European scholars call "societal security") and a small fraction presents an international security threat.26  That last is because migratory networks and terrorist cells increasingly overlap, as illustrated by the Madrid bombings and by the Van Gogh incident.

...

In the 21st century, extremism and terrorism emanating from the same population has converted discontent into electoral rebellion and crisis, as in the foulard (headscarf) controversy in France, the asylum crisis in Great Britain, and the reaction to Van Gogh’s hideous assassination. Pro-immigration lobbies and scholars often treat the connection of Islamist terrorism and international immigration with condescension or invective. But this defensive stance will not withstand what Solzhenitsyn called "the pitiless crowbar of events."27 

This is a very long article and informative article. I urge you to click through and read the whole thing.

Update: Here is more from the article. The Spanish economy is a powerful lure for Moroccans.

The Madrid bombings were carried out by Moroccan immigrants, legally resident in Spain, many mentored by a Syrian-born Spaniard alleged to be bin Laden’s operational commander in Europe. Spain has a migratory culture similar to our southwest, with Morocco a mere nine miles off-shore. The contrast between Morocco (per capita GNP $4,000) and Spain ($22,000) is the most dramatic between any two borders in the world, greater than the Mexico ($9,000) - United States ($37,800) gap and greater than that between the PRC ($5,000) and Hong Kong ($14,400). When we consider that Morocco has a population of more than 32 million, 1/3 of which is under 14, a literacy rate barely topping 50 percent (compared to Spain’s 98 percent literacy rate) and a infant mortality rate 10 times as high as Spain’s, that 99 percent of Spaniards have health insurance and only 20 percent of Moroccans, we can understand why the Spanish government has budgeted a three year plan to fortify its southern border with radar, sensors, cameras, helicopters, and an identification system.68  This correspondence between Morocco-Spain migratory networks and terrorist cells is reproduced in France vis a vis Algeria. A similar correspondence exists regarding Pakistan and Britain and Morocco and the Netherlands.

The Europeans need to entirely stop the Muslim immigrant influx and deport all illegals.

The bright side in all this for the United States is that Muslim terrorists in Europe are more likely to attack European than American targets because European targets are still easier to reach and require less skill and less resources to hit. As the Europeans get hit they will respond with more aggressive measures against Muslim immigration and against terrorist cells in their own countries. Their reaction to the terrorist threat from Muslims living among them will benefit America.

By Randall Parker    2005 April 19 12:04 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (13)
2005 March 17 Thursday
US Senate Hearing On Inadequate Border Security

C-SPAN broadcast a hearing from yesterday of the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security (and here are transcripts of most of the testimony - though apparently not the revelations from the Q and A sections) . Thomas Walters of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says about a million illegals are caught per year. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said that perhaps a half million a year are not caught. Walters says he doesn't know which estimate for illegal crossings is realistic (and some estimates run much higher). California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D CA) tossed out some numbers on how many "Other Than Mexicans" (or OTMs) are caught and the number is going up. Many of them are still caught and released. I went digging for some precise numbers. OTM border crossings on the US-Mexico border are rising rapidly.

Most of the illegals are poor Mexican laborers looking for work. But officials are alarmed that a growing number hail from Central and South America, Asia, even Mideast countries such as Syria and Iran. In 2003, the Border Patrol arrested 39,215 so-called "OTMs," or other-than-Mexicans, along the Southwest border. In 2004, the number jumped to 65,814.

One theme of the hearing was that the huge influx of illegal aliens across the border makes it easy for terrorists to get into the United States. My guess is that this route hasn't been used more heavily to launch an attack because the overthrow of the Taliban combined with much more vigorous investigation of terrorist groups by many countries around the globe have severely disrupted Al Qaeda and like minded groups. But the US should have more in depth defenses against terrorist penetration.

The people smugglers are becoming more sophisticated.

Moody's agents are up against increasingly sophisticated smugglers. Even as the Border Patrol has gotten new high-tech equipment, so have the people they're trying to catch. Smugglers use two-way radios, cell phones, global positioning systems and other high-tech equipment to watch agents' movements and alert each other when the coast is clear.

"Ten years ago, they probably could not have bought a pair of infrared night-vision goggles on the open market, but now they can," says Robert Boatright, assistant chief of the Border Patrol in El Paso. "We see them changing tactics as we change tactics."

The rate of apprehensions continued to rise in late 2004.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 23, there were 51,759 apprehensions of undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to preliminary federal estimates. This is a 14 percent increase over the 45,355 apprehensions during the same period a year ago.

Year-to-date apprehensions for fiscal year 2005, which began Oct. 1, are up 15 percent over the previous year.

One big advance in border enforcement was revealed by a question from Feinstein: Fraudulent and stolen passports are now always taken from the person who has it. This tough response to the use of fake documents is an advance over previous practice. How recent an advance? Surely it has been in practice since 9/11? Nope. Feinstein said (and Walters agreed) that the obvious step of border control agents taking away fake and stolen documents was finally implemented as a required course of action starting January 1, 2005. This means that, yes, previous practice was that some of those fake and stolen passports were being returned by US government agents to the people who were illegally using these documents to try to enter the United States or who were entering surreptitiously but carrying fake documents. Feinstein is introducing legislation to make use of fake and stolen documents into an aggravated felony.

Elaine Dezenski, a deputy secretary at DHS, told the hearing that people using fraudulent documents are even getting looked at more closely with checking in additional databases. Thomas Walters claims these people with false documents are not allowed to enter the country. But then are all of the OTMs that are captured and released into the United States not carrying fake documents? It was not clear from the hearings that Walters was speaking from his knowledge or just saying what sounded reasonable.

Doris Meissner (former Clinton Administration INS commissioner and now at the Migration Policy Institute) said 28 million visas were granted in 2003. She wants plenty of immigration. Sounds like she is for illegal immigration amnesty but didn't want to come out and say it. Feinstein to Meissner: "And Doris, I wish I agreed with you that the border can't be enforced. I think it can". Go Dianne! For a Democratic Senator from California Feinstein took surprisingly hard line in favor of tough border enforcement and interior enforcement to catch illegals. Meissner denied she is defeatist about border enforcement. Meissner wants accountability of employers on whether they are employing illegal people and to give employers a way to verify legality. This is very reasonable.

In her testimony (my excerpt of which comes from the Migration Policy Institute web site) Meissner discussed progress in rolling out the US-VISIT system to track and collect more information on visitors. While biometric data is now being collected on some visitors the US-VISIT system has yet to start tracking departures in order to detect who is overstaying their visas. (PDF format)

In addition, technology at ports of entry has improved substantially. With the design and implementation of US-VISIT, vast amounts of detailed information about visitors and other classes of non-immigrants, including biometrics, are being gathered and stored. Inspectors and immigration officials have access to greater stores of information than ever before, and controls have improved significantly as a result.

However, the integration of federal data bases still needs improvement; training and staffing at ports continue to be insufficient; and entry/exit controls will not be fully in place until December 2005. Analyses and strategies need to be developed that effectively use all the new tracking information to strengthen immigration enforcement and increase law enforcement and intelligence officials’ understanding of possible national security threats. In the face of this unfinished agenda, it would be highly premature to change the length of admission of visitors without first fully implementing measures that have shown their anti-terrorism effectiveness and then learning whether the length of admission bears any relationship to national security vulnerabilities.

Meissner expects that once exit information collection begins the data collected may be of some use in detecting terrorist movement patterns as distinct from other categories of visitors.

Progress toward the implementation of biometric passports came up repeatedly in the Senate subcommittee hearing. The implementation has already been delayed from October 2004 to October 2005. But roll-out probably won't happen until 2006 both because various countries are not developing their own biometric passport systems fast enough and also because US government development of systems for their use is lagging.

Janice Kephart, who served as September 11 Commission Staff Counsel and who is now at the Investigative Project on Terrorism (founded by Steven Emerson), told the subcommittee "Border security is national security." This is slowly sinking through in Washington DC. But Bush Administration budgeting priorities (e.g. the lack of funds to hold all captured "OTMs" for deportation) show that the Bushies just don't get it.

Congress wants to do more to control borders but the Bush Administration is resisting.

Although the government has added about 1,300 agents to the force since 2001, there still aren't nearly enough to patrol the 6,900 miles of border with Mexico and Canada.

Recognizing that need, Congress late last year authorized a near doubling of the size of the agency by adding 2,000 agents a year for the next five years. But this month, the Bush administration's budget requested $37 million to pay for one-tenth as many agents - 210 - in 2006.

Kephart advocates the creation of a separate department of border security and immigration. Kephart considers the set of policies and laws and the politics behind them to be extremely complex and that this complexity requires a singular focus. She says immigration has 40,000 employees alone and that exceeds the size of 5 existing departments in the government.

Kephart listed a number of deficiencies in border control and visa policies.

• Lack of clear guidance on admission rules and tourist length of stay. Immigration inspectors do not have any discretion in determining a tourist’s length of stay. Tourists on visas receive an automatic six-month length of stay and are not required to produce a return ticket. Therefore, when the immigration inspector asks the tourist how long he intends to stay, and the answer is, (as was the case with a few of the 9/11 hijackers), “a few weeks,” the inspector is required by law to give that visitor a six month length of stay. Ironically, visitors from visa waiver countries, which are considered lower risk than visa country visitors, are only permitted a three-month stay by law. In contrast, immigration inspectors have full discretion when granting a business length of stay, and views about the “standard” length of stay for business visitors differs amongst inspectors; there are no standard rules for these types of visitors.

• Inadequate primary inspection training and no secondary inspection training. Prior to 9/11, immigration inspectors only received about a half-day training in primary inspections (a 45 second to 1 minute interview) and none in secondary inspections. The hijackers were referred for a total of six secondary inspections, four immigration secondaries and two customs secondaries. One result of the lack of standardized training for these inspectors was that a “red flag” to one primary inspector meant nothing to others- for example, sufficiency of funds. Therefore, the very reason one of the hijackers (Saeed Al-Ghamdi) was referred to secondary inspection was considered of little interest to other primary inspectors with similar information presented to them by hijackers. That also meant that when Al-Ghamdi was interviewed in secondary inspection, the inspector who conducted his interview did not consider sufficiency of funds valid criteria for questioning, and admitted him.

Feinstein advocated the implementation of systems that would make it easy for employers to determine whether a job applicant has a right to work in the United States. This is in line with what Mark Krikorian calls "virtual checkpoints" for interior immigration law enforcement. That has to be a key element of a successful plan to stop and reverse the influx of illegals.

Another essential element is a barrier wall along the border with Mexico. A border barrier which would be a layer of walls and fences would cost between $2 billion and $8 billion and would pay for itself in avoided medical costs for illegals alone. A barrier combined with interior enforcement are needed to deal with an illegal alien problem that might be as high as 20 million illegals in the United States.

By Randall Parker    2005 March 17 02:59 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2004 December 20 Monday
Department Of Homeland Security Fails To Protect Borders

Heather Mac Donald says that homeland security needs to be taken more seriously.

Nothing compromises our domestic defense against Islamic terrorism more than our failure to control who enters the country. The alien-smuggling trade is the "sea in which terrorists swim," explains David Cohen, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and an ex-CIA expert on al Qaeda.

...

Shouldn't guarding public safety be the Department of Homeland Security's sole "priority mission" ?

A glance at a tiny section of the northern border, separating Vermont and a small part of New York from Canada, makes clear how lackluster the government's response to illegal entry remains.

Every week, agents in the border patrol's Swanton sector catch Middle Easterners and North Africans sneaking into Vermont. And every week, they immediately release those trespassers with a polite request to return for a deportation hearing. Why? The Department of Homeland Security failed to budget enough funding for sufficient detention space for lawbreakers.

In May alone, Swanton agents released illegal aliens from Malaysia, Pakistan, Morocco, Uganda and India without bond. Since all these aliens chose to evade the visa process, none has had a background check by a consular official that might have uncovered terrorist connections. All are now at large in the country.

Since the government is so pathetic that it can't even hold Middle Eastern illegal aliens who are caught crossing the border then any terrorists with the financial resources to make it to a US border is almost certain to be able to make it into the United States and start living here.

Better border walls and fences would reduce the number of people that would need to be held for deportation since fewer would manage to make it across the border in the first place. But combine a larger capacity for holding illegals with more border patrol agents to capture ilegals and then terrorists and other illegal entrants would be far less likely to make it into the interior of the United States. Also, if there was more enforcement of immigration law in the interior then more illegals who are already living here would be caught.

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a hiring freeze and is considered to have serious management problems.

The inspector general's letter confirms worries about the impact of ICE's budget shortfalls on agency morale first reported last month by The Washington Times. The results of the audit were first reported by Congressional Quarterly's Homeland Security newsletter.

ICE officials are continuing a hiring freeze and a ban on all "non-mission-critical" travel or other expenditures, instituted earlier this year. Some training has been suspended, agency spokesman Dean Boyd said, but the measures did not affect ongoing investigations.

There is bad morale in ICE, especially among former INS agents who feel they are second class citizens next to the former Customs agents.

They said ICE's investigative efforts have undergone a "functional paralysis," noting that while the fiscal 2005 budget called for a $300 million increase, ICE canceled all training, let go personnel at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, implemented a hard hiring freeze, ordered its cars parked, ended Spanish-language training for investigators, and limited spending and investigative activities.

Nearly two years after ICE's creation, there has been little reconciliation between former Customs and former INS agents now assigned to the agency — most of whom still refer to themselves as either "legacy Customs" and "legacy INS," but not ICE.

Immigration agents in ICE are now pulled away from immigration investigations to do customs investigations of illegal smuggling of CDs and DVDs.

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. of The Heritage Foundation and David Heyman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies have co-authored a report on homeland security reform entitled DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security (pdf format) which argues for a major reorganization of the Department of Homeland Security to reduce management layers and bureaucratic infighting.

Putting it bluntly, the current organization of DHS must be reformed because it hampers the Secretary of Homeland Security’s ability to lead our nation’s homeland security efforts. The organization is weighed down with bureaucratic layers, is rife with turf warfare, and lacks a structure for strategic thinking and policymaking. Additionally, since its creation, whether one looks at the department’s capacity to organize and mobilize a response to a catastrophic terrorist attack or at the international dimension of DHS programs, the department has been slow to overcome the obstacles to becoming an effective 21st century national security instrument.

...

Prior to the creation of DHS, seven agencies (among others) were involved in securing U.S. borders, enforcing immigration laws, and securing the transportation system: the U.S. Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Executive Office of Immigration Review, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Coast Guard, TSA, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Agency missions overlapped to greater or lesser extents, and because the agencies resided in different Cabinet departments, it was difficult to resolve operational and policy conflicts without open turf warfare or resorting to the cumbersome interagency process.

The creation of DHS was supposed to consolidate agencies with overlapping missions and to better integrate our efforts in this area. It has succeeded to some degree. INS has been abolished, and its border inspectors and Border Patrol Agents have been merged with most of U.S. Customs and the border inspectors of APHIS to create U.S. Customs and Border Protection—a single uniformed face at our borders.

However, in “consolidating” responsibility for border, immigration, and transportation security, DHS actually increased the number of involved agencies to eight and created additional problems that now need solving. In addition, it has failed to clearly delineate the missions of DHS agencies that also have border, immigration, or transportation security responsibilities.

Additionally, the split of responsibilities between the CBP and ICE was done without a compelling reason—other than the vague (and ultimately incorrect) descriptive notion that the Customs and Border Protection would handle “border enforcement” and ICE would handle “interior enforcement.” Indeed, in various interviews, not one person has been able to coherently argue why the CBP and ICE were created as separate operational agencies. Indeed, some have compared it to deciding to break up the New York Police Department into two separate agencies —one housing the uniformed “beat cops” (analogous to the CBP’s uniformed officers) and the other housing the detectives (analogous to ICE’s plain-clothes investigators).

Complicating the border security picture is the unclear mission of the TSA. While most Americans associate TSA with baggage screeners at airports, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that created TSA also makes it responsible “for security in all modes of transportation,” including ensuring the “adequacy of security measures for the transportation of cargo.” This has injected TSA into the realm of border security and created friction with other DHS agencies historically in charge of securing the movement of cargo into the United States—the Coast Guard and CBP. The BTS has not been particularly effective in clearly delineating the relative responsibilities of the CBP and TSA (and it has no authority over the Coast Guard), resulting in policy impasses such as the fights about who is responsible for moving forward on “smart” containers and who is in charge of such programs as Operation Safe Commerce.

Carafano and Heyman want CBP and ICE to be merged into a single agency. This would tend to reduce the distinction now drawn between catching illegal aliens at the border versus in the interior. So I expect the "Open Borders" crowd to oppose such a rational move.

Merger of CBP and ICE would probably help. But it would help even more if the combined CBP and ICE was given authority from their political masters to round up as many illegal aliens as they can manage to capture. When 12 men from the Temecula Border Patrol station rounded up 450 illegal aliens in 3 days (amazing!) higher-ups responded to Hispanic interest group complaints and stopped the sweeps. So the illegals could be rounded up and deported if only the government allowed CBP and ICE agents to go after the illegals with enthusiasm.

By Randall Parker    2004 December 20 03:55 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2004 December 04 Saturday
Heather Mac Donald On Terrorism, Racism, Immigration Law Violators

Heather Mac Donald has written a review of the leftist documentary Brothers and Others about alleged racism toward Muslims post-9/11. Of course discriminating against someone on the basis of their religion is not racist. But "racist" has become the ultimate insult that the Left can hurl and so of course the term is frequently misused. Anyway, Heather sees an underlying theme in the complaints about the arrests of Muslim illegal aliens post-9/11: the critics of the arrests of illegals are opposed to all immigration law enforcement.

The Iranian Ali and the Pakistani store owner can qualify as targets of racist government power only if one posits that immigration enforcement is per se racist. And that is exactly what the film posits. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, an advocacy group, tells the camera: “It is wrong to arrest people for visa violations; it violates the Constitution.”

The only thing remarkable about this statement is its clarity; the sentiment, however, animates most attacks on the government’s post-9/11 terrorism investigations. Behind much criticism of the domestic war on terror lies the unstated premise that the government has no right to enforce immigration laws, and that any effort to do so is discriminatory.

The discussion following the recent New York screening of Brothers and Others reiterated the notion that the Bush administration conducted a massive dragnet of Muslims after 9/11, based on racial animus. The dragnet idea is a cherished belief on the left that has nothing to do with the facts.

The facts are these: After 9/11, the Justice Department ordered that 762 illegal aliens, nearly all Muslim, be detained, while FBI agents ran down leads about their possible terror involvement. Those detentions amount to .01 percent of the Muslim population, taking the Council on American-Islamic Relations at its word that there are seven million Muslims in America. A hundredth of a percentage point of a population is hardly an indiscriminate sweep. What’s more, those 762 incarcerations were only a small fraction of the thousands of tips that poured into the FBI after 9/11.

Of course the Muslims who become terrorists do so far more as a result of their identification of themselves as Muslims and their interpretation of Islam than because of what racial or ethnic group they belong to. US government law enforcement efforts would not be aimed at them if they were all, say, Hindus or Buddhists.

Of course Muslims are overwhelmingly not white Europeans. So Leftists end up seeing them primarily as non-whites rather than primarily as Muslims. The irony of this situation is that while Leftists like to portray Rightists as implacable racists the Leftist reaction to Muslims is driven more by the racial and ethnic identities of the Muslims than by their religious beliefs. This brings to mind Steve Sailer's explanation for why Leftists are so quick to label people as racists:

And this is typical, in my experience: whites who proclaim their anti-white feelings don't really care much about blacks or other minorities, pro or con. What they care about is achieving social superiority over other whites by demonstrating their exquisite racial sensitivity and their aristocratic insouciance about any competitive threats posed by racial preferences.

So then Leftist opposition to immigration law enforcement becomes a way to pose as morally superior to whites who favor immigration law enforcement. Never mind the danger that such opposition poses for public safety, whether the danger comes in the form of terrorism or more pedestrian types of crime like rape, murder, or robbery. Clamoring to assume a higher position in a societal pecking order is a strong instinctive urge in most humans and Leftists are no exception.

By Randall Parker    2004 December 04 04:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (10)
2004 November 15 Monday
Middle Easterners Enter United States Illegally From Mexico

Border Patrol agents will not go on record about Middle Easterners crossing over the border from Mexico.

"People are coming here with bad intentions. I know of 10 that have been detained at my station alone," said a Border Patrol agent whose identity has been withheld at his request. He said this is something that agents have been told not to talk about.

"We know for a fact that people coming from the Middle East are now coming into Mexico and spending a year, even two years in Mexico, to learn how to speak Spanish," the Border Patrol agent told NBC4.

"The key is to pass yourself off as a Mexican," said retired Army Colonel Ben Anderson. He has been following what he calls the terrorist trail and connecting the dots on his website.

While the Border Patrol agents are intimidated into anonymity or silence by the Bush Administration the government's official message is to downplay the threat of terrorists crossing over from Mexico. The official US government line is that no terrorists have passed into the United States through Mexico.

MEXICO CITY - Top U.S. and Mexican authorities said that they have taken significant steps to increase security along their shared border but acknowledged that it is a "very attractive" possible route for terrorists wanting to harm the United States.

...

No terrorists are believed to have crossed into the United States from Mexico, but the U.S. and Mexican security chiefs underscored the importance of not letting down their guard against potential threats.

Hundreds of thousands or millions of people pass over the border illegally every year. Some small fraction who are caught are from the Middle East. As near as I can tell the US government will not release numbers on how many are from the Middle East. If anyone can find information from the government on Middle Easterners caught on the Mexican border please email me or post in the comments. But however many Middle Easterners do cross over the US-Mexican border it seems highly likely that, like the Mexicans who cross, most will not be caught by the Border Patrol.

Back in 2001 one border patrol agent told a reporter that one in ten OTMs (illegal aliens who are "Other Than Mexicans") caught were Middle Easterners.

Another agent, of supervisory rank, stated, "The smuggling traffic of Mexicans has really slowed. We are experiencing a tremendous increase in OTMs" – border lingo for "other than Mexicans." When queried about the ethnic make up of the OTMs, he answered, "Central and South Americans, Orientals and Middle-Easterners." Middle-Easterners? "Yeah, it varies, but about one in every 10 that we catch, is from a country like Yemen or Egypt.

So how many OTMs are being caught in 2004 and what fraction of them are from the Middle East? Has that fraction declined or increased since 2001?

The government claims the vast bulk of illegals are from the Americas.

According to the report, a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in Washington, D.C., said 99.4 percent of the 955,310 people apprehended by the agency from Oct. 1, 2001, through Sept. 30, 2002, were from the Americas, which includes Canada, Mexico and other Central and South American nations. The remainder comes from 140 countries.

Here is what is especially infuriating. Not only are Middle Easterners sneaking into the United States undetected. But even many of those caught crossing the border illegally are eventually released with orders to appear voluntarily at a future legal hearing.

Patrol agents told one Arizona newspaper that 77 males "of Middle Eastern descent" were apprehended in June in two separate incidents. All were trekking through the Chiricahua mountains and are believed to have been part of a larger group of illegal immigrants. Many were released pending immigration hearings. According to Solomon Ortiz, the Congressman for Corpus Christi in Texas, similar incidents are "happening all over the place. It's very, very scary".

The two groups of Arab males were discovered by patrol guards from Willcox, Arizona. "These guys didn't speak Spanish," said one field agent, "and they were speaking to each other in Arabic. It's ridiculous that we don't take this more seriously. We're told not to say a thing to the media." A colleague told the paper: "All the men had brand-new clothing and the exact same cut of moustache." Local ranchers have also reported a rise in the sightings of large groups of young males.

Note the theme running through many news reports that quote anonymous Border Patrol agents: The agents are instructed to keep the public from learning about what is going.

The official number of illegals caught from Islamic countries is probably an underestimate of the real number.

To make matters worse, the Department of Homeland Security is so hopelessly overstretched that it has taken to releasing what it calls OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) because it cannot house them until it arranges for deportation hearings.

...

Fewer than 30 per cent of the OTMs released into the US actually show up for their hearings, meaning an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens are currently in the US after being caught and released.

Officially, fewer than 100 border jumpers apprehended along the Mexican borders within the last year were from nations associated with Islamic terrorism.

However, Travis said that few of these people had identification papers, and many lied and said they were from South America in order to evade attention and have a better chance of being released.

'We have heard from border patrol agents that they're being told to let people who look like they're from East Africa and the Middle East go because they say their name is Juan Pablo Garcia from Guatemala - except that they don't speak a word of Spanish,' she said.

Middle Easterner OTMs caught crossing the border are treated the same as Brazilians or Germans.

"The law does not differentiate based on nationality. So enforcement does not differ based on nationality," says Reed Little, Detention and Enforcement Officer for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He added that ICE officials must justify their actions before immigration judges.

Asked if a 25-year-old man from Saudi Arabia would be treated at all differently from other illegal aliens coming across the Mexican border, ICE spokesman Manny Van Pelt said, "No."

Van Pelt said the government's general practice is to release apprehended aliens into the United States without requiring bond pending their deportation hearing, unless they have criminal records, are flagged in a government database as a potential threat, or their interviews with agents reveal a potential threat.

Ethnic profiling would reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.

There really are people out there who would love to get into the United States and cause enormous damage. Egyptian Sharif al-Masri, captured along the Pakistan-Iran border in August 2004, has told interrogators Al Qaeda has considered smuggling nuclear material into the United States through Mexico.

Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran.

Of course, Al Qaeda would have to acquire such materials. My guess is that at this point the best they could do would be to get the nuclear materials needed for a dirty bomb which would use a conventional chemical explosive to spread radioactive material over a large area. But terrorists can kill a lot of people with well-placed non-nuclear bombs.

One thing is for sure: We are protected more by the limits of Al Qaeda's talents and resources than we are by US government policy toward our borders.

By Randall Parker    2004 November 15 01:44 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2004 November 08 Monday
700 Arrested On Immigration Violations To Foil Terrorist Attacks

A major effort was made to arrest people from Muslim countries before the 2004 election in order to foil any terrorist attacks that may have been planned. Vigorous selective enforcement of immigration law is a key tactic used domestically to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks. (same article here and here and here)

For example, ICE agents arrested a 23-year-old Pakistani man in late October who had illegally entered the United States through Mexico in 2000 and was working as a fuel tanker truck driver with access to a major U.S. seaport. The man, who was not further identified, is charged with making false statements about how he entered the country and remains under investigation for any links to terrorism.

He was one of the 237 people arrested in October alone on immigration violations, for a total of over 700 since the enforcement effort began last year, Garcia said. "It was a broad approach that led us to have a very disruptive effect, we believe," he said.

Law enforcement personnel admit they see immigration law enforcement as a valuable way to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks. Someone should tell George W. Bush about this fact. Though even if he understands this I am guessing he doesn't want to accept the implications for national immigration policy.

By Randall Parker    2004 November 08 01:07 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2004 October 28 Thursday
Asylum Status Still Risk For Terrorists To Get Into United States

Writing for Tech Central Station attorneys Jonathan E. Stern and Michael M. Rosen show that immigration law still contains major holes for terrorists to enter the United States.

Imagine a foreign national who enters the United States via Iraq and Syria; whose niece married one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; who once lived with her niece and the bomber in Seattle; and whose husband remained in close contact with the bomber and shepherded an undocumented Egyptian to the Canadian border in a taxicab shortly after the 1993 attack. Do this woman and her family sound like good candidates for asylum in America? The U.S. Court of Appeals apparently thought so in August when it permitted Haifa El Himri and her son Musab, both facing deportation to Kuwait, to remain in the United States.

Aside: Stern and Rosen are probably in favor of illegal immigration. Note the term "undocumented Egyptian" rather than "illegal alien Egyptian". Undocumented? If the Egyptian carried a passport or other ID (as seems likely) then wasn't the Egyptian documented? Also, if an undocumented alien is arrested then doesn't that create a documentation trail? Heck, if all the illegals caught entering the country are put into a database (not sure if this is done on the Mexican border but I am pretty sure it is done in airports when people are turned back) then there is a documentation trail for anyone so caught. Yet those who repeated enter the country are referred to as "undocumented" by those who are not really against illegal alien immigration in principle.

In fact, under current asylum law, national security considerations do not enter into the judicial analysis. While the Attorney General may, under the Patriot Act and other regulations, deny asylum to individuals who have engaged in terrorist activity, skilled applicants can skirt these provisions even in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The 9/11 Commission Report reveals that, even though federal law authorizes the use of classified evidence in deportation cases, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) removed very few individuals linked to terrorist activity, none of whom were associated with Al Qaeda.

Meanwhile the Bush Administration is opposing the implementation of 9/11 Commission recommendations for tougher immigration and asylum law changes. Just because Bush strikes a very hawkish pose does not mean he's aggressively trying to shut down the obvious paths of attack for terrorists who want to strike in America. No, he thinks Hispandering comes before national security.

By Randall Parker    2004 October 28 11:43 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2004 October 21 Thursday
Bush Opposes 9/11 Commission Border Control Recommendations

The Bush Administration does not want to see the 9/11 Commissions recommendations on immigration-related matters put into law.

The White House is increasing pressure on Congress to strike from the final intelligence-reform legislation certain immigration-related provisions that House Republicans had tagged onto their version of the bill.

With a conference on the House and Senate versions of the legislation opening today, the Bush administration has written to Congress, expressing opposition to provisions that would broaden the government's ability to deport aliens and limit the rights of asylum-seekers.

What is being struck out? Provisions that the bipartisan National Comission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States (a.k.a. the 9/11 Commission) very explicitly recommended immigration, border control, and visa policies in order to reduce the risk that terrorists will be able to get into and stay in the United States of America. Also see my previous post on the 9/11 Commission and immigration and border control policy.

Dain Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform points out specific 9/11 Commission report pages that called for the legislative provisions that the Bush White House is now opposing in negotiations with Congress.

While the 9/11 Commission report ranks No. 1 on The New York Times nonfiction bestsellers (for the 11th week in a row), open borders advocates are mounting a massive disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Congress and the American public that the reforms included in H.R. 10 were not called for by the Commission. "The immigration provisions of H.R. 10 correspond precisely to the failures noted by the 9/11 Commission and the recommendations they made to rectify the conditions that contributed directly to the ability of the terrorists to attack us on Sept. 11," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "To say that the 9/11 Commission did not call for sweeping reforms to U.S. immigration policy and immigration enforcement is an act of sheer audacity and falsehood."

Among the critical immigration policy reforms specifically called for in the 9/11 Commission Report are:

  • Requiring the use of valid passports for all travel within the Western Hemisphere (p. 388).
  • Detention of unauthorized aliens and enhanced interior enforcement (Staff Report p. 95)
  • Improved document security, including uniform standards for driver's license issuance and barring the acceptance of foreign consular IDs (p. 390).
  • Expedited removal of illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. less than five years (p. 384).
  • Denial of asylum claims of individuals suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations (Staff Report pp. 98-99).
  • Limiting judicial review of orders of deportation (Staff Report, p. 95 and p. 143).

FAIR has prepared a comprehensive analysis of each of the immigration reform provisions included in H.R. 10, citing the precise recommendations as they appeared in the Commission's report.

Audacity and falsehood? That's a polite way of saying Bush and his crew are lying on this issue.

George W. Bush is tough on terrorism? Not if it gets in the way of Hispandering.

Bush says he opposes more vigorous measures to totally stop illegal border crossings on the US-Mexico border. Yet border control is a solvable problem. If we use Israel's barrier fence structure between Israel and the West Bank as a source for cost estimates then the cost range for an almost 2000 mile border is between $3.4 billion at $1.7 million per mile and $7 billion at $3.5 million per mile. Also, the hefty fence barrier at the Mexico-San Diego border area is $1.7 million per mile.

In that last link Edward Rubinstein draws parallels with the interstate highway construction project. How about we compare these costs to highway construction costs? The Interstate Highway System is 44,500 miles long. Average construction costs for the combination of rural, suburban, urban interstate highway is over $20 million per mile.

Rural and even some suburban highway construction costs far less than complex urban highways in major cities, particularly since there is little infrastructure displacement and there are typically fewer traffic lanes. Most interstate highways in the United States cost just over $1 million per mile to build (Grossman, 1996). In 1996 dollars, the Federal Highway Administration has calculated the "weighted rural and urban combined" costs per mile of interstate highway to be $20.6 million.(9) Other highway construction normally ranges from $1 million to $5 million per mile, but in mountainous regions, like West Virginia, the costs can be as high as $15 million per mile (Brogan, 1997). The costs per highway mile in the expanding Los Angeles metropolitan area for four Ventura County projects were $1.7 million, $2.1 million, $2.4 million, and $2.9 million respectively (Green, 1996).

At a weighted average of $20 million per mile the total cost works out to almost $900 billion dollars. So the cost of a barrier along the border with Mexico less than one percent of the cost of the interstate highway system and a much much smaller percentage of the cost of all highways, roads, streets, bridges, and tunnels.

By Randall Parker    2004 October 21 07:41 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (26)
2004 September 12 Sunday
Homeland Security Visa Screeners In Saudi Arabia Can't Read Arabic

The Bush Administration demonstrates once again that its priorities are very wrong.

The department's inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, said nine of the 10 temporary employees sent to Riyadh and Jidda neither spoke nor read Arabic, the language in which many documents they review are written and the sole language spoken by many applicants.

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Clark Kent Ervin demonstrates what are super man qualities in the Bush Administration (sorry, couldn't resist) when he points out that Arabic language skills are essential for detecting terrorists in Arab countries.

"The officers have to be language proficient," Mr. Ervin said in the interview. "They need to be versed in the culture and country conditions. They have to be trained in interview techniques and fraud detection. And generally this was not the case with the officers that were sent."

The program for providing these officers has no permanent funding as of yet. Therefore there was no money available to provide the officers formal training before sending them off to Saudi Arabia. We have just marked the 3 year anniversary of the original 9/11 attack and funding for homeland security officers to review visa applications in Saudi Arabia will not be in the official budget until the fiscal year 2005. Then a whole $10 million will be provided and 5 more Arab countries will eventually get DHS screeners to supplement State Department screeners. We can only guess when sufficiently qualified DHS visa screeners will be sent to Saudi Arabia. How long will it take to recruit or train screeners fluent in Arabic and sufficiently knowledgeable about Saudi Arabia to detect implausible claims on visa applications?

The Bush Administration has managed to find the time and money to spend well over $100 billion dollars (and rising) in Iraq and to send about 140,000 (at the moment) soldiers there. But adequate staffing of visa screening personnel in the country that sent 15 out of the 19 9/11 attackers to the United States is not viewed as a priority.

Visa screening can keep out bad guys. The National Commision on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (a.k.a. The 9/11 Commission) notes in their final report that one potential hijacker was kept out of the United States by repeated rejections of visa applications.

Jarrah was supposed to be joined at FFTC by Ramzi Binalshibh, who even sent the school a deposit. But Binalshibh could not obtain a U.S. visa. His first applications in May and June 2000 were denied because he lacked established ties in Germany ensuring his return from a trip to the United States. In September, he went home to Yemen to apply for a visa from there, but was denied on grounds that he also lacked sufficient ties to Yemen. In October, he tried one last time, in Berlin, applying for a student visa to attend "aviation language school," but the prior denials were noted and this application was denied as well, as incomplete.52

Unable to participate directly in the operation, Binalshibh instead took on the role of coordinating between KSM and the operatives in the United States. Apart from sending a total of about $10,000 in wire transfers to Atta and Shehhi during the summer of 2000, one of Binalshibh's first tasks in his new role as plot coordinator was to assist another possible pilot, Zacarias Moussaoui.53

The final report of the 9/11 Commission has a fairly detailed and lengthy list of visa and immigration policy recommendations.

In the decade before September 11, 2001, border security-encompassing travel, entry, and immigration-was not seen as a national security matter. Public figures voiced concern about the "war on drugs," the right level and kind of immigration, problems along the southwest border, migration crises originating in the Caribbean and elsewhere, or the growing criminal traffic in humans. The immigration system as a whole was widely viewed as increasingly dysfunctional and badly in need of reform. In national security circles, however, only smuggling of weapons of mass destruction carried weight, not the entry of terrorists who might use such weapons or the presence of associated foreign-born terrorists.

For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons. Terrorists must travel clandestinely to meet, train, plan, case targets, and gain access to attack. To them, international travel presents great danger, because they must surface to pass through regulated channels, present themselves to border security officials, or attempt to circumvent inspection points.

In their travels, terrorists use evasive methods, such as altered and counterfeit passports and visas, specific travel methods and routes, liaisons with corrupt government officials, human smuggling networks, supportive travel agencies, and immigration and identity fraud. These can sometimes be detected.

Before 9/11, no agency of the U.S. government systematically analyzed terrorists' travel strategies. Had they done so, they could have discovered the ways in which the terrorist predecessors to al Qaeda had been systematically but detectably exploiting weaknesses in our border security since the early 1990s.

We found that as many as 15 of the 19 hijackers were potentially vulnerable to interception by border authorities. Analyzing their characteristic travel documents and travel patterns could have allowed authorities to intercept 4 to 15 hijackers and more effective use of information available in U.S. government databases could have identified up to 3 hijackers.32

Looking back, we can also see that the routine operations of our immigration laws-that is, aspects of those laws not specifically aimed at protecting against terrorism-inevitably shaped al Qaeda's planning and opportunities. Because they were deemed not to be bona fide tourists or students as they claimed, five conspirators that we know of tried to get visas and failed, and one was denied entry by an inspector. We also found that had the immigration system set a higher bar for determining whether individuals are who or what they claim to be-and ensuring routine consequences for violations-it could potentially have excluded, removed, or come into further contact with several hijackers who did not appear to meet the terms for admitting short-term visitors.33

Our investigation showed that two systemic weaknesses came together in our border system's inability to contribute to an effective defense against the 9/11 attacks: a lack of well-developed counterterrorism measures as a part of border security and an immigration system not able to deliver on its basic commitments, much less support counterterrorism. These weaknesses have been reduced but are far from being overcome.

Recommendation: Targeting travel is at least as powerful a weapon against terrorists as targeting their money. The United States should combine terrorist travel intelligence, operations, and law enforcement in a strategy to intercept terrorists, find terrorist travel facilitators, and constrain terrorist mobility.

Click through and read the many immigration, border control, and visa policy recommendations of the commission. Note that many of these recommendations are intuitively obvious and a presidency that was willing to place a higher priority on homeland security than on Hispanic pandering or Saudi relations would already be well along the way toward implementing most or all of them.

Update: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has revealed why Saudis were chosen for the 9/11 attack: Most people in Al Qaeda training camps were Saudi nationals and Saudis had an easier time getting into the United States.

KSM, for instance, denies that Saudis were chosen for the 9/11 plot to drive a wedge between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and stresses practical reasons for considering ethnic background when selecting operatives. He says that so many were Saudi because Saudis comprised the largest portion of the pool of recruits in the al Qaeda training camps. KSM estimates that in any given camp, 70 percent of the mujahideen were Saudi, 20 percent were Yemeni, and 10 percent were from elsewhere. Although Saudi and Yemeni trainees were most often willing to volunteer for suicide operations, prior to 9/11 it was easier for Saudi operatives to get into the United States.91

We need to be especially vigilant with Saudi nationals and Yemeni nationals applying for visas to the United States because they are most likely to be Al Qaeda terrorists.

By Randall Parker    2004 September 12 01:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2004 August 31 Tuesday
Visa Rules Still Too Lax For Saudis

Joel Mowbray reports that rules for getting visas are still not as tough for Saudi Arabian nationals as for other Arabs.

Despite supposed reforms implemented by the U.S. State Department, current statistics—obtained exclusively by this columnist—reveal that nearly 90% of all Saudi visa applicants get approved. To put this in perspective, applicants in most other Arab nations—the ones that didn’t send us 15 of 19 9/11 hijackers—are refused visas three to five times more often than Saudis. (State refused multiple requests for comment.)

September 11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed reportedly told U.S. interrogators that the reason 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis was because they had by far the easiest time getting visas. According to the 9/11 Commission, KSM personally discovered how true this was when he obtained a visa (using an alias) in July 2001 through a program known as Visa Express, which allowed all Saudis to apply for visas at travel agencies.

Mowbray is the author of a book on this topic: Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security

The world's dependence on oil is harmful to US national security. Oil money spreads Wahhabi Islam and some of the money goes to terrorism. Oil money is powerful and corrupts American politics. We need to obsolesce oil by developing other energy technologies that are cheaper, cleaner, and better for US national security.

By Randall Parker    2004 August 31 03:29 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2004 August 15 Sunday
Bush Border Control Move Angers United Nations

Long time ParaPundit readers are going to be surprised to learn that this writer can ever find anything positive to say about Bush Administration immigration and border control policy. But somehow the Bush Department of Homeland Security has found the backbone to make an improvement in border area deportation policy effective enough to anger the Lefties who rule the roost at the United Nations.

A confidential report conducted by the United Nations in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security has found that airport inspectors with the power to summarily deport illegal immigrants have sometimes intimidated and handcuffed travelers fleeing persecution, discouraged some from seeking political asylum and often lacked an understanding of asylum law.

Even Bill Clinton improved deportation practices at US airports (albeit, while supporting Al Gore's effective efforts to gut the mechanisms for vetting illegal alien eligibility for US citizenship).

But the United Nations noted that problems remained at American airports - where summary deportations have occurred since 1997 - even after inspectors received training about the importance of protecting asylum seekers.

The Bush Administration is going to empower Border Patrol agents to catch illegals and deport them even if the illegals have been here for a couple of weeks.

Under the new policy, border agents will summarily deport illegal immigrants caught within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders who have spent up to 14 days within the United States.

There are reasons to think this policy improvement might in some sense be an oversight on Bush's part. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be taking its responsibility to defend the borders more seriously than Bush intended. After all, Bush DHS Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson can not explain why the Bush Administration stopped illegal alien round-ups inland away from the Border in California. On the John and Ken Show in Los Angeles Hutchinson avoided offering a convincing explanation for why highly effective (a dozen agents rounding up about 500 illegals in a couple of weeks) illegal alien round-ups were stopped. More broadly, reorganization of immigration and border control responsibilites may make it easier for the Bush Administration to shift resources away from efforts to apprehend illegals.

As for the United Nations complaints: We shouldn't care what they think. In fact, if the UN is complaining about the United States far more often than not that is a sign we are doing something right. The United Nations bureaurcrats would like anyone who shows up on the American border and declares themselves as refugees seeking political asylum to be automatically treated as such. Of course, if the United States government accepted at face value all claims of political refugee status then eventually tens and even hundreds of millions of people would show up on America's borders and airports declaring themselves to be worthy of political asylum status.

What I want to know is this: Would the immigration and border control policy of a President Kerry be even worse than that of a 2nd term George W. Bush? Also, would Congress's response to Kerry immigration proposals be worse (i.e. more inclined to let in illegals, give them amnesties, extend them more benefits, hold back from rounding up illegals) than Congress's response to proposals coming from Bush? Another way to put this is: Would a Republican Congress (assuming the Republicans maintain their majority in the House in particular) be more inclined to say no to Bush Hispanic pandering or to Kerry Hispanic pandering?

Update: Writing for the Daily Telegraph Julin Coman reports that the Bush Administration decision to accelerate deportations along the US border with Mexico may be a response to the number of Arabs being intercepted crossing that border.

A string of alarming incidents has convinced Bush administration officials that lax immigration rules, designed to cope with the huge numbers of illegal entrants from Mexico, have become a significant loophole in the war on terror.

Over the past month, border agents from Arizona and Texas have anonymously reported recent encounters with dozens of Arab men, who have made their way across the 2,000-mile Mexican border.

ABC News has also recently reported on greater concern in the US government that Al Qaeda operatives may be using the Mexican border to sneak into the United States.

The 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico is virtually impossible to defend, officials said. And sources tell ABC News there is new intelligence that al Qaeda wants to smuggle terrorists across it.

The national security threat posed by the ease with which terrorists can pass over the US-Mexican border has been apparent for years. J. Zane Walley reported on this back in 2001 when already a large number of Middle Easterners being captured on the border with Mexico.

Another agent, of supervisory rank, stated, "The smuggling traffic of Mexicans has really slowed. We are experiencing a tremendous increase in OTMs" – border lingo for "other than Mexicans." When queried about the ethnic make up of the OTMs, he answered, "Central and South Americans, Orientals and Middle-Easterners." Middle-Easterners? "Yeah, it varies, but about one in every 10 that we catch, is from a country like Yemen or Egypt."

Former United States Attorney Peter Nunez points out that if poor Latin American peasants can cross the border and drug smugglers can bring drugs across then surely terrorists can bring themselves and bomb materials across our borders as well.

It is my belief that you cannot approach the issue of protecting America from future terrorist attacks as an isolated issue, that it is necessary to consider the broader issue of border security to include terrorism, immigration enforcement, and drug trafficking as a whole. Because the same deficiencies that exist - at least along our borders and ports of entry - that would allow a terrorist to gain entry to the U.S. are the same deficiencies that allow for the entry of millions of illegal aliens and many thousands of pounds of illegal drugs every year. After all, if hundreds of thousands of illiterate, unskilled, uneducated peasants from the interior of various Latin American countries can successfully navigate the holes in our borders and ports of entry to successfully take up residence inside the United States and remain here indefinitely, what makes anyone believe that a more sophisticated, better financed, and dedicated member of a terrorist cell could not do the same thing? If international drug traffickers can successfully smuggle hundreds of thousands of pounds of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, and other illegal drugs into the U.S., why is it not equally likely that a terrorist group could successfully smuggle a few pounds or gallons of biological, chemical, or nuclear material into this country? How many illegal aliens stopped by local police for a traffic violation and released under a local policy which provides sanctuary for illegal aliens could be tomorrow’s terrorist? Which student admitted on a temporary visa who overstays that visa, or in fact never shows up for school, will be the next terrorist to kill Americans?

Border control is a national security problem. It is time we started treating it as such.

Also see my previous post Illegal Alien Border Crossing Surge Seen As Terrorism Threat.

Update II: Juan Mann explains why the announcement of expedited deportation for non-Mexicans is really part of a betrayal which involves a stealth amnesty for Mexicans.

Simultaneously, in what bears the stench of a secret deal, Hutchinson announced the federal government will immediately allow what he estimated in the Media Roundtable to be 425,000 Mexican nationals to take up de facto permanent residence in the American Southwest.

They will be able to do this through an unlimited number of visits” of up to thirty-days at a time, using so-called border-crossing cards (BCCs).

Amazingly, Hutchinson also told the same press conference that there are “seven or eight million border crossing card holders.” (My emphasis).

He offered no explanation as to why all of them—not just 425,000—won’t promptly come here.

The Bush Administration continues to be the enemy of immigration restrictionists. The Bush Administration continues to find ways to defeat the will of the majority of the American people who want a decrease in the amount of immigration and a change in the mix of immigrants.

Update III: Mark Krikorian confirms Juan Mann's claim that the Bush Administration did more to facilitate than reduce the flow of illegal immigrants with its latest immigration policy changes.

But the new rules will apply only to non-Mexican and non-Canadian illegals — a minute fraction of the illegal flow. And only to those caught within 100 miles of the border. And only if they've been in the United States for no more than two weeks. And the new procedure will be applied, at first, only in the Tucson and Laredo areas. With all these carve-outs, it will be surprising if this accelerated process is applied to more than a few hundred illegals a year.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
The announcement of the new border-patrol authority was coupled with border-loosening measures. For many years, Mexicans seeking to shop or visit relatives in border areas in the U.S. have been able to get border-crossing cards (informally known as "laser visas"), which are multiple-entry permits good for travel within the border region for visits of less than 72 hours. The new policy will allow visits of up to 30 days at a time — allowing Mexicans, in effect, to live in the U.S. indefinitely, so long as they go home once each month. The motivation for the new rule is clear from the press release: "This decision was closely coordinated between Secretary for Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Mexican Secretary of Government Santiago Creel." No kidding.

George W. Bush deserves to lose in his run for reelection.

By Randall Parker    2004 August 15 03:48 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2004 July 09 Friday
Visa Policy, Research Controls Seen As Counterproductive

Cornell University physicist Robert C. Richardson, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on low temperature helium, tells the New York Times that restrictions on the movement and work of foreign scientists and restrictions on the handling of dangerous pathogens and compounds are undermining American science.

A. Let me give you an interesting example from Cornell. The Patriot Act, which was passed after 9/11, has a section in it to control who can work on "select agents," pathogens that might be developed as bioweapons. At Cornell, we had something like 76 faculty members who had projects on lethal pathogens and something like 38 working specifically on select agents. There were stringent regulations for control of the pathogens - certain categories of foreign nationals who were not allowed to handle them, be in a room with them or even be aware of research results. So what is the situation now? We went from 38 people who could work on select agents to 2. We've got a lot less people working on interventions to vaccinate the public against smallpox, West Nile virus, anthrax and any of 30 other scourges.

He doesn't break out the relative importance of the various causes of the reduction of the number of people working on vaccines and other work related to pathogens. But paperwork, need for higher security in the storage of pathogens, higher security on the labs, and the presence of foreign nationals as students, post-docs, and faculty all are probably playing roles. Even if a faculty member is an American how can he work on some pathogen if half his grad students are foreign?

There is a lot more research money available specifically targetted at developing bioweapons threats. So the total amount of work in the whole country may not have gone up even as it has cgone down in elite research universities that have a large foreign element to their student bodies. But it useful to have more information to try to figure out the net effect of the restrictions and the increases in money are having on biodefense research.

More generally, is the US being substantially harmed either in the rate of advance of science or in the technological prowess of industry by the increased difficulties faced by scientists and engineers who want to come to the United States for meetings or work? I think the visa granting process would be greatly helped if recognition was made of the obvious fact that the most credentialed and accomplished scientists and engineers have a much much lower probability of being terrorists than some Middle Eastern kid who has a less impressive education.

The same pattern holds for students. A student smart enough to get into the Ivy League is far less likely to be a terrorist than some kid who has gotten accepted to some vocational training program at a technical institute or who has applied to attend some other program which does not require a high level of demonstrated intellectual ability to be accepted into a training program. A simple IQ test with a high minimum score (say 120 and above) for visa applicants seeking to study or attend conferences in the United States would do more to reduce the threat of terrorists making it into the United States than would consulate interviews. Just let the bright ones in to study and work and that will keep out most of those who intend to inflict real harm.

Update: Andrew Silke, an expert in the psychology of terrorism from the Scarman Centre at Leicester University, says terrorists are not crazy and some have higher education.

"They certainly aren't crazy, they certainly aren't mad," he said.

All of the Al-Qaeda members studied came from middle or upper class backgrounds.

Two-thirds were college educated, a tenth had a postgraduate degree and more than seven out of 10 were married with children.

Aside: Yet another nail in the coffin for the idea that college education is a panacea.

But are the Al Qaeda members studied representative of all Al Qaeda members? It is my impression that all the 9/11 hikackers were single guys. Also, the quality of the college degrees of these Al Qaeda members that Silke refers to? Were they in easy majors or tough scientific subjects?

I still think IQ tests would help a great deal. One reason an IQ test would help is that it would have the least economic impact. The smarter people who could contribute the most by being here would still be able to get in. On top of that here's another useful rule: Keep out the Muslims. The Hindus and Buddhists do not want to blow us up. Neither do the Zoroastrians or Ba Hai or the Shintos. Why not have a visa and immigration policy that acknowledges the obvious? We are at much greater risk when we let in Muslims.

Any filter we apply to try to keep out terrorists will be flawed. We are best off using filters that reduce the need for subjective judgement of visa application reviewers and that allow applications to be processed rapidly.

By Randall Parker    2004 July 09 03:44 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (9)
2004 May 18 Tuesday
Illegal Alien Border Crossing Surge Seen As Terrorism Threat

Writing for the Los Angeles Times Scott Gold has written an excellent report on Border Patrol reports on the large surge of illegal immigrants from Mexico who are trying to reach the United States on the belief that Bush will push through an illegal alien amnesty. (free registration required)

Top Border Patrol officials point out that illegal immigration was increasing before Bush's announcement. Detentions rose 6.4% from January 2003 to January 2004. But as word of Bush's proposal and rumors of amnesty spread, apprehensions jumped rapidly — by 14.2% in February, 57.5% in March and 79.6% in April.

The Border Patrol concedes that it only captures a portion of those trying to enter the country illegally. That is particularly worrisome, agents wrote, when Islamic extremists are believed to be establishing a foothold in Latin America. Agents said they were so busy chasing down people who were trying to enter the United States in search of jobs that they could miss those trying to enter with sinister plans.

"Possible terrorist cell groups may exploit this high influx phenomenon," one agent wrote. "[O]ur immigration system may in fact become over burdened to the point that many individuals may fall through the cracks allowing subjects that may be affiliated with terrorist groups to enter the country without being identified, or stopped."

Let us leave aside the fact that Bush's immigration plan will not make the borders any less chaotic or any more lawful. The fact is that there is a huge surge happening across our southern border with Mexico and the United States government's response is totally inadequate. Surely Al Qaeda must have noticed by now that the US border with Mexico is poorly policed and that many Middle Easterners could sneak across it without even getting spotted by any Border Patrol agents.

Mark Krikorian has written an excellent essay for In The National Interest about the need for a more effective 3 layered approach to immigration control as a way to keep out terrorists. We need a tougher process for visa granting, more effective border control, and more effective interior enforcement of immigration law as he points out in his article Keeping Terror Out: Immigration Policy and Asymmetric Warfare.

There were also failures between the ports of entry. Abdelghani Meskini and Abdel Hakim Tizegha, both part of the Millennium Plot that included Ahmed Ressam, first entered the country as stowaways on ships that docked at U.S. ports. Tizegha later moved to Canada and then returned to the United States by sneaking across the land border. And of course, Abu Mezer, though successfully apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol, was later released.

...

But despite these and other improvements in the mechanics of border management, the same underlying problem exists here as in the visa process: lack of political seriousness about the security importance of immigration control. The Coast Guard, for instance, still considers the interdiction of illegal aliens a “nonsecurity” mission. More importantly, pressure to expedite entry at the expense of security persists; a dhs memo leaked in January outlined how the US-VISIT system would be suspended if lines at airports grew too long. And, to avoid complaints from businesses in Detroit, Buffalo, and elsewhere, most Canadian visitors have been exempted from the requirements of the US-VISIT system.

Also, there is continued resistance to using the military to back up the Border Patrol—resistance that predates the concern for overstretch caused by the occupation of Iraq. But controlling the Mexican border, apart from the other benefits it would produce, is an important security objective; at least two major rings have been uncovered which smuggled Middle Easterners into the United States via Mexico, with help from corrupt Mexican government employees. At least one terrorist has entered this way: Mahmoud Kourani, brother of Hizbollah’s chief of military security in southern Lebanon, described in a federal indictment as “a member, fighter, recruiter and fund-raiser for Hizballah.”

...

Inadequacies in the first element of interior enforcement have clearly helped terrorists in the past. Because there is no way of determining which visitors have overstayed their visas, much less a mechanism for apprehending them, this has been a common means of remaining in the United States—of the 12 (out of 48) Al-Qaeda operatives who were illegal aliens when they took part in terrorism, seven were visa overstayers.

Among terrorists who were actually detained for one reason or another, several were released to go about their business inside America because of inadequate detention space. This lack of space means that most aliens in deportation proceedings are not detained, so that when ordered deported, they receive what is commonly known as a “run letter” instructing them to appear for deportation—and 94 percent of aliens from terrorist-sponsoring states disappear instead.

Lack of coordination between state and local police and federal immigration authorities is another major shortcoming. In the normal course of their work, police frequently encounter aliens. For instance, Mohammed Atta was ticketed in Broward County, Florida, in the spring of 2001 for driving without a license. But the officer had no mechanism to inform him that Atta had overstayed his visa during his prior trip to the United States. Although not an overstayer, another hijacker, Ziad Samir Jarrah, was issued a speeding ticket in Maryland just two days before 9/11, proving that even the most effective terrorists have run afoul of the law before launching their attacks.

Robert S. Leiken of the Nixon Center has also just weighed in on the issue of immigration and terrorism with his report Bearers of Global Jihad? Immigration and National Security after 9/11 (PDF format).

Immigration and terrorism are linked; not because all immigrants are terrorists but because all, or nearly all, terrorists in the West have been immigrants (we define immigration in its broad usage as signifying visitors and sojourners as well as settlers- see chapter I). In Western countries jihadism has taken root mainly thanks to Muslim immigration. As Rohan Gunaratna, a leading international authority on al Qaeda, told us: “All major terrorist attacks conducted in the last decade in North America and Western Europe, with the exception of Oklahoma City, have utilized migrants” (see chapter I).

The events of September 11 served notice how obsolete the Cold War delimitation of a zone of stability (North America and Western Europe) and an “arc of conflict” (from North Africa to South Asia) had become. The conflicts of the Third World have come home to roost in a way unparalleled in previous periods of colonialism and cold war, of nationalism and communism. Western governments now must take into account the export of violence via migration. Al Qaeda and its affiliates depend on immigration to gain entry to the West in order to carry out terrorist plots. The transnational and asymmetric character of these new conflicts demands coordination of national and homeland security with immigration and foreign policies. Al Qaeda’s immigration strategy

Whereas the West tends to view immigration from an economic standpoint, al Qaeda inc. sees it from a strategic perspective. By al Qaeda inc. we mean groups affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda (see chapter III). Our survey of 212 suspected and convicted terrorists implicated in North America and Western Europe since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 through December 2003 found that 86% were Muslim immigrants, the remainder being mainly converts (8%) and African American Muslims. Analysis of that survey shows that al Qaeda inc. utilizes every immigration category to infiltrate Western countries and the U.S. in particular. Visitor's visas, asylum claims, family reunification, and green cards head our list of 212 suspected or convicted terrorists. Those entering with fraudulent documents are next in line. Terrorists stealing across the Mexican border come last, virtually nil. The Canadian border is more expedient for jihadis thanks to Islamic support networks fostered by indulgent Canadian asylum policies. And terrorists like the shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui came from “visa waiver” countries (countries which do not require a visa for travel to the U.S., such as the E.U. countries). Moreover, especially in Western Europe but also in Lackawanna, N.Y. terrorists were citizens, immigrants of the second generation.

Note that since 9/11 the United States has made visas harder to get and legal immigration methods have become harder for terrorists to use.It seems reasonable to expect terrorists to respond by pursuing illegal border crossings as some have already done. If terrorists are denied visas then sneaking in illegally is the obvious next option available to pursue. Whether illegal entry is done by crossing the border from Mexico or Canada, by jumping off of ships in ports, or via some other method will depend on opportunities that may present themselves. My own prediction is that regardless of how the illegal entries are made we will see a growing portion of future terrorists entering the country surreptitiously.

Leiken argues that immigration control must be used as a defense against terrorists because intelligence and other operations abroad are not sufficient to eliminate the threat.

Intelligence is the nerve system of an effective counterterrorist immigration policy. However, procuring timely, usable intelligence on al Qaeda inc. has proved exceedingly difficult. This human intelligence gap may take years to fill, especially if al Qaeda inc. remains an array of networks. Meanwhile there is a pressing need to continue to detain terrorists abroad (as well as here) for they have proved our best source of information, for liaison with foreign intelligence agencies (encouraging their efficiency and commitment to anti-terrorism), to train our own Arabists and other linguists, to modernize human intelligence and to inculcate relations with our own domestic Muslim communities.

But if intelligence is not a silver bullet and if the “needle” resists discovery, would we be better off trying to trim the “haystack?” The reputation of the INS as the archetypal, blundering, antiquated bureaucracy was well deserved. Now that it has been folded into the embryonic, inchoate DHS and charged with new tasks, we can be forgiven for doubting whether its administrative capacity has improved. Indeed, institutional capacity represents a serious deficiency from intelligence right through immigration (CIA, FBI, DHS). If we choose to maintain our current immigration levels, we shall have to increase administrative resources. The kind of scrutiny that national security now demands of immigration cannot be accomplished with the current correlation of officials and immigrants. Either more government or fewer immigrants.

Improvements in immigration policy to address the terrorist threat have been stymied by all the interest groups in favor of large scale immigration. Our inadequate response to this threat is going to come back to bite us in the form of additional terrorist attacks launched on American soil. While many advocates of mass immigration argue to the contrary immigration law really could be enforced if only the political will existed to do so. Immigration policy is national security policy. It is time that our elites woke up to that fact.

By Randall Parker    2004 May 18 01:12 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2004 January 16 Friday
Illegal Alien Charged With Hezbollah Fund Raising In Dearborn

Lebanese citizen Mahmoud Youssef Kourani has been charged by federal prosecutors in Michigan of fund-raising for the Hezbollah terrorist group of Lebanon. Kourani used a corrupt Mexican official and Mexican smugglers as a path into the United States illegally.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Kourani bribed a Mexican consular official in Beirut to get a visa to travel to Mexico. Kourani and a traveling companion then paid another man in Mexico to be smuggled across the southern U.S. border on Feb. 4, 2001, the government said.

The Dearborn Michigan Arab population provided a productive fund-raising environment for Kourani.

he continued his "substantial" fund-raising for Hezbollah after taking up residence in Dearborn, Michigan, which is home to a large Arab community.

...

Kourani took steps to conceal his beliefs — not attending mosque or observing religious rituals and shaving his beard — while he was in the United States, the government said.

In order to raise funds note that you have to find people who are willing to donate. Note that Kourani didn't have to go to Arab oil sheikdoms to raise funds. He was able to do so in Michigan.

Kourani's brother is a high ranking figure in Hezbollah.

Federal prosecutors said Kourani conspired with his brother, who they said is Hezbollah's chief of military security for southern Lebanon.

Elias Mohamad Akhdar also raised money for Hezbollah in Dearborn.

Another Dearborn man with reported ties to Hezbollah was sentenced last week to five years, 10 months in prison without the possibility of parole.

Elias Mohamad Akhdar, 31, pleaded guilty in July to a charge of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Rising anti-Jewish sentiments in Europe are being fed by Muslim immigration which is working directly by bringing in people who have a great deal of animosity, resentment, and even outright hatred of Jews. But that immigration has another pernicious effect by causing politicians to attempt to cater to the rising Mulsim population groups by muting any views that these groups may find offensive. This gives a green light to natives with anti-Jewish sentiments to be more open about them. The trends in Europe are being mirrored to a lesser degree in the US due to Hispanic immigration. But substantial Muslim immigration into the US would make anti-Jewish sentiments in the US far less tractable to rational persuasion. The United States would become much more dangerous for Jews with a greater risk of being attacked and murdered if the number of devout Muslims increased substantially.

The same phenomenom is at work in the United States even though the numbers of Muslims here are far less. Neoconservative David Frum, severe (and I think unfair) critic of paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians (see Ilana Mercer on Frum here as well), admits that Bush took positions on immigration in 2000 designed to appeal to the Muslim swing voters in Florida with rather unfortunate results.

Here now is where the story gets painful for us Bush Republicans. Not only were the al-Arians not avoided by the Bush White House - they were actively courted. Candidate Bush allowed himself to be photographed with the al-Arian family while campaigning in Florida. Candidate Bush denounced the immigration laws that detained - and ultimately deported - Mazen al-Najjar. In May 2001, Sami al-Arian was invited into the White House complex for a political briefing for Muslim-American leaders. The next month his son, Abdullah, who was then an intern in the office of Congressman David Bonior, joined a delegation of Muslim leaders at a meeting with John DiIulio, head of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. After the group entered the complex, a red flag belatedly popped up over the al-Arian name, and the Secret Service ordered him out of the complex. The entire delegation marched out with young al-Arian - and soon afterward, President Bush personally apologized to the young man and ordered the deputy director of the Secret Service to apologize as well.

This happened in the larger context of influential Republican operative Grover Norquist's much criticised outreach and connections to radical Muslim groups in the United States. What is astounding about this folly is that as Steve Sailer has shown Norquist and Bush are attempting to appeal to a mere 0.1 to 0.2 percentage of the electorate. It is easy to sit in judgement of Jacques Chirac and other French politicans faced with the presence of 5 or 6 million Muslims in France. But imagine what trouble would be caused if the number of Muslims grew in America to the point where both Democratic and Republican politicians and their foolish advisors were pursuing them for a whole percentage point of the vote. The enormous resulting harm to the national interest would be hard to calculate. Bush faces a problem with the Arab-American voters in 2004 that may well be influencing his immigration policy choices even today. See this article from the Jewish publication Forward: Arab-American Anger Over War in Iraq Could Weaken Bush in 2004. Bush has to be wondering what trade-offs he should make on the larger national interest in order to appeal to that 0.1 or 0.2 percent of the electorate. The rest of us should be worried.

Aside: while digging for information to make this post I came across the debates between various factions on the right about immigration that touch on whether paleoconservatives are all racists (I think this is an unfair smear) and whether criticism of neoconservatives has anti-Jewish motivations. The best take-down of the latter argument I came across is a recent post by Joshua Micha Marshall on neoconservatives as an ideological group.

Let’s be clear on what’s going on here.

Pressure groups exist in politics. The loose association of people generally termed 'neoconservative' use the term to describe themselves. And while no group is monolithic in its thinking, they generally think of themselves as a group and act in that fashion. We can get into a discussion at some other point about the fine points of intellectual history and note that intellectual or ideological movements are as much social constructs tethered to specific institutions as they are coherent and consistent textbook philosophies which remain the same over time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The point is that this is an ideological group in American politics. The people who are a part of it see it as such, as do its critics and opponents. And yet many now want to use blanket criticisms of anti-Semitism to stigmatize and ward off any and all criticism.

It’s almost like a thuggishly rhetorical assertion of intellectual property rights. Neoconservatives can use the term and talk about their movement as a movement. But it’s off-limits for opponents --- sort of like how trademark holder Nike can use the phrase “Just Do It” but if Reebok tried, Nike would sue.

Not only is this dishonest. It's a conscious cheapening of the charge of anti-Semitism that should be roundly and vociferously criticized.

See also my previous post Irving Kristol Is An Ideologue.

By Randall Parker    2004 January 16 02:09 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2003 January 21 Tuesday
Tolerance Makes Holland Terrorist Target

The reward for letting many Muslims immigrate is to become a center of terrorist activity.

The penetration of Al-Qaeda-connected operatives is greatest in those nations of the European Union that have liberal asylum and immigration laws, and those countries that maintain established and strong immigrant communities within well-defined geographic boundaries.

The problem has grown to such proportions that the Dutch internal security service, the Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD), stated in an official threat assessment that potential terrorists have singled out Holland - as a result of its lenient attitude to asylum and religious freedom. The BVD suggests the country is seen by potential terror groups as a safe haven where they can set up operational bases for furthering their cause. Dutch media has estimated the existence of several hundred terrorists on Dutch soil.

By Randall Parker    2003 January 21 07:23 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 January 12 Sunday
Terrorist Sympathizers and Illegal Aliens

These 1000 identified Bin Laden sympathizers in America are certainly only a subset of those who are in the United States.

The FBI has identified as many as 1,000 Osama bin Laden sympathizers living in 30 cities in the United States, Justice Department sources told ABCNEWS.

The FBI's surveillance capabilities are quite limited. They have to get wiretap authority to be able to listen to phone conversations and they need to find information to point them in the direction of any particular suspect. Smart terrorists will use encrypted e-mail messages on the internet and so phone is not a guaranteed way to track their communications anyhow. There are too many people for the FBI to watch in order to be able to identify more than a small fraction of Al Qaeda sympathizers. Plus, they have the additional bottleneck of not having enough people to listen in on foreign language conversations. Therefore their 1000 known sympathizers surely only scratches the surface.

The best reports I've seen about what Muslims in America say when they think they are talking to other Muslims come from Rod Dreher. Dreher knows Arab Christians who are mistaken for Muslims by Muslims in America. He's reported a number of times what these Arab Christians hear. As Rod Dreher has reported, Arab Muslims in America are widely sympathetic to Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.

On the afternoon of September 11, I ran into an immigrant Arab Christian friend on a street in our neighborhood that is home to a number of Muslim-owned businesses. "Listen," he told me. "If you ask these Muslims in these shops what they think of the attack, they will tell you it’s horrible. But that’s not what’s in their hearts. I’m telling you what I know."

After a prayer service for the dead at our Maronite church (which lost six parishioners in the calamity), I talked to some young Arab immigrants about their fears of anti-Arab pogroms. One of the young men had just been deported from our great ally, Saudi Arabia, because he had been discovered praying to Jesus in a private house. These people argued that Americans shouldn’t stereotype Muslims. They said that they were friends with many good Muslims here.

"Tell me," I asked them, "do these Muslims donate money to the terrorist cause?" All admitted that yes, many of their friends do.

I had been taking notes, and one of the group asked me not to use their last names. They were afraid of being physically harmed if their pro-American views became known in their predominantly Muslim neighborhood.

There are neighborhoods in America where being pro-American is bad for your health. Think about that.

More from Dreher's Arab Christian friends in New York:

American Muslims understandably feel pressured now to show the non-Muslim majority that they are no threat, and well-meaning dolts like Oprah are key to this effort. Watching Oprah's "Islam 101" program, I thought of the Lebanese Catholics at my church, who stopped me after a prayer service for the World Trade Center dead to talk, on the record, about the anti-Arab persecution they feared coming.

They all said they knew plenty of Muslims here in New York who were peace-loving people, and that it would be wrong to think ill of them. I asked these Arab Christians if these Muslims supported terrorist organizations, monetarily or otherwise. Every one of them said yes, sheepishly. After the interview was over, the group asked me not to use their last names. They were afraid of being physically attacked by Muslims in their neighborhoods this, for standing up for America in print.

"That's amazing," I said to them. "You are all Christians living in the United States of America, yet you are afraid to have your names attached to patriotic statements, out of fear that your Muslim neighbors, the same people you are defending to me, will attack you. What does that say about the reality of Islam in America?"

They did not answer me, because they had no answer. Think about that next time you're told that Islam is a religion of peace. There's more to the story than what Oprah is telling you.

Dreher reports further on what Muslims in New York say when they think they are talking to fellow Muslims:

As it happens, I ran into a Lebanese Christian friend on the way to work today, and he was depressed by the latest news. He said to me, "America doesn't know who her real friends are. If it weren't for the state of Israel, the Muslims would cut every Christian throat in the Middle East." He talked about how right here in New York, he is constantly hearing Muslim merchants and taxi drivers talking in Arabic about what an evil place America is, what a fine thing 9/11 was, and how much more America must be made to suffer, etc.. "American people have no idea what they're facing," he lamented.

That such people are allowed to immigrate to America is the height of folly.

Why don't our academic intellectuals recognise the threat? Dreher relays the views of Dhimmitude historian Bat Ye'or

DHIMMITUDE IN AMERICA: [Rod Dreher] I went to hear historian Bat Ye'or speak today. She's on a short tour of the U.S., speaking about jihad and dhimmitude, which is the oppressive, second-class state under which Jews and Christians conquered by Islamic forces are forced to live. Bat Ye'or, who has been addressing groups on American college campuses, said she was so stunned by what she'd observed at universities that she decided to alter her remarks. "We are facing today a jihad against America," she said, because "America is a fortress of Judeo-Christian values, which Europe is no more." The jihadis intend to Islamize the West, but they are not only doing it by violent means. She said that they are doing so by splitting America from Europe, and by using multiculturalism and Western notions of tolerance to immobilize resistance to its demands. In Bat Ye'or's view, universities and naive Jewish and Christian religious leaders are carrying water for Islamists, as is the political Left ("The leftists were educated with hate of America and rejection of Judeo-Christian values," she said, and this perversely leads them to view Islamofascism uncritically). "We have to understand the cultural war we're in," Bat Ye'or said. "The war is not only a terrorist war, but a cultural war on our values and on our integrity."

Some Muslims in America are naturalized. Others were born here either to Muslim parents or they converted. Still others are here under various visas, work permits, or with various forms of permanent resident status. But then there are the illegals. You might expect that at least the illegals could be rounded up and deported. You might expect that in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001 where some of the attackers were illegal aliens that the Immigration and Naturalization Service would be all cranked up to deport illegals. Marisa Taylor has written a great article for the San Diego Union-Tribune on illegal immigrants and INS activities to round them up. If you expected a hypervigilant INS you would be wrong.

About 6,000 fugitives are thought to be in San Diego County. But between October 2001 and the end of September 2002, only 68 were located. Fifty-one of them walked into INS offices and surrendered voluntarily. Officers found the other 17.

A similar situation apparently exists in San Francisco where the Union-Tribune was able to obtain some numbers before the INS clamped down on information. Of 18,576 fugitives targeted for capture, only about 185 have been found since May.

"Everyone assumes after 9/11 that we're looking after the security of this country," one of the San Diego officers said. "The truth is nothing has changed."

Go read the full previous article. The scope of the problem is staggering. The INS San Diego district had 350 illegals to round up who came from countries which Al Qaeda terrorist come from and they have caught only 18. Nationally the rate at which the INS rounds up illegals from Muslim countries is not fast enough to decrease their numbers. Also, keep in mind that most of the numbers the INS supplies are for illegals they know about. Given that the INS is trying to deport 300,000 total while there are at least 7 million illegals in the United States it seems likely that while the INS is trying to round up 6000 from Muslim countries that is just a small fraction of the number of people from Muslim countries who are here illegally.

Note that INS doesn't want the public to know how its various field offices are doing in rounding up illegals. When the Union-Tribune started calling around for information its likely that higher-ups in the INS heard about it and ordered field offices to stop answering the reporter's questions. The American government doesn't want the public to know how ineffectual it is in trying to enforce immigration law and in reducing the threat of terrorism.

An INS spokesman defends the idea that terrorists will voluntarily register their whereabouts with authorities.

Arcaute said those arrested had violated immigration laws or were wanted by law-enforcement officials.

He rejected arguments by critics that terrorists would not voluntarily register with federal authorities. "Let me just remind you that the people who committed the terrible acts on 9/11 were registered," he said, referring to the fact that many of the hijackers had student visas.

Arcaute seems to be ignoring the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers had overstayed their visas and were therefore illegals.

Several of the hijackers (the four or five pilots) had been in the United States for extended periods, although none was a legal permanent resident. Some had received more than one temporary visa, most of which were currently valid on September 11, but at least three of them had fallen out of status and were, therefore, in the United States illegally.

There are indications that the identity of at least some of the hijackers may have been assumed based on stolen identity documents. Given the fact that all of them died in the terrorist attack, their true identities and their nationalities may never be verified.

The skyjackers had obtained U.S. identification that was used for boarding flights in the form of Florida, Virginia and New Jersey driver’s licenses/ID cards. One of the terrorists, Mohamed Atta, was detained in Florida for driving without a license, but subsequently obtained one. Thirteen of the terrorists had Florida driver’s licenses or ID cards, seven had Virginia driver’s licenses and two had New Jersey driver’s licenses.

In the probe of the attack, numerous other people with potential connections to the hijackings have been detained for immigration violations.

Suppose the US government seriously wanted to remove the threat posed by hostile Muslims on American soil. Just what would be required? All known illegals would have to be tracked down and deported. But that really only solves a small part of the problem. The identify of most illegals isn't even known. When only 300,000 out of 7 million illegals are known well enough to have deportation orders against them the low rate of rounding up people for deportation looks even more absurdly inadequate. But the illegals are only part of the problem. There are also visitors and permanent resident aliens who are hostiles. Plus, there are even US citizen Muslim hostiles. Since the latter are most difficult to deport (in theory US citizenship can be revoked if it was granted under false pretenses so its not entirely impossible) or monitor the least the government could do would be to stop granting citizenship to Muslims who apply for it. Of course, that sort of action is quite beyond the pale of American poltiical discourse. We are supposed to believe the fiction that Islam in a religion of peace in this happy multicultural world.

All of this does not bode well for the future safety of American cities. The US government can't watch all possible hostiles. The number of federal agents needed to do that would be multiples more than the number of federal law enforcement agents that are working today. While the US government is watching only a fraction of the hostiles it only takes a small mumber of hostiles to cause enormous damage. A small group in possession of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons could cause tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths.

It is clear now that the events of September 11, 2001 were not sufficiently transformative in the way that the events of December 7, 1941 were. People have only partially awakened to the threat. The nation is unlikely to take steps on the scale that the threat warrants until the first WMD terrorist attack on US soil has taken place. Those of us who see the threat can only go on record stating its scope and the needed response and then wait for enough of the rest of the country to come around and see it as well.

By Randall Parker    2003 January 12 01:21 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2002 November 20 Wednesday
Michelle Malkin On Illegal Aliens From The Middle East

The US captures illegal aliens and lets them go. It orders them deported but doesn't enforce the deportation orders. Then there are all the illegals who are never even caught in the first place. Michelle Malkin discusses smuggling rings that bring in illegal aliens from the Middle East:

More than 115,000 people from Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries are here illegally. Some 6,000 Middle Eastern men who have defied deportation orders remain on the loose. And an international crime ring, led by Iraqi native George Tajirian, demonstrates the scope of the alarming problem of potential terrorists pressing at our southern gate.

Tajirian's ring guided aliens from all over the world into the United States-usually across the Rio Grande or through El Paso, Texas checkpoints-and arranged transportation and lodging for them once inside. According to federal prosecutors, Tajirian charged up to $15,000 a head-chump change for deep-pocketed terrorist enterprises.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 20 08:30 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 November 16 Saturday
Michelle Malkin: Suspected Terrorist Granted Citzenship

Michelle Malkin reports on the latest INS scandal.

According to several Immigration and Naturalization Service sources, the assistant district director for INS investigations in New York City, Dan Molerio, and two FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) officials were placed on administrative leave late last week in the wake of yet another post-9/11 INS scandal.

My sources close to the investigation say that Molerio and two JTTF officials, Rich Coraggio and Robin McWilliams, were suspended last Thursday when it was discovered that INS had recently granted American citizenship to a known terrorist under investigation by the JTTF.

She goes on to describe how the INS does not do adequate background checks on potential citizens to determine whether they have criminal records and how during the Clinton Administration the INS even granted citizenship to tens of thousands who did have criminal records. The Clintonites were trying to convert as many into citizens as they could because the new citizens overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats.

Update: Joel Mowbray had previously reported that All the 9/11 terrorists should have had their visa applications denied if the rules had been properly followed:

According to expert analyses of the visa-application forms of 15 of the 9/11 terrorists (the other four applications could not be obtained), all the applicants among the 15 reviewed should have been denied visas under then-existing law. Six separate experts who analyzed the simple, two-page forms came to the same conclusion: All of the visa applications they reviewed should have been denied on their face.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 16 07:09 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
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