Sunday, July 18, 2004

Time For A Wake Up Call--What Are you going to Do?

William's note: This is part 2 of the what are you going to do now? post--
 
By William Webb
In June 2003, the Islamic fundamentalist web site Al Muhajiroun, supported by Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a Syrian who is founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the U.K.-based Islamic Liberation Party that has many followers in the United States, ran an article that outlined both the motivation and development of the movement. It is a strategic blueprint for insurgency and calls for a “fifth column.” According to the author, the movement developed and will:
 
9. “Insha'Allah formulate a fifth column Tabour Khaamiss in society.10. The fifth column will Insha'Allah be in a position to get support from the people of power i.e. Muslim forces Al-Ansaar or to lead the Islamic revolution Al-Thaworah Al-Islamiyya in order to establish the task i.e. Al-Khilafah The Islamic State to dominate the world by Islam.”[i]
 
While many Muslim groups, particularly in America, vehemently deny any suggestion of an organized insurgency, the general idea of a worldwide Islamic renewal sparked by a “Fifth Column” comprised of Muslim immigrants is widely supported throughout the Islamic world.
Abu Basir, a prominent Muslim scholar said that immigration by Muslims to Western “infidel countries,” is allowed, “in order to enforce the Muslims and weaken the infidels. One of the goals of immigration is the revival of the duty of jihad and enforcement of the power over the infidels. Immigration and jihad go together. One is the consequence of the other and dependent upon it. The continuance of the one is dependent on the continuance of the other.”[ii]
Wealthy patrons and Islamic states fund the global jihad. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria pump billions into the cause, some of it going directly into weapons and operational support for terrorist groups around the world.
 Equally threatening is the staggering amount of money Saudi Arabia pumps into dawa, or inviting others to Islam, within the United States and other Western countries. Dawa is expected of all Muslims and is no different than proclaiming one’s Christianity and inviting others to become Christians.
However this government-supported religious effort controls more than 80 percent of the mosques within America, some of which are known to feature regular, anti-American sermons, controls the Islamic preachers and teachers in the U.S. military and prisons, and controls a multi-million-dollar public relations project that portrays all Muslims as gentle, peace-loving people while sponsoring groups that spew hatred, intolerance, and violence.
 Saudi Arabia exports Wahhabism, a virulently intolerant form of Islam that has brought the world Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers, and is the fuel for the next great strike planned against the United States: a nuclear or biological event aimed at a major city and crippling the American economy.
The hypocrisy of many in the Western media, academic, and governmental communities, and among activist organizations like the ACLU regarding the actions of the Saudi government is staggering and inexcusable. Could you imagine the uproar if President George W. Bush decided to spend billions to export evangelical Christianity to the world?
 Now, imagine he decided to support an Old Testament-offshoot that justified mass killing in the name of Jehovah. Why is the outrage over Saudi Arabia’s infiltration of America confined to Washington think tanks, American Shia Muslim groups, and conservative Christian evangelists?
You are placed at risk due to Western freedoms of religion and expression, as future Mohamed Attas plan their ghastly attacks on you with barely an inconvenience. Of course the Saudis do not allow ANY religion other than Islam to be practiced in their country, as Allah through Mohammed has forbidden it.
A Pentagon briefing delivered by Rand Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec that was quickly dismissed by most of official Washington laid out the case fairly bluntly: “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader,” Murawiec stated.
“Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies…  A talking point attached to the last of 24 briefing slides went even further, describing Saudi Arabia as the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent in the Middle East.”[iii]
You only need to read former CIA operative and middle east expert Robert Baer’s book, Sleeping With The Devil, to understand the money trail from inside the Beltway to Riyadh and to understand why Mr. Murawiec’s briefing wasn’t well received in official Washington circles.
Syria is home to the majority of the Middle Eastern terrorist groups and spends billions to equip and train them. Foreign intelligence suggests that senior Iraqi leadership escaped to Syria at the beginning of the 2003 war. More ominously, intelligence sources suggest weapons of mass destruction made their way from Iraq to, or through, Syria in the run-up to the 2003 war with Iraq.
 Iran started the war against the West in 1979 at the start of the revolution there when Iranian students captured the American embassy. Iran is a well-known, worldwide supporter of terror and insurgency and is currently working with Al-Qaida and other terror groups. Iran is currently very close to having the capabilities necessary to produce nuclear weapons. Before September 11, the Iranians were responsible for more American deaths by terrorism than any other nation.
Pakistan is the current sole possessor of the Islamic nuclear capability with an estimated 35-60 weapons. Despite President Musharaff’s demonstrated support for the U.S. war on terror, Pakistan has an army and intelligence service overflowing with Islamists. Recently, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee, Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan said, “America is the No. 1 enemy of the Muslim world and is conspiring against Muslim nations all over the world.”
How much danger do you really face? Who are these terrorists and how do they operate? Which states are supporting them? What is the government doing to protect you? What should the government do to protect you? How much infringement on your personal liberties are you willing to endure to be safe? What can you do to protect yourself and your family? How safe do you want to be? These crucial issues and other questions are the subject matter of this book.
 
To date, the war on terror has seen some victories. These victories have been made possible by the “Bush Doctrine,” which states that America strike first to destroy groups or states that threaten the nation. It is a realistic, pragmatic doctrine for an extremely dangerous world. It is also controversial due to its critics’ concern over potential misuses.
 Since September 11 there have been military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the hint of future actions to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran or North Korea. Top Al-Qaida and other terrorist leaders now sit behind bars. Terrorist financing is tracked and accounts frozen worldwide. Years of political correctness, ineptitude, and out-to-lunch legalism are being challenged by reorganizations at the FBI and CIA. The Department of Homeland Security was created and has sent billions to the states and local first-responder communities
In the months following September 11, patriotism, righteous anger and a sense of community came back into fashion. Like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Muslim terrorists had awakened a sleeping giant. American and Western resources would soon eradicate the threat and all peace-loving peoples could get back to living the extraordinarily good lives they enjoy courtesy of Western democracy and capitalism.
There is only one problem. None of us can go back to the way things were, because things will never be the same again. You ignore this lesson at great risk.
 You are a target of a religiously inspired enemy who hates you and everything you represent. A CIA report and a State Department warning made public in June 2003, flatly stated that Al-Qaida and related groups seek and plan to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons against civilians in deadly strikes. 
So, how safe do you want to be?
 If you are a member of a Western democracy or any non-fundamentalist Muslim living in the world, this question is central to your future. While the history of America’s response to global, Muslim-led terrorism and religious insurgency continues to unfold, the unsettling reality is that you are only minimally safer now than you were before September 11.
The reasons you remain minimally safer are many. For one, the sheer ways to commit terrorist acts are endless and the resources available to combat them are finite. There is simply no way to guarantee you will be completely safe.
If you are an American, you live in a vast country with more than 7,500 miles of borders and 95,000 miles of coastline. There are hundreds of towns and cities and thousands of municipalities. The potential target list within each location is staggering.  Now add on the daily flow of the hundreds of ships arriving in U.S. ports, thousands of airline flights, and tens-of-thousands of trucks on the roads and you begin to see both the enormity of the task at hand, as well as and the impossibility of making you completely safe.
Threats and responses are subject to prioritization. Priorities are set by the government, which brings with it the reality of politics, political correctness, and the inefficiencies of government bureaucracies. Chapter nine examines the government response to terrorism to-date and explains why you are only minimally safer than you were on Monday, September 10, 2001.
 
As Lou Scanlon, Director of Homeland Security for the city of San Diego told me in an interview, “Common sense tells you that prevention is really our big gap in the war on terror. We must be able to identify and investigate to prevent terrorist acts before they occur. All the clamor over first-responder inadequacies is for the after-event response. It does not make you safer. Only identifying, investigation, and prevention makes you safe.”[iv]
It is with this common-sense reality that the untidiness of politics in a democracy is there for everyone to see. In each area that you remain minimally safer, there is a political struggle being waged and you must decide: How safe do you want to be? More importantly, you must force the politicians to take action.
 
You are only minimally safer flying now than you were before September 11.
The bottom line is that Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta’s personal biases, the “civil liberties” concerns of the ACLU and certain conservative groups, the discrimination complaints of Muslim political groups, and the Bush administration’s acquiescence have determined that your safety is less important than potentially offending a Muslim or a member of a predominately Muslim country. While CAPSII, a computerized profiling system for airline passengers, is scheduled for implementation in 2004, it is a watered down version thanks to the efforts of Secretary Mineta and others.
The lack of physical airport security was highlighted by a well-publicized breach of Kennedy International by a fishing boat in 2003, and the problems with cargo was probably best exemplified by the moron who air-freighted himself across the country in September 2003.
Add to this pressure from the airlines themselves for the government to speed up both passenger and baggage screening, complaints from the travel industry concerning effective visa screening from predominately-Muslim countries, and complaints from air travelers who put personal convenience above safety, and you have the makings of another terrorist air disaster.
 
You are minimally safer now because the United States has no control over its borders.  Hispanic groups, immigration lawyers, the ACLU, other minority political activists, university employees, and politics from both sides of the aisle have determined that votes from America’s largest ethnic minority—Hispanics—are more important than your safety. Millions of people cross the southern border of the United States illegally each year. The government does little to prosecute these swarm of illegals, simply because it has become politically expedient not to make waves.
According to a recent news release from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, FAIR, William T. Veal, the chief Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, recently sent a memo to his employees stating that they were to cease nearly all interior border-enforcement operations.
This came as a result of Mexican government protests about illegals being arrested by Border Patrol agents as they approached a Mexican consulate in the U.S. in order to obtain Mexican identity documents, known as the matricula consular cards, which ousted California Governor Gray Davis deemed legitimate documents for illegal aliens to be granted state drivers licenses.
 
“Simply put, the chief Border Patrol officer in one of the areas of the country with the highest levels of illegal immigration has ordered his agents not to do their jobs,” charged Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “He has essentially declared San Diego a safe haven for illegal immigrants who successfully elude his agents stationed at the border, or who, like several of the September 11 terrorists, arrived in San Diego by other means.
“It is ironic that when American citizens demand that the Border Patrol enforce our immigration laws, more often than not, their pleas go unheeded,” noted Stein. “However, when illegal aliens and the Mexican government complain about the Border Patrol doing its job, suddenly the top brass springs into action and establishes policies designed to give illegal aliens a sense of comfort and security.
“In addition to the billions of dollars American taxpayers are shelling out to provide services to millions of illegal aliens, they are now spending billions on a law enforcement agency that has adopted a law enforcement strategy that prevents them from looking for law-breakers in precisely the places they are likely to be found,” said Stein.[v]
Now, along with these, come terrorists to shoot, bomb, and gas you. 
Of course our northern borders are just as porous, even though the numbers crossing illegally are much less. Had it not been for the efforts of an alert customs agent in Port Washington, Ahmed Rassam would have detonated an enormous bomb at Los Angeles International airport during the millennium celebrations.
A confidential Canadian report said that international terrorist groups were exploiting Canada’s lax immigration and border control system. More than 50 known terrorist groups were said to be in operating in Canada, the report said.
As Michelle Malkin recognized in her book, Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals And Other Foreign Menaces To Our Shores,  “Immigration policy must be treated as a national security issue.”[vi]
Malkin, a first generation daughter of Filipino immigrants, calls for several common-sense policy decisions: A targeted visa moratorium from countries known to support and supply terrorists, scrapping visa-free travel, fingerprinting and profiling at seaports and airports, ending the INS’ “catch and release” policy that allows illegals caught entering unlawfully to escape prosecution, abolishing the Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and Board of Immigration Appeals  (BIA), and physically protecting our borders by with the military if necessary.
Again, you must decide whether immigration policy should be treated as a national security issue and whether the government should finally be forced to uphold its own immigration laws. Because it is a fact that today we are truly being invaded, and many of the invaders mean to do you harm.
 
 
You are minimally safer now because our predictive intelligence capability is very limited in the United States.
One of our most contentious and controversial issues in the war on terror deals with our predictive intelligence capability. The controversy surrounds the extent to which the government should conduct surveillance on you or potential terrorists, particularly within  the United States, to combat terrorism.
Think of Ed Scanlon’s statement: “We must be able to identify and investigate terrorist acts before they occur.”
This is the essence of your safety—identifying, investigating, preventing—anything else is about counting casualties and cleaning up the rubble. This is a basic truth whether you’re a police officer, an FBI agent, a CIA operative, an NSA analyst, or a military commander.
Of course none of the billions of your tax dollars that go to the CIA, NSA, or military goes towards surveillance of terrorist threats inside the United States.
The failures of our the U.S. intelligence apparatus and supporting agencies like the INS, customs, and the FBI in preventing the September 11 attacks are well-documented. But the fact remains that we have done little to improve our predictive intelligence capability in the United States. And politics, political correctness, and the rightful debate concerning civil liberties versus the reality of what it takes to carry on effective identification of potential terrorists who live and work among us keeps us minimally safer today.
Among the many things the government hasn’t done to improve its predictive intelligence capability (covered in Chapter 9) are:
 
§        Not creating a data mining system like TIA, the politically maligned Terrorist Information Awareness system, which would search for patterns in trillions of transactions and flag suspicious activity, identify possible terrorist activity, and allow authorities to investigate.
§      Not mandating a national ID card—beyond the ones you already carry in your wallet (your Social Security card and your state’s driver’s license).
§      Not creating an internal intelligence agency like Britain’s MI5 that would have the responsibility for domestic U.S counterintelligence and which should be able to get raw intelligence inputs from NSA.
§      Not changing the FBI mission back into law enforcement only.
 
Fighting the direct war against the terrorists and their patrons will continue to be expensive, difficult, and will progress more slowly than many believe prudent. Let us hope it does not take an even more savage and deadly terrorist strike to make correct choices that will protect us.
 
Fighting the indirect war, our response to the religious insurgency, is even more problematic. At the very heart of our response, lie values we uphold and cherish. These core values—freedom of religion, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom to be secure in our homes—distinguish Western democracies from the rest of the world. We are free. September 11, 2001 has shown us that we must fight to remain free.
So, where do we draw the line against religious insurgency in a society that expounds freedom of religion? How do we respond to hateful and inciting thoughts and ideas in a country that guarantees all citizens the right to express themselves any way they choose? 
 
First of all, you should listen to moderate Muslims and other people with ties to the Middle East and understand that terrorism and the fundamentalist insurgency is a fringe element, and most Muslims who come to the United States to live are peace-loving people, interested in building better lives for themselves in this country, not destroying it. The Islam of the majority of these Muslim-Americans is not the extremist religion of the truly fringe sects that threaten us all.
Muslims, like Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, and all the other religious groups making up the panoply of world belief have the right to serve their God in any way their heart leads. This is an American right. Religious freedom was one of the prime motivations of our first settlers. The right to serve your God of choice or no God at all must remain inviolable. Likewise the freedom to proselytize, without coercion or violence, is also an understood absolute.
 But as I shall discuss in Chapter 13, there is no evidence from any recorded writings or speeches of America’s founders that religious freedom includes the right to fly jets through buildings, blow up innocent people, terrorize those who disagree with you, or try to forcefully impose your religious views upon the government and the citizenry.
The faithful worshipping in a mosque, temple, church, or any other religious building, give up their absolute freedom of religion when rhetoric turns to violent actions.
You have a personal responsibility to make authorities aware of potentially violent situations. Likewise you must decide whether the government should monitor dangerous groups that hide behind religious freedom.
There is also no evidence that America’s founders envisioned another country funding a religious insurgency within the United States. You must decide whether the Saudi government’s billion-dollar campaign to spread Wahhabi-Islam contributes to your safety and the type of America you wish to live in. Then you must take action. 
 
Like it or not, you are now a target of well-organized, well-financed, fanatical, and utterly merciless Muslim terrorists, a participant in a war waged on two fronts 
Yyou must take action before it is too late.




[i] Ibid, June 2003

[ii] Abd al-Mun’im Mustafa Halimah Abu Basir, “Al-Hijrah, masa’il wa-ahkam,” Immigration: Questions and Rulings, December 9, 2001, available in pamphlet and online at www.abubaseer.com

[iii] “Thomas E Ricks, “Briefing Depicted Saudis as Enemies, The Washington Post, August 6, 2002

[iv] Interview with Lou Scanlon and other members of  San Diego Police Department, April 21, 2003

[v] FAIR Press Release, “ Border Patrol Backs Down on Enforcement Policy Under Pressure From Mexico Who Calls the Shots on U.S. Immigration Policy? Asks FAIR”  August 15, 2003

[vi] Michelle Malkin, “Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, CriminalsAnd Other Foreign Menaces To Our Shores,”  page xiii, Regnery Publishing, Inc, New York 2002

[vii]Interview with Sheikh Yussuf Al-Qaradhawi, Al-Jazeera Television (Qatar), September 16, 2001.

[viii] IBID


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