Somewhere on A1A...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Young, Arab, Muslim Men have committed terrorists acts in the US in the name of Jihad. Although that fact is not in dispute, we cannot afford to asusme that future attacks will come only from that group. Dr. Walid Phares points out that the terrorists know we are looking for Arab, Muslim, Men and are certainly acting on that knowledge. He thinks Converts to Islam like Jose Padilla will be a significant threat.

There were two components to al-Qaida's strategy against the US. One was to identify multiple types of recruits. The other was to assign different types of targets to different groups. Translations from Arabic indicate that bin Laden and his aides said they would strike not only American economic interests, but also the economic infrastructure.

Al-Qaida's recruitment, based on the American Jihadists caught by the US government, leads one to believe there is, in fact, a defined strategy. Indeed, if one examines the Americans who have been captured, a common profile emerges: Each is a social misfit,who was recruited by al-Qaida following a conversion to Islam.

Potential terrorists may come from Arab and Mideast communities, but not exclusively. Converts will be a special category of recruitment for the Jihadists. For the cultural factor is still powerful in US counter-terrorism. Had al-Muhajir not been caught through intelligence, he would have been a "Jose Padilla," one among millions of Hispanics who pass through security checks. So would be Asians, Africans, White Anglos, Slavs, Native Americans, and others. Al-Qaida wants to sneak in through the mainstream to beat the security system. The question remains, where to detect them and how. The answer is complex but possible. One has to look at the "factories" which convert converts into Jihadists.
Let's hope the FBI and the Homeland Security folks have been doing their homework. I think they have... I hope they have. This item blogged on July 1 is reason to believe they're on top of it.


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