Jihad an Equal Opportunity Employer
by Russ Wellen
It's becoming increasingly difficult to 'profile' Islamic extremists in the United States.
Islamist extremists come in all shapes and sizes: middle-class, poor, happy, sad.
"Could Mateen have been caught?" asks Michael Hirsch in Politico magazine of the Orlando mass shooting. "It's unfair to expect that U.S. law enforcement can track and stop every would-be terrorist," he writes.
But perhaps the toughest thing to explain about the worst mass shooting in U.S. history is how a man who was interviewed three times by the FBI ended up buying, unnoticed, an entire arsenal and then gunning down, unsurveilled, more than 100 people. He'd been on the FBI's radar because he attended the same Florida mosque as a suicide bomber named Moner Abusalha, who had gone to Syria to blow up Syrian government soldiers in 2014, but Comey said [there were] no known "connections."
... Lorenzo Vidino, director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University's Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, says it's "in the FBI's DNA" to pursue such criminal links to terrorist groups and build a case in the way law enforcement traditionally does. ... "There's an overemphasis on operational links."
Hirsch concludes that "Mateen's attack, and the FBI's failure to track him [suggests] that the terror threat appears to be evolving more quickly than U.S. authorities can keep up with it."
In another article in Politico magazine, by Vidino himself, he points out that Americans suffer from a number of misconceptions about jihadism in the United States. Among those are that radicalization occurs over the Internet and that a successful integration into the American economy keeps Middle-Eastern immigrants from becoming jihadists.
Vidino also explains that Americans don't understand the extent to which the FBI's hands are tied.
The big question for the FBI is what to do with the people in limbo, in the pre-criminal space. What do you do with a guy that you know is radicalized but has not committed any crime?
The first answer -- replete with civil liberties violations -- is sting operations. Vidino writes:
The FBI doesn't do this to just anyone -- it targets people it thinks are eventually going to move into violence. The theory is that if violence is going to happen anyway, the FBI might as well be the ones controlling it. It's like a controlled explosion.
The second answer:
You try to deradicalize the extremist by sending a mentor, an imam, a relative, or a former radical to convince him that his line of thinking is flawed, that his theological interpretations are flawed, that there are repercussions to what he's doing. It works in some cases; it doesn't work in many others.
I have only skimmed the surface of both these articles; I urge you to read them.
- The Dangers of Big Philanthropy
- The Pentagon's $125-Billion Cover-up
- Local Courts in the United States
- Americans Think Fake News Has an Impact
- The Year of 'Post-Truth'
- American Cities With the Highest Murder Rates
- Only 5 Countries Have A Bigger GDP Than California
- Where It's Legal To Smoke Marijuana
- Drugs Killing More Americans Than Road Crashes
- America's Craft Beer Capitals
- Calling Working People of All Colors
- Pacifism, Just War and Civil Liberties in a Multicultural Age
- Why Our Kids Are Coming in Last Place
- Black Youth and Elusive Freedom
- Hidden Victims of Terrorism: Muslim Women in America
- Fighting Racism Where White Workers Are Hurting, Too
- Americans' Support For Legalizing Marijuana Reaches All-Time High
- Walling Them Out, or Walling Us In?
- Where America is Most Racially Diverse
- Zika Virus in the United States
- Counties With the Highest Obesity Rate
- Most Expensive Metro Areas to Live In
- Cities Where Coffee Costs the Most
- Cost of the Emergency Room
- FBI Overwhelmed by Terror Suspects
- States Most Concerned With Mosquitoes
- Orlando and the Future of Terrorism
- The Only Sane Conclusion from Orlando
- Orlando Shooting Fuels Debate on Gun Control
- Counties That Have Suffered the Deadliest Floods
- Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons?
- Orlando: Plenty of Blame to Spread Around
- They're Killing Us. Help Us Stop Them
- Our Poverty Myth
- The Pentagon Plans for War on Many Fronts
- U.S. Immigration Policies Are Ridiculous
- Stanford Rape Case Stands Out From Most Sexual Assaults
- The Civil War Didn't End Slavery After All
- As if PTSD, CTE, and Moral Injury Weren't Enough
- Jihad an Equal Opportunity Employer
- What if the U.S. Dismantled China's Internet Firewall?
- States With the Safest Drivers
- States With the Most Dangerous Drivers
- Counties Where Medicare Spends the Most per Patient
- Locations with the Highest Gas Prices
- The Government Agencies that Employ the Most People
- Why are 29 Million People Still Uninsured?
- The Increasingly 'High' Prevalence of Marijuana
- The Cost of Child Care in Every State
- Cost of Car Insurance In Every State
- Fear, Anger and Attitudes Toward Immigration
- Wealthy Americans Don't Need Panama to Hide Their Wealth
- States with the Highest Unemployment Rates
- 26 Facts About Guantanamo Bay
- Highest Cost Per Prisoner States
- These States Have the Most Prison Deaths
- The Death Gap
- The Richest Banks
- American Cities Most at Risk of Zika Virus
- Cities With the Highest Rent
- Cities With the Greenest Commutes
- Most Racism Is Mundane
- Imprisoned by Debt
"Jihad an Equal Opportunity Employer "