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Friday
Jan152010

Time for the Administration and the Country to 'Get Real' on National Security: Part II of II

Before continuing where I left off in Part I of this article lets take a look at the issue of Yemen and the release of detainees.

First, let it be said that it was the Bush Administration who first released some of these detainees. However, that release was essentially ordered by a federal judge. According to a Duke University national security law professor, "This is a clear warning shot to the government. . . . These are probably not the last detainees to be ordered released."

The current Administration has recently announced that detainees will no longer be released to Yemen (it sounds good, but I'll get to why that doesn't matter a bit later). The reason for the announcement is that it has been discovered and reported sporadically that a good portion of those released are returning to their jihadist ways. Some of those released are now even heading their own terrorist cells, inside and outside of Yemen.

This of course goes back to Part I of this article in which I state that ALL detainees should be held until the close of war, as we have done in the past. The judges ruling makes this somewhat complex to do and we need a new ruling through Congress, which I feel the current Administration is not going to even look at, since they pretty much support these rulings. Further more, the Administration is withholding the release of the still classified Pentagon report most likely because it will increase calls for the reversal on these decisions even more. If this is true, we will continue to see some of that information slowly leak out.

Now, for why it doesn't matter if we no longer release detainees to Yemen. Many of these detainees were intended to be transferred to other countries and held, but were released by the receiving country. Even the United Kingdom has released detainees that were sent to them. Once they are released they are essentially free to go and in turn travel to regions like Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and others. So it really makes no difference if we release them directly to Yemen or not they will find their way to the territories where their ideologies are embraced.

This also presents a problem for us here in the United States. If you send one of these detainees through our judicial system and if they were found "not Guilty" we are required to release them. Whether or not they release them here in the United States or deport them after the ruling remains to be seen. Napolitano has said that some of these people may be acquitted.

In addition to the catch and release issue, the successful conviction of these detainees presents an interesting issue as well. This would be if they had access to or were allowed contact with other prisoners at the facility. This includes other former detainees as well as those within the regular prison population. Though the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois is working on transferring the current minimum-security prisoners out of the facility, this may change in the future. It may also allow for other maximum security prisoners to be held among these detainees. Why is this an issue?

Well inside our prison population of those seeking faith an estimated 80 percent turn to Islam, with an estimated 30,000-40,000 converting each year. Of those who turn to Islam within the prison population an unknown number (not currently tracked) have turned to Radical Islam, believing and supporting Jihad against the United States. Consider the former Department of Correctional Services of New York State, Muslim Chaplain, Imam Warith Dean Umar (himself a former convict) who supported radicalism and indoctrinated his clerics with Wahhabism while himself preaching an extreme form of Islam to other convicts. Umar, directly oversaw the hiring of 45 other Muslim clerics within the N.Y. systems as well. Umar also said that he found that U.S. prisons "are a powder keg" and "the perfect recruitment and training ground" for his Wahhabi ideas and radicalism "under the cover of the Islamic Religion." (i)

There is another pervasive problem that we must address and that is the Myth that poverty breeds terrorism. Worse yet, the President and his Administration pointed to this as a cause in their recent statements when responding to the Christmas day failed bombing, which is just one more reason to point out they don't get it.

In study after study even those who supported such links have found that there is no such link between poverty and terrorism. (I have included a number of these as references below). Take for instance the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of the 19 were from Saudi Arabia (one of the Wealthiest Countries) and came from middle class families, if not wealthy house holds. Osama Bin Laden, himself a billionaire. The Christmas day terror suspect was himself from a wealthy Nigerian family as well.

This myth has been pointed out numerous times, even as far back as 2002 by Robert J. Barro an economic professor at Harvard, but nearly 8 years later we still hear this myth repeated over and over again by leaders throughout the world (there may be other studies prior to this but I have not yet come across one pre-dating this).

In addition to being from well off families, another myth prevails and that they are uneducated and illiterate, when the data shows the opposite to be true. Most suicide bombers tend to be well educated having at least some college if not higher level degrees, some even doctors and engineers.

This leads me to the next but perhaps one of the more controversial aspects of protecting ourselves from terrorist extremists of ALL types. That topic is profiling. Profiling has become a touchy issue, due in part to the use of the term racial profiling and profiling to mean the same thing. This became even more prevalent after the 1998 case against New Jersey State Police. One thing I am not saying here is that racial profiling does not exist or that it never occurs, but profiling of terrorists is a different set of circumstances and is not based on race.

While some say profiling is about race and that we should target all Muslims and all Arab looking people and  sounding names let me point out some facts for you. Not all Muslims are Arabs, many come from Aisa, Africa, and in case you haven't been paying attention a number of White males and other American converts to radical Islam (John Phillip Walker LindhAdam Yahiye GadahnAbu Mansoor Al-Amriki, José Padilla, et al) are well known in the terror world. If you wanted to profile only Muslim looking people you would never succeed, because you can't always tell who is a Muslim by looking at them.

So, while you may want to profile Muslim or Arabic sounding names, many of them are Christians and just because they have a name that sounds Muslim, doesn't necessarily make it so. Another point that is important to point out, is that all of the 9/11 hijackers did there best to fit in into their American environments. Breaking the molds and traditions that traditional Muslims follow.

In recent years as we have seen, not all terrorists are even males, some have been young and middle aged woman. One was a young mother who at the age of 24 was planning on conducting a suicide attack while bringing along her infant son with the intent of making him a martyr along with herself.

What a terrorist does, how they act and what they look like is an ever changing dynamic. However, there are key things to look for and most of that is based on behavior and environment. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Is the person appropriately dressed for the environment?
  • Are they wearing clothes that can be suspicious, such as a long length coat or jacket? Baggy clothes?
  • Are they carrying a bag, pushing a stroller, carriage, or cart?
  • Are they acting appropriate to the situation?
  • Do they seem hyper, agitated, or can't stand still in one place? (a person about to kill themselves, or others tends to be a bit jumpy and sweaty, the adrenaline is flowing, heart rate is up, breathing elevated). 
  • Do they have their fists clinched? (often carrying a detonator in hands).
  • Do you see any wires? Bulging in clothing?
  • Do they have one or more hands in their pockets, in their jackets, or inside a bag?
  • Are they walking in an appropriate gait?

The above points should be looked out for by all security personnel in airports and other places where we have security checks. They can be used by citizens to observe the people in their environments as well.

Another fact is that terrorist tactics have changed and will continue to change over time. We must be as adaptable as they are and be willing to change some of our tactics and we should not always wait until a threat presents itself to change these tactics. Being able to change what we are doing is part of the defense and will also keep us on the offense by keeping the terrorists off guard as well.

The terrorists changing their tactics is not exactly new either, the 1993 World Trade bombing was an upping of the ante and part of a new tactic, nor was it a suicide bombing attempt. The October 12, 2000 attack on the USS Cole was also a change in modern terrorist tactics. The 9/11 attack was another change in tactics, as never before had terrorists hijacked planes with the intent of using them as weapons against ground targets. In the past they were usually hijacked to exchange hostages for the release of terrorists in captivity. The Mumbai attacks in India, which attacked multiple civilian targets at night. The move towards female, children, and mothers as suicide bombers. The method for moving away from suicide bombings to IED's which are becoming increasingly complex and hard to detect. This along with the size, frequency, and materials used in the making of the explosives. 

One of the best things we can do to protect ourselves is to educate the public on what they should be looking for and what to do if they find something suspicious or out of place. Citizens should be able and willing to contact their local law enforcement professionals or their local FBI office. One of the best movements that occurred after the September 11th attacks was the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaigns. This should be adopted throughout the country and I would like to see a movement in educating High School aged children as to what they should look for.

Additional Suggestions continuing from Part I:

Sixth, we need to start profiling as I mention above, and check every person flying and implement the system the Israelis use.

Seventh, we do need to stop being politically correct in certain aspects of our security. For instance, if we use bomb sniffing dogs everyone is subject to the same conditions Muslim and non-Muslim alike, no exceptions ever. The same holds true if we do complete body scanning or pat downs.

Eighth, no longer should we keep attacks that have occurred or attempted especially the ones that are self-admittedly jihadist in nature by the people who did them. (yes there have been numerous incidents throughout the country but little in the way of reports on them). The public should be aware of the threat at hand.

Ninth, we need better training and standards for the TSA personnel we have. We also need to be tough on them for making mistakes (like being fired) but increase their pay and make it a more important job than what it is today. Under no circumstances do I want these folks unionized which would make it harder to discipline them. It will take time, but must be done.

Tenth, we need to have security check at all major transportation hubs, not just at airports.

Eleventh, we need to educate the public on what to look for and be alert to,  maybe pamphlets like the use to have for civil defense, or even a website, a good place to start would be to add a terrorism section to Ready.gov

Twelfth, we need to by more dynamic and change our tactics and environments to keep the terrorists off guard. Having teams of bomb sniffing dogs that travel from location to location and having law enforcement squads like the NYPD's Hercules team in every major city. It would also be nice to see several of these teams on a federal level (U.S. Marshalls) who travel around the country in a show of force as a suplement to local police teams. These federal teams would also be able to assist in smaller cities as well.

Thirteenth, we need to listen to the non radical Muslims who speak out against the radicals, and we need our Media to cover these events and give them more of a voice.

These suggestions and those from part I of this article would be a great start, still many more things can and should be done. One of the first things that should be implemented is to replace Napolitano, she has zero experience in National Security, or counter-terrorism. We should replace her with NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly who has done an excellent job protecting the city. 

While doing research for this story I learned that John Brennan the current Whitehouse advisor on terror is the one who "foiled" the plan to capture Bin Laden. He should be fired and replace immediately. 

One last note before closing this article, In this article I refer to the Christmas day attack as a failed bombing. One thing should be noted however is that it was a SUCCESSFUL ATTACK, a terrorist was able to get on a plane headed to the United States, with a bomb in his underwear. He sat on the plane for hours and attempted to detonate the device. Whether he failed to do it correctly, or the device was put together incorrectly is unknown, at least to me. The fact it did not function properly was a miracle by the grace of God. 

Also, the fact is that we face a radical, ideological and religious threat and that this was planned for Christmas day was no accident. 

 

 Endnotes:

i Dr. Jasser, M. Zuhdi and Shore, Raphael. "U.S. Prison Recruitment for Jihad." The Counter Terrorist Jan. 2010: 30-39

 

 

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References (28)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Source
    The Court ruled: "To allow enemy combatancy to rest on so thin a reed would be inconsistent with this court's obligation; the court must and will grant their petitions and order their release.
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  • Source
    “Guantanamo detainees should not be released to Yemen at this time,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “It is too unstable.”
  • Source
    “While we remain committed to closing the facility, the determination has been made that right now any additional transfers to Yemen is not a good idea,” Gibbs said. Gibbs said that that decision likely means additional prisoners will be moved to the Thomson facility in Illinois
  • Source
    For the first time since the attempted December 25th terror attack aboard a US bound jetliner and the revelation that the accused terrorist has ties to extremists in Yemen, the Obama administration says it will not transfer additional Guantanamo Bay detainees to that country. "We're not going to make transfers to a country like Yemen that they're not capable of handling. While we remain committed to closing [Guantanamo], the determination has been made that right now any additional transfers to
  • Source
    The finding reflects an upward trend on the recidivism rate, although human rights activists who advocate closing the prison have questioned the validity of such numbers. Early last year, the Pentagon reported that the rate of released detainees returning to militancy was 11%. In April, it was 14%. The latest figure was 20%, according to a U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report had not been declassified and released.
  • Source
    Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, would not confirm the findings in the most recent Pentagon report, but he said Wednesday at a briefing that “the trend hasn’t reversed itself.” He said that determining which Guantánamo detainees should be released was an “inexact science” and that officials were “making subjective calls based upon judgment, intelligence, and so there is no foolproof answer in this realm.”
  • Source
    Warith Deen Umar once known as Wallace Gene Marks and Wallace 10X native of Illinois who spent his 15th and 16th birthdays in jails there on purse-snatching and drug crimes. He is a Louis Farrakhan/Nation of Islam acolyte. He now resides in Glenmont, an Albany suburb in two-story ranch home serves as headquarters of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains. Wallace/Warith was the most influential Muslim prison chaplain in New York. He teaches a Radical form of Islam called Wahhabism. He prea
  • Source
    “The administration has failed to explain how transferring terrorists to Gitmo North will make Americans safer than keeping terrorists off of our shores in the secure facility in Cuba,”
  • Source
    The acquisition of the Thomson facility “is an important step forward in the president’s goal of protecting the American people,” as well as “ensuring that the detainees at the Guantánamo Bay facility face swift and certain justice in a way that they have not now for over eight years.”
  • Source
    Napolitano promised that former Guantanamo detainees' stay on U.S. soil would be temporary. She wrote that detainees would be treated for immigration purposes as though they were stopped at a U.S. border crossing post. If a detainee were brought to the U.S. for trial, that person could be tried, convicted, serve prison time or be acquitted, Napolitano said.
  • Source
  • Source
    Some bad ideas refuse to die. Like the apparent causal link between poverty and terror.
  • Source
    A comprehensive study of 1,776 terrorist incidents (240 international, the rest domestic) by Harvard professor Albert Abadie, who was sympathetic to the poverty-terrorism idea at first, found no such thing. "When you look at the data," he told the Harvard Gazette, "it's not there."
  • Source
    The term "profiling" first became associated with a method of interdicting drug traffickers during the late 1970s. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) instituted Operation Pipeline, an intelligence-based assessment of the method by which drug networks transported bulk drugs to drug markets, and began training local and state police in applying a drug courier profile as part of highway drug interdiction techniques.
  • Source
  • Source
    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.
  • Source
    our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary.
  • Source
    Suicide terrorists defy stereotypes. They may be young or middle-aged or even children, married or single, men or women, educated, religious or not, according to a growing body of information, experts say.
  • Source
  • Source
    Every passenger has to be interviewed by security people who are qualified and well-trained.
  • Source
    "For a judge like Leon to order their release from detention is significant because the government has long maintained the evidence it had was more than sufficient to justify the detentions," said Scott L. Silliman, a national security law professor at Duke University. "This is a clear warning shot to the government. . . . These are probably not the last detainees to be ordered released."
  • Source
    On this day, Nieves doesn't see anything overly suspicious, but he is pleased that the deployment created a strong impression. Known as a Hercules team, it makes multiple appearances around the city each day. The locations are chosen either in response to specific intelligence or simply to provide a show of force at high-profile sites. "The response we usually get is, 'Holy s---!'" Nieves says. "That's the reaction we want. We are in the business of scaring people--we just want...
  • Source
    since bin Laden declared war on the United States in August, 1996. (Yes, August 1996 — we have been unsuccessfully fighting this enemy for 13.5 years.)
  • Response
    NFL is definitely one particular of the greatest sports in America. It has a key following.
  • Response
    Disaster Preparedness Blog - Emergency Preparedness Tips, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Emergency Management - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS BLOG - Time for the Administration and the Country to 'Get Real' on National Security: Part II of II
  • Response
    Response: www.vouchera.co.uk
    Disaster Preparedness Blog - Emergency Preparedness Tips, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Emergency Management - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS BLOG - Time for the Administration and the Country to 'Get Real' on National Security: Part II of II
  • Response
    Disaster Preparedness Blog - Emergency Preparedness Tips, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Emergency Management - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS BLOG - Time for the Administration and the Country to 'Get Real' on National Security: Part II of II

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