Friday, August 17, 2007

New York Police Reports Secrets to Growing a Domestic Jihadist

On Wednesday the New York Police Department issued “Radicalism in the West: A Homegrown Threat,” a report “that examines, in 90 pages, how ordinary people in the West can become radicalized and followers of what the report calls a jihadist ideology.” (“Police Issue Report on ‘Homegrown’ Terror Threat”).

According to the New York Times, the findings in the report were similar to those of other such reports. But within hours, both national CAIR, and Detroit area Muslims were condemning the report.

According to the Detroit News, (“Area Muslims find faults in NYPD radical terror report”):

"This makes it sound like any pious, decent Muslim is a potential terrorist," said Victor Ghalib Begg, a founder of the Council of Islamic Organizations, who helped establish the Muslim Unity Center mosque in Bloomfield Hills. "Islamophobia is a bitter fruit from the same tree that produces anti-Semitism and racism."

CAIR’s press release reads this way:

In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said:"Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community.”

Both Ahmed and the Detroit area’s Muslim leaders wrongly characterize the report on two points: that it paints all Muslims as potential terrorists, and that it ignores the Muslim community’s (as they see it) heroic efforts (!) to work with “law enforcement nationwide on proactive measures to keep our country safe and secure.”

For instance, Imad Hamad, regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, calls the report “disturbing”: “It goes against all of the good work and the constructive engagement that we had over the past few years with our friends in government, at all levels.”

The report doesn’t actually do that, as the subject matter of the report doesn’t happen to be Muslim cooperation with law enforcement, but how to prevent homegrown Muslim terrorism. A radiologist’s report can still indicate liver cancer without having to mention that the patient’s lifelong dental hygiene means he still has all his own teeth. Implicit in this type of complaint, though, is the enduring hope of Muslim advocates that their cooperation will be rewarded with a total law-enforcement ban against looking at member of the community for terror connections.

CAIR’s Ahmed said:

“Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community.”

In other words, even if one thinks the analysis in the report is sound, and therefore its conclusions reliable, the bottom line is that the American Muslim community must be preserved at all costs from any “palls of suspicion.”

Nor does the report, (or what I skimmed of it), paint with a broad brush that “portrays all Muslim men ages 17-35 as suspects -- even marking the mere abstention from alcohol and tobacco as evidence of potential radicalism.”

As yesterday’s almost unexpected conviction of Jose Padilla shows, the indictments of Muslim men in this country for terrorism since 9/11, let alone convictions, are startlingly few and far between. The suggestion that all young Muslim males are portrayed as suspects is nonsense.

As summarized in the New York Times, the report “identifies four steps in the process of radicalization: pre-radicalization, self-identification, indoctrination and jihadization. The report found that “homegrown” terrorist plots — involving seemingly “unremarkable” people — were behind terror plots or attacks in Britain, Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.”

The report proceeds by painstakingly analyzing the transformation of recent radical attackers from nominal Muslims into single-minded jihadists.

CAIR and the rest are very unhappy that, in the process of laying all that out, “’[t]he report lists sites that are likely to be visited by any American Muslim as radicalization “incubators.” The sites listed include mosques, cafes, cab driver hangouts, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, butcher shops, and book stores.”

But that’s not much of a criticism. The report lists those sites because there is a consistent pattern of evidence leading to these conclusions. If the shoe fits, and all.

What’s really going on here is this report is very dangerous for domestic jihadism, and CAIR knows it. The NYPD has taken a thorough and unafraid look at the environment and process of making radicals in America--and they’ve done it, as far as I can see--with little or nor concerns about accusations of “Islamophobia.” Every time that happens and valuable information like this comes out, we all become a bit less unsafe.

I intend to spend more time with this report. I hope a lot of Americans do.

1 comment:

Pat Rogers said...

For all of its blustering ignorance of human nature the NYPD report "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat" contained an inadvertent and dangerous truth buried deep down inside of it.

Prison is "A Radicalizing Cauldron".

"Prisons can play a critical role in both triggering and reinforcing the radicalization process. The prison’s isolated environment, ability to create a “captive audience” atmosphere, its absence of day-to-day distractions, and its large population of disaffected young men, makes it an excellent breeding ground for radicalization."

So I have to ask, what does this mean for America with its ever growing world record prison population? An ever growing population that the New York Times characterized just last January as breeding a permanent "felon caste" in America.

"Worse still, the country has created a growing felon caste, now more than 16 million strong, of felons and ex-felons, who are often driven back to prison by policies that make it impossible for them to find jobs, housing or education." NYT

So one wonders why America pursues a drug war policy that gives our nation this world record prison population.

SEE: U.S. drug war prisons: "A Radicalizing Cauldron"