What's More Important: Our Security or Pandering to Our Islamophobia?
The other day I made fun of a very unserious Ed Koch calling for racial profiling based on the "hundreds of millions" of Islamic terrorists that apparently inhabit his feverish mind.
Today, there's some serious analysis of Islamic terrorism in the Washington Post. And with it comes a clear conclusion: racial profiling is a direct threat to our national security -- it can get Americans killed in terror attacks. Let's not be equivocal about it.
Here's Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center, writing about "al Qaeda's new strategy":
Al-Qaeda is covetously seeking recruits from non-Muslim countries who can be easily deployed for attacks in the West. The group's leaders see people like these -- especially converts to Islam whose appearances and names would not arouse the same scrutiny that persons from Islamic countries might -- as the ultimate fifth column. Citizens of countries that participate in the U.S. visa-waiver program are especially prized because they can move freely between Western countries and blend easily into these societies.
Al-Qaeda has become increasingly adept at using the Internet to locate these would-be terrorists and to feed them propaganda. During the past 18 months, American and British intelligence officials have said, well over 100 individuals from such countries have graduated from terrorist training camps in Pakistan and have been sent West to undertake terrorist operations.
And here's Harvard's Jessica Stern, discussing "5 myths about who becomes a terrorist":