Thursday, August 16, 2007

The NYPD's Scary Terrorism Report

Substitute "Christian" into this report and give it a read. Were that the report, people would be screaming "persecution" from the rooftops.

The NYPD is sure that terrorist seedlings are being nurtured anywhere you might find young Muslim men hanging out:

An NYPD report released Wednesday warns of a "radicalization" process in which young men — otherwise unremarkable legal immigrants from the Middle East — grow disillusioned with life in America and adopt a philosophy that puts them on the path to jihad. ...

The report found that homegrown terrorists often were indoctrinated in local "radicalization incubators" that are "rife with extremist rhetoric."

Instead of mosques, those places were more likely to be "cafes, cab driver hangouts, flop houses, prisons, student associations, non-governmental organizations, hookah bars, butcher shops and bookstores," the report says.

The Internet also provides "the wandering mind of the conflicted young Muslim or potential convert with direct access to unfiltered radical and extremist ideology." ...

They "look, act, talk and walk like everyone around them," the study adds. "In the early stages of their radicalization, these individuals rarely travel, are not participating in any kind of militant activity, yet they are slowly building the mind-set, intention and commitment to conduct jihad."

Police Commissioner Kelly has a disturbing statement implying what he sees as the solution to all of these potential terrorist who look and act like everyone else:"Hopefully, the better we're informed about this process, the more likely we'll be to detect and disrupt it," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said while presenting the findings at a briefing of private security executives at police headquarters.

And just how do you plan on disrupting "it" Commissioner Kelly? Will the NYPD frequent places where young Arab men hangout and disperse them? Yeah, that's sure to work out well.

Sadly, I don't get the impression that Kelly is going approach potential problems (even straw man problems) in the Muslim-American community by embracing and encouraging outreach. He'll push the NYPD toward violating civil rights (per usual) and make things worse.

As Spencer Ackerman points out, people inclined to commit terror are a diverse group and this NYPD report acknowledges that divining those prone to terrorism isn't something a police department can do:

al-Qaeda adherents or al-Qaeda-inspired radicals are a maddeningly diverse bunch, extending in background from former high-tech engineers to Mary Kay cosmetics representatives to former metalheads. They can be second-generation U.S. or European Muslims, or converts. ... And there the report concedes that finding just who is prone to pursue radicalization isn't something law enforcement can really do:

There is no useful profile to assist law enforcement or intelligence to predict who will follow this trajectory of radicalization. Rather, the individuals who take this course will begin as "unremarkable" from various walks of life.

As a result, it's hard to know what kind of action law enforcement can pursue here, short of monitoring every Muslim who hangs out at a hookah bar or has an internet connection. The report stops at calling it a "challenge" to figure out how "to identify, pre-empt and thus prevent homegrown terrorist attacks given the non-criminal element of its indicators." We may learn more next month: Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) said in a statement today that he intends to hold hearings in September of his Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on today's "breakthrough" report.

And that's clearly what this is about, politicians looking for easy political gain (e.g. So they can say, "I'm working hard to fight terrorism and keep your family safe.") by stepping on people that the very serious people at FauxNews have said we all need to be very, very afraid of.