Terrorism: Time to Take the Gloves
By Gregg Roman
December 4, 2015
After the terror attack in
California on December 2, everybody agrees we have to do something different to
counter the threat from ISIS-inspired attacks in the United States, even as
commentators endlessly debate what that should be. Ultimately, there are three
things that would make a real difference and enable us to win what looks to be a
long, long fight.
First, all individuals in this
country who display evidence of extreme radicalization should be subject to
surveillance, not just those who show signs of violence. Expanded surveillance
not only increases the likelihood of detecting terror plots, but helps build
deeper institutional knowledge of how Islamism functions in the United States.
The fact that the FBI
Rizwan Farook was in contact with the targets of an ongoing terrorism
investigation and did nothing to keep tabs on him (presumably because he had not
mentioned he was going to shoot people) is a tragic mistake that cannot be
Next, the United States must give
unequivocal support to those states in the Middle East that are committed to
resisting the spread of Islamism (Israel, Jordan, the Kurdish Regional
Government, and a handful of others), shun those that aren’t or who contribute
to the problem (Saudi Arabia, Turkey), and get out of the business of attempting
to politically engineer stable states in the Islamic world.
Finally, and perhaps most
importantly, we must ostracize mainstream Islamic institutions that preach
intolerance and America-hatred. These range from Saudi-funded Wahhabist mosques
to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Foreign nationals who
preach hate should be deported, and American citizens who encourage
radicalization should be watched carefully.
Here’s why we must act to
diminish the influence of these organizations.
Mere hours after fourteen people
were massacred, after one of the perpetrator’s Muslim-sounding name was made
public, CAIR rushed to the side of the shooter’s family and held a
hastily-arranged press conference designed to deflect blame from Islam and warn
about possible blowback against members of the Muslim community as a consequence
of the attacks.
CAIR continues to claim that it
does not support radical ideologies, despite growing public evidence that it has
actually funded, aided, abetted and justified terrorist attacks by radical
CAIR’s words and deeds are about
as far apart on that point as you can imagine. At the press conference this
week, CAIR’s leaders said they were against violence and terrorism. They
called for an investigation into the shooters’ motives and their actions.
Despite these words, CAIR – or
at least the group’s predecessors – has not had a problem supporting the
violent radical Islamist terrorist group Hamas. The Holy Land Foundation, a
Hamas front group convicted
in America’s largest terrorism financing case,
made an early $5,000
donation to CAIR to help establish it. Several CAIR founders
and/or officials were convicted
in the same case. Subsequently, the FBI severed its liaison relationship with
the CAIR, banning
it from cooperation
for the foreseeable future. CAIR was not indicted as a defendant, but was deemed
to be an unindicted
co-conspirator. The FBI did “not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison
partner” and “suspended all formal outreach activities” with it.
CAIR’s playbook calls for it to
change the subject as quickly as possible to Muslims-as-victims. The
organization does this masterfully. Less than two days after the massacre, CAIR
has already placed articles complaining about the post-shooting spike in
“Islamophobia” in prominent papers like the Washington
Post and the Los
Angeles Times. The Post article not only prominently quotes CAIR, but also
the imam of a Falls Church mosque, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a mosque with
seems to have warm ties. The mosque was attended by at least three people
convicted of terrorism, Ahmed Abu Ali, Amine El Khalifi, and Paul Rockwood, Jr.,
and visited by at least two others, Hani Hanjour and Nawaq Alhamzi.
In the coming days we can expect
many more details to emerge about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. We
will likely learn what led the two assailants to plan and execute such a
heartless and cruel attack against a soft target filled with innocents. And we
will begin, once again, to grapple with the question of how best to protect the
American people from terrorist attacks inspired by radical Islam.
There is a lot we do not yet know
about what happened this week, but the public would be wise to look beyond the
surface of CAIR’s PR efforts. CAIR and its ilk are trying to whitewash the
deadly impact of radical Islam under the guise of supporting civil rights.
Let’s tell it like it is and stop treating terrorist sympathizers or
supporters like they have a place in our society.