Friday, August 24, 2007

Homegrown Terrorists: More Mail


Police "surge" on Central Park South, August 2007


Readers continue responding to the Shadowland column on the NYPD report about homegrown terrorism. A sampling:


Name: Alice

Hometown: Bismarck ND

Comments:

Chris, we are no stronger - or safer - than our weakest link. This study rings true - but will we listen? Even when 'one of ours' is the bomber we blame other nations/ religions/cults/aliens rather than look at ourselves and what we did or did not do. We need to start taking responsibility for our problems - we cause them.

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Name: Jim Casey

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Comments:

Mr. Dickey, Thank you for the information about how and why the NYPD investigates potential jihadists who are becoming radicalized here at home. But why the first and last paragraph? You seem extremely careful to limit your concern about the war on terror to targets at home, as if the radicalizing of terrorists abroad is not as much of a danger to us. The Hamburg cell, for example, worked in tandem with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. There are and have been and will be more than one front in this war. We cannot pick and choose them according to our partisanship, our biases, our clique, or from our cherry picked interpretations of intelligence reports or surveys. As soon as a decisive majority of Americans face the many heads of this threat, the more likely and more thoroughly will our elected officials address them all. Again, your contribution is enlightening, but there is no need to downplay one threat while addressing another. Casey in Chicago

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Name: Karen

Hometown: New York, NY

Comments:

Christopher: Thank you SO much for this article. It is amazing that we as a people refuse to acknowledge that bombs and occupation only affect Muslims (innocent and otherwise)living in the region. I as an American look with shame at the greedy and destructive behavior of "American interests" around the world. Add to that the frivolous invasion of a nation of innocent people to take out one ugly dictator - can you imagine how frustrated a Middle Eastern person must feel? Angry.

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Name: Seth

Hometown: Lovetssville, VA

Comments:

Your analysis of the NYPD report rasises several questions. I assume that you are paraphrasing when you state that "Communities that feel like Muslim ghettoes, isolated from the Western society and values around them, are especially vulnerable to extremism, says the report." I am sure that this is an obvious truth in Europe but I do not know of any such ghettoes in the U.S. This clashes somewhat with the report's conclusion that the terrorists are by and large middle class. I suppose a case can be made that economic integretion does not necessarily lead to cultural integration. So far successful or at least somewhat successful attacks, (World Trade Center I and II) in the U.S. have all been staged by foreign nationals. We have our share of resident crazies but they seem to be somewhat inept. The Lackawanna, Fort Dix, Portland, JFK and the Sears Tower boys have all been pretty stupid. Let's no forget Jose whatever he did Padilla and the Brooklyn Bridge. This is not to say that someone won't get lucky and kill some people. It should be pointed out that with the exception of the Sears Tower Plot recent immigrants both legal and illegal were involved. I do think that the report overgeneralizes from the European experience. We should keep tabs on recent arrivals and avoid demonizing the U.S. muslim population by stoking with fires of irrational fear.

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Name: Jim Moser

Hometown: Crofton MD

Comments:

This does not strike me as surprising. During the 60s & 70s SDS, especially its Weather Underground contingent, and Black Panthers were also partly motivated to violence by a war half a world away. I think all these events say is that we live in a country holding diverse views, some of which are in agreement with what are nominally our enemies.

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Name: Edward Kendall

Hometown: Hagerstown, MD

Comments:

Very disturbing! And I am extremely put out by our politicians. TV shows are portraying Muslims as terrorists & I'm beginning to think we need to do more profiling. They can not be loyal to any country because of their Theocratic beliefs. In my mind they need to be isolated in every country & marked as extremists who are trying to overthrow their government. They have one agenda, that is to kill or convert everyone to the faith.

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Comments:

I was threatened by a jihadist cabbie in DC on my way to a White House briefing on Darfur of all things! Because I do humanitarian aid in Sudan, I was able to refute his claims.We have a LARGE problem in the US. It is a great concern.

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Name: Abubaker Kekia

Comments:

Dear Sir, The fact of the matter is that people see the world not the way it is, but the way they are.
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