Sunday, August 5, 2007

Congress Must Decide Who to Protect Americans From

I've heard that this week's temporary update of the FISA bill is carefully worded to guard against law enforcement listening in on Americans who may be involved with plans that organizations like al Qaeda have for killing other Americans.

I suppose I should be glad that our representatives in Washington are working hard to protect our rights. But in cases like this, I'm concerned that many of them don't know what's been happening during the last few years ((From and BBC.) ):
  • 1972, September 5, Munich Olympic Games. Palestinian terrorists kill 11 Israeli athletes.
  • 1979, November 4, Teheran. Ayatollah Khomeini supporters take over U.S. embassy. Fifty-three U.S. diplomats held hostage until 1981.
  • 1983, April 18, Beirut. Islamic Jihad truck bomb hits U.S. Embassy. 63 dead.
  • 1983, October 23, Beirut. Hezbollah truck bomb hits U.S. Marines barracks. 241 dead.
  • 1984, December 4, Kuwait Airlines. Hijackers divert flight 221 to Tehran. 2 dead.
  • 1985, June 14, TWA flight. Hijackers divert flight 847 to Beirut. 1 dead (U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, dumped on the airport tarmac).
  • 1985, October 7, cruise ship Achille Lauro. 69-year-old American Leon Klinghoffer and his wheelchair dumped overboard.
  • 1987, September 5, Pan Am. Abu Nidal hijacks flight 73 in Pakistan. 20 dead.
  • 1988, December 21, Pan Am. Libyan terrorists allegedly blow up flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, 259 dead.
  • 1990, November 5, New York City. A group including Ramzi Yousef kills Jewish Defense League leader Rabbi Meir Kahane
  • 1994, March 1, Brooklyn. Rashid Bas attacks a van transporting yeshiva students. 1 dead.
  • 1996, June 25, Dhahran area, Saudi Arabia. Unknown persons hit Khobar Towers with truck-bomb. 19 dead.
  • 1998, August 7, Kenya, Tanzania. Unknown persons hit U.S. embassies with car bombls. 291 dead.
  • 1993, February 26, New York. An al-Qaeda-financed group including Mohammed Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima and Ahmad Ajaj, hit the Twin Towers with car bomb. 6 dead. "The blind sheik," Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, masterminded the bombing.
  • 2000, October 12, Yemen. Al-Qaeda may be responsible for attack on USS Cole. 17 dead.
  • 2001, September 11, New York City; Arlington County; Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Al-Qaeda affiliates hijack airliners, destroy Twin Towers, damage Pentagon. Fourth airliner brought down in Somerset County field. 2,974 dead.
I'm no accredited expert in international affairs, but I see a pattern here.

I do not believe that foreigners are trying to kill Americans. I believe that Islamic fanatics are trying to kill Americans.

Some of those fanatics are Americans.

Adam Pearlman was born in 1978 and raised on a goat farm in Orange County. His Jewish father converted to Christianity, changing the family name to Gadahn at the same time.

Apparently Adam turned to Islam in his teens, after an enthusiasm for heavy metal. Then he discovered al Qaeda, moved to Pakistan, and Adam Pearl / Adam Gadahn sometimes calls himself Azzam al-Amriki (Adam the American), now that he's an al Qaeda spokesman.

He's featured in an al Qaeda video released today. "We shall continue to target you, at home and abroad, just as you target us, at home and abroad, and these spy dens and military command and control centers from which you plotted your aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq," this American said.

We can't count on all American Muslims who decide to become jihadists to be as obliging as Mr. Gadahn, making his new affiliation so obvious. Some may stay right here in the USA, unobtrusively working on the next big attack.

Personally, I'm not as concerned about people who have sworn to serve and protect as I am about people who have sworn to destroy and kill.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.