Justice Department to prohibit agents from considering religion in counterterror investigations

HOLDER-articleLarge-thumb-autox548-4682By Robert Spencer:

Because who ever heard of Muslims being involved in terrorism? The very idea is preposterous! Why would anyone get the idea that counterterror surveillance was ever needed in Muslim communities?

“U.S. to Expand Rules Limiting Use of Profiling by Federal Agents,” by Matt Apuzzo for the New York Times, January 15 (thanks to Linda Sarsour):

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions. “These exceptions are a license to profile American Muslims and Hispanic-Americans,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in 2012.

President George W. Bush said in 2001 that racial profiling was wrong and promised “to end it in America.” But that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. After those attacks, federal agents arrested and detained dozens of Muslim men who had no ties to terrorism. The government also began a program known as special registration, which required tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men to register with the authorities because of their nationalities.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.

In other words, she even wants it to be forbidden for Muslims to be placed under surveillance in the interests of national security.

Read more at Jihad Watch

Why Terrorist Attacks Have Quadrupled Since 2001

1280-computational-analysis-of-terrorists-groups-437x350By Kerry Patton

Terrorism is a tactic used by individuals with specific ideologies. Killing an ideology is nearly impossible. The war on terror is a complete misnomer. A war cannot be waged against a tactic. And proving to be an ideological war, evidence demonstrates that today, the tactic of terrorism is actually growing world-wide.

Since 2001, the United States and our allies have been engaged in a complex war fighting against an ideology. Many people have been killed while many more have been maimed. Today, it is known via the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, deaths caused by terror have decreased yet attacks have actually quadrupled world-wide since 2001.

The leading ideological culprit behind the growing terror dilemma is Islam. The Global Terrorism Database proves unequivocally that those who embrace a very twisted religious ideology are leading the world today in terrorist activities — i.e. Islamists.

Terrorists have varied their tactics with advanced unconventional tools. Today, we learn that Syria is threatening to incorporate chemical weapons against its opposition. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has already ransacked at least three Syrian military bases procuring Manual Portable Air Defense (MANPAD) systems shooting down a Syrian military helicopter just last week. Do we know whether they obtained any chemical weapons during the raids as well?

What happens if the opposition obtains these chemical weapons? What happens if Al Qaeda elements fighting alongside Free Syrian Army rebels transfer these weapon systems elsewhere later, incorporating them into the streets of a European or North American nation? Terrorist and their movements strengthen.

Four credible arguments can be made explaining why terrorist incidents have increased over the years—weak US foreign policy, internal fighting between conventional and unconventional military wisdom, technical intelligence dependency, and decapitated US human intelligence.

A weak US foreign policy could be partially blamed for the spike in world-wide terrorist incidents. Since the start of the Arab Spring, the United States has actually emboldened terrorist groups through “behind closed doors” diplomacy, weapons procurement, and other logistical needs. Simply put, the very people we often assist frequently become the very people we fight.

Read more at Front Page