In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, France terror raids were carried out in Belgium and Greece to identify, locate and hunt down so-called “sleepers cells.” Journalists and politicians have finally raised the issue of the threats potentially posed by sleeper agents in the United States, going back to the future — the same concerns about sleeper cells in the United States were voiced in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 including by the then-director of the FBI, Robert Mueller.
Of course any discussion about sleeper agents gaining entry into the United States would logically call into question the multiple and massive failures of the immigration system. Today politicians from both sides of the political aisle are hell-bent on making certain that the flood of foreign workers, foreign tourists and foreign students continue without impediment. Consequently admitting that immigration is a vital component of national security and must be treated as such would run contrary to the goals of advocates for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
The “solution” politicians and journalists who oppose effective immigration law enforcement have devised to resolve the quandary that this creates is to describe sleeper agents as being “homegrown,” hoping that Americans will ignore the obvious: That foreign nationals are seeking to enter the United States to launch terror attacks.
Incredibly, even such foreign national terrorists have come to be referred to as being “homegrown” by journalists, politicians and high-ranking members of the law enforcement community who should know better. This is nothing short of Orwellian propaganda.
Former NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly apparently fell victim to this mis-identification of foreign terrorists when he described Faisal Shahzad, the so-called “Times Square Bomber” as being “homegrown.” The title of a New York Post article, published on May 11, 2010, quoted Commissioner Kelly, “Kelly: NYC bomb suspect ‘homegrown,’” and contained the following statement:
The Times Square threat was “a classic case of homegrown terrorism,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a briefing for private security executives.
Shahzad had legally immigrated to the United States when he was roughly 20 years old. How on earth is he “homegrown”? He may not have come to the United States with the intentions of ultimately carrying out a terrorist attack, however it is impossible to know when he made that decision. What is clear is that he is absolutely not “homegrown.”
In fact, in that article, Kelly was also quoted as referring to Najibullah Zazi, the leader of a group that planned a suicide bombing of the New York City subway system, as also being “homegrown,” blatantly ignoring the fact that Zazi had immigrated to the United States from his native Pakistan when he was a teenager
Does this mean that native-born Americans are not being recruited by ISIS or al-Qaeda? Of course they are, but it is lunacy to ignore the failures of the vetting process by which we admit immigrants and grant them visas and provide them with immigration benefits including political asylum, lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship through the naturalization process.
While some native-born American citizens, who for a variety of reasons may have decided to heed the call of terror organizations to take up arms against America and Americans, to date, most of the terrorists who have carried out terror attacks inside the United States were foreign nationals who, in one way or another, often through the legal entry system, managed to enter the United States, bide their time, hiding in plain sight or, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission, embedded themselves in communities around the United States as they went about their deadly preparations.
The terror attacks carried out at the CIA Headquarters and at the World Trade Center in 1993, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and most recent, the attack on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon were all carried out by foreign nationals – not “homegrown” terrorists.
I have raised the issue of “sleeper agents” at congressional hearings year ago. What I had to say is a part of the congressional record — a record I suspect many of today’s politicians would rather not want Americans to even know exists.
In fact, to cite one such hearing, roughly ten years ago, on March 10, 2005, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic, “Interior Immigration Enforcement Resources.”