The New York Police Dept. report released Wednesday
can be viewed here
. -- AFP noted Thursday that the report states: "Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point — a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization." -- By identifying normal civic activities like reading and socializing as part of of a "radicalization process," and stating that "The culmination of this process is a terrorist attack," the New York Police Department portrays constitutionally protected activities as proto-criminal. -- Pursued to its logical conclusion, the report would justify a police state. -- On its final page, page 85, the report implicitly endorses the notion of police gathering "intelligence" on "individual behaviors [that] can be seen as innocuous," and states, ominously: "The challenge to intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the West in general, and the United States in particular, is how to identify, pre-empt and thus prevent homegrown terrorist attacks give the non-criminal element of its indicators, the high growth rate of the process that underpins it and the increasing numbers of its citizens that are exposed to it." -- This is outrageous. -- Yet the report was endorsed by David Cohen, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for intelligence, as "as high a quality of assessment as this country can produce" and by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) as "a breakthrough in our efforts to defend our homeland in the global war with Islamist terrorism.” -- In fact, the report is intellectually bankrupt and does not stand up to critical (or, sometimes, grammatical) scrutiny. -- Sweeping statements are offered without any references to explain their basis, like this one, which cannot be true: "Unfortunately, the City's [i.e. N.Y.'s] Muslim communities have been permeated by extremists who have and continue to sow [sic] the seeds of radicalization." -- Although the New York Police Department ought to be tasked with protecting the rights of its citizens, the report includes not a single mention of the words "Constitution" or "constitutional." -- Moreover, it is intellectually bankrupt to link conceptually, as the NYPD report does, "radicalization" and "terrorism." -- Gandhi was a radical, Martin Luther King Jr. was a radical, Jesus of Nazareth was a radical. -- The report not only fails to define terms like "radical," it systematically misuses the word "define." -- One could label the NYPD report as an un-American document were it not the case that the hysterical fear of "radicalism" is a well established pattern in American history. -- Here, once again, we see it enabling American nativism, long a noxious obstacle to the realization of America's true core values, liberty and justice for all. -- As historians like John Higham, Roger Daniels, and many others have shown, nativism has taken various guises over the years, among them anti-French Revolution, anti-German, anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-Chinese, anti-socialist, anti-Italian, anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic, and anti-Japanese. -- And now, anti-Muslim. -- As W.H. Auden wrote in "September 1, 1939": "The enlightenment driven away, / The habit-forming pain, / Mismanagement and grief: / We must suffer them all again." ...
STUDY OF U.S. 'HOMEGROWN' TERROR: MUSLIMS AGED 15-35 VULNERABLE TO 'RADICALIZATION'
August 17, 2007
NEW YORK -- A 90-page report hailed as the first to measure “homegrown” terror in the United States has concluded that young Muslim men aged 15-35 are particularly vulnerable to “radicalization.”
The New York City Police Department, which released the report on Wednesday, found that recent plots against the West were the work of “unremarkable” young men inspired by Al Qaeda.
But civil and Muslim rights groups expressed concern that the report’s focus on young Muslim men as vulnerable to being recruited as terrorists would lead to “ethnic profiling.”
Police chief Raymond Kelly wrote in a preface to the report that it was vital for his department to understand why someone in the West may set out on a radical course.
“Understanding this trend and the radicalization process in the West that drives unremarkable people to become terrorists is vital for developing effective counterstrategies,” Kelly wrote.
The document analyzes foiled and successful terror attacks against the West in recent years, including the strikes on Madrid in March 2004 and London in July 2005.
“Rather than being directed from Al Qaeda abroad, these plots have been conceptualized and planned by unremarkable local residents/citizens who sought to attack their country of residence, utilizing Al Qaeda as their inspiration and ideological reference point,” the report said.
“Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point -- a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization,” the report continued.
“The culmination of this process is a terrorist attack,” according to the study, which has been delivered to the White House, the CIA, the FBI and the federal Homeland Security Department.
“It is as high a quality of assessment as this country can produce,” said David Cohen, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence, who headed the CIA’s analytical division for nearly five years.
The study has drawn strong objections from civil rights and Muslim groups.
“Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community,” Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.
But others said the findings would be of incalculable value in pursuing global terrorism.
U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, called the report “a breakthrough in our efforts to defend our homeland in the global war with Islamist terrorism.”