Thursday, October 25, 2007

Muslim Extremism in America

“Why do people become terrorists? What causes them, what motivates them to cross the line?” Allen asks. “We’re going to various areas of the country, doing baselines, going out and talking to local police officials, law enforcement, talking to prison officials, talking to social workers, talking to individuals in the communities and academia, and as a result we’re trying to build a baseline across the country of where we are.” A Pew Research Center poll found that while Muslims overall in America overwhelmingly reject suicide bombings in defense of Islam, 26 percent of Muslims in America age 18 to 29 believe suicide bombings could be justified in defense of Islam.

Moreover, relatively few Muslim Americans believe the war on terror is a sincere effort to reduce terrorism, and just 40 percent of Muslim Americans say groups of Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks.

“The study sent some warning signals that we need to truly work the problems to ensure that the extremism is kept in small amounts in this country,” Allen says. “We must get stronger in that area of countering the al-Qaida extremist ideology.”
Recently, the media highlighted a finding in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that al-Qaida has established a safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan. But the estimate also said that terrorist groups “perceive the homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11.”

While The New York Times ran that positive conclusion as part of the text of the NIE, the paper ignored the point in its story about the resurgence of al-Qaida in Pakistan. Only three other newspapers — The Virginian-Pilot, the Mobile Register, and The Cincinnati Post — referred to the finding.

While progress has been made, the war on terror is being undercut by leaks of operational secrets, Allen says.

“Any time you give aid and comfort to the enemy, or talk about counter measures the United States may be taking or measures that are out there to disrupt or defeat al-Qaida, it’s devastating to the United States,” he says.

Most of all, Americans must not lose their will in what will be a long battle.
“We Americans have to be strong, we have to be resilient,” Allen says. “We’ve got to be very, very tough.”
© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

No comments: