The latest alarmist report from the MSM about the threat supposedly posed by American Muslims.
Plots by American-based Islamic terrorists with no direct ties to international terror networks form a large and growing threat to the American homeland, FBI and other security officials say.
The problem I have is that I don’t know who to believe, as a lot of sensationalism and incompetence is muddying the waters of the discussion these days. There’s so little commitment to factual, responsible reporting that you have to always be on the lookout for the latest bit of partisan propaganda masquerading as news.
The very next paragraph of the article states,
"The trend we’re seeing is that we are uncovering more instances of people here who have been radicalized … where there is not a direct thumbprint of al-Qaeda," says John Miller, the FBI’s assistant director for public affairs.
Which illustrates the dilemna well, as this is the same official who recently declared the expectation that a counterterrorism official know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiah a "gimmick" akin to "[p]laying ‘Islamic Trivial Pursuit’". Forgive my paranoia, but I question his ability to identify bona fide extremism among Muslims. A guy lacking the knowledge of Islam to tell Shiah from Sunni probably thinks everybody is Al-Qaeda.
One’s confidence is not exactly boosted by the lessons of the farcical case of hysteria and ignorant stereotyping seen in the treatment of the "Islamic terrorists" of the Seas of David cult, who appear to be more inspired by Christianity than Islam. (They just liked to play terrorists, and Muslims today are icons of rebellion and violence in the modern consciousness.)
And let’s not forget how certain all the media and government was until recently about Iraq’s WMDs. In a lot of cases, we have good reason to have reservations about the
expertise and judgment of those sounding the alarm. Just as we had
reason to question the knowledge and judgment of those who held forth at length on Iraq’s many, many
So maybe there are a few cells, maybe not. (If so, it’s really another manifestation of globalization. Borders are abstractions today.) There’s little if any demonstrated threat to Americans at large.
Risks need to be weighed carefully and discussed accordingly. As security analyst John Mueller has pointed out, the actual risk of physical harm posed by Islamic terrorism to Americans is vanishingly, absurdly small.
There are also serial killers, child molesters, doomsday cults, neo-Nazi militias, and all sorts of dangerous criminal organizations at work in our society of nearly 300 million people every day, yet we don’t sound the alarm and scare everybody into imagining a murderer lurking in every shadow.