Have We Learned Anything From the Boston Attack?
A recent article in Investor’s Business Daily makes the claim that mosques are excluded from the wide-ranging surveillance dragnet operated by the United States government. If this report is true, then that begs the obvious question: If surveillance is purposed to stop terrorism, then why would the government exclude mosques from such scrutiny?
According to the IBD report, “Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover sting operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.”
IBD goes on to describe that the FBI never examined Boston mosques until four days after the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Nor did it check the radical Boston mosque where the older Tzarnaev brother, Tamerlan, worshiped. In fact, says the report, “The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.”
Ignorance can be very dangerous. In the case of the Boston terrorist attack, it proved deadly.
The progression of American Muslims who have killed fellow Americans did not begin in Boston. Since 9-11, there have been dozens of plots by Muslims to kill and maim innocent Americans. Before the Boston Marathon carnage, for example, 13 American soldiers were massacred by Major Hassan at Fort Hood as he shouted “Allahu Akbar.” In the aftermath of this carnage, the Obama Administration still refuses to call this a terrorist attack. And General George Casey, Jr. said about the Fort Hood attack, “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
The dangerous mentality of refusing to identify the enemy is at the core of the Muslim “sensitivity training” that FBI Special Agents are required to take. It also is the reason why the Obama Administration has eradicated phrases like “Radical Islam” from training manuals.
On Wednesday, the head of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, said that since 9/11 government surveillance programs have helped stop dozens of attacks, both at home and abroad. He specifically cited the cases of Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan American who pleaded guilty to planning suicide attacks in New York, and Pakistani American David C. Headley, who was arrested in 2009 for his role in a terrorist attack the year before in Mumbai, and who was plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that published a satirical cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.
The American people certainly support the ongoing operation of a government surveillance program. Indeed, according to a recent poll conducted by Pew Research and the Washington Post, 56 percent of Americans found it “acceptable” that the “NSA has been getting secret court orders to track calls of millions of Americans to investigate terrorism.”
Indeed, as the IBD report concludes: “Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.” However, the mosque in Boston that the older Tzarnaev brother attended was not monitored by the government, so the FBI was unaware of his increasing radicalization before the attack.
That should be of deep concern to every American. If our security services continue to close their eyes to the threat of Muslim terrorists, more innocent Americans will fall as their victims.
Mr. Raskas served in the Israel Defense Forces and is currently a graduate student at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.