Tuesday, September 21, 2004

  • Tuesday, September 21, 2004
  • Elder of Ziyon


by Daniel Pipes, New York Sun*

September 21, 2004

Should law enforcement profile Muslims?

Amnesty International USA answers emphatically no. It asserts in a report issued last week that "law enforcement's use of race, religion, country of origin, or ethnic and religious appearance as a proxy for criminal suspicion" has harmed some 32 million persons in the United States. It even claims that this practice "undermines national security."

Law enforcement, of course, categorically denies any form of profiling. But I agree with Amnesty that profiling takes place. Specifically, it has held terrorist suspects for whom there is no probable cause to arrest by calling them "material witnesses" to a crime.

Consider the case of Abdullah al Kidd, an American convert to Islam was held by American authorities as a material witness for two weeks in early 2003, then released. Asked why he was held, Norm Brown, an FBI supervisor, cited three "red flags":

* Mr. Kidd's having listed on a Web site jihad as an interest; the FBI interpreted this as a reference to a holy war.
* Mr. Kidd's having "sold tapes and books containing the teachings of radical sheikhs" when he lived in Idaho.
* Mr. Kidd's owning a video that "had to do with the hijacking and terrorist events on September. 11, 2001."

But I, a speci­alist on militant Islam, engage on a routine basis in all three of Mr. Kidd's "red-flag" activities. My website discloses a keen interest in jihad; I have personally and institutionally disseminated the teachings of radical sheikhs; and I have assembled an archive of materials about 9/11. As a non-Muslim, however, these activities have (so far) not aroused suspicions.

Clearly, Mr. Kidd was held in part because of his Islamic identity. Nor was he the only Muslim in America whose religion was a factor in his arrest.

*

Ayub Ali Khan and Jaweed Azmath, two Indian Muslims, were men arrested on 9/12 while riding a train and carrying about $5,000 in cash, black hair dye and boxcutters were detained for a year on suspicion of being part of the 9/11 operation. Eventually exonerated and freed, they claimed to have been profiled. This is self-evidently correct: Had the two not been Muslim, the police would have had little interest in them and their boxcutters.
*

Brandon Mayfield: the FBI had fifteen fingerprints that it thought might match the one sent from Spain and connected to the bombings there on March 11, 2004. Of the 15 potential suspects, it zeroed in on the Muslim, namely Mr. Mayfield, perhaps because of his multiple connections to Islamists and jihadists. Mr. Mayfield was released after 16 days in prison, when the fingerprint match proved faulty.
*

Abdallah Higazy: suspected with owning an air-to-ground transceiver found in a hotel across the street from the fallen World Trade Center, he was detained for a month before a pilot claimed the transceiver.

More broadly, Anjana Malhotra notes that of the 57 people detained as material witnesses in connection with terrorism investigations, "All but one of the material witness arrests were of Muslims." In the murky area of pre-empting terrorism, in short, it matters who one is.

So, yes, profiling emphatically does take place. Which is how it should be. The 9/11 commission noted that Islamist terrorism is the "catastrophic threat" facing America and, with the very rarest of exceptions, only Muslims engage in Islamist terrorism. It would therefore be a mistake to devote as much attention to non-Muslims as to Muslims.

Further, Amnesty International ignores that some instances of preemptive jailing have worked. It has foiled terrorism (Mohammed Junaid Babar, Maher Hawash, Zakaria Soubra, James Ujaama) and dealt with other crimes (Mohdar Abdullah, Nabil Almarabh, Omar Bakarbashat, Soliman S. Biheiri, Muhammad Al-Qudhai'een).

Plenty of material witness cases have yet to be decided, such as those of Ismael Selim Elbarasse, Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, Jose Padilla, Uzair Paracha, and Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, and could lead to convictions.

Amnesty International has laid down the gauntlet, placing a higher priority on civil liberties than on protection from Islamist terrorism. In contrast, I worry more about mega-terrorism – say, a dirty bomb in midtown Manhattan – than an innocent person spending time in jail.

Profiling is emerging as the single-most contentious issue in the current war. Western governmental authorities need to stop hiding behind pious denials and candidly address this issue.

Hasbys!

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

follow me

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats music Muslim Brotherhood Natural gas Nazi NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive

subscribe via email