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EDITORIAL: Homegrown jihad

Now we’re fighting the war on terrorism at home

- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2013

George W. Bush employed an anti-terrorism strategy of taking the fight to the enemy abroad "so we do not have to face them here at home." Barack Obama has replaced that with welcoming the enemy to our shores and bestowing on him American citizenship.

This puts the nation in peril. Prior to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, Islamic terrorism in America was almost nonexistent. Since then, we've seen the attacks multiply: first, Sept. 11; then Fort Hood, Texas; and the Boston Marathon.

The trend is likely to continue; we're dealing now with terrorists who are foreign-born American citizens, legal permanent residents, second-generation immigrants and those radicalized mostly within the United States. That's because we've recently begun importing radical Islam, taking in larger and larger numbers of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, some of whom are given to violent jihad.

From 2003 through 2012, the United States admitted about 1.3 million legal immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. About 850,000 persons from those countries have become citizens, according to the latest Department of Homeland Security statistics.

The change is reflected in the rise of Islam in the United States. The American Mosque Study estimates that the number of mosque participants grew from a half-million in 1994 to 2.6 million in 2011. This growth is amplified by the higher Muslim birthrate.

The majority of American Muslims do not appear to support jihad. According to the Mosque Study, 87 percent of mosque leaders do not agree with assertions that radicalism is increasing among Muslim youth. Only a small percentage of mosques in America follow the Salafi approach, which takes a literal interpretation of the Koran and of Islam.

It only takes a few to wreak havoc. In the eight years following Sept. 11, law enforcement officers reported about 20 homegrown violent jihadist plots or attacks. In the past four years, according to the Congressional Research Service, there have been more than 40.

That indicates that homegrown jihadism is increasing, but some observers say that's not necessarily so. Professor Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina, author the study "Muslim-American Terrorism: Declining Further," thinks violent jihad in America is declining. He could be right; the Boston bombings might have been an exception to a decline, but the long-term trends are troubling.

The father of the Boston bombers sought asylum in America because he was afraid of persecution in his native Chechnya, but he returned to that area from time to time, fears or not, suggesting his application for asylum was a fraud.

As Congress begins debating immigration reform, it must tighten the rules for political asylum. It only makes sense to cut back on overly generous immigration from countries where hatred of America is rampant. Fans of political correctness, including President Obama, deny the clear link between Islamic extremism and terrorism. Thus, terrorism at Fort Hood becomes "workplace violence" and the killing of Americans in Benghazi, is the result of a YouTube video. Mr. Obama began his administration with an apology tour in the Middle East, which was not a strategy, but a trope, destined to ensure that terrorism would be more dangerous for being perpetrated from within.

The Washington Times

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