- - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Donald Trump is right that the United States government seems to be clueless when it comes to detecting potential jihadis in our midst.

Now we know why.

On Thursday, a former Homeland Security employee who developed an intelligence-based screening program to detect potential jihadis, revealed that he was tracking the mosque that the San Bernandino shooters attended and would have put the shooters on a government watchlist if the Obama administration hadn’t shut the program down.

“Either Syed [Farook] would have been put on the no-fly list because of his association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his association with a known organization,” whistleblower Philip Haney told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Mr. Haney said that in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties closed down his program and deleted his files because the program targeted Muslims. Among the deleted files was information on the Dar al-Uloom mosque that Farook attended.

“We were not allowed to develop a case on any Islamic group,” Mr. Haney said.

Donald Trump thinks we need time to figure out what has gone wrong with our intelligence and immigration system so we can prevent jihadi terror attacks in the future.

But Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country, including U.S. citizens who travel abroad and seek to return home, is impractical (not all jihadi Muslims are named “Mohammad Kaboom Mohammad,” as talk show host Chris Plante puts it). Nor is such a ban necessary.

Mr. Haney’s revelations show that the problem is not with our system. The problem is that our political leaders, starting with President Obama, have systematically dismantled intelligence and law enforcement programs that had been designed to identify potential jihadis before they attack and to train law enforcement officials around the country in the Islamic supremacist doctrine that enables and promotes such attacks, Shariah law.

Mr. Haney has sought whistleblower protection even though he no longer works for Homeland Security. He knows that without it, the Obama administration and its commissars of political correctness would find some pretext for prosecuting him.

They would accuse him most likely of a hate crime for daring to tell the truth that radical Muslims have infiltrated this country and are plotting terrorist attacks.

I have reported from Northern Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon about the State Department’s longstanding preference for Muslim over Christian refugees. Today, even as Christians are being slaughtered by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration is deporting Iraqi Christians from California and prosecuting a prominent Assyrian-American attorney for visa fraud.

The only refugees this president doesn’t want to come to America, it seems, are Christian refugees fleeing persecution and genocide. But Mr. Obama’s commissars don’t want people saying that out loud.

“Political correctness kills,” former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen said on the same episode of “The Kelly File” Thursday night. “Republicans raise legitimate security concerns and they’re accused of being anti-Muslim bigots.”

Besides reinstating the intelligence and law enforcement programs that Mr. Obama has rooted out, what else can we do to prevent potential terrorists from entering this country?

Very simple. Rewrite the Customs Declaration form that all returning U.S. persons are required to fill out, and include similar language in the forms used to screen foreign persons entering the United States, whether they have an individual visa or not.

The current form asks whether the purpose of the traveler’s trip was business or pleasure, the value of goods purchased abroad, whether the traveler is carrying more than $10,000 in currency or monetary instruments, and whether he has visited a farm or is bringing in certain food products.

We should add two very simple questions:

• Do you belong or provide financial support to an organization that promotes the violent imposition of Shariah law?

• Do you believe it is justified to use violence against apostates or non-believers?

Will the potential jihadi terrorist answer those questions in the affirmative? Probably not. But give our Customs and Border Protection agents some credit for being able to selectively ask the questions verbally and pick up telltale signs of deception.

Everyone, without exception, should be asked those questions. There is no need to profile Muslims; and indeed, any attempt to do so would likely miss recent converts to Islam.

If you want to come to this country or return to this country, answer the questions, please. Our lives depend on it.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi” (Broadside Books, 2014) and president of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.

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