Monday, November 29, 2010
The scenario was absolutely terrifying. A terrorist parks a van at the site of a crowded, outdoor Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Inside the van are six 55-gallon drums of explosive, wired to a cellphone detonator.
The terrorist walks a safe distance away, enters the detonator's number into his own cellphone and presses "send" - expecting thousands of men, women, and children to be killed or maimed. Instead, FBI agents tackled him as he screamed "Allahu Akbar!"
The bomb was a fake, supplied to the terrorist by undercover FBI agents.
The terrorist, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, was a young middle-eastern man (Somali-born) who believes in a radical form of islam, has been in touch with suspected terrorists in Pakistan, and who said that his attempt to attack "families celebrating the holidays" was an act of jihad.
In other words, he would perfectly fit the profile of a radical islamic terrorist if such profiles were allowed to exist.
We are thankful that the FBI acted aggressively to protect Americans from this nightmarish scenario...and hope that the Department of Homeland Security and TSA will finally start to concentrate more on genuinely "likely terrorists" than on squeezing the breasts of nuns or touching children on their "special parts."
When Bush was in office, the Democrats repeatedly called on our intelligence agencies to "connect the dots" before later deciding that it was more politically correct to make believe the dots don't exist. But as Mohamed Osman Mohamud reminds us, there really is an appropriate use of profiling - and it needs to be done before the terrorists connect the detonators.