The attack in Orlando wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last radical Muslim terrorist attack in the United States. Some of the radical Muslim offenders have been illegal immigrants, such as a few of the 9/11 attackers; others have been American citizens who have been radicalized, such as the monster who shot up the gay nightclub in Orlando last week. The ominous black cloud of radical Muslim terrorism is moving across this great country of ours. There are so many precautions our government should be taking instead of arguing about what to call illegal immigrants (I prefer criminally trespassing foreigners), and/or radical Islamist terrorists (undocumented executioners?).
Yes, I agree that part of protecting us may be a fence to secure the border and to track who comes into and leaves. As previously discussed, a fence bill was passed by congress, and a computer program was developed and being teste. However, each was put on hold after Barack Obama moved into the White House. But, to be truthful, while a fence (or wall) and computer system may help a bit, they won’t put a huge dent into fighting terrorism, and neither will stopping Muslims (or people from terrorist-supporting nations) from entering the country. In my humble opinion, if we execute the three suggestions below, the U.S. can go a long way toward stopping terrorist attacks on our homeland.
1. Significantly reduce the total immigration to the U.S.
2. Law enforcement needs to start “racial” profiling.
3. Start monitoring mosques.
Per the Center for Immigration Studies, the number of total immigrants entering the country is skyrocketing. New data collected by the Census Bureau shows that 3.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country in the two-year period of 2014 and 2015, or more than 1.5 million annually.
Yes it’s true, the United States is a nation of immigrants. And to be honest, I am not against immigrants, per se, or any group of immigrants. The real question is can we really screen that amount of immigrants coming in the country. Let’s compare the above chart to historical numbers. The chart below is based on immigration figures by the Census for ten year periods:
- From about 1880 through the mid-1920s, America experienced an immigration boom, “the Great Wave,” during which immigration averaged 600,000 annually. This was the period during which the U.S. industrialized, creating a huge demand for factory workers. The demand was filled primarily by European immigrants; particularly, in its second half, with immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.
- In 1924 and 1926, partly in response to pressure from labor unions, Congress put in place the first comprehensive quota systems to limit immigration into the U.S. For the next 40 years, from 1925 to 1965, the United States had a relatively restrictive immigration policy, which allowed 200,000 people into the country annually, on average.
- Since the mid-60s Congress has raised the levels of legal immigration to the point that the average number of immigrants/year has grown 5-8 fold.
There is absolutely no way for our immigration system to know the background and vet that many people a year. And it’s not a matter of as Mr. Trump says keeping out the people from countries related to terrorism, or delaying the entry of Muslims as he first suggested.
The truth of the matter is that none of the candidates are talking about the real immigration issue. What is the level of immigration the United States can sustain? That’s not just a question for economists— determining what level of services immigrants may get. It’s really a question of how many background checks, how many investigations into their family history and associations, how many people can be allowed into the country and still be assured that those people are being vetted? There are potential terrorists in Europe, Asia and other countries outside the U.S. Our DHS needs to check each person coming into the country, and 1.5 million a year is way too high to be able to fully vet all the immigrants.
Okay, just from typing those words Al Sharpton is ready to lead a protest march and hang me in effigy. Here’s the truth: until 90-year-olds in the Boca Raton Mahjong league start killing gay people in night clubs or blowing up marathons in Boston, we don’t have to waste our time investigating them. But we do know that the majority of the terrorist attacks occurring in the United States and elsewhere in the world are conducted by followers of the radical form of Islam.
According to the site The Religion of Peace – a great site to learn about radical Islamism; among other things, it tracks Islamist terrorist incidents – so far in 2016 (as of June 19th) there were 1,084 Islamic attacks in 48 countries, in which 10,159 people were killed and 12,124 injured across the world (three of the attacks were in the United States). Last year (2015) there were 2,865 Islamic attacks in 53 countries, in which 27,626 people were killed and 26,149 injured (San Bernardino was only one of the five attacks in the U.S.).
Israel has a fence, and also has a visa tracking system, but they also profile, both ethnically and behaviorally. The real difference between the Israeli and American approach is the goal. Israel tries to identify and stop the terrorist while the U.S. tries to stop the bomb or other weapon. That’s why the Democrats so easily pivot from terrorist attacks to gun control. The Israeli approach is totally devoid of politics and it is consistent no matter who sits in the Prime Minister’s office. The Israeli government realizes the fight against terrorism is a fight for its very survival. Israel’s government and citizenry have a view of preventing terrorism that is unencumbered by the political correctness which restrains efforts in the United States.
This doesn’t mean preventing everybody from one faith or another from entering the country. It’s an entirely different approach they call looking for the “human factor.” Some parts of that human factor would cause Al Sharpton’s ears to bleed. However, ethnicity is only one element of the profiling. Country of origin, religion, general appearance, and the most important element, behavior, are all part of the data used to profile. Especially in airports.
Wherever that profile is being made, no matter what country a flight is leaving from, if the destination is Israel, an Israeli is doing the screening. Israel does not believe in trusting its security to citizens of other countries, and neither should the United States.
All passengers traveling to and from Israel are questioned by security staff. For Jewish Israelis, the process takes a couple of minutes at most, with passengers being asked whether they packed their luggage alone, and whether anyone had access to the luggage once it was packed. Jewish tourists also usually pass through security within a few minutes but they are questioned more thoroughly.
When my family entered the El Al terminal at Newark Airport before our last trip to Israel, we were greeted at the entrance by someone who asked where we came from and where were going.
When we made our way to the check in line, an ISA security employee in a suit and tie asked my then-12-year-old son out of my ear’s range why we were going to Israel. He was asked if we were Jewish, and when my son answered yes, the screener followed up by asking the name of our Synagogue and our Rabbi’s name. The entire time he was asking my son questions he was looking at my wife and me, gauging our reaction to the “interrogation.” The entire process with my son took less than 30 seconds.
When the security guy was done with my son, he came to me and asked me the same questions (plus the typical who packed your luggage-type queries). Once again gauging my reaction very closely, and looking over at my wife. These weren’t your typical bureaucrats; these were counter-terrorism experts checking our behavior.
Like the Mossad, tank drivers, and air force pilots, Israeli airport security has that super hero, no-nonsense, get to the point directness, efficiency and professionalism, “Who packed your bags?” “What was your Bar Mitzvah portion?” “Why are you visiting Israel?”
This quick-fire interrogation was not bothersome but reassuring. It gave us the feeling we were dealing with people who knew what they were doing. After all, it was much more important to us that when we returned to the ground it was because our plane was landing, not because it was blown up over the Atlantic Ocean.
Non-Jewish tourists tend to be questioned a bit more thoroughly, and may be grilled over the purpose of their visit and about their accommodation.
… the procedure for Arabs and Muslims can often be lengthy and irritating, ending with a full body and baggage search. Visitors who have passport stamps from countries hostile to Israel are also questioned intensively in what can be a traumatic experience for the uninitiated.
Of course many in the politically correct set would object to that procedure, but Arabs and Muslims are not banned, they are just asked some more questions. It still beats a country like the UAE: a few years ago, my wife and I could not go to the wedding of a close friend’s daughter. Because in that country, if your passport has a stamp on it that you’ve visited Israel, you are not allowed in the country (and we didn’t want to get new passports to hide the fact that we’ve been to the Jewish homeland).
….Anyone admitting to leaving their luggage at an airport or bus station left-luggage area before check-in will have their suitcases stripped, with each item individually checked and re-packed.
The individual check also happens with “wise-asses,” like the people who were in line in front of me in line on my last trip to Israel. These security people are polite, but deadly serious and expect the same out of the passengers. Being Muslim or Arab won’t get you the extreme bag-check treatment, but it will make the questioners pay a bit more attention to your answers and behavior.
If I had been more attentive when traveling to Israel, I would have noticed that throughout the terminal there were “armed eyes” surreptitiously looking at my family as well as everyone else in the terminal. These observers were making the same behavioral profiles as the guy who questioned us on line. In every shopping mall and major historical site, wherever there were crowds of people, there were “armed eyes.”
Most shops and restaurants in Israel have a guard, many of whom have a metal detecting wand to check the people who enter. Some check everybody entering, some pick and choose (profile).
“It is mind-boggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago,” said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy…
Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of “distress” — behavioral profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.
“The word ‘profiling’ is a political invention by people who don’t want to do security,” he said. “To us, it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, young or old. It’s just his behavior. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I’m doing this?”
Another important difference is that you don’t just come off the street and get a job with the ISA (Israel Security Agency). It is not your typical civil service job, like the TSA. The ISA or Shin Bet is one of three principal organizations of the Israeli intelligence community (the other two are Mossad and Military intelligence). These security agents are ex-military (as most of the country is) and are selected based on their intelligence and their ability to profile. The agents are rotated out of their locations every few months to keep them sharp.
Shlomo Harnoy, vice president of the Sdema group, an Israeli security consultancy firm which specializes in aviation security, believes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to blow up the Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines aircraft on Christmas Day a few years ago, would have been detained “within seconds ” at Ben Gurion airport. According to Harnoy, a young Muslim traveling alone, on a one-way ticket, with no luggage, was an obvious suspect.
Harnoy, who once headed the Israel Security Agency’s aviation security department, believes investing millions in new technology is not the answer.”
Whoever is concentrating on stopping old ladies bringing a bottle of mineral water on to the plane will not find the terrorist, or the bomb. The old lady is not a suicide bomber and the bottle of water is not a bomb component.”
Not only do most Israeli security selectors have degree-level education, they are trained to the highest standards. The most important element in the “human factor” is that security guards understand the threat to the country. Of course, on every El Al flight there are armed air marshals.
The United States needs to adapt the entire Israeli process; not just the behavioral screening but the ethnic elements; not just the screening at the gates, and throughout airport terminals, but throughout shopping malls and other places where people congregate. And a metal sensing wand is not a bad idea either. When I was in Israel after the first two or three, the scans ceased being noticeable.
We also need to adapt to their training, and we need to select our security agents the way Israel does: based on military training and intelligence (personally I think it would be a great job for Special Forces vets).
During her 68-year fight against terror, Israel has achieved a balance between protection of civil liberties and the prevention of violence. Her decision about security is that the sanctity of saving human lives outweighs the possible drawbacks of profiling, and the inconvenience of extra questioning for a few.
Gene Simmons, the sage from the band KISS, who was born in Israel, explained profiling and security checks this way:
I think we should be racially profiling anybody from the Middle East … and as an Israeli; I want you to look at me first. I want you to search my anal cavity and look at my tax records. I want you to look at me first, and then at every guy named Muhammad.
One more thing we need to do: follow France. Yes, that France – the bastion of liberalism – has a program where they monitor all of the 1,700 mosques and Muslim places of worship throughout France for terrorism, anti-Semitism, and al-Qaeda connections.
The Renseignements Généraux (RG), the French internal intelligence service, has been monitoring mosques, their clerics, and their sermons since the mid-1990s. Through their monitoring, they have identified radical mosques in almost every corner of French territory, with the exception of four, predominantly rural, régions (Corse, Poitou-Charentes, Basse-Normandie and Limousin). Every Friday, sermons are collected through unidentified means, and they are centralized and analyzed. The RG use their analysis to determine which imams are preaching a radical Salafi brand of Islam, or if they are assisting terrorist activities by helping recruitment or granting material support to an operational network.
If you check Google you will see a long history of news reports of France closing down mosques because they found weapons or are inciting violence.
I would argue that this monitoring does not impede the free exercise of religion, something banned in the Bill of Rights. Unlike France, we would not be able to shut down Mosques, but we can confiscate weapons caches like the ones found in France, and we can observe which Mosques and which Muslims are being radicalized.
This suggestion is sure to elicit screams of profiling, invading privacy, separation of church and state (fixing bingo?). If it makes those politically correct people happier, perhaps we should welcome surveillance of all religious institutions in America. Let our security forces find a little religion. Let them come into my synagogue and hear the same “today I am a man” speech given by a Bar Mitzvah boy or Bat Mitzvah girl for the 10,000th time. Let them sleep through the Synagogue President’s Kol Nidre donation appeal, which usually turns out to be longer but less relevant than the Rabbi’s sermon. I will first need to warn them that at synagogue congregational meetings, they will hear threats of violence, but they shouldn’t worry: they are empty threats.
My Synagogue is open to anyone; in fact I have never seen a Synagogue that wasn’t. Would all American Mosques make the same claim? Come on, agents. Have a listen to the services of my Synagogue, as well as every Synagogue and Mosque across the country. Oh, and if you come to my Synagogue, make sure to join us for a little L’Chaim whiskey and snacks after services.
Most liberals will read my suggestions and assume I am some sort of bigot, racist, etc. But I assure you I’m none of those things. The suggestions made above have only one purpose, to prevent monsters like the one in Orlando from killing Americans of any faith.