By Thomas Rose
If one is looking for reasons why Washington has become so caustic, divisive and bitter, look no further than retiring Attorney General Eric Holder. If reports first published by the Los Angeles Times are correct, the always controversial Holder, aged 63, will soon announce a new and permanent ban on so-called ‘religious profiling’ designed to better protect those suspected of jihadist or Islamist activities from federal surveillance.
At the very moment the American state, local and federal law enforcement are trying to get a handle on a spate of Islamist-inspired beheadings and the discovery that Islamic State terror cells are active in at least three major US cities-- LA, Boston, and Minneapolis-- the US attorney general seems prepared to make it even harder for US law enforcement to crack down against jihadist recruiters and terrorist plots.
Despite the rise of the Islamic State's terrorist army that proudly boasts of its US citizen-fighters, as well as growing evidence that domestic jihadist extremism is far more prevalent inside the United States than previously thought, the always controversial Holder appears undeterred in his quest to ban federal agents from trying to prevent domestic Islamist terrorism by investigating hubs of suspected jihadist activities. If the ban on ‘religious profiling’ is enforced, federal agents will no longer be able to conduct surveillance inside even the most radical of US mosques, where nearly all recent US based jihadists have been recruited, trained and dispatched.
The LA Times even reports that Holder’s ban will no longer even include “an exemption for national security investigations." Without pre-existing, admissible evidence that ongoing criminal activity is occurring, federal agents will no longer be permitted to conduct any undercover surveillance in any clearly identified Islamic institution. If enacted, such a policy would represent the starkest reversal yet to bi-partisan post 9/11 changes that permitted law enforcement agencies like the FBI greater ability to monitor suspected Islamist outfits, including mosques.
The FBI claims that those standards have enabled them to disrupt or scuttle at least 42 planned Islamist attacks against the US homeland adopted since 2001.
How extending greater legal protections to those suspected of jihadist plots against US citizens will help protect law abiding citizens from those plots remains to be seen. The connections between Islamic State operatives, recent domestic terrorist acts, and several radical US mosques are undeniable. The recent Muslim convert in Oklahoma who murdered and decapitated a 54-year-old grandmother was radicalized in a mosque run by the very same people who run a Boston mosque that served as headquarters for ISIS’s US social media campaign.
Terrorism authority Steve Emerson told IBD this could be just the tip of the ISIS-ice berg. "There are tens of thousands of others like him lurking in the United States who haven't done this but are jihadists just waiting to do it," Emerson, who runs the New York-based Investigative Project for Terrorism, says the Islamic State is actually pre-selecting new US based recruits based upon their state willingness to conduct suicide/terrorist operations against innocents inside the US.
Of course, since Attorney General Holder had previously ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to scrub all its training manuals and support documentation to insure words like “jihad” and "Islamic terrorism" do not appear, it is difficult to predict how such directives will even be adequately conveyed to US law enforcement personnel.
Had such prohibitions against even considering the religious beliefs or associations of suspected jihadist elements been in effect, many recent Federal indictments of terrorists could never have been obtained, since nearly ever single one of them contained evidence demonstrating their connections with and radicalizations inside US mosques. Nearly every single defendant so indicted has confessed that their motivations were religiously based upon their interpretation of Islam and its commands to attack non-believers.
The same Eric Holder now considering increased protections for those suspected of jihadist activities authorized domestic illegal surveillance actions, including wiretapping, against reporters at the Associated Press and sought to prosecute Fox News' James Rosen under, of all things, the Espionage Act.As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, “You know the famous American saying that all politics is local? Well, for militant Islamists, all politics is global, because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world." If Holder has his way and can prohibit US law enforcement from investigating domestic militants Islamists in places where militants Islamists plot and plan, American jihadists will be able to pursue that ultimate goal of global dominance with greater freedom and security than ever before.