comment by Jerry Gordon
The ACLU and its acolytes on Capitol Hill were complaining about the million names of Americans on the so-called terrorist watch list that invaded our privacy, since 9/11, allegedly. Now comes word that the actual number of terrorists among us has grown from the 5,000 estimated post 9/11 to four times that figure or 20,000. Enough to cause an FBI official, Leonard Boyle to comment on it publicly. Boyle noted on a C-SPAN interview, that the watch list has more like 400,000 names and less than 5% of those are US citizens. That still is no comfort knowing that the 20,000 terrorists are enough to commit mayhem and mini-9/11s here at home.
My problem with the ACLU is that they trumpet the fact that they have a strategic relationship with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) front, CAIR on ‘religious profiling issues’. Not long ago, the ACLU filed a motion on behalf of another MB front, the Islamic Society of North America the Dallas Federal District Court to try and expunge the name of an other unindicted co-conspirator in the retrial of Holy Land Foundation ‘charity’ matter that begins in September. It is no wonder that IBD states that perhaps the ACLU ought to be included on the government ‘watch list’ as a terrorist facilitator.
Investors Business Daily, Editorial, July 25, 2008
Homeland Security: Forced to defend its growing terrorist watch list, the FBI let slip a chilling fact that should silence ACLU grumblers: America is teeming with 20,000 terrorists.
After 9/11, federal authorities estimated that as many as 5,000 terrorists were living in the U.S. The new figure is jarring not only because it’s four times as large but because it’s based on real persons, not estimates.
It’s not something headquarters wanted to publicize. Officials had downplayed the threat so as not to spook the public. The spin had been that Britain has the homegrown problem, not us.
But that was before the ACLU launched a campaign with the Democrat Congress to demonize the watch list as a Gestapo-like tool. The FBI had no choice but to knock down their myths.
The ACLU charged that an “out-of-control” FBI is adding mostly innocent people to the list, ballooning it to “over 1 million names.” “I doubt this thing would even be effective at catching a real terrorist,” ACLU spokesman Barry Steinhardt harrumphed.
In fact, the list has saved countless lives, according to the head of the FBI’s terrorism screening center — an assertion backed up by a recent independent review by the GAO.
And the watch list monitors only 400,000 people, not a million, says the FBI official, Leonard Boyle. The rest are aliases due to the myriad spellings and variations of Arabic surnames.
In a rare public appearance on C-Span, Boyle added that the overwhelming share of individuals on the terrorist list are foreigners, while “5% to 6%” of individuals are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
That still pencils out to at least 20,000 people living in this country right now — at large and on the streets — who have “some relationship with terrorist activity,” as Boyle described it.
They pose a big enough threat for airlines to legally bounce them off planes, and for every law enforcement authority from border agents to local police to detain them for questioning.
At 20,000 strong, these suspected homegrown terrorists number a full army division. And they don’t include the more than 440 active terrorists the Justice Department already has put behind bars since 9/11. Britain, by comparison, is watching just 8,000.
But never mind all that. The ACLU and its allies on the Hill want to scrap the terrorist watch list and take law enforcement’s eye off these potentially dangerous suspects.
In a perfect world, the ACLU might qualify as a terrorist facilitator deserving of its own spot on the list.