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November 29, 2004

Why Their Hate for Us Matters

Paul Cella draws on a study of actual al Qaeda terrorists to simply, directly, and (in my view) decisively describe the single most important action to be taken in defense of our nation (emphasis his):

Reading this, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the most important security measure against jihadist terror is the simple expedient of keeping the jihadists out. No jihadists in the United States, no jihadist terror in the United States. How blindingly obvious. But that is not all: Even if we concede that keeping every last jihadist out is nearly impossible in a society such as ours, this study suggests that merely keeping their friends and sympathizers out will produce the desired effect. Jihadist terror is nurtured by a distinct culture; without the culture, even the most enterprising jihadist will be trussed and frustrated.

The key points are 1) that al Qaeda jihadists aren't poor Third Worlders lashing out, and 2) that they aren't generally particularly religious before their affiliation begins. The goal, therefore, is to scuttle the circumstances that contribute both the environment and the grudge to the drive that ends in mass murder.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 29, 2004 9:02 PM