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How far this "watching" should go?

Reader comment on item: The West's Islamist Infiltrators

Submitted by atheist mohammed (United Kingdom), Aug 15, 2008 at 16:33

"There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps need to be watched for connections to terrorism and criminal organizations."

My quote is a slightly modified version of your 2003 statement. Here, I only removed the word "Muslim" and added "criminal organizations". My argument for this modification goes as follow:

1- Any connection with terrorism by a government employee in these critical areas should be prevented. Muslim employees are vulnerable because of their ideological background. Yet, any government employee who suffers from severe financial difficulties or who fears public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior is equally vulnerable because of their personal circumstances. Terrorist networks can also approach those employees.

2- Terrorism is one aspect of national security threats. There are other aspects of threats that can be equally damaging to national security , such as organized crime and drug cartels. Yet, in addition to their direct criminal activities, criminal organizations can have (more damaging) connections with terrorists: they distribute their drugs and support them financially, technologically and even intelligently in return.

3- Criminal organizations are continuously infiltrating the same government agencies (with noticeable success). The mere act of a government employee using his/her power to provide sensitive information or doing harmful act is the same regardless of whether he/she is doing this for (or on behalf of) a criminal or terrorist organization.

4- The only case that might look different is with a potential "suicidal infiltrator", that is an employee who is welling to risk his/her career or even his/her life for causing the damage. Yet, many corrupt employees might go that far too, regardless of their original motives.

5- The need for EXTRA watching measures particularly against Muslim employees may not be necessary. There has been no indication that previous terrorist attacks did benefit from such acts of infiltration before. Also, the cases mentioned in the article are all about ATTEMPTED infiltrations. It is therefore very likely that any extra dedicated measures will not make the situation better.

Therefore, watching ONLY Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps is not sufficient. ALL government employees in these areas need to be watched for connections to terrorism and criminal organizations.

Yet, I would like to add the following:

1- Being an ex-Muslim humanist, I sincerely believe that
- A person is innocent until proven guilty,
- All are equal before the law.
- All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of the their human rights and against any incitement to such discrimination.

2- Being an atheist, I am in debt to American presidents like Eisenhower and Benjamin Franklin. That said, I believe that "There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that an Angelical fundamentalist who believes that the Earth is only 6000 years old may, one day, become the leader of a superpower".

Best Regards
Mohammed

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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