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A quick survey of Obama versus Pipes' sleeper criteria

Reader comment on item: Catching Some Sleepers
in response to reader comment: Obama

Submitted by Ray (Australia), Nov 8, 2008 at 00:26

As a quasi-academic exercise, I evaluated Obama's "public legend" against the 42 Pipes' Sleeper Criteria and was amazed to find that some 59.5% (25/42) of the criteria would potentially be substantiated in whole or in part. Others were either questionable or we simply don't have the "factoids" to currently address.

No wonder the FBI would not have hired him.

Underlined criteria below are potentially substantiated by President-elect Obama's current legend. Obviously they are subject to debate, which is why I state "potentially" substantiated.

BTW, as a Christian former US Army Officer, combat veteran, karate black-belt engineer living in a multi-cultural environment, I seem to qualify for a score of 9% (4/42).

  • Arrival from countries where violent militant Islamic groups (such as Al-Qaeda) are known to operate;
  • Long, unexplained absences; or absences for vague purposes of religious education, charity work, or pilgrimage;
  • Travel to hot spots where Muslims are fighting non-Muslims (Bosnia, Chechnya, Lebanon, Kashmir);
  • Travel to countries where militant Islam rules (Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan).
  • Study of technical subjects (such as electrical engineering or computer sciences) that would help pull off an operation.
  • Collecting information on subjects (e.g., crop-dusting planes) that could help in carrying out an operation.
  • Working in an area (such as import/export) that serves as a cover for preparing for an operation.
  • Engaging in para- or military training, perhaps under guise of preparing to do security work (e.g., serving as a bodyguard).
  • Physical training.
  • Possession of such artifacts as detonators and a protective suit against chemical and biological weapons.
  • Purchase of chemicals and other dual-use materials.
  • Scouting out military bases, government buildings, and other potential targets; practicing routines; and otherwise rehearsing for an operation.
  • Possession of instructions for conducting of either a spiritual nature (how to prepare for one's suicide death) or a practical nature (how to smuggle detonators).
  • Support for militant Islamic groups and fronts.
  • Outspoken support of Muslims in combat against non-Muslims.
  • Excusing violence against Americans on the grounds that American actions provoked the problem.
  • Disparagement of Western civilization in favor of Islamic civilization.
  • Fury at the West, for reasons ranging from the personal (unemployment) to the global (policy toward Iraq).
  • Bigoted statements against non-Muslims in general ("infidels") or specifically against Jews, Christians, or Hindus.
  • Seeing moderate Muslims as apostates from Islam.
  • Conspiracy theories about Westerners (e.g., the CIA arranged for the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center to boost its funding levels).
  • Accusing the West of trying to destroy Islam.
  • Hoping to apply Islamic law in the United States.
  • Disregard for the U.S. legal system where it prohibits something permitted by Islamic societies (such as polygamy or the "honor" killing of women).
  • Fraudulent personal identities, sometimes with inconsistencies. (Zacarias Moussaoui presented himself as French, but when spoken to in French not only could not reply but became belligerent.)
  • A cover story that does not ring true. (A young Arab, recently arrived in Spain, wants to buy a watch repair shop and the owner agrees to sell, but something seems not right—"He had fat fingers, so how was he going to fix watches?")[32]
  • Evasive about his background ("I'm from the Middle East" rather than giving a country name).[33]
  • Losing passports or other documentation so as to get new ones.
  • Acquisition of multiple identities and their careful use. ("The only time [the shoe-bomber, Richard] Reid appears to have used his real name is when flying.")[34]

  • Membership in militant Islamic groups or front organizations.
  • Financial support for those groups or fronts.
  • Active involvement at mosques known for their militant Islamic orientation.
  • Close friendships or family ties with other suspects.
  • Immersion in a purely Muslim environment.
  • Avoiding contact with the larger society: "friendly but standoffish," in the words of a former assistant U.S. attorney. "Say ‘hello' but don't talk. Let people see you, but don't bring attention to yourself," in the words of an Al-Qaeda advisory.[35]

  • Choosing to live in areas where many cultures are represented and an easygoing attitude toward different customs is evident (northern New Jersey, southern Florida, Leicester or Bradford in England, Hamburg in Germany).
  • Sending or receiving large amounts of money.
  • A preference for cash transactions.
  • Criminal activity, especially reliance on counterfeited money and smuggling.
  • A promising career that failed, descent into drugs and alcohol, then redemption through Islam.
  • An offer to work for the enemy's intelligence services.
  • Enrolling in university studies in the liberal arts, then switching to engineering or the sciences.
Submitting....

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