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Does Pointing Out Stupid Errors Help Terrorists?

Reader comment on item: Stupid Terrorists

Submitted by Merry Whitney (United States), Oct 6, 2005 at 16:02

I doubt it. Most of the stupid things I recall from that article seemed essentially to be displays of thoughtless arrogance.

While pointing out specific errors may serve to warn off some terrorists from repeating the same mistakes, it will not address the mindset that all but guarantees other stupid mistakes. It also may help demoralize a few of the terrorists, or create second thoughts among some young Muslims who might be tempted to join them.

Terrorist stupidity is not a new observation. It was practically part of a sub-plot in a novel-with-apparent-purpose (The Carlos Contract, I think, late 1970s) by David Atlee Phillips, former CIA Intelligence Officer and co-founder of the Association of Retired Intelligence Officers.

The "story" attributed its much-used derogatory term "the Mohammad factor" to sentiments expressed by Ilych Ramiriz-Sanchez ("Carlos the Terrorist"), and illustrated the "Mohammad factor" with incidents such as terrorists dressed in U.S. military uniforms but wearing sport shoes (noticed by a young school boy who blew the whistle; the bomb they were planting took out half a parking lot, but no human casualties).

Merry Whitney

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