The debate between left and right over whether "profiling" is an
appropriate tool, is one of several aspects of the "War on Terror" where people
talking about something that is essentially a non-issue. The debate is welcomed
by al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups, since it diverts attention from
more serious discussion of tactics and strategy.
from various intelligence agencies suggests that even before September 11,
2001, al Qaeda began actively recruiting "Western" looking people, men and
women, for the purpose of circumventing any resort to profiling. They have apparently been having some
success. The presence of small numbers
of "white" even blond haired-and blue eyed trainees in al Qaeda training
camps in Waziristan has been confirmed.
Some of these trainees are from existing Moslem communities in the
Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, while others are recent converts from
Europe, the U.S., and other Western nations. Confirmation comes from CIA and
other Western intelligence agencies who have been doing a little "profile
proof" recruiting of their own, with agents able to "pass" as Moslems actually
infiltrating al Qaeda's infrastructure.
remains an symbolic figure or enormous importance, Osama bin Ladin is now
believed to have very little to do with running al Qaeda. Actual operations are controlled by Ayman al
Zawahiri, who seems to have a pretty firm grip on al Qaeda operations in
Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where the organization has been taking some
heavy hits. Al Zawahiri's influence over
the other al Qaeda franchises varies from considerable to virtually nil. Some of the local al Qaeda franchises seem to
have no real ties to al Qaeda Central at all; local Islamists seeking some
"authentication" have merely proclaimed their adherence to bin Laden's "jihad"
in the hope of gaining prestige and influence, not to mention possibly securing