Terrorism: February 14, 2003


Not surprisingly, federal prosecutions of suspected terrorists in the US increased tenfold in the year after September 11, 2001. In the year before that, there were 115 terrorism related prosecutions. In the year after, 1208. But about half the new cases were termed "terrorist prevention" and were initiated against violators of Social Security Administration or immigration rules. In effect, the definition of "terrorism" was expanded. As a result there were more convictions for less serious offenses. In the year after, there were 394 convictions, with an average sentence of two months. Whereas in the year before there were 21 convictions with an average sentence of 41 months.  The crackdown has caused consternation among the over eight million illegal immigrants in the United States, especially those from Arab and Islamic nations.  Thousands of these illegals are heading back home, most others are coming forward to try and work something out. But many are, in effect, going underground. And among these there are an unknown number of al Qaeda sympathizers. Even among citizens and legal migrants from Moslem nations, there are many who sympathize or support al Qaeda. Most of these supporters are young men caught up in the fervor of "Islamic Revolution." These terrorist wannbes have to be careful, for many of their Moslem neighbors want nothing to do with this revolution and it's terrorism. The number of leads coming in from these neighbors and relatives has been large and there are apparently many "terrorist cells" under investigation. Many of these "cells" are simply spontaneous outbreaks of Islamic fervor among young Moslems in America. Getting in touch with al Qaeda is not that easy, and the people you connect with via a pro-al Qaeda web site might turn out to be from the FBI or some foreign intelligence agency.


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