Don’t Learn the Wrong Lesson from Jihad Jane

Sure, the alleged terrorist from Montgomery County looks like "one of us." But the case for ethnic profiling has never been clearer

The arrest of “Jihad Jane,” a white Montgomery County woman accused of plotting with known terrorists, is both good and bad.

Good, of course, because those associating with terrorists should be brought to justice. Colleen LaRose (Jane’s real name) showed her genius by publicly posting her intention to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had drawn Mohammed in a way she found offensive.

So yes, she’s a freak, and was a threat. Enough said. [SIGNUP]

But bad, because of all the politically correct morons who have once again come out of the woodwork, ranting that “profiling” is racist and doesn’t work. After all, they tell us, LaRose was one of us and didn’t fit a terrorist profile, so therefore all profiling should cease.

It’s truly incredible how seemingly intelligent people can be so obtuse.

Take Richard Clarke, the former Counterterrorism Czar to two presidents. For our purposes, we’ll just call him “Dick.” On a news program discussing the Jihad Jane case, Dick stated that, “profiling…has no value.”

Sure, Dick. You bet it doesn’t.

And along that line of thinking, I have only one more thing to add: your proctologist called, Dick. 
He found your head.

* * *

Of course, Dick, had you not been so naïve in the years leading up to the September 11 attacks — as in, had you done your job by expanding the use of profiling — perhaps the worst atrocity on American soil could have been prevented.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. As I stated in a Freindly Fire column in June 2007:

“All nineteen hijackers on September 11 were Muslim Arabs. And so was the twentieth, Zacharias Moussaoui. The 1993 World Trade Center bombings were also carried out by people of this ethnic group. As was the trans-Atlantic shoe bomber, the bombers of the U.S.S. Cole, the Madrid train bombers, the London subway attackers, etc.

I don’t recall any Swedish Christians taking part in acts of terror against the United States, nor 80-year-old grandmothers.

What am I missing? Why are we so scared to profile? What will it take for America to demand policies that actually protect, not appease?

Sadly, probably only another terrorist attack.”

And, unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happened. Twice.

First, we had U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan shooting up Fort Hood and killing 13 people. Did he fit a profile? You bet he did. And our intelligence agencies knew it.

But as our intelligence agents tried to navigate the politically correct landscape that America has become, they became more concerned about keeping their jobs than actually doing them. The result? Needless deaths.

Then we had the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner. Only because of the sheer incompetence of al-Queda did we not have a plane falling out of the sky. Again, the accused fit a profile, so much so that he was on the government’s terrorist-watch list, but we allowed him on the plane anyway.

Here’s the kicker: the radical terrorist, Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, had connections with Major Hasan, the Christmas bomber, and two September 11 hijackers. But I know, profiling doesn’t work.

Instead, if you’re that 80-year old grandmother who happens to have nail clippers or a lighter in your pocketbook, be prepared to get strip-searched as you enter the security checkpoint.

And forget the highly effective body scanning machines at our disposal — you know, the ones that could have detected the explosive device in the Christmas bomber’s underwear — because they invade people’s privacy and are deemed offensive. And America is just too politically correct to offend anyone.

Kind of makes you feel like flying the friendly skies right now, doesn’t it?

* * *

In his new book, The Watchers, author Shane Harris asks questions about the Christmas bomber: “Who was he? Where had he come from? And why had they never noticed him?”

He then explained:

“Something is broken. After the expense of billions of dollars in new data vacuums, disruptive bureaucratic restructuring, and more than eight years of human effort, the government has become expert at collecting the dots about terrorist attacks, those fragmentary clues gathered up in the massive, constant sweep. But it is not very good at connecting the dots, at forming them into a coherent narrative that can forecast events like those of Christmas Day.”

Harris is way too kind.

It’s not that the government isn’t “very good.” It’s terrible. And here’s the most frustrating part: it’s not for lack of resources or smart people.

It’s because we tie our own hands…over and over again, learning nothing from our past mistakes.

How many more planes must be blown up, buildings destroyed, lives snuffed out and, potentially, cities evaporated, before we do the right thing?

Here’s a thought: Blow up political correctness and let’s start profiling — before it’s too late.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter who operates his own new site, The Artorius News Bureau. Read more from him at