politics, history and the war on terror
Friday, May 28, 2004

fifth column
Etymology: name applied to rebel sympathizers in Madrid in 1936 when four rebel columns were advancing on the city
: a group of secret sympathizers or supporters of an enemy that engage in espionage or sabotage within defense lines or national borders

As the War on Terror is fought in far away lands such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Indonesia, the Philippines, Spain and elsewhere, we often forget the battlefield here at home. Yesterday the Department of Justice announced the manhunt for seven suspected al Qaeda members believed to be inside the United States actively plotting terror attacks this summer. One of the members of the suspected cell, American born Adam Gadahn (aka Adam Pearlman, aka Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki) reminds us that the enemy we face is not only foreign; that Americans have taken up arms with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Intelligence experts believe that upwards to thousands of al Qaeda operatives and support personnel are in the United States (not this estimate does not include other terror groups).

Some intelligence officials estimate there may be as many as 5,000 people in the United States with some sort of connection to al Qaeda. That number, larger than other estimates, includes all those in the "realm of suspicion" and those who may know of terrorist activities but not participate in them, one official said. The number of hardcore al Qaeda members in the United States who might actually do harm to Americans is in the low hundreds or even less, officials say.

The disturbing revelation that Americans have turned on their own country surfaced in Afghanistan after American Johnny Walker Lindh was apprehended following the murder of CIA interrogator Michael Spann, and American born Yaser Esam Hamdi was discovered in the Guantanimo Bay detention facility. Shortly after, Jose Padilla was arrested entering the United States after plotting with al Qaeda to design and detonate a dirty bomb. As the invasion of Iraq began, Sgt. Asan Akbar of the 101st Airborne division killed two of his fellow soldiers by lobbing hand grenades into tents at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait. And the list of Americans implicated with or convicted for plotting with terrorists continues. The Yemini born naturalized American citizens know as the Lackawanna Six have plead guilty to training in al Qaeda camps and assisting the terror organization. Seattle residents Patrice Lumumba Ford and Jeffrey Leon Battle both pled guilty for attempting to join the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks. University of South Florida professor Sami Al Arian has been indicted for serving as the Secretary General of the violent Palestinian Islamic Jihad. British cleric Abu Hamza has been arrested with “plotting to establish a "violent jihad training camp" in Oregon.” The Muslim American group Council for American Islamic Relations [CAIR] (which will be covered in greater detail at this site) has recently had three prominent members indicted for cooperating with terrorist groups:

The government alleges that Mr. Royer trained with the “Lashkar-e-Taiba” (army of the righteous) group, a Kashmir terrorist group that is listed on the State Departments international terror list. Lashkar-e-Taiba is reportedly linked with al-Qaida, the Islamist terror group behind the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. This is not the first time that CAIR has had its officers arrested for Islamist-terror related crimes; Mr. Bassem Khafagi, CAIR’s director of community relations was arrested this past January and Mr. Siraj Wahhaj, CAIR Advisory Board member has been named as “one of the “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in a plot to blow up monuments in New York City several years ago.

In order to win the War on Terror, we must fight both at home and abroad. While terrorists can train, coordinate and plan oversees, the attacks such as 9/11, Madrid and Bali cannot be executed without terrorists operating within the host nation. In order to root out terrorists within the United States, the government depends on tools such as the Patriot Act. Members of both the far left and far right who instinctively oppose the Patriot Act for political reasons are unwittingly playing into the hands of a dangerous and deadly fifth column here in America.


The "members of both the far left and far right who instinctively oppose the Patriot Act for political reasons" refers to those who make false accusations about the Patriot Act for political gain or in an attempt to discedit the government. Their actions are destructive as they demonize the law, make it politically difficult to pursue terrorists, and give our enemy propaganda that reinforces the image of American decadence. There are Republicans and Democrats with reasonable concerns about the law that do not engage in the destructive rhetoric of the antiwar fringe. Their actions are constructive as they look for ways to improve the law and prevent legitimate violations of civil liberties.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:02 PM