Who Really Kept Us Safe After 9/11–The truth about homeland security

Steve Chapman

If there was any certainty in the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, it was that these were just the first in a campaign of terror on American soil. “You can just about bet on it,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “I anticipate another attack.”

Gary Stubblefield, who directed the Naval Special Warfare Task Unit in the Pacific area, asserted that, as The Denver Post paraphrased, “the question is not if but when dozens of terrorist cells in the United States will unleash biological, chemical and perhaps nuclear weapons against U.S. cities.” FBI Director Robert Mueller estimated the U.S. harbored “several hundred” extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Americans had seen in Israel how a homegrown terrorist movement was able to kill hundreds of people with suicide bombings and other attacks. It seemed we could expect the same. A comment often heard was, “We are all Israelis now.”

But the predictions have not come true. There have been very few attacks in this country by Islamic extremists—and nothing remotely on the scale of 9/11. The “sleeper cells” proved to be mostly nonexistent.

This surprising record has been attributed to excellent work by the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies, the war in Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s aggressive treatment of suspected terrorists. But on the list of those deserving credit, the first is a group hardly anyone would have predicted: American Muslims.

Millions of Muslims live in the United States. Had even a tiny percentage been radicalized enough to commit violence, they could have done immense damage. Despite all the efforts to upgrade security at a few crucial sites, it really wouldn’t be hard for any group to kill lots of people.

A car bomb in a stadium parking lot, a couple of semi-automatic rifles in a shopping mall, a Molotov cocktail in a crowded bus, a bomb on a railroad track, a runaway pickup on a city sidewalk—there’s an endless list of easy pickings.

There are too many targets to secure them all. It would have been a simple task for a handful of minimally trained volunteers to keep us in a constant state of fear.

But the volunteers, with rare exceptions, didn’t come forward. Charles Kurzman, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writes in Foreign Policy magazine that “approximately a dozen people in the country were convicted in the five years after 9/11 for having links with al-Qaida” and “fewer than 40 Muslim Americans planned or carried out acts of domestic terrorism.”

That may sound like a lot, until you remember that there are 15,000 murders a year in this country. A report from the Rand Corp., a national security think tank, noted that of 83 terrorist attacks that took place between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three “were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.” Three!

We hear a lot of allegations of radical American imams preaching jihad. If so, they are not getting through. The simple fact is that most American Muslims don’t sympathize with religious extremism and almost none are willing to practice it.

And why should they be? According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, “They are overwhelmingly satisfied with the way things are going in their lives (82 percent) and continue to rate their communities very positively as places to live (79 percent excellent or good).”

Suicide bombers may proliferate in places where followers of Islam feel oppressed—as many living under Arab dictators do, as many living under Israeli control do. But worldwide, says Kurzman, global Islamic extremist organizations have been able to recruit “fewer than one out of every 100,000 Muslims since 9/11.” Islam is not particularly fertile ground for growing terrorists.

That’s especially true in the land of the free. Despite the suspicions they face from some of their fellow citizens, American Muslims clearly value what America offers them. They like living in a democracy that respects their rights. People with good lives are not inclined to throw them away in grisly acts of violence.

A decade ago, American Muslims were called by our enemies to rise up and slaughter their fellow citizens. Al Qaeda must be wondering why it never heard back.

  1. #1 by Amy Aremia on 09/10/2011 - 9:34

    It’s time for the US to stay out of other countries and take care of our security and safety…we have military scattered around the world in 137 countries..which is most unnecessary…cost billions we don’t have.

    We give Billions$ to other countries in “foreign aid” while we borrow money to py our own debts…time to put a stop to this insane spending…AA

  2. #2 by Pro-Gentile on 09/10/2011 - 9:34

    “Suicide bombers may proliferate in places where followers of Islam feel oppressed—as many living under Arab dictators do”

    No such thing as an Arab dictator. They should be called by their real title: Servants of the West.

    That goes double for “suicide bomber”… another non-existent propagandist piece of deceit. The so called leftist/liberal narrative goes “they are so desperate, that they will strap on a bomb to combat their oppression”. See if you can spot the manipulation.

    Jihad is defined as struggle i.e. struggle against evil.

    All those “incidents of terrorism”… half of them were setups, the other half were framejobs. And the third half was pure propaganda.

    Real terrorism doesn’t exist. Anyone telling you otherwise, doesn’t know any better. Neither did I when I started out, until I started looking into things and analyzing what I’d found.

    The recent power outage in S. California… a simple “operator error”… if there were real terrorists, the people of the world wouldn’t have a SINGLE SOLITARY moment of peace, not even enough to breathe one single sigh of relief. It truly is easy to destroy… one wonders why it isn’t so commonplace…?

    Terrorism is against God, common sense, logic and decency. No one with a conscience, could ever begin to contemplate it.

    Those who commit evil, think they can get away with it… God sees everything… also gives us opportunities to do good, to put things right… You will one day be called to answer… This is for those agents who think monitoring “extremists” “activists” “truth-tellers” and subverting such people/groups is an honorable or even worthwhile job.

    God is the ruler of this world, never forget that.

  3. #3 by Ingrid B on 09/11/2011 - 9:34

    “This surprising record has been attributed to excellent work by the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies, the war in Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s aggressive treatment of suspected terrorists.”
    “It would have been a simple task for a handful of minimally trained volunteers to keep us in a constant state of fear.” :

    I take issue with these two paragraphs.. the “excellent work” by the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies, IS to keep “US” in a constant state of fear..

  4. #4 by joe mama on 09/11/2011 - 9:34

    @Ingrid: and why is that?

  5. #5 by joe mama on 09/11/2011 - 9:34

    Well, this whole entire day will be saturated with the Disneyland version of 9/11. Just proves that my fellow Americans are as dumb as a “bag of hammers”!

  6. #6 by DR.NUR on 09/11/2011 - 9:34


    Father insists alleged leader is still alive

    reddit this

    Kate Connolly in Berlin
    The Guardian, Monday 2 September 2002 01.28 BST
    Article history

    The father of Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the September 11 attacks, said in an interview published yesterday that his son was still alive.

    “He is hiding in a secret place so as not to be murdered by the US secret services,” Mohammed el-Amir Atta, 66, told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. He also vehemently denied that his son – believed to have flown the first plane into the World Trade Centre – had taken part in the atrocities, blaming them instead on “American Christians”.

    The interview painted a picture of a tortured man who has not come to terms with his 33-year-old son’s death or with the huge crime laid at his door. He said he feared the US would try to poison him.

    Speaking from his Cairo home, Mr Atta described hearing about the attacks after returning from a holiday on the Red Sea on the evening of September 12. “My daughter called and said she was going to drop in. She stood at the door and said ‘turn on the TV’,” he said. Amid images of the jets crashing into the Twin Towers, he saw his son’s passport photograph.

    “As I saw the picture of my son,” he said, “I knew that he hadn’t done it. My son called me the day after the attacks on September 12 at around midday. We spoke for two minutes about this and that.

    “He didn’t tell me where he was calling from. At that time neither of us knew anything about the attacks.”

    Mr Atta said he did not condone the attacks, but could understand the hijackers’ motivation. “Every day our Palestinian brothers are being murdered, their houses destroyed. If their relatives were to fly a plane into the Empire State Building I couldn’t hold it against them,” he added.

    Mr Atta called his son a “gentle and tender boy”, who enjoyed reading history and geography books and was nicknamed “Bolbol”, or nightingale, by his parents.

  7. #7 by Abu Ihsan on 09/12/2011 - 9:34

    I am proud that more Americans are realising that they have been ridden upon. They hard working people. Good honest people. But the Evil Criminal Bankers behind CIA and FBI are trying to enslave the good American people right now. They are even telling their congressmen if you dont pass this presidential executive law (meaning dictatorial power) now, we will make the economy scream.,there will be riots in American cities! American people can do it. Expose them NOW for what they are.

  8. #8 by Ben on 06/23/2012 - 9:34

    @ #4 – Because people in a state of fear are more easily controlled. Look how much freedom Americans have given up for “security” in the Patriot and NDA acts. Americans can now be locked up indefinitely, without representation, if the govt. arbitrarily decides to call them a “terrorist”. These laws might not be abused right now on a large scale, but the govt. is laying the groundwork for oppression of the people in the very near future.

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