Saturday, June 12, 2010

Put FBI Back in the Crime Fighting Business

International terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Hezbollah are not simply criminals, they are not the mafia with exotic names.  Treating them as criminals to be investigated, arrested, questioned, tried and sentenced is a problematic proposition at best. The recent arrest of two men who were preparing to fly to Somalia to attend a Jihad training camp is a case in point. These two men had been under surveillance since 2006 and were arrested apparently only when they were about to leave the country. Imagine the resources in time, money and manpower used so far.  They still have to be held, tried and incarcerated.

Apparently President Obama and  AG Holder believe the the overseas contingency operation can be "won" by arresting the low-level terrorists two at a time and assassinating the leadership one at a time with Predator strikes. This is not a strategy as much as it is a holding pattern until most of the combat troops can be evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan so - the FBI can take over the fight?

The FBI is good law enforcement organization that has had success against various white collar criminals, spies, militia groups and the mafia. These fall into the traditional law enforcement arena and have little or no international entanglements or impediments to a successful conviction.  The international character of the militant Islamist groups makes the law enforcement model inadequate. The FBI is and should be focused on investigations that lead to arrests and prosecutions. Our government should not be concerned with arresting or prosecuting terrorists. The intelligence agencies and military should be concerned with killing them.

Let the FBI go back to what it was designed to do and give the Department of Homeland Security the responsibility of domestic intelligence and counter-terrorism.  Perhaps the DHS could have allowed the two Jihadi wannabes to go to the camp in Somalia and then hand it over to the military for a Predator strike.

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