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Immigration And Terrorism—One Percent Of Foreign Jihadis With Criminal Records In The U.S.
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July 06, 2008, 11:54 PM
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More than six and a half years after 9/11, the U.S. bureaucracy is starting to get basic tasks done.

Fingerprints from one out of a hundred detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa are matching those in U.S. local police files:

From the Washington Post:

As they analyzed the results, they were surprised to learn that one out of every 100 detainees was already in the FBI`s database for arrests. Many arrests were for drunken driving, passing bad checks and traffic violations, FBI officials said.

"Frankly I was surprised that we were getting those kind of hits at all," recalled Townsend, who left government in January. They identified "a potential vulnerability" to national security the government had not fully appreciated, she said.The people being fingerprinted had come from the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. They were mostly in their 20s, Shannon recalled. "One of the things we learned is we were dealing with relatively young guys who were very committed and what they would openly tell you is that when they got out they were going back to jihad," he said. "They`d already made this commitment."

One of the first men fingerprinted by the FBI team was a fighter who claimed he was in Afghanistan to learn the ancient art of falconry. But a fingerprint check showed that in August 2001 he had been turned away from Orlando International Airport by an immigration official who thought he might overstay his visa. Mohamed al Kahtani would later be named by the Sept. 11 Commission as someone who allegedly had sought to participate in hijackings. He currently is in custody at Guantanamo Bay.

Similarly, in 2004, an FBI team choppered to a remote desert camp on the Iraq-Iran border, home to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), whose aim is to overthrow the Iranian government. The MEK lead an austere lifestyle in which men are segregated from women and material goods are renounced. The U.S. State Department considers the organization to be a terrorist group.

The FBI team fingerprinted 3,800 fighters. More than 40, Shannon said, had previous criminal records in the agency`s database.

While the FBI was busy collecting fingerprints, the military was setting up its own biometrics database, adding in iris and facial data as well. By October, the two organizations agreed to collaborate, running queries through both systems. The very first match was on the man who claimed to be a poor dirt farmer. Among his many charges were misdemeanors for theft and public drunkenness in Chicago and Utah, a criminal record that ran from 1993 to 2001, said Herb Richardson, who serves as operations manager for the military`s Automated Biometric Identification System under a contract with Ideal Innovations of Arlington.

Many of those with U.S. arrest records had come to the United States to study ...[Post-9/11 Dragnet Turns Up Surprises, By Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, July 6, 2008]

So, one percent is just the fraction of jihadis who got fingerprinted in America when they got caught by the police screwing up. What fraction managed to not get caught when they were in America? Of course, we don`t seem to collect fingerprints on foreigners in the U.S., so nobody knows.

Not every young foreign man who attends college in America develops a lifelong love of America. John Updike`s 1978 novel "The Coup" explains the psychological mechanics of this in a character very similar to Barack Obama Sr.

So, why did our President go out of his way to start up a new program with the King of Saudi Arabia to bring thousands of Saudi college students to America?