Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Over 70 Americans Fighting FOR ISIS – How Ferguson Incidents Could Recruit American Jihadis
Over 70 Americans Fighting FOR ISIS – What Happens When They Come Back to America?
How Ferguson Incidents Could Recruit American Jihadis
Out of the approximately 10,000 ISIS fighters, it is believed that about 2,000 are foreigners, with 70 of those being American. One of them, Douglas McCain, was recently killed fighting in Syria. In his pocket was an American passport. This should be a wakeup call in more ways than one.
What happens when these young men return to Europe and America? Will the next 9/11 be by American citizens? As a terrorism analyst for over 20 years, incidents against minorities like the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson could end up recruiting more Americans to become jihadists –not African Americans but Muslim Americans, who are also targeted by police due to their skin color.
Possible. A lesson we should learn from the Ferguson shooting is that the enemy is not minorities like Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot six times. The biggest threats we face on the homeland are twofold (1) a subculture of jihadists like Douglas McCain who already live in America (and Europe) who are connected to the world via the Internet, and (2) the mostly white “sovereign citizens” who do not believe that state, federal or even local law applies to them – and have been shooting police who merely stop them for a traffic offense.
These two young men—McCain and Brown-- couldn’t be more different. Michael Brown had been accepted to college. He obviously wanted to learn new skills. Douglas McCain was not going to college; he was choosing a deadly direction, based on what? Stuff he read on the Internet? The treatment of his kind by authorities? McCain would have returned to kill us for being Americans. He would not be alone – he would have to compete with (mostly white) sovereign citizens like those who stood on the Bundy ranch in Nevada and pointed high powered guns at U.S. law enforcement (protecting a deadbeat who had not paid grazing fees in decades). Neither are role models. Michael Brown would have returned with a college degree. Big difference.
Police treatment of minorities could actually become a recruiting tool for jihadists because of the use of excessive force on young black and Hispanic men (and women) -- which happens in cities like Ferguson across America every day. Police and Americans need to realize that America is becoming a majority minority country (like Ft. Bend, Texas is already). They need to realize that our minorities are not a threat to our society. But these minorities are being punished more severely than whites for the same offense. It’s why all police should be required to wear a cam during incidents.
One real example of injustice: Blacks are arrested more than two and half times more than Whites for even nonviolent crimes like possession of marijuana, even though the use by both groups equal as shown in this study. “Racial disparities in drug arrests represent a serious threat to the integrity of the criminal justice system that should concern all Americans," said the report's author, Jon Gettman, Ph.D.
Rather than focusing on punishing our minorities for nonviolent offenses, or putting a deadly choke hold on a man whose only “crime” was selling cigarettes as recently happened in New York, our police forces should be becoming more diverse to be an integral part of the community. Law enforcement should focus on violent offenses instead of arresting people selling cigarettes or jaywalking which deserve, at most, a small fine or a traffic ticket.
Harassment of minorities degrades what America is all about. And it plays into the recruiting by jihadists who can use cases of injustice and violence by police towards minorities as vindication for their own journey down the road of violence.
A country that stands for liberty, equality and justice cannot entirely claim the moral high ground against American jihadists if we tolerate our own law enforcement carrying out summary killings under the color of law. I spent time in Syria on a kidnapping case as outlined in my book. ISIS is killing and mistreating minorities. Intolerance that leads to death is the same result whether it is in Iraq, Syria or Ferguson.
Being targeted because of color is no different than being shot because of one’s religion. Both are repugnant to American values. The serial shootings of unarmed black men and other minorities by police needs to stop. A police officer is neither a sovereign citizen nor judge and jury.