What led to Texas terrorist’s arrest

As reported on CBS Evening News tonight (see video), Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, the Saudi freelance terrorist living for years in Texas under a student visa, was not on the authorities’ counter-terrorism radar until three weeks ago. But when, using his own name, he contacted a North Carolina chemical supply company wanting to purchase a large amount of a certain chemical that is used in explosives, someone in the company got suspicious and contacted the FBI. This led to the investigation which led to Aldawsari’s arrest. The CBS correspondent clearly implies, though he does not explicitly state (this part of his report is skimpy), that part of the reason for the company’s suspicion was that a man with a Muslim name was seeking to buy explosives.

Which leads to the question, will the company now be sued for anti-Muslim profiling and discrimination? Remember that under the federal government’s own guidelines that were put in place by George W. Bush, if a person’s Muslim identity was a decisive factor that made an airline company single him out for special scrutiny before allowing him to board a flight, that was unpermitted discrimination and the airline company could be sued. In fact, the federal government under George W. Bush did sue at least one airline for that very reason.

Presumably the same principle is still in operation today at whatever level of the system applies. So here is where we are. On one hand, the government constantly tells us to speak up if we have a suspicion that someone may be involved in terrorist activities. On the other hand, the government tells us that if we have such a suspicion of someone in significant part because he is a Muslim, we have committed a vile act of discrimination and should be punished. In our perverted liberal society, it was an act of courage for that chemical company to call the FBI.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

George W. Bush not only put those anti-discrimination regulations in place, he ordered that student visas for Saudis be increased, so that they might study here in greater numbers.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who was in this country on one of those visas, included the address of George W. Bush’s Dallas home on his list of possible targets. Perhaps if the young Saudi had dropped by, the former president, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the Koran, could have explained to him that Islam is a religion of peace.

February 25

Dean Ericson writes:

I’m glad Paul K. pointed out that it was George Bush who INCREASED Saudi student visas not long after the 9/11 attacks—attacks perpetrated, in part, by jihadis here on Saudi student visas. I remember being dumbfounded, at the time, at Bush’s criminal liberal insanity. If this latest Saudi student visa jihadi had actually managed to attack GWB, as he apparently planned to do, it would have been poetic justice.

LA replies:

It would be poetic justice, but would Bush get the message? Let’s take Paul’s and your Bush scenario a step further. If the young jihadist, whom Bush’s own policy had allowed into the country, had succeeded in attacking Bush’s home and gravely injuring but not killing Bush, Bush, while he was still in his hospital bed, would have released the following statement:

We must not allow this single event to justify bigotry against and exclusion of Muslims. If we do so, the terrorists will have won. The meaning of America is compassion. I am therefore inaugurating, with the help of a $20 million grant from my good friend Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the George W. Bush Center for Tolerance and Understanding of Islam, the purpose of which will be to battle anti-Muslim stereotypes. To advance that mission, one of the main policy goals of the Center will be to increase the number of Muslim students and immigrants coming to America.
Mark Jaws writes:

You wrote:

“But when, using his own name, he contacted a North Carolina chemical supply company wanting to purchase a large amount of a certain chemical that is used in explosives, someone in the company got suspicious and contacted the FBI…. [P]art of the reason for the company’s suspicion was that a man with a Muslim name was seeking to buy explosives.”

As I have said before, these people are not particularly bright. It is no coincidence that the Israeli Army could make matzoh ball soup out of them.

Paul K. writes:

Sadly, I must agree with your prediction of how George W. Bush would respond to such an attack. I can’t recall him ever changing one of his views based on evidence to the contrary. Much as I dislike Stephen Colbert, I had to agree with him when he said of Bush: “He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man’s beliefs never will.”

David P. writes:

What is surprising is that this Muslim Jihadi did some amazingly stupid things- such as order the chemicals in his own name, as well lay out his intentions of the internet. I don’t think he is that stupid, and his actions have intent.

I posit three reasons:

1. He does not really wish to create another 9/11, as that would galvanize active hostility to Muslims, and thus endanger their stay in the US.

2. Create confusion within the security services, and waste their time and resources—in this he has succeeded.

3. Islam is waging war on the West from within. In war, diversionary attacks are necessary to hide a real attack in the offing.

LA replies:

Such complex, fantastically counterintuitive theories of people’s “real” motivations, which contradict all their apparent motivations, never make sense to me. In the Oughts, I wrote many entries about the Bush supporters’ amazing theories of Bush, by which they explained that every liberal thing he did was “really” part of a superhumanly complex scheme to advance conservatism. As I’ve written before, such theories indicate a fundamentally flawed understanding of the way people and reality function.

People aren’t that complicated and smart. No one could be as complicated and as devious as the various conspiracy theories require that they be.

Take, as an extreme example, the anti-Semites’ view of me. According to them, everything I’ve written over the last 20 years about immigration, about race, about defending and restoring white America, has really been part of an amazingly complicated plot the real purpose of which is to destroy white America for the benefit of Jews and Israel.

Now think of how my mind would have had to work for this theory to be true. When I was exerting all my energies, all my thoughts and passions in writing The Path to National Suicide and other writings, I actually didn’t believe anything that I was saying, because my real project was to disseminate an insincere argument that would make people believe I was pro white America when in fact my intent was to destroy white America.

Your theory of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari is analogous to that, though, obviously, only a tiny fraction as extreme. You are positing a situation in which, instead of spending years developing on his own into a freelance jihadist and then planning jihad attacks on America and working out in his mind a list of possible targets, he was really planning how to do very stupid things that would lead to his being arrested and so distract America from the more destructive attacks on America that others were planning.

Part of the motivating impulse for such theories is the belief that there is an all-powerful enemy who is in control of every single aspect of his campaign against us, so that even his apparent mistakes are not mistakes but part of the larger plan; or, as in the case of the Bush supporters’ theories of Bush, an all-powerful friend who, even when he seems to be failing or betraying our side, is actually deliberately setting up his failures or betrayals in order to help our side. Or alternatively, as with the anti-Semites’ theory of me, the enemy, the Jew, has spent his life working to protect the white West, which cannot be, so it must be that the enemy is really engaged in a plot of superhuman deviousness to destroy the white West. What drives these theories is a belief in a totally planned reality, either for us or against us. A totally planned reality is beyond human capability. But the theorists, like gnostics, look beyond the evident implausibility of their theories to their real, underlying “truth.”

I don’t know what I can do to dissuade people from these counter-reality conspiracy theories, except to point out how counter-reality they are.

FL writes:

“I don’t know what I can do to dissuade people from these counter-reality conspiracy theories, except to point out how counter-reality they are.”

You might try asking people if there is any evidence which would disprove, or at least undermine their conspiracy theory.

But anyway, it reminds me of people who claim that US Foreign Policy is completely controlled by Israel. I usually ask those people why the US embassy has not been moved to Jerusalem; why the US gives millions of dollars in aid to the “Palestinian Authority”; why the US pressured Israel to have a settlement freeze; why Jonathan Pollard is still in jail; and so on.

A typical response is that Israel does not want to look too powerful. Which presents the same problem—all likely evidence confirms the hypothesis.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 24, 2011 08:56 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):