There is no problem created by man that man cannot solve. That is certainly true of acts of terror. The United States has been largely successful in averting acts of terror in the United States that arise from international terrorist network instigation, but what about the lone wolves, those inspired by radical Islamic propaganda to engage in acts of terror? Addressing that issue requires a multi-faceted approach, one part of which is a reactivation of the colonial minute man, where each of us plays a role in protecting others. I offer 5 steps to ferret out and eliminate the threat posed by lone wolves:
1. Infiltrate radical Islamists’ organizations. U.S. intelligence operatives in connection with allied spy networks have succeeded in becoming moles within several terrorist organizations worldwide. It is time to increase that undercover presence in the mosques, madrasas, and other organizations that are used by or are connected with all radical Islamists who communicate direct and indirect threats against the West. Within the United States, evidence should be presented in camera to federal judges having jurisdiction over the location of such institutions to permit issuance of clandestine surveillance warrants, thereby ensuring a check on what could otherwise result in abuse of the liberties of American citizens not involved in efforts to inspire acts of violence against Westerners. Upon evidence of any act in furtherance of plots to harm Westerners, authorities should arrest (domestically) or deem enemy combatants and kill (internationally) those responsible.
2. Hold radical Islamist instigators responsible for acts of terror initiated by lone wolves. If one or more radical Islamists is found to be the source of inspiration for an act of terror by a lone wolf, that person should be arrested (domestically) or deemed an enemy combatant and killed (internationally).
3. Encourage creation of local militia to attend and defend at public gatherings. In cooperation with local police, former police, active and retired military, and otherwise weapons trained individuals should be encouraged by local authorities to join citizen militias with the end in view of training volunteers (minute men) to provide greater situational awareness, integrated support for law enforcement, and defense at public gatherings. Citizens participating in the local militia would need to be vetted to be qualified and, once so vetted and approved, they could then be employed to note suspicious behaviors in public places, to assist in protecting potential weak points at such sites, to have integrated communication with law enforcement, and to act against terrorists in instances where immediate intervention is required to avert an act of terror or apprehend a person who has initiated an act of terror. When lone wolves arise from the population, only a citizen centered defense will be sufficient to safeguard the public.
4. Restore an economy of growth and opportunity. One of the greatest deterrents to lone wolves is a vibrant economy. So long as our country continues to embrace ever greater regulation, taxation, and redistribution of income, disabling private attempts at economic recovery, our economy will present obstacles to economic entry for immigrants, causing them to experience alienation, disaffection, and disillusionment. The destruction of an opportunity society, of upward economic mobility, leaves those who have emigrated to the United States for a chance at improvement bereft of options and vulnerable to the wiles of those who would have them believe that Westerners despise and reject them. Effective counterterrorism thus depends on restoration of a free enterprise economy, and every effort should be undertaken to eliminate regulatory barriers to entry, reduce taxation, and allow for accumulation of capital in private hands. Doing so will open the doors to entry level employment and enterprise, restoring an upwardly mobile economy and reducing the incidence of disaffection and disillusionment.
5. Reform immigration. Our system for processing immigrants is antiquated and overwhelmed by regulations that make legal immigration to the United States extraordinarily costly and cumbersome. We need to scrap the current system and focus on creating one that examines carefully the connections of prospective United States citizens, making it clear to the world that those who forego associations with individuals and groups dedicated to the destruction of Westerners, live righteous lives, and develop marketable skills will be welcome to come to the United States, provided that they have proof of the interest of a United States company in employing them gainfully and will not seek public assistance.
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Likewise, our doors should be firmly closed to those who associate with individuals and groups dedicated to the destruction of Westerners. If we restore a vibrant free enterprise economy in the United States and a system for immigration that holds out real hope for the talented and righteous to succeed in America, we will create a new pathway for disaffected and disillusioned youth in foreign countries to realize their hopes and dreams. That, too, will help deplete the ranks of those otherwise available for nefarious acts under the direction of radical Islamists and other terrorist individuals and groups.
There are undoubtedly many more wise measures that can be taken to dissuade individuals from becoming lone wolves, ferret out the ones who do arise, and hold responsible those who have aided and abetted acts in furtherance of terror. Now is the time for the nation to implement every reasonable measure, ensuring that each is subject to requisite checks that guard against violation of law abiding citizens’ rights.
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