Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 3, 2012

Reading over two terrorists shoulders

Filed under: Radicalization,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on May 3, 2012

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has released 17 of the documents retrieved from the compound in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden was killed.  In addition to English translations and the original Arabic versions  —  posted online today at 9:00 AM EST — the CTC has issued a short report contextualizing the documents.

See: Last Year at Abbottabad.

While you’re at the CTC site scan their other publications.  Good stuff.

Many HLSWatch readers will also be interested in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs staff report on the radicalization of Zac Chesser.  Please access: A Case Study in Online Islamist Radicalization and Its Meaning for the Threat of Homegrown Terrorism.

In July 2010 I posted a piece entitled: Could you or I have talked Zac Chesser out of violent extremism? Arnold Bogis (not yet a fellow poster) and I had a quick exchange on the question.  In the Senate report there is  a tantalizing reference to Chesser almost being talked back from the edge.

Each set of resources offers fascinating insights into terrorist realities.

I recently discovered a cache of letters I had written (rough drafts) and received (in reply) from the early 1980s.  I came away wondering about the vagaries of memory and the often fluid nature of what purports to be real.

It’s a tad intimidating to think how these posts and comments may be read thirty years from now.  If we’re lucky these bytes may prove even more fragile than the thin airmail paper I found in a long forgotten file.   Based on all three examples, humility ages more gracefully than its opposite.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 3, 2012 @ 9:09 am

Yes Phil when discovered in a desert cave, the HLS Postings will have the same impact as the DEAD SEA SCROLLS. Etchings on cave walls perhaps without the beauty and evidence of creativeness. But hey we all do what we can.

And hey was terrorism always there somehow in human history now made manifest by the power of the MSM and global communications?

Please note that according to the IMF, a country wracked by Communist terrorists over almost 1/3 of its land area for the last several decades just passed Japan as the 3rd largest in the world’s economies based on GDP purchasing power. With INDIA being one of the largest nation-states with followers of Islam as almost 1/5 of its citizens, and perhaps 20% labeled as Communist terrorists by the government perhaps we should be flying drones over INDIA.

And with the Communists in CHINA largely seizing power on a platform of land reform and anti-corruption would it not be interesting to know if that regime collapsed from the need for economic reforms and corruption by the end of the century.

This too shall pass.

And in the meantime I predict that the actual expenditures on HS by budget categories in DHS by the end of FY 2013 that starts in October will be well below 50% of the entire DHS budget. HOw much do the 1000 positions labeled management analyst in DHS support front line HS?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 3, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

Having thought about it since it happened I would have used one or two cruise missiles and not risked the SEALS!

Little difference between drone attacks and cruise missile attacks when it comes to Pakistan IMO!

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