Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 14, 2015

Immigrant Terror Threats: Imported Time Bombs in an Age of Poses

Filed under: Immigration,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Nick Catrantzos on November 14, 2015

Certain vulnerabilities are emerging in the wake of the attacks on Paris.

1. IMMEDIATE: Inability to vet hence screen assassins mixed among incoming refugees. A universal precept in safeguarding the people and assets of any organization is to begin by denying access to known or likely enemies. Thus the bank shies away from hiring convicted embezzlers, the liquor store from alcoholics, and the daycare center from child molesters. Before an organization can vet such people to make some intelligent decision about who gets in, it must begin with the most rudimentary of first steps: establish the person’s identity. This, sadly, is not possible when incoming droves hail from war-torn, hostile countries that are not about to do anything but impede attempts to trace a given individual’s pedigree and criminal record. Thus we have no way of vetting people like this, and our adversaries know it. The temptation to infiltrate adversaries agents into such migrant waves must be irresistible. It is such a windfall for those who would destroy us, that to not exploit such an opportunity would be jihadi malpractice.

2. EVENTUAL: The tendency of a succeeding generation to succumb to radicalization. A Western country can do everything right in extending humanitarian relief across its borders to welcome oppressed refugees, supplying them opportunities and civil liberties never before available, only to find the gratitude of the first wave of immigrant families turn into a tsunami of resentment for succeeding generations. Perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon better portrayed than in The Islamist, Ed Husain’s 2009 story of how he grew up in a diaspora community in Britain only to be radicalized in a process that began with a longing for a mother country he first saw through the rosy, airbrushed accounts of disgruntled relatives other than his parents. His parents, after all, having emigrated to find a better life, wanted to assimilate, to regard themselves British citizens. But as a youngster, Husain felt estranged, neither fish nor fowl, as he didn’t look or feel British on the one hand and didn’t have a strong Muslim identity on the other. Into this vacuum came recruiters capitalizing on alienation and holding out the allure of a welcoming cultural identity, a sense of purpose, a call to battle for a radical vision of an imagined greatness ideally experienced in snapshots and trickle charges of brief visits to an exotic mother land and to secret meetings of radicals at home. The pattern is revealing: it isn’t the first or true refugees who turn on their host; they are grateful. It’s the succeeding generations, the ones born in relative safety and comfort, the ones who have the luxury of growing up resentful, wanting more and, hence, malleable in the hands of radicals who dangle before them dreams of greatness attained via the express route of jihad rather than the long road of hard work and gradual ascendancy.

3. SYSTEMIC: The unchecked erosion of cohesive elements of the host society under the banner of tolerance to the point of enabling the rise of saboteurs from within. This phenomenon stands out with the demonization of the melting pot. There was a time, remembered more vividly perhaps by first generation children of immigrants whose parents fled countries in tatters in the wake of occupation and civil war, when assimilation wasn’t a dirty word. It was an objective to be pursued with pride and a sense of achievement. The émigrés landing successfully in the New World had to earn their keep and were only too happy to do so. They learned the language and conformed to the laws and customs of the new land providing them opportunities denied them back home. Only now, they were in a new and better home, and they knew it. Thus they thought themselves Americans or Canadians, and they insisted that their children take on the traditions and culture of their new home, sometimes even if this meant diluting the ties to the Old World. When law or custom of the new country conflicted with those of the old country, then the default choice was to go with the new land. After all, this was the source of opportunity, the current home, the place which gave the immigrants the chance they most desired and thus, by extension, the place that deserved their allegiance in return. Sure, it was fine to respect old ways, language, and tradition, but the old folks weren’t kidding themselves. “I enjoy the music and the food and the occasional festivals,” my mother’s kid brother once told me, “but I see myself as an American more than a Greek. This is my country and I put it first.” This was from a man who, like my parents, was in Greece during the Second World War, when the population starved in record numbers as the Nazis and their Italian allies plundered it. Uncle John didn’t remember that part; he was in a Nazi concentration camp at the time, having been rounded up as a low-level courier while a kid working for the Resistance.

Today, the melting pot of yesteryear is regarded an insult, an offense to sustaining cultural identity. Instead, to the extent any kind of nod to assimilation is even considered, the preferred metaphor is the salad bowl. This allows theoretical mixing without loss of identity. Instead of blending in a melting pot, people are supposed to remain distinct “chunks” that tumble in the bowl, coated by some light but not too sticky vinaigrette, such as the shared watching of situation comedies and reality TV shows, instead of shared traditions or, heaven forbid, open profession of allegiance to country or national traditions. Mix together minimally but remain distinct. That’s the mantra. It preserves whatever one wants held inviolate in one’s particular “chunk.” And this distinctness also proves handy in clutching resentments.

We make it worse. By bending over backwards today to open borders unconditionally to people without demanding of them both assimilation and self sufficiency, we load a pistol of cultural castration, cock it, aim it at our own national body parts, and then, perhaps, in a fleeting moment of hesitant misgiving cry out, “Don’t move!”

No Easy Answers

Diagnosing a malady does not necessarily mean offering a cure in the same breath. Doesn’t proper diagnosis at least uncover enough about root causes to suggest that there are things the patient should stop doing in order to prevent the situation from getting worse? If so, then some remedies based on the foregoing analysis would begin with a tenet traceable to both the Hippocratic Oath and emergency management circles: Don’t make it worse.

Places to Start

To counter the immediate problem of vetting incoming hordes, prudence would suggest taking a more cautious view to opening floodgates to people whose only qualification is a hard luck story. People value what they earn, and this applies to immigrants as much as to students or workers of any kind. If citizenship and its rights are to be valued, the country conferring them must treat them as valuable, not as candy to be tossed to win smiles and demonstrate humanitarian impulses in front of cameras. It would make sense to demand of immigrants that they meet some conditions as a ticket for admission. These include fluency in a national language, conversance with the laws and history of their new home country, and a pledge to both abide by the host country’s laws and traditions even when those are in conflict with those of the emigre’s country of origin. Otherwise, why import any avowed malcontent?

To counter the eventual and systemic problems, there needs to be serious recalibrating of institutions to promote and transmit some unifying vision of what it means to be a good citizen without demonizing patriotism. It is fine to maintain a fondness for and recognition of ancestral traditions and culture, but if one is leaving a place for greener pastures, there must be a recognition that the laws of the host country take precedence and deserve respect. For Muslims, this means no, you can’t run your community by Sharia law in defiance of the laws of the land. For others, you can’t insist on having government forms in your native language or fly any flag other than that of your host. Nor can you have your own schools or distinct enclaves designed to self-segregate. If you want to be here, blend. If you don’t, then rethink coming over in the first place.

Too often an otherwise advanced society, losing sight of its cohesive elements, can embark on self-defeating measures, such as a misguided, unchecked immigration policy under the banner of humanitarian relief. It takes level thinking and a weighing of consequences to realize that a nation’s first duty is to protect its citizens and that impetuous opening of floodgates to near term or nascent saboteurs is no way to perform this duty.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

November 14, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

The most recent Medal of Honor recipient was a naturalized American born in France with an Algerian mother.

This post accurately indicates the complexities faced but immigration both legal and illegal may well be the most important issue for nation state survival in this century.

Comment by The Stunning Defeat in paris

November 14, 2015 @ 11:51 pm

it is apparent that the west has little knowledge to truly understand that when the “Holy Warriors” state they are at war with the west, they should Not be misunderstood as their message is resounding! We are advised that this terror attack in Paris, the first of many against the west. The apathy we see from the White House down the ranks is much the same from the “Chicago-Hollywood-washington charade” – the travesty is so apparent.

God Bless humanity!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 15, 2015 @ 4:46 am

Nick: I appreciate the coherence of your argument. It is a tough issue to diagnose. Every diagnosis that I find credible is difficult to actuate. To do either diagnosis or prescription in roughly 1000 words is basically impossible. But here’s what I would like to hear more about: I perceive your diagnosis is mostly a matter of tribal conflict. You are prescribing more effective — perhaps enlightened — tribalism as a sort of homeopathic remedy. Is it possible that tribalism is the underlying pathology that must be engaged? If so, how? If not, why not?

Comment by Vicki Campbell

November 15, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

I’m stunned by how offensive the underlying tone and bigoted assertions are in this post, no matter how superficially dispassionate the rhetoric. In the face of the massive swell of literally millions of absolutely desperate refugees not seen since WWII (many, many of whom are originally of European decent, btw, esp. from Syria, not that it should matter)) that has been WHOLLY generated by not only the recent/current violence but literally decades of the West’s violent and utterly illegal aggression, intervention, occupation and wholesale destruction of literally millions of innocent people’s homes, families, cities and even some entire countries (and possibly cultures) that we (yes, WE) have brought down on the Middle East largely for the most despicable, selfish and self-serving of reasons – all we, in fact, have by the end of this post is the complete reduction and conflation of this gargantuan and certainly western-generated humanitarian crisis into nothing more than “hard luck” stories, and would-be “saboteurs” one and all. And that’s no exaggeration; read the damned post.

This is done by invoking denigrating and UTTERLY baseless stereotypes depicting Immigrants as a group (who are really mostly refugees) as apparently having fundamentally inordinate, chronic problems wanting to function as self-sufficient adults rather than living on the dole, or unusual issues abiding by the laws of the communities they live in, as well as conjuring up the specter of completely fictitious problems like the practice of Sharia Law, or the blind refusal to learn the dominant language where they live, or the setting up of entire, separate governments in foreign languages within the U.S. (say what?), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (I was surprised that the mythical problem of voter fraud wasn’t thrown into the piling on).

And you can imagine my surprise, having lived my entire life under the presumption that I’d been lucky enough to have been born and raised in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to suddenly find out in this post that as an American citizen I was supposed to have been abiding by all these specific but as yet unidentified American traditions and values (whatever those are) or, well, I shudder to think what conservatives might have in store for me – rather than that I was actually free to live my life as I saw fit, as long as I wasn’t hurting anybody or breaking any laws, and love who i wish, wear what I want, and practice whatever type of spirituality I chose, unimpeded by government intervention. Wow! Did I ever get all that wrong. I’ve also apparently been totally confused about the issue of terrorism even though I’ve formally studied it a fair amount, because I thought it was primarily about blowback from the massive direct and indirect social, political, environmental and economic abuses we’ve been heaping upon the Middle East, again, for quite awhile now. Little did I know it was actually about all those damned spoiled, unappreciative second and third generation immigrants, with all their work ethic issues, that were simply stuck in their prolonged, adolescent identity crises. Silly me – again, what was I thinking.

And as for abiding by the laws of the places where we live – make me fall to the floor laughing. As somebody who’s about to finish a graduate degree specifically in Social Justice and Human Rights, which is also the first of its kind in the country, this post could not possibly represent a more comprehensive, full-on violation of almost every aspect of every pertinent international humanitarian and human rights law currently in existence and signed onto by the U.S., whether in reference to immigrants or refugees. Further, those laws came in to being and currently exist precisely in response to and to provide a moral framework to guide us in exactly the kind of situation currently facing us, because of the problems some (and only some) human beings seem to have in understanding and dealing with others across even the most superficial lines of difference without unconsciously striping them of their basic humanity.

I make no apology for express my anger and disgust at this post. Complex, accurate and coherent it most definitely is not, IMHO. It is, even more so however, just lousy threat/hazard identification, analysis and mitigation, period, as is most of what HS professionals have been offering up in relation to terrorism. We have some very serious, complex issues and problems facing us, largely of our own making and that are not going to magically go away – and I’m quite sure that more of the same abusive, dehumanizing, human rights violating behavior that we have overwhelmingly been exhibiting toward those in the Middle East by our ruthless, hyper-imperialistic and certainly more often than not anti-democratic policies there for quite some time now is not the formula for resolving them. IMHO, we’re the ones, more than anybody else, who’re not in any way living up to or by our beloved country’s professed values and traditions, thank you very much. And if this is the best we’ve got to offer in relation to these problems, or our very clear moral obligations and responsibilities in the face of them, it really is all over but the paperwork.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

What Vicki said.

And I’d like to raise the alarm that reports indicate that at least three of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks were French citizens. WE MUST CLOSE THE BORDER TO ALL FRENCH PEOPLE OR ELSE WE RISK ATTACK!

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

Plus they speak French, not English. Like some Canadians. Oh God….SEAL THE BORDER WITH QUEBEC! An order for poutine is an order for terror.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 5:30 pm

“Nor can you have your own schools or distinct enclaves designed to self-segregate. If you want to be here, blend. If you don’t, then rethink coming over in the first place.”

Yeah. Because nobody likes going to Little Italy or Chinatown in NYC, or Chinatown in SF, or the North End in Boston…

“Too often an otherwise advanced society, losing sight of its cohesive elements, can embark on self-defeating measures, such as a misguided, unchecked immigration policy under the banner of humanitarian relief. It takes level thinking and a weighing of consequences to realize that a nation’s first duty is to protect its citizens and that impetuous opening of floodgates to near term or nascent saboteurs is no way to perform this duty.”

Absolutely. We let in sooooo many communists and fascists by taking in all those displaced persons following WWII. It destroyed not only our democracy but our very country. Oh…wait. We ended up winning the Cold War? We’re still here? Uh. Funny that.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

“Nor can you have your own schools or distinct enclaves designed to self-segregate.”

I live near this: Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Beware the Greeks. They may be seeking to self-segregate.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

“For Muslims, this means no, you can’t run your community by Sharia law in defiance of the laws of the land.”

The New York Times had an investigation regarding “where scripture is law:” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/business/dealbook/in-religious-arbitration-scripture-is-the-rule-of-law.html?_r=0

Funny that it is about Christian arbitration panels. Jewish adherents also have this. Funny that wasn’t mentioned in this post.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

November 15, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

We as a nation are so much better than this. We are strong. We are resilient. We do not have to attempt to close our borders to the wider world. We have been and should continue to be an example for the world, which includes accepting the weak and terrorized. There is nothing that ISIS or any other group can do to truly threaten our existence. Let’s not fall for easy calls of fear but remember what makes us great, and should continue to live by those standards.

Comment by Hilaire Belloc

November 15, 2015 @ 7:55 pm

We sit by and watch the barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid.  We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh.  But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond; and on these faces there is no smile.

Comment by The Stunning Defeat in Paris - How Unfortunate....

November 15, 2015 @ 10:54 pm

Will White House finally admit ISIS is a serious threat? Really?

This “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” has been permitted far too much leeway and it is time that we truly question the real intentions of the White House, State Department and Justice Department for there are far too many other Patriots such as those at NSA and throughout other agencies who spend 24×7 willingly jeopardizing their Life to enable us to live freely every day….Thank you for your service!

How stunning this defeat of western nations when the Oval office shuns the Judeo-Christian principals of our nation, our proud history to the contrary perception by Barry and Michelle Obama, a nation now so diminished, so besieged by those seeking to bring divide and from the White House down, undermined by both parties on each side of the aisle so hell bent on their own agenda giving not a hoot of their pledge to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this nation!

Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg will soon take the torch from Merkel and it will be a ten nation only EU who will put a lid on all this crap and lead us into a global conflagration and all the result of a weakened America by the likes of Barry Obama, Hillary Clinton and a Congress and Senate so paralyzed by its own arrogance and selfies…..What a pity!

The lack of real leadership, a commitment to uphold laws and hold everyone accountable to the law, no matter whether seeking to widen the Clinton Foundation sphere or to divide this nation given the color of skin when most are engaged in the 21st century, far past the history of six million Jews marched naked into gas chambers and a people who experienced bias and prejudice like none other – millions marched to their death, yet a Hebrew who picked themselves up and became educated and understood that with education, achievement was the result of such stamina, persistence and courage….

It is time that we repent and thwart those who disrespect authority and place their own agenda before the American principals and patriotism towards our wonderful country!

God Bless America!

Let me (us) assure Barry Obama et al that we have nothing to apologize for as America has embraced everyone until now and unfortunately given the preciousness of Democracy and our way of Life which we hold with much esteem, no Syrians, no more immigrants until we safeguard our borders and impose and enforce immigration laws enacted long ago to demand that folks wanting to come to America fill our their applications, get certified as far as health and wait their turn to be processed and admitted into our nation and welcomed as legal immigrants —

Close our borders now!

…and by the way, who has tabs on the Palestinians this White House permitted to enter into our country not long ago –

The FBI needs recruits, many recruits to build the ranks of an agency dedicated to protecting our Liberty and I believe that qualified youth in America should be recruited and their eventual FBI professional employment should be tied to wiping out and student loans as a way to recruit the top 20% of graduating seniors willing to undergo tough training and a sword commitment to protecting our beloved Republic!

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 16, 2015 @ 9:42 am

Some items of interest perhaps!

1. Most of the attacks on France planned and coordinated from Belgium.

2. 60% of all residents of France’s jail are Muslim. Muslim population of France 7-9% Muslim although that is a guess because of the way France tracks religious groups or does not.

3. Anti-clericalism in France has made church going by Catholics and Protestants even lower than the USA.

4. Almost swallowed whole by the German economy some might argue that Germany [and France?] are the soul of the EU and Euro.

5. The Force de Frappe [France’s nuclear force] includes submarines.

6. 85% of France’s electric power sourced by nuclear power stations. There is no off-site planning in France equivalent to the FEMA/NRC REPP [radiological emergency preparedness program] found at NRC CFR Title 10 Parts 50-52 and FEMA’s 44 CFR Parts 350-355.

7. Targeting populations with automatic weapons is probably the least threat to those populations by terrorists. Sadly very inefficient and IMO true desperate acts with almost no societal consequences except for those harmed or killed. Usually?

The US has not even changed its policies when active shooter examples occur monthly in the USA. A tolerated risk?

8. The Schengen Agreement may well be revoked by the EU in the next few months. This is the open border plan of the EU for travel and work.

9. The main targets of ISIS remain the secular governments of Iraq and Syria.

10. US FP [including R2P [responsibilty to protect]] has never tried to overthrow any theocratic regime in the entirety of US history.

11. The US has never had a FP announcing the defense of Christianity.

12. The US has almost on a consistent basis undermined women’s rights in its FP.

13. The US in its FP continues to support oligarhic rule in many countries.

14. The official maps of MENA [middle-east and N. Africa] utilized by the US in its FP are usually incorrect.

15. Demographics and geography are largely absent from influencing US FP.


Pingback by Prepper News Watch for November 16, 2015 | The Preparedness Podcast

November 16, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

[…] Immigrant Terror Threats: Imported Time Bombs in an Age of Poses […]

Comment by Ken

November 16, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

Terrorists are people too. Got your attention! In 2085 we will celebrate the 1,000 year anniversary of the First Crusade. Why were there crusades? Christian pilgrims wanted to visit the Holly Land without the women being sold into slavery and the men killed. It was not Exxon trying to ravage the land for profit. That took another 850 years contrary to Marxist-Lennin-ist teachings in our major universities. Lock & Load, America!

Comment by Vicki Campbell

November 17, 2015 @ 3:05 am

Ken, you mean the First Crusade that many historians also call “the first Holocaust? You mean those lovely Christian Pilgrims?

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 17, 2015 @ 6:29 am

Nick: Time passes and I am guessing you will not be replying to my questions, or the comments of others. I very much regret the lost opportunity to better understand your angle. Without your further explanation there is a strong suggestion — as outlined by others — that your response strategy is mostly a mirror image of the ISIS strategy and would even play-into what ISIS has explicitly stated is their goal to eliminate the “grey-zone” between them and the West. I expect that is not your intention… but this is the reductionist-risk related to many blog-posts.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 17, 2015 @ 8:34 am

KEN! IMO the consensus of historians is that Pope’s launched Crusades to lessen the threat of individual and collective violence in Christian lands. And then of course the discovery of the Western Hemisphere reduced the need to send “Hard Men” to save Jerusleum.

And the threat of ISLAM to Catholic lands also diverted the needs for new Crusades. See Battle of Poitiers and various seiges of Vienna.

Comment by Citizen Joe

November 17, 2015 @ 4:25 pm

Really? Listen to this which is factual and you tell those of us on “Main Street USA” just why we have had enough from this White House who embarrassed in front of the parisians and the world, but not Tehran!

Less than 3 percent of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States so far are Christian and 96 percent are Muslim, the result of a referral system that Republican Sen. Tom Cotton says “unintentionally discriminates” against Christians.


Citizen Joe

State Department figures released Monday showed that the current system overwhelmingly favors Muslim refugees. Of the 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States so far, only 53 are Christians while 2,098 are Muslim, the Christian News Service reported.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 18, 2015 @ 3:21 pm

Apparently another Paris style attack disrupted with a shootout in St. Denis!

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