Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Bad Guys

In the New York Sun, Daniel Pipes offers a provocative piece on "Europe's Threat to the West."

... Muslim life in Western Europe and North America is strikingly different. The former has seen the emergence of a culturally alienated, socially marginalized, and economically unemployed Muslim second generation whose pathologies have led to "a surge of gang rapes, anti-Semitic attacks and anti-American violence," not to speak of raging radical ideologies and terrorism.

North American Muslims are not as alienated, marginalized, and economically stressed. Accordingly, Mr. Leiken finds, they show less inclination to anti-social behavior, including Islamist violence. Those of them supporting jihad usually fund terrorism rather than personally engage in it. Therefore, most jihadist violence in North America is carried out by hit squads from abroad.

And, contrary to expectation, these come predominantly not from countries like Iran or Syria, or even Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for the simple reason that their nationals undergo extra scrutiny. Islamist terrorists are not dumb; they note this special attention and now recruit intensively from citizens of the 27 countries – mostly European – who, thanks to the Visa Waiver Program, can enter America for 90 days without a visa.

Meanwhile, at the "Weekly Standard," Robert S. Leiken & Steven Brooke answer the question, "Who Is Abu Zarqawi?"

WHO KILLED NICHOLAS BERG? His grief-stricken family blames the U.S. government for the appalling videotaped beheading of their son in Iraq. A more fitting object of outrage is the executioner. For the terrorist who claims credit for the killing of the Jewish-American civilian is no walk-on, no lackey or even lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. Instead, he is an independent operator with a long history in global jihad -- sometimes coordinated with al Qaeda, sometimes not -- who may be challenging bin Laden for the leadership of global Sunni terrorism.