The Wrath of Khan
By James Jay Carafano Posted in Foreign Affairs — Comments (0) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
LONDON -- In the middle of meeting with British officials to discuss counterterrorism policies comes a reminder of why we are meeting. Headlines in the London papers report the sentencing of Parviz Khan from Birmingham. Khan planned to behead a British soldier live on the Internet.
Khan had declared “cut it off like you cut a pig, man. Then we throw the body, burn it, send the video to chacha [a reference to terrorist leaders in Pakistan]. They [British authorities] will go crazy, they will start searching ... London, Birmingham, Newcastle, where are these people?” The court knew Khan had said this because they had it on tape. A British counterterrorism unit had him under surveillance and had “bugged” his residence.
The case of Khan is a chilling reminder of what terrorists might do if they were left to hatch their plots unmolested. Stories like this make the story that Congress left Washington without reauthorizing critical legislation governing terrorism surveillance (the Protect America Act) seem even more incredible. Allowing the authorities in the law, which govern requirements to obtain warrants from the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts to lapse makes no sense. Yet that is just what Congress did.
People wonder why terrorist car bombs, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and murder have not happened in the United States. It is not for lack of trying. There have been terrorist plots in America that have tried to everything tried in Baghdad and Kabul. At least 19 alleged plots have been stopped already. What stopped the terrorists we know about were serious counterterrorism investigations. Part of those investigations involved the kind of intelligence surveillance authorized by the Protect America Act. Not reauthorizing the act gives a green light to the terrorists.
[The Heritage Foundation’s James Jay Carafano will be blogging on RedState about his trip to London to study counterterrorism measures.]