How to screen Muslim immigrants for Islamic terror.
They checked the box that said, ‘No’ and they were in.
The current incarnation of the form asks the same perfunctory and generic question. An actual terrorist is as likely to check the box as he is to finger a rosary while eating a ham sandwich and singing Hava Nagila. But since 9/11, the terrorist threat has evolved from foreign cells penetrating this country to domestic Islamist terrorists emerging out of Muslim settlements already occupying this country.
Most Islamic terrorists that the FBI has been dealing with had no specific terror plans at the time that they entered this country. Some Islamic terrorists, like the Tsarnaev perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing, came here as children. Others, like Omar Mateen, the Pulse shooter, and Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, contrived to be born in this country to foreign parents.
Immigration screening has to do more than just ask terrorists to check a box if they plan to fly planes into our skyscrapers. We must identify visitors and immigrants who are at a high risk of becoming terrorists in the first or second generation. The only way to do this is with a holistic strategy that examines the worldview of new immigrants and the Islamic communities they intend to be part of.
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