Monday, January 22, 2007

So they don't fight us here

A few thoughts about the new report that Iraqi insurgents are planning to attack in the States. The most obvious thought is, why should they come here when they're already killing us over there? Given the number of Americans who died this last weekend (n.b. -- total subject to increase), why mess with a winning formula?

Second thought: obviously we should be wary, and I'm all for following leads and tracking them down. But how many leads turn out to be real? The ABC story gets quite breathless about precedent.

U.S. officials now require universities to closely track foreign nationals who use student visas to study in the United States. University officials must report international students who fail to arrive on campus or miss class regularly.

In August, the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement alerted intelligence agencies and state and local law enforcement about 11 Egyptian students who had failed to report to their classes at Montana State University. The students were ultimately apprehended.

But the last I heard, when those students were being rounded up for immigration violations, "None of the students [were] considered a terrorism risk."

Third, having worked at two large universities during the crackdown, I think student visa holders are pretty well tracked -- hassled, even.

Fourth, how come we hear about this now? The day before Bush's SOTU? Any chance we'll get a heightened alert from teh Chertoff?

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