Conspicuously absent from this story is any mention of the ideology driving this group of “terrorists” and why it is present in Europe, aside from passing mention of al-Qaeda in the third paragraph. Yes, anyone reading will know Chertoff isn’t talking about a band of disgruntled Lichtensteiners, but the unwillingness to call jihadists “jihadists” (or even “Islamists” or other variations) reflects a more general mindset that misdirects efforts in both foreign policy and national security. And of course, it also puts the remarks in the article in line with current DHS policy.
“Chertoff: European terrorists trying to enter US,” by Eileen Sullivan for the Associated Press, July 18:
WASHINGTON – European terrorists are trying to enter the United States with European Union passports, and there is no guarantee officials will catch them every time, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.
Chertoff’s comments on Capitol Hill comes as the country is entering a potentially vulnerable period with the presidential nominating conventions coming up next month; the presidential election in November; and the transition to a new administration in January “” all of which may be attractive targets for terrorists.
In his last scheduled appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee, Chertoff said that the more time and space al-Qaida and its allies have to recruit, train, experiment and plan, the more problems the U.S. and Europe will face down the road.
“The terrorists are deliberately focusing on people who have legitimate Western European passports, who don’t appear to have records as terrorists,” Chertoff told lawmakers. “I have a good degree of confidence we can catch people coming in. But I have to tell you … there’s no guarantee. And they are working very hard to slip by us.”
Chertoff and other intelligence officials have delivered similar warnings before, and he offered no new information about specific threats or an imminent attack.
Chertoff reiterated his concern that terrorists could sneak radiological material into the country on small boats or private aircraft. This material could be used to create an explosive device known as a “dirty bomb.”…