The po­lice vs. the PC po­lice

Im­mi­nent ter­ror­ist threats must be stopped with pre-emp­tive law en­force­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Cal Thomas Cal Thomas is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist. His lat­est book is “What Works: Com­mon Sense So­lu­tions for a Stronger Amer­ica” (Zon­der­van, 2014).

As is al­most al­ways the case, signs of trou­ble pre­ceded the lat­est shoot­ing in Paris, which left one po­lice of­fi­cer dead and wounded two by­standers be­fore po­lice killed the gun­man, later iden­ti­fied as French na­tional Karim Cheurfi, a known crim­i­nal with a long, vi­o­lent record. ISIS claimed to be be­hind the at­tack. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, a note prais­ing ISIS fell out of Cheurfi’s pocket when he fell.

Cheurfi was of Al­ge­rian de­scent, born in a Paris sub­urb. The Washington Post re­ported he had a crim­i­nal record and was known to au­thor­i­ties. His rap sheet in­cluded four ar­rests and con­vic­tions since 2003. He had spent nearly 14 years in prison for crimes that in­cluded bur­glary, theft and at­tempted mur­der.

When Cheurfi at­tempted to buy weapons French au­thor­i­ties took no­tice, es­pe­cially when he made state­ments about wish­ing to kill po­lice of­fi­cers. Af­ter he trav­eled to Al­ge­ria ear­lier this year, Paris pros­e­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins said Cheurfi was in­ter­viewed, but a judge re­fused to re­voke his pro­ba­tion. It makes one ques­tion not only France’s pro­ba­tion laws, but the types of back­ground checks in place that ought to have pre­vented Cheurfi from legally ac­quir­ing any firearm (if he bought it legally), much less the Kalash­nikov ri­fle he al­legedly used.

French and other Euro­pean politi­cians im­me­di­ately ex­pressed con­cern over what ef­fect the shoot­ing and the ter­ror­ist at­tacks that pre­ceded it might have on France’s choice of a new pres­i­dent. Right­ist can­di­dates im­me­di­ately tried to ex­ploit the is­sue, but it has been a sub­ject on the minds of French vot­ers, par­tic­u­larly in Paris, where a ma­jor en­clave of im­mi­grants from Mus­lim coun­tries con­tinue to be seen by many as a threat to the French way of life.

Cheurfi should have been back in jail for pa­role vi­o­la­tions. Given his record, his state­ments and the trip to Al­ge­ria, enough red flags were raised to war­rant ac­tion.

A side note. While Al­ge­ria has not been a main source of ter­ror­ism in the world, the hu­man rights agency Al­ge­ria Watch has noted: “Although Al­ge­rian na­tion­als were not among the sui­cide bombers of 11 Septem­ber 2001, they have fea­tured promi­nently in sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al Qaeda ac­tiv­i­ties in North Amer­ica and Europe. In the UK, where an Al­ge­rian com­mu­nity has grown as a largely unknown mi­nor­ity in re­cent years, sev­eral dozen Al­ge­ri­ans have been ar­rested since mid-2001 in lo­cal­i­ties as widely spread as Le­ices­ter, Glas­gow, Ed­in­burgh, London and Manch­ester. Ar­rests in London in Jan­uary 2003 un­cov­ered a cell pro­duc­ing ricin, while in Manch­ester, one of the Al­ge­rian de­tainees, 27-year-old Kamel Bour­gass, was re­spon­si­ble for killing a po­lice of­fi­cer — the first vic­tim in the UK’s post-11 Septem­ber anti-ter­ror­ist cam­paign.”

In the United States and other coun­tries in the West, most of­ten some­one has to ac­tu­ally break the law be­fore they can be ar­rested. Given the tac­tics of ter­ror­ists, it might be worth dis­cussing whether to in­voke a doc­trine of pre-emp­tion, which is some­times em­ployed when an en­emy na­tion ap­pears to be an im­mi­nent threat. If that is an op­tion to pre­vent death and destruc­tion from coun­tries, why can’t we im­pose some­thing sim­i­lar for peo­ple who have vi­o­lent crim­i­nal records and who openly state, as Cheurfi did, that he in­tends to kill po­lice?

Western re­luc­tance to adapt such a prac­tice shows there is one force more pow­er­ful than the uni­formed po­lice. It is the “PC po­lice.” These are peo­ple who care more about how they feel than for the in­no­cent peo­ple gunned down in our streets.

Don’t in­no­cents have the right to be pro­tected from fa­nat­ics who so of­ten claim to be do­ing God’s work? With on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity into rad­i­cal ter­ror­ists in ev­ery state, it’s long past time to get them be­fore they get any more of us.


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