There must be the will to en­force laws on Is­lamic ter­ror­ism.

There are al­ready laws to deal with rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism, but there must be the will to en­force them

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Jed Bab­bin Jed Bab­bin served as a deputy un­der­sec­re­tary of de­fense in the Ge­orge H.W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion. He is a se­nior fel­low of the Lon­don Cen­ter for Pol­icy Re­search and the au­thor of five books in­clud­ing “In the Words of Our En­e­mies.”

Is­lamic ter­ror­ists killed eight peo­ple and wounded 48 more in Lon­don on June 3 be­fore be­ing shot to death by po­lice. It was the third ter­ror­ist at­tack in Bri­tain in as many months. Last Septem­ber, af­ter a ji­hadist at­tack in New York, Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “It is a re­al­ity I’m afraid that Lon­don, New York, other ma­jor cities around the world have got to be pre­pared for these sorts of things.”

Af­ter the June 3 at­tack Khan tweeted, “I’m re­as­sured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world if not the safest global cities in the world.” He, and too many other politi­cians in his coun­try and ours, ac­cept ter­ror­ists’ mass mur­ders of in­no­cents as the new norm.

While the Twin Tow­ers were still burn­ing I wrote a col­umn that ap­peared on this page on Sept. 12, 2001. I wrote that the 9/11 at­tacks would force us to choose be­tween ac­cept­ing a life in which ter­ror­ism was the norm or con­fronting and de­feat­ing the threat of well-or­ga­nized and well-funded ter­ror­ists who want to kill us, our fam­i­lies and our friends. I con­cluded that, as a free peo­ple, we de­served bet­ter than a na­tion that tol­er­ates ter­ror­ism.

So much has changed since then. And so lit­tle.

As a May 24 Wash­ing­ton Times edi­to­rial said, the politi­cians’ state­ments that the “we stand with (fill in the blank for the lat­est city vic­tim­ized by Is­lamic ter­ror­ism)” are to­tally mean­ing­less. They do noth­ing to re­duce, far less end, the ter­ror­ist threat.

U.K. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said she won’t tol­er­ate the sta­tus quo. Shortly af­ter the Satur­day at­tack, Mrs. May said, “things need to change,” and “…enough is enough.” Sim­i­larly, Pres­i­dent Trump Tweeted, “We must stop be­ing po­lit­i­cally cor­rect and get down to the busi­ness of se­cu­rity for our peo­ple.”

Mrs. May said, “We can­not and must not pre­tend that things can con­tinue as they are,” adding “There is — to be frank — far too much tol­er­ance of ex­trem­ism in our coun­try.” That tol­er­ance is the most deadly form of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

The pres­i­dent was right, and so was Mrs. May. So what are they go­ing to do about it?

Bri­tain is hob­bled by Euro­pean Union hu­man rights laws that pre­vent it from crack­ing down on ter­ror­ists. A few days af­ter the at­tack, Mrs. May said that if such laws get in the way, those laws would be changed. But the U.K. lacks the sov­er­eign power to do that un­til it ex­its the EU.

Bri­tain is also hob­bled by po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness ex­em­pli­fied by Mrs. May in her post-at­tack state­ment when she said that ter­ror­ists per­vert Is­lam. That same non­sense is of­ten stated by Mr. Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The pres­i­dent’s be­lief is fluid.

There are about 23,000 sus­pected ji­hadis liv­ing in Bri­tain to­day, in­clud­ing 300 U.K. cit­i­zens who have re­turned af­ter hav­ing be­come trained ISIS ter­ror­ists. A Septem­ber 2015 re­port by the House Home­land Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee found that more than 250 in­di­vid­u­als from the United States have also joined or at­tempted to fight along­side ter­ror­ists in the con­flict zone. Ac­cord­ing to that re­port dozens had re­turned to the U.S. with­out be­ing ar­rested and mon­i­tored. Many more likely have re­turned in the nearly two years since.

In Amer­ica, there’s no con­sti­tu­tional way to force ter­ror­ist sus­pects to wear an­kle bracelets or oth­er­wise con­trol them be­cause they haven’t yet been con­victed of a crime. But our laws do pro­vide for things that the pres­i­dent can do im­me­di­ately.

U.S. law says that a per­son’s cit­i­zen­ship can be for­feited by tak­ing ac­tions such as swear­ing al­le­giance to a for­eign power or join­ing its armed forces. Ev­ery per­son known to have sworn al­le­giance to or has joined any ter­ror­ist net­work — not just ISIS — should have their pass­port voided. If such a per­son man­ages to re­turn to the U.S., they should be charged in fed­eral court with vi­o­la­tion of the anti-ter­ror­ism laws and their cit­i­zen­ship an­nulled. Those caught abroad should be de­clared en­emy com­bat­ants and flown to the ter­ror­ist de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity at Guan­tanamo Bay where they can be tried, and their cit­i­zen­ship re­voked, by mil­i­tary tri­bunals.

One of the prin­ci­pal tools we have to find and in­ter­dict ter­ror­ist at­tacks is the For­eign In­tel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Act. As Mrs. May pointed out, so­cial me­dia now al­low on­line “safe havens” for ter­ror­ists to plan and carry out at­tacks be­cause they are en­coded in ways that are not usu­ally pen­e­tra­ble by counter-ter­ror­ism agen­cies.

Tele­phone com­pa­nies and some in­ter­net car­ri­ers co­op­er­ate vol­un­tar­ily with NSA’s ef­forts to in­ter­cept ter­ror­ist com­mu­ni­ca­tions. FISA should be amended to re­quire so­cial me­dia com­pa­nies to co­op­er­ate in in­ter­cept­ing ter­ror­ist com­mu­ni­ca­tions pur­suant to war­rants is­sued by the FISA court.

Un­less FISA is reau­tho­rized it will ex­pire this year. The al­leged abuse of FISA by sev­eral se­nior Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion mem­bers is ter­ri­bly se­ri­ous but should not pre­vent reau­tho­riza­tion of that law. Un­less our counter-ter­ror­ist agen­cies have the tools FISA pro­vides, ter­ror­ists will be able to com­mu­ni­cate freely all over the world. If more pro­tec­tions of Amer­i­cans need to be added, they should be and the law reau­tho­rized with­out de­lay.

The Supreme Court, in de­cid­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of Mr. Trump’s travel ban, should think se­ri­ously about Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Kelly’s state­ment that ter­ror­ist travel is spik­ing. Enough is damned well enough.

Bri­tain is hob­bled by Euro­pean Union hu­man rights laws that pre­vent it from crack­ing down on ter­ror­ists. A few days af­ter the at­tack, Mrs. May said that if such laws get in the way, those laws would be changed.


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