Congressional report stitches up US Muslim community

Marc LynchThe House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has released a new report, “Al-Qaeda: The Many Faces of an Islamist Extremist Threat”. Marc Lynch is less than impressed:

“Some of the sourcing is hilarious. You’d think that the House Intelligence Committee could do a better job of sourcing a translation of a major statement by Osama bin Laden than the website jihadunspun (footnote 5), wouldn’t you? But there’s one place where the report does go a bit farther: on the alleged threat of homegrown American Muslim extremism. I’d go so far as to say that the lazily produced padding about al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiya, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (!), and even Iraq, was just thrown together as a vehicle to deliver a set of rather extreme views about the threat posed by the American Muslim community…. The whole narrative thrust of the report hypes the threat of homegrown terrorism and the need for more intense scrutiny of the American Muslim community.”

Professor Lynch has particular fun with a map provided to the committee by Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project, which shows the US criss-crossed by a network of “radical Islamist cells”:

“It’s so scary! Washington DC has long since fallen to Hamas and Hizballah. New York has descended into intra-Islamist warfare between al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hizballah, al-Muhajiroun and more. Los Angeles is torn between Hamas, al-Gamaa, the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, and Steven Spielberg. San Franciso and Santa Clara, hasta la vista. But it isn’t just the bastions of the Decadent Left, which has long since allied itself with its natural allies in radical Islam. Phoenix (lost to al-Qaeda), Kansas City (occupied by Hamas), Fayettville, Arkansas (gone to Bill Clinton). Even Houston and Dallas have fallen to Hamas. And can my hometown of Milwaukee really be gone? And Bridgeview, Illinois too… say it ain’t so, not Bridgeview, Illinois. Reno looks okay for now. Williamstown, MA, also appears to be safe …  but for how much longer? Please, Homeland Security, protect me!”

Lynch concludes: “Thank you, House Intelligence Committee. This is the kind of inspired lunacy which has been missing from too much of our great national debate.”

Abu Aardvark, 21 September 2005