Jersey jihad shows Bush bungling

Published on May 13, 2007, The Star Ledger

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

By Paul Mulshine

Perhaps the lamest bit of spin coming out of the Bush administration concerning the Iraq War is that line, "If we don't fight them over there, we'll have to fight them over here."

But just how will they get in?

Simple. They'll come over the Mexican border and stay for as long as they please.

That description applies to three of the six men accused in the Fort Dix terror plot. The parents of the three Duka brothers brought them into the country illegally more than 20 years ago. They attended school, grew into adulthood and took advantage of good, old American hospitality as they studied jihad and allegedly worked on a plot to shoot soldiers at Fort Dix.

Peter Gadiel is pretty steamed up about this. His son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. Ever since, he has worked with the group 9/11 Families for a Secure America to do something about our porous borders.

"When George Bush stood at Ground Zero after the attacks, he said to America, 'I hear you,'" Gadiel told me the other day. "Well, apparently he lied. He lied then. He lies now, and he lied in between."

What he lied about was his promise to secure the borders. Like Gadiel, I was among the many conservatives in America who assumed that Bush's first response to the 2001 terror attacks would be to fix the flaws in our immigration system. Instead, his immigration department mailed off visa renewals to two of the dead hijackers.

A fluke? No, it was part of a pattern of lax immigration enforcement.

Before long, Bush and his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, were encouraging states to issue special licenses to illegal immigrants, even though the 9/11 terrorists had used such licenses to get onto the planes they hijacked.

So if you're wondering how those theoretical terrorists from Iraq will be able to attack us here, the answer is simple: George Bush will let them in.

"Anybody with half a brain knows it's possible to keep them out, but he doesn't want to keep them out," said Gadiel.

He has his reasons. But they're loony. Bush wants to fight Islamic terrorism by helping Islamic terrorists take power. He's already done so in Iraq, where two of the parties in the new government have longer histories of terrorism than the insurgents. And he's doing so in Kosovo, the heavily Muslim area of the former Yugoslavia to which four of the Fort Dix Six had ethnic and religious ties. Weird as it sounds -- and I am not making this up -- the Bush administration is supporting an effort by Islamic fundamentalists to turn Kosovo into an Islamic state.

They don't need much help.

"More than 150 churches have been destroyed, and hundreds of Wahhabi mosques are going up," says Jim Jatras, spokesman for a group called the American Council for Kosovo. "Kosovo is changing from part of Europe to part of the Mideast."

The Wahhabis are the militant Islamic sect from which al Qaeda sprang. If you're wondering why the Bush administration is helping the Wahhabis gain a foothold in Europe, U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos will explain:

"Just a reminder to the predominantly Muslim-led governments in this world that here is yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe," the California congressman said at a recent hearing.

Lantos is a liberal Democrat, so you might expect that kind of thinking from him. Unfortunately, at the same hearing undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns also made it clear that the No. 1 priority of the Bush administration in the Balkans is the creation of an independent Kosovo.

The theory is that these liberated Muslims will thank us the way the Muslims of Afghanistan thanked us for helping free them from Soviet domination. You probably recall how that worked out. The Afghans created a haven for al Qaeda, which blew up the World Trade Center.

Something of the same phenomenon seems evident here. Fort Dix was, of course, the base where all those refugees from Kosovo were welcomed after the U.S. intervened in the region back in the 1990s. So a lot of people were wondering last week why the fort was targeted for terror.

"That's like asking how come Osama and the boys weren't happy with all the help we gave them in Afghanistan," says Jatras.

The world, in other words, turned out to be a lot more complicated than the so-called "neoconservatives" figured. But they got Bush's ear and they convinced him to endorse their theory of "global democratic revolution." As the examples of both faraway Iraq and nearby Wrightstown show, no theory has ever been so thoroughly discounted so quickly.



Paul Mulshine may be reached at pmulshine@starledger.com


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