Homegrown al Qaeda wannabes

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  1. I share your concern about how this will be used to justify more domestic surveillance, but I’m not sure it’s a as clear as justification as you imply. If we could look back and see how the lack of such programs led to trouble, that would be one thing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. We’ve had plenty of homegrown terrorists in the US for a long time (think, for example, of the various white supremacist groups out there) and been able to generally control them within the current legal framework.
    9/11 is a particularly interesting case in this regard, because our failure to prevent it seems to have stemmed not from lack of the information but an inability to put that information together. To steal a line fom the Daily Show, we have trouble connecting the dots, and the proposed solution is more dots.
    But you’re right, it will be used as justification for increased surveillance.

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  4. The only things this episode lacks to be a true “movie-plot threat” are:
    * the group had a page on MySpace where they posted their photos and wrote that their goal in life was to “have sex with 70 under-age girls after dying a fiery and painful death.”
    * their computers were found to have copies of “Flight Simulator” on them, with Meigs Field annotated with the phrase “we start from here”.
    * Copies of the complete works of Derrida were found in their living quarters – it is apparent they were attempting to acquire Weapons of Mass Deconstructionism.

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